No Sleep Till Football

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NCAA POWER 15 – WEEK 13 2014

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 It actually took Alabama awhile to warm up against Western Carolina. The Tide led just 17-14 after a WCU TD early in the second quarter before reeling off 31 straight to win 48-14. Amari Cooper didn’t play all that well. TJ Yeldon didn’t play at all. Still, the Tide rang up 612yds of total offense & the defense was outstanding. Alabama held the Catamounts to -8 in rushing yards, 3/12 on 3rd down & 213 total yards of offense. It all comes down this week to the Iron Bowl. Alabama is playing like the best team in the country & Auburn’s offense isn’t nearly as dynamic as it was a year ago. All signs point to an Alabama win & then it’s either Missouri or Georgia in the SEC Championship. Nick Saban makes it look so easy.
#2 The Bulldogs had no problems bouncing back after losing their first game of the season last week to Alabama. Mississippi St. took out their frustrations on an overmatched Vanderbilt team, 51-0! Hail State ran for 283yds & 2TD while Dak Prescott & Damian Williams combined to throw for 4TDs! The Bulldogs played a flawless offensive game, gaining 32 first downs & converting on 11 of 15 3rd down opportunities! They were a little sloppy committing 11 penalties but were +3 in TO margin. Mississippi St. can cement their place in the playoffs with a win over Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl this week. They could also win the SEC West outright if Alabama loses to Auburn. I hope MSU takes care of business & gets in.
#3 It seems like Oregon is playing better & better as the weeks progress. This week the Ducks hammered Colorado 44-10 in a game that simply didn’t look hard. Over the last 3 weeks, Oregon has beaten Stanford, Utah & Colorado by the combined score of 140-53! You can make a case the competition hasn’t been that great, but the Oregon defense is allowing just 17.7PPG over their last 3 games & 22.8PPG over their last 5. The Civil War is up this week which Oregon won last year 36-35 in a nailbiter. The last time the game was at Oregon St., Oregon won 48-24 so I think Oregon is a comfortable favorite. I think Oregon has to hope UCLA falters at some point. I don’t think I’d want to see them.
#4 Florida St. did it again, flirting with the devil and coming out ahead beating Boston College 20-17 on a last second FG to keep the streak alive & remain unbeaten at 11-0. It’s rough to take anything FSU did as solid except for having more points. BC ran the ball well & did an amazing job on 3rd down converting 8 of 14 attempts. BC had the ball for 7 more minutes as well. If Florida St.’s rush defense is that susceptible then I have a hard time believing they’d do well against Oregon, Alabama & Mississippi State. The Seminoles have now been in 5 close games & they have won all 5! That is wild! You could easily argue that Florida St. should be 6-5! Crazy!
#5 Baylor took care of business this past week, besting Oklahoma St. 49-28 behind 100yd rushing games from both Shock Linwood & Devin Chafin who combined to rush for 219yds/4TD! As nice as the win is, the best thing to happen to Baylor this past week was TCU struggling against Kansas, barely beating the Jayhawks 34-30. I have absolutely no idea how Baylor hasn’t jumped TCU in the playoff rankings yet. It’s a huge travesty and I can’t imagine how a win over Kansas St. somehow validates TCU over Baylor when the Bears won the head to head! If Baylor wins out they’ll make an interesting case to make the playoffs if the committee pays close attention to conference winners & doesn’t give the SEC two teams.
#6 While not as bad as TCU struggling with Kansas, Ohio St. had their hands full with Indiana who played inspired football for about 2.5 quarters before wearing out. This reminded me a little bit of Ohio St.’s opening week game against Navy when the Buckeyes wore down the Middies & eventually took control of the game. I think the Buckeyes are going ot make life hard for the selection committee. If they win out they’d be 12-1 & Big 10 champions. If things play out then I think you have to have a 12-1 Alabama team, a 13-0 Florida St. team & a 12-1 Oregon squad. But the 4th spot would difficult to assess. I think Ohio St. makes a great case just because I think people want to see JT Barrett & Ezekiel Elliott.
#7 TCU was on bye this past week after the debacle in Lawrence. That might have been for the best as it gave time for people to forget about what happened & look at TCU as a 9-1 team that is perceived to be the best squad in the Big XII. I like TCU & I think they’ve done a tremendous job, but as I’ve said here numerous times, how in the world are they ahead of Baylor in the playoff rankings? What will be really interesting is if the committee winds up ranking TCU higher despite Baylor being Big XII champions! It might not matter if Mississippi St. beats Ole Miss because at that point it certainly does seem like the Big XII will be out of the playoff race, but it still rubs me the wrong way. TCU gets Texas this week.
#8 Unless UCLA falters against Stanford, the Bruins are going to win the Pac 12 South. Their 38-20 thumping of rival USC was most impressive especially their rush defense which held the Trojans to 62yds on 1.9ypc! The Bruins are a hot football team & I almost wonder if losing to Oregon earlier in the year helps them because it would give them an advantage if they play Oregon in the P12 title game. Then it become an issue of whether or not an 11-2 UCLA squad should get into the playoffs? QB Brett Hundley was a Heisman favorite before the beginning of the season but sort of fell out of hand. I wonder if he’s back in the race. His stats are impressive & UCLA is winning games. If they go 11-2 maybe?
