No Sleep Till Football

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NCAA POWER 15 – 2013 WEEK 15

People hate the BCS but for some reason it always works itself out. The clear cut national championshpi game is Florida State & Auburn and I think it a nice way to end another great college fotoball season. What is interesting to me is what happens with a 4-team playoff? If you go by the BCS standings then the 4-team playoff would be:

#4 Michigan State v. #1 Florida State
#3 Alabama v. #2 Auburn

But if you wanted to avoid the Alabama/Auburn rematch then you’d get:

#3 Alabama v. #1 Florida State
#4 Michigan State v. #2 Auburn

Would people be happy with this though? Baylor is 11-1 & Big XII champions. Alabama is 11-1 and didn’t even win their own division! Michigan St. also has a loss. Michigan St.’s loss came to an unranked 8-4 team. Baylor’s loss came to a 10-2 Oklahoma St. team. Isn’t Baylor’s loss more important than Michigan St.’s? What about 11-2 Stanford? They won the Pac 12. Or 12-1 Ohio State who actually has a better record than Alabama & won their division.

As much as the BCS gets it wrong, the debate isn’t going to end with a 4-team playoff.

#1 What’s really amazing about Auburn’s 59-42 win over Missouri in the SEC Championship game is that Mizzou knew what was coming & was powerless to stop it. Auburn ran the ball 74 times out of 85 plays that resulted in 545yds & 7TD. Tre Mason ran for 304yds himself! With a little help from Ohio St., War Eagle is in the BCS Championship game. Florida St. knows what’s coming, but can they stop the run? Keep in mind Mizzou allowed 119 rushing yds per game until Auburn put up 545! That’s nuts!
#2 Missouri gave up 4.6x as many rushing yards as they normally would have to Auburn in their 59-42 loss. The Tide were also victimes of the Auburn rushing attack but the Crimson Tide gave up 296 rushing yards to Auburn as opposed to them allowing 91YPG on average. That means Alabama only gave up 3.3x as many rushing yards! The Tide couldn’t kick a FG which is why they lost to Auburn. If Auburn is the #1 team in the nation then Alabama is #1B. This team is dominant.
#3 The Seminoles were dominant in the ACC Championship game getting out to a 45-0 lead before allowing a Duke TD in the last minute of the game, sparing the Blue Devils from being shut out. Lost in the all the Jameis Winston talk is how great the FSU defense is. Florida St. ranks #1 in the nation in scoring defense allowing just 10.7PPG. FSU’s closest margin of victory has been 14 points. Either this is an historically GREAT team or Auburn is about ready to expose just how soft FSU’s schedule was.
#4 Missouri actually was up 34-31 late in the 3rd quarter on Auburn but simply ran out of gas as Auburn outscored Missouri 28-8 from that point forward. Essentially Missouri was a quarter away from playing in the national title & it is a testament to how good this program has become under HC Gary Pinkel. Everyone thought Missouri would become an SEC doormat but they won the East in just their 2nd season. They miss out on the BCS but get the Cotton Bowl where a 12-2 record is possible.
#5 Efficient! No Marion Grice had to hurt Arizona St., but the Cardinal put a beat down on the Sun Devils in convincing fashion. Kevin Hogan completed 67% of his passes for 277yds & 1TD. Tyler Gaffney ran for 133yds & 3TD. The defense held ASU to 14 points which was the lowest output for the Sun Devils this season! I think a really interesting national championship game would have been Stanford against Auburn because I like the Cardinal defense. A Rose Bowl consolation prize is pretty nice though.
#6 When Oklahoma opened the door to Baylor to win a Big XII championship, the Bears made sure to kick it down with a 30-10 whipping of in-state rival Texas. Baylor did a good job of making adjusments at halftime. Going into the 3rd quarter, Baylor & Texas were tied 3-3. In the 2nd half Baylor outscored the Longhorns 27-7! Give credit to the Baylor defense too. They held Texas to just 3 of 17 on 3rd down conversions & forced a couple of turnovers. OUTSTANDING SEASON for Baylor!
#7 South Carolina didn’t get the help they needed from either Ole Miss or Texas A&M, but it is probably just the same they didn’t have to face Auburn in the SEC Title game. Here is something I found interesting about SC. Connor Shaw had a great season throwing 21TD to just 1INT. Bruce Ellington, Damiere Byrd, Mike Davis & Nick Jones were South Carolina’s #1, #2, #4 & #5 receivers this year respectively with heights of 5’9, 5’9, 5’9 & 5’7 respectively! Those are some tight windows!
#8 If it wasn’t for the 42-16 loss to Arizona, Oregon is probably the team beating up Arizona St., and getting another shot at the Rose Bowl. It’s a confounding loss but this is the same team that went into Stanford and lost by 6. Oregon made no bones about saying it was BCS title or bust. With the loss to Stanford they knew those hopes were out the door & letting down against Arizona isn’t all that unbelievable. This is still a top-10 football team in my opinion. Hammering Texas will suffice.
