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2014 NCAA WEEK 7 – GAMES OF THE WEEK

If you thought Week 6 was amazing, keep your seatbelts on this week because Week 7 has a few follow up games that are just as exciting as any you saw last week. Auburn/Mississippi St., Ole Miss/Texas A&M, and Baylor/TCU are all games that could seriously alter how things will play out at the end of the season. If you want massive chaos to rule the college football world then look for Texas A&M & Baylor to win games this week. There is simply never an off week in the SEC!

 

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It’s hard to understate what Mississippi St. has accomplished over the last couple of weeks. They went into Baton Rouge up against 102,000+ LSU fans and did something no team in the last 5 years has done, which is go on the road to LSU as an underdog and come out victorious. If that wasn’t enough, 2 weeks later they beat an undefeated Texas A&M team convincingly 48-31 in a game that wasn’t even that close. Auburn did beat LSU last week in a romp but their only road win of note has come against Kansas St. where they didn’t play particularly well. If Auburn gets off to a slow start, the game might be over and I get the sneaking suspicion that Nick Marshall is going to have to have a good game. Can he do that? Auburn hasn’t seen a defense this tough & physical. If the run is stopped then Marshall has to prove his worth to this football team.
I would like nothing more than to see Ole Miss & Mississippi St. run the table so both teams get to the Egg Bowl at 11-0 with the SEC West title on the line in Oxford! If you thought last week was wild with Alabama in town, wait until you see the Grove if both Mississippi teams come in undefeated! College football always has had ways of working itself out. The SEC West becomes a lot cleaner if Ole Miss loses this game with the Auburn/MS State winning staying undefeated. I’m not sure it happens though. Ole Miss might have the best defense in the nation & how good really is Texas A&M? The South Carolina is sorely diminished and they should be 0-2 over their last 2 games. If Bo Wallace protects the football them I don’t see how Ole Miss loses the game to be frank. The Rebels time is now and all they have to do is seize the moment.
Baylor comes in 5-0 & ranked highly but to be honest we don’t know much about them other than Bryce Petty can sling the football with the best of them. They’ve played 4 FBS opponents who have a combined record of 6-15! If you look at records only then Baylor’s toughest opponent so far has been 3-3 Buffalo! Sure they’ve played Iowa St. & Texas but those teams suck. We really don’t know how good Baylor might or might not be. TCU is coming off a HUGE win over Oklahoma & it’s unfortunate that the Frogs have to turn around & play in Waco against Baylor. This is the de facto Big XII Championship game but ONLY if the TCU wins. Remember that if Baylor wins, the Bears have to go to Norman on Nov. 8. If TCU wins this game you can punch their ticket to the playoff barring an upset. They’ll finish the season 12-0 which will be good enough.
If you look at recent bowl games, you notice a trend in which Nick Saban’s teams almost look lethargic if they aren’t playing for a national championship. I can’t blame Saban per se. Alabama is about winning championships and if you aren’t in the title game then a bowl game is nothing more than a non-conference game with even less meaning. Alabama isn’t out of the SEC Championship race just yet even with the loss to Ole Miss, but if they let down this week then Arkansas is capable of beating them especially with the game in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks should have beaten Texas A&M 2 weeks ago to move to 4-1 with an actual shot at the SEC West. Arkansas is definitely a team nobody wants to face at this point & I am really curious to see if Alabama lets the season completely get away from here. The Tide could be the 4th best team in the West! Can you imagine?
This game lost significant meaning last week when Oregon lost at home to Arizona & UCLA did the same against Utah! It’s amazing that these two programs dropped home games against teams that really had no business coming close to beating them! Oregon is dealing with significant injuries so that does play a role, but the losses were brutal. The game still does have significance however. UCLA & Oregon are still very much alive in the Pac 12 race & if either team were to finish 12-1, they still could get into the playoffs by year’s end given the way the season could turn. Oregon has the most to gain here. They still get Washington, Oregon St. & Stanford so the North is still up for grabs. UCLA is behind the 8-ball a bit losing to Utah in the South but the Bruins still have games against USC & Arizona so they could still win the South. There is meaning here.
Nobody really thought Arizona would beat Oregon so the point is moot, but when you start looking at Arizona you notice that the middle 4-games of their schedule were make or break. In those 4 games, 3 of them are on the road to Oregon, Washington St. & UCLA. Arizona went 4-0 in their first 4. I think they’ll go 4-0 in their last 4 but the middle 4 is going to make all the difference. This week against USC won’t be easy at all, but it’s their only home game of their middle-4 games making it almost a must win. After USC, the Wildcats get a bye before back-to-back road games against Washington St. & UCLA. Don’t count out USC though. They are 2-1 in conference & if they beat both Arizona & UCLA could win the P12 South. They avoid Oregon so it’s entirely possible meaning Arizona won’t have an easy time of it. Both teams have TONS to play for.