#9 Since losing to Ohio St., Michigan St. has beaten Rutgers & Maryland by the combined score of 82-18 the last 2 weeks. Sure the competition isn’t exactly fantastic, but I still think the Spartans are a complete football team and worthy of top-10 status. It’s unfortunate that they bombed the 2 most important games of their season. The Spartans will finish the season at Penn St. which should be a win to push Sparty to a 10-2 finish. That will be good enough to get a New Year’s Day bowl I think & a good showing could put Michigan St. at 11-2 to end the year. If that were to happen, it would be the 4th time in the last 4 years that Mark Dantonio has led Michigan St. to at least 11 wins in a season. Quite a program.
#10 Having Auburn at #10 might seem sort of high but they’ve lost to Georgia, Mississippi St. & Texas A&M. I can hardly hammer them although maybe #10 is too high. It won’t matter too much because if War Eagle drops their game this week against Alabama, they’ll be an 8-4 SEC team on the skid which means they have a good chance to drop out of my Power 15 all together. Last week they took care of business against Samford, but a 41-7 win doesn’t look that great considering who they beat. Auburn has the feel of a lost season. They started out 5-0 & then 7-1, but then they lost 2 straight & now sit at 8-3 & likely will finish the season 8-4 meaning at best a bowl win would put them at 9 wins. Feels odd.
#11 Freshman RB Nick Chubb has averaged 105yds/game this season spelling Todd Gurley. Let’s assume Georgia plays 13 games a season for the next 3 years & Chubb plays in all of them. He averages 110yds/G as a sophomore, 115yds/game as a junior & 120yds/game as a senior. If he stayed 100% healthy & stayed all 4 years, he’d end his career with around 5800 rushing yards. Georgia’s all time leading rusher is Herschel Walker who rushed for 5259yds in just 3 seasons in Athens. Chubb wouldn’t be as prolific as Walker I suppose on a yearly basis but for a career, amassing 5800yds would be pretty amazing. I don’t think anyone would have thought we’d be talking about Chubb like this in Week 1.
#12 No unranked team in college football history has shutout ranked teams in back-to-back weeks! Arkansas just did beating LSU 17-0 a couple of weeks ago & then following that up with a 30-0 win over Ole Miss this past week! How insane would it be if Arkansas reeled off 17 straight SEC wins!? That would probably net at least one national championship which is insane to think about. I think hands down Arkansas right now is the 3rd best team in the SEC behind Alabama & Mississippi State. I’ve been saying all year they were going to start winning & now they are! The win over Ole Miss got them bowl eligible. Now they can spoil Missouri’s chances at the SEC East title this week. Best 6-5 team in the nation.
#13 Wisconsin won a huge game this past week in Iowa City, beating Iowa 26-24 in a game that would determine if Wisconsin kept being a viable option to win the B1G West. This was a tricky game because Iowa came into the game at 7-3 & they sometimes can play up or down to their competition. Iowa certainly rose to the occasion & made the Badgers work to get to 9-2. Amazingly enough Minnesota beat Nebraska so the season ending game between Wisconsin & Minnesota will determine the West. Melvin Gordon continued his assault on opposing rush defenses, running for 200yds against a good Iowa rush defense. The loss to Northwestern is KILLER as a 12-1 Badgers team could make a case for the playoffs.
#14 Utah has been a tough out all season long so the fact that Arizona was able to go into Salt Lake City & take down the Utes 42-10 is more impressive than it might seem at face value. Also not readily apparent is that Arizona can win the P12 South. If they beat Arizona St. & Stanford beats UCLA then Arizona would finish the season at 10-2 & get a rematch with Oregon in the P12 championship game and a win there certainly gives Arizona a shot to get into the playoff picture. Remember that Arizona is the only team to beat Oregon this season & they did it in Eugene. The Wildcats can be a dominant run team at times & that means they should be able to play with anyone. A win over the Sun Devils would be huge.
#15 I’m not completely ready to give up on the Rebels. The 30-0 loss to Arkansas was definitely embarrassing but Ole Miss can easily argue they should be 10-1 heading into the Egg Bowl instead of 8-3. They lost by 3 to LSU in Baton Rouge. They lost by 3 to Auburn at home. This is still the only team to have upended Alabama. They’ve lost 3 of their last 4 so they are definitely skidding, but the Rebels still have an elite defense that certainly can keep them in games. The defense was certainly off against Arkansas, but the Razorbacks are playing like a team possessed all of a sudden. I’m not sure they beat Mississippi St., but who else could I have put at #15? Kansas St.? Minnesota? Arizona St.? Meh.

 

DROPPING OUT

No one.

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November 26, 2014 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Florida St., Georgia, Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., Ohio St, Oregon, Power 15, TCU, UCLA, Week 13, Wisconsin

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