No Sleep Till Football

Like Brooklyn Except It's Football

NCAA POWER 15 – WEEK 14 2014

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Auburn didn’t make it easy but Alabama wore the Tigers out down the stretch & ended up with an impressive 55-44 win in the highest scoring Iron Bowl in history! The 99 combined points beat the old Iron Bowl record by 24! Amari Cooper was OUTSTANDING catching 13 balls for 224yds/3TD! I don’t think Cooper will get the Heisman, but he produced when the lights were brightest. You can argue that the defense was disappointing in allowing 44 points but Auburn can be explosive offensively when things go well & the Tide did