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NCAA POWER 15 – WEEK 10 2014

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 QB Dak Prescott threw a couple of picks & Mississippi St. was -2 in TO margin yet the Bulldogs still managed to come out on top of Arkansas 17-10. That is the kind of season Hail State is having. By all accounts this was definitely a game they could have & possibly should have lost. Arkansas dominated time of possession & was up 10-0 with the game to grind on knowing MSU loved to run the football as does Arkansas. The Razorbacks are also one of those teams primed to pull off an upset. Mississippi St. avoided being the team Arkansas pulled their upset against which to me is saying something. Great defensive game as well. The #1 team in the land.
#2 It just doesn’t seem to matter who far Florida St. gets down. It’s worth noting that the Seminoles came from behind to beat Auburn in last year’s national championship game! That they’ve done so against NC State, Notre Dame, Clemson & now Louisville shouldn’t be all that much of a surprise although I’m continually surprised by it. I think it’s interesting to note that last year through 7 games, Jameis Winston had completed 70.0% of his passes for 2177yds/23TD/4INT. Through 7 games this year he’s completed 67.2% of his passes for 2279yds/16TD/9INT. He has 76 more attempts this year than in 2013, but for the picks, there isn’t much difference.
#3 Auburn did what Alabama couldn’t, which was walk into Oxford & beat the Rebels. LB Kris Frost saved the game for War Eagle when he caught up to Laquon Treadwell as Treadwell was trying to get into the endzone which would have given Ole Miss a 37-35 lead save a fumble by Treadwell which Frost caused. LB Cassanova McKinzy jumped on the ball & Ole Miss’ fate was sealed. Tons of credit to go around here. Auburn played a fairly undisciplined game but got turnovers & big plays when it counted most. Nick Marshall was fantastic & WR Sammie Coates was almost unstoppable. The defense forced 2 HUGE fumbles late which prevented Ole Miss TDs. Huge win.
#4 Alabama was on bye this past week but that didn’t mean they weren’t a huge topic of conversation. In the latest college football playoffs poll, the Tide are still coming in at #5 which is one spot lower than Oregon. Alabama lost on the road to Ole Miss while Oregon lost at home to Arizona. To me the road loss to the Rebels is better than Oregon’s loss. Schedule is hurting Bama a little right now with their only solid win coming in Week 1 against West Virginia. They’ll have a lot of room to rectify the situation as the Tide get LSU (road), Auburn (home) & Mississippi St. (home) at the end of the season. If Alabama keeps winning, they’ll be in the playoffs.
#5 In a game that has typically decided the Pac 12 North over the past few seasons, Oregon made it look easy giving Stanford a literal beating 45-16 in front of the hometown faithful in Eugene. Oregon won by 29 despite giving up 12 minutes in time of possession & outgaining Stanford by less than a 100 total yards. I think heading down the stretch the Dak Prescott v. Marcus Mariota debate for the Heisman is going to be an interesting one. There is nothing standing in Oregon’s way from finishing 11-1 & probably 12-1. Even if Mississippi St. goes 13-0, Mariota will have a decisive advantage statistically. If the Ducks finish 12-1, it’ll be hard to keep them out of the playoffs.
#6 An enormous win for the Horned Frogs in Morgantown, and one I would say is even more impressive than their win over Oklahoma earlier in the year. It took everything TCU had to get by an extremely good West Virginia team, but K Jaden Oberkrom hit a 37-yard FT with 0:00 on the clock to give TCU a 31-30 win & essentially the Big XII title. QB Trevone Boykin isn’t getting a ton of publicity nationally but he’s had an outstanding season leading TCU to what could be an historic season. A home date against Kansas St. should be the only thing keeping TCU from an 11-1 season & a Big XII Championship. Now the question is whether it will be enough.
#7 There are a couple of ways you can look at Notre Dame’s 49-39 win over Navy. On the one hand you can be very happy that the Irish won a game against a fierce rival that definitely plays up to ND’s talent level on a yearly basis. It’s a game that just a few years ago the Irish would have definitely lost. On the other hand you can look at this win & be disappointed because ND wants to be in the playoffs & they just let a Navy team with no talent hang 39pts on the Irish defense! What we do know is that Notre Dame struggles mightily with mobile QBs and that they need to keep winning to show they deserve to be in discussions with teams like Auburn & Oregon.
#8 The Spartans had a bye week this past weekend to get ready for the game that will define their season when they host the Ohio St. Buckeyes. From a team standpoint there is simply nothing Michigan St. doesn’t do well. Losing to Oregon in Eugene doesn’t look all that bad now that the Ducks are ranked 4th in the nation, but with Sparty ranked 8th in the playoff rankings, I’m not sure how much further they can climb. If TCU beats Kansas St. then I think Michigan St. climbs ahead. But to get into the top-4? They need a lot of style points which is why the game against Ohio St. is huge. They don’t need to win. They need to win huge to make a statement.
#9 I have LSU ranked a lot higher than most rankings have them but their two losses have come on the road to Auburn & at home against Mississippi State. Those are 2 of the top-3 teams in the nation so you could easily argue that LSU could be the 4th best team in the country. In fact, LSU has a good chance to prove they belong that high this weekend when they host Alabama in what should be an incredible game. LSU has done some growing up over the season & Anthony Jennings definitely seems to have seized the QB position but LSU’s huge strength is their pass defense & their rushing attack. It’ll be interesting to see how both fare against Alabama.