It’s interesting that neither team is ranked & yet here we are talking about LSU/Florida! Florida has been barely scraping by en route to starting the season 3-1. They were hammered by Alabama 42-21 but beat Kentucky 36-30 & Tennessee 10-9. That isn’t fantastic but Florida has a shot to get to 10-1 before playing Florida St. if they can break right & win at home. Their only remaining road game outside of Florida St. is against Vanderbilt. Georgia will probably be without Todd Gurley giving Florida an edge there. This game against LSU might actually be Florida’s last tough game in the SEC! As for LSU things can’t get any worse. They are 0-2 in the SEC right now & 4 more games against the SEC West. Their easiest game left is against Kentucky who looks good. Could LSU really finish the season 4-8/5-7? It’s brutal to think so. Teams going in different directions.
The RED RIVER RIVALRY! I’d expect this game to be a blowout for the Sooners but it’s still Oklahoma/Texas so there is quite a bit of swag to the game even if Texas isn’t nearly what they should be. The game also is unpredictable. Nobody thought Texas would have beat Oklahoma last year but there were the Longhorns, beating the Sooners in Mack Brown’s final UT/OU game of his career in Austin. This year it’s a bad matchup for Texas. The Longhorns have played pretty good defense this year but they are especially good against the pass. Oklahoma’s forte on offense is their run game behind Samaje Perine, Ketih Ford & Alex Ross. I don’t think Trevor Knight is going to be called upon to deliver a victory. The season still isn’t over for Oklahoma especially if Baylor beats TCU. The Big XII could certainly be thrown into chaos with a glut of 1-loss teams.
This could be a very dangerous trap game for Notre Dame. Last week the Irish are coming off an emotional win over Stanford that took a last minute TD pass from Everett Golson to Ben Koyack to seal the victory. Next week the Irish are off to Tallahassee to play a game that most likely will decide if the Irish get to the playoffs. Sandwiched between the two is North Carolina which is a team a lot better than their 2-3 record would indicate. The game is in South Bend & for the most part ND should roll, but the Irish have a tendency to play close games when they shouldn’t & UNC has a couple of dynamic playmakers in QB Marquise Williams & WR Ryan Switzer. The Tar Heels haven’t see a defense like Notre Dame’s, but they can score points. UNC’s Achilles heel is their defense! They are giving up 60PPG on the road! If UNC’s defense shows?
I don’t see how Gary Pinkel’s name isn’t brought up when you talk about ELITE head coaches. What he’s done at Missouri is incredible especially seeing how the Tigers won the SEC East last year going 11-1 until they lost to Auburn in the SEC Championship game. Nobody saw Mizzou coming last year & yet here they are again this year largely unnoticed but with a road win over South Carolina & now a home games against Georgia with RB Todd Gurley suspended which has to have Missouri salivating with the through to opening the SEC season up 2-0 with wins over the Gamecocks & Bulldogs! Georgia’s loss to South Carolina looks like garbage at this point but UGA can avenge that loss to a certain degree with a win here. Florida hasn’t looked all that great so this game could be the deciding factor for who wins the SEC East. Could Mizzou really go back-to-back?
Neither of these teams are ranked, but Louisville is 5-1 with their only loss coming on the road against a solid Virginia team. Clemson is 3-2 but their two losses have come on the road to Florida St. & Georgia. Many teams in college football would have lost those 3 games. Admittedly, neither team has a signature win & it’s hard to imagine with team knocking off Florida St., but to me this is a game for 2nd place in the ACC Atlantic. Louisville has a shot to finish out the season 10-2 assuming they lose to Florida State. Clemson has a shot at running the table to 10-2 if they can topple the Cardinals this week. If these teams can get o 10-2 & win a bowl then 11-2 is good enough for a top-10 finish. That won’t win the Atlantic or the ACC or be good enough for playoff consideration, but it definitely elevates the programs in a lot of other aspects. Great game here.
At this point every Michigan game is must see because it’s unusual to see a power this big go down in as many flames as we are seeing with the Wolverines. It’s clear that Brady Hoke is a dead man walking. Losing to Notre Dame 31-0 in South Bend was humiliating enough, but to follow that up with losses to Utah, Minnesota & Rutgers is reprehensible. I’m not saying the fan base would be completely satisfied, but if Michigan wins those games they are sitting at 5-1. Instead they are 2-4 with almost a guaranteed 2 more losses on the schedule with Michigan St. & Ohio St. looming. The other games against Penn St., Indiana, Northwestern & Maryland won’t be easy & is it that hard to imagine Michigan finishing the year 2-10? At this point the most interesting thing about Michigan is trying to determine who the next HC will be. Would Jim Harbaugh really come to Ann Arbor?
I certainly may have regional bias here living in Indiana, but the Hoosiers are tremendously interesting team to me that I don’t think anyone quite understands. One week they are losing to Bowling Green. The next week they beat Missouri in Columbia. They return home to Bloomington to get routed by Maryland. Now they beat North Texas last week. At 3-2 the Hoosiers are still hopeful to get to a bowl game but their only remaining guaranteed win is a home date against Purdue. Iowa enters the game 4-1 & as expected are favored to beat Indiana, but Iowa has real problems scoring. The Hawkeyes can play a lot of defense however while Indiana really can’t so it sets up an interesting matchup. Given the way the B1G West is playing, Iowa needs to start playing. They avoid Ohio St. & Michigan St. so 11-1 is on the table. Indiana will be a very tough out.
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October 10, 2014 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Big Games, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi, Mississippi St., Missouri, Must See Games, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn St., TCU, Texas, Texas AM, UCLA, USC, Week 7

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