#9 A 12-1 Big 10 Champion with a convincing win over a previously 12-0 team coming in at #9? I still the Big 10 is facing issues with perception. I’m a Big 10 guy so I’m glad they avoided the BCS title game but now the best thing Sparty can do is go into the Rose Bowl & beat Stanford. If that happens then I think Michigan St. is definitely a top-5 team with top-2 or top-3 potential depending on how the other bowls shake out. Getting blown out by Stanford would look horrible & only reinforce the perception.
#10 The only team to beat Auburn this year, LSU convincingly took down War Eagle 35-21! LSU held Auburn to just 213 yards rushing which oddly enough was the 2nd worst rushing day for Auburn. The week before, Mississippi St. held War Eagle to 120 rushing yards! Remember that LSU lost 2 road games to Georgia & Ole Miss by 6 points. If they had won those 2 games then Auburn, LSU & Alabama all would finish 11-1 with 7-1 conference records. BCS Standings would have decided the West and given the timing of the games, Auburn still probably comes out ahead. What if……….
#11 A 12-1 Ohio St. team is still going to get a BCS Bowl so the Buckeyes will travel to Florida to take on Clemson in the Orange Bowl. At some point I did think that Ohio St.’s soft schedule would get exposed & I’m glad they took the loss if only because a 1-loss SEC team really did deserve to be in the championship game! I still think perception is a big part of the Big 10 at this point so along with the Spartans, Ohio St. needs a great showing & hopefully a win against a pretty good Clemson squad.
#12 Going into Stillwater with everything on the line for Oklahoma St. was a good showing for the Sooners. It’s intersting to note that Oklahoma St. was playing with an outside shot at the BCS title with a win should Ohio St., Florida St., and Auburn all lose. This was the first game of the day so OSU had to come out and play well. Instead Oklahoma win 33-24 & finished 10-2! Oklahoma snuck into the BCS with a Sugar Bowl date against Alabama. OU better hope Saban doesn’t want to prove a point!
#13 A really difficult situation here. The chance to play for a national championship wasn’t as clear as it was 2 years ago when OSU went into Ames and got beat, but the outside chance was still there. The only thing left for Mike Gundy to do in Stillwater is get to the national championship game. They are 30-8 over the past 3 years & 2-0 in bowl games. Drawing Missouri in the Cotton Bowl won’t be easy but a win puts them at 31-8 & 3-0 in bowls? The only question is whether or not OSU can make that jump to national title contender & possible national champion!
#14 The loss to Stanford stings a little bit but Arizona St. still finished the season 10-3 and Pac 12 South champions. The Sun Devils draw Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl & if they come in motivated, then I think they should win which will give them an 11-3 record on the season. Remember that ASU lost to Stanford twice & the Cardinal could very well be one of the 2 or 3 best teams in the nation. The other was a 3-point loss to Notre Dame on a neutral field. Todd Graham is doing great things here.
#15 Clemson is sort of like Florida St. in a way. The Seminoles didn’t have a single close game on the schedule. Clemson had just 1 where they updended Georgia by 3 points to start the season. In blowout games, FSU was 13-0. Clemson was 9-2. Neither team played dramatic games. Very interesting. With FSU in the BCS, the Orange took Clemson where they will face Ohio State. Another perception game where both teams played relatively soft schedules. A win is important for both.
#16 When it is happening it’s easy to get lost in the 4 losses but now that the season is over it’s interesting to see. Texas A&M finished the season 8-4 which is a good season but nothing to write home about. Their 4 losses came to Alabama, Auburn, LSU & Missouri with 2 coming on the road. If all 4 of those teams win their bowl games then you could easily argue that A&M is one of the best 5-6 teams in college football. A&M should have no problems with Duke so expect a big jump in the rankings!
#17 I did this last week too but as with Texas A&M, I really wanted to make sure I got Wisconsin on the board here somehow. As with Oregon & Arizona, the loss to Penn St. is dumbfounding & better left unexplained because what is the use? The 9-3 season doesn’t look AMAZING but Wisky’s worst case record is 9-3 which is IMPRESSIVE! I love Gary Andersen & Wisconsin actually drew a good bowl matchup against South Carolina. They can really help Big 10 perception with a win over the SEC!

December 11, 2013 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Florida St., LSU, Michigan St., Missouri, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Oregon, Power 15, South Carolina, Stanford, Texas AM, Wisconsin

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