#10 It wasn’t pretty by any metric but Arizona St. managed to hold on and beat a surprisingly good Utah team 16-13 in TO to improve their record to 7-1. QB Taylor Kelly wasn’t that fantastic against the Utes, but RB Demario Richard had an outstanding game that kept the chains moving for the Sun Devils. Kelly is an interesting proposition. In his 2 games back from injury he’s 32/57 (56.1%) for 385yds/3TD/2INT. ASU has beaten Washington & Utah in those 2 games, but I’d say that has been more about defense. ASU gets a huge test taking on Notre Dame in Tuscon. ASU’s defense has allowed 36pts in their last 3 games but the Irish definitely can score.
#11 Sometimes things simply don’t go your way. The ending to the LSU game was terrible in that I thought Ole Miss should have gone for it on 4th down, to wanting them to have kicked the FG to thinking they really should have tried to get more yards to tie the game with an easier FG attempt. Last week against Auburn, Bo Wallace fumbles inside the 5-yard line late in the game which could have put Ole Miss ahead. Then in another late 4th quarter drive Laquon Treadwell not only fumbles what probably would have been the game winning TD but also broke his leg in the process. Ole Miss is 7-2 with their 2 losses coming by a combined 7pts. Both games coming at home. One thing I do want to mention is Ole Miss’ defense shouldn’t give up 35pts. Even to Auburn.
#12 Beating Kansas is nothing to write home about but Baylor pasted the Jayhawks 60-14 which pushes the Bears to 7-1. The Big XII is pretty interesting because I’m not entirely sure what to make of it. Baylor would seem to definitely be a non-factor at this point, but they still have games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. & Kansas St. with the Sooners game on the road. What nobody is mentioning right now because of all the hoopla surrounding TCU is that if Baylor wins out, they win the Big XII! If anyone is paying attention, losing at West Virginia isn’t a bad thing. Auburn & Michigan St. have better losses, but I don’t believe Oregon does. What happens to Baylor if they keep winning?
#13 There is entirely too much hubbub for Kansas State. Sure they beat Oklahoma earlier but that’s been their only win. For the most part, Kansas St. has the best loss of any team in the nation except for Auburn who lost to Mississippi State. Then again, Auburn is the team that beat Kansas State! This past week KSU hammered Oklahoma St. 48-14, but the Cowboys aren’t what we’ve come to expect. You can argue the best 3 teams in the Big XIi are West Virginia, Baylor & TCU. K-State has yet to play any of them, but get a chance this weekend when they travel to Ft. Worth to take on the Horned Frogs. If they win that game, I’ll pay a lot more attention.
#14 I really didn’t know who to put into these last couple of spots but I couldn’t stand the thought of putting in Ohio State or Nebraska although I would have felt much less troubled sliding Nebraska into the bottom of the Power 15 than Ohio State. Oklahoma handled Iowa St. a 59-14 loss last week which isn’t itself that impressive, but the Sooners are creeping around a bit at 6-2. Their two losses have come to Kansas St. & TCU by a combined 5 points! In this way they are a little like Ole Miss. They can’t win the Big XII because TCU would have to lose twice but they could finish 2nd at 10-2. Wouldn’t a bowl game featuring Ole Miss & Oklahoma be incredible?
#15 ABSOLUTELY HATE that West Virginia lost to TCU on a last second FG as I was rooting hard for the Mountaineers to win the Big XII! I think West Virginia still has a quality team and I don’t want to drop them too far. Sure they are 6-3 & the 3 losses is more than quite a few teams have, but the Mountaineers have lost to Oklahoma, Alabama & TCU. It’s hard to argue with that. WVU flirted quite a bit with TO margin in their game against Baylor. It didn’t come back to bite them then, but it’s hard to commit 5 turnovers & be -3 in TO margin for the game & beat a team like TCU. For the season WVU is -12 in TO margin which ranks 124th out of 128 teams. It’s easy to imagine WVU being 8-1 had they not struggled with turnovers.

 

DROPPING OUT

Georgia (#7): An embarrassing performance by the Georgia defense in losing to a hapless Florida team 38-20! Even worse is that the game wasn’t even as close as the final score! The rush defense was atrocious giving up over 400 rushing yards & the Gators just schooled Georgia in ball control offense. They almost gave up 200 yards rushing by 2 different players in the same game! Georgia went from a team that could finish the season 11-1 with a shot at getting into the playoffs if they could pull off a miracle and win the SEC Championship game, to a team that might not even win the East! Missouri has a real shot at winning their remaining 3 games & if the Tigers do that, they’ll win the SEC East for the 2nd straight year. The SEC East is down but this is ridiculous. Anyone wanting to knock the SEC for not being as good as they think they are should look no further than South Carolina, Georgia, Florida & Tennessee. Just ridiculous.

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November 5, 2014 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona St., Auburn, Baylor, Florida St., Georgia, Kansas St., LSU, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Power 15, TCU, Week 10, West Virginia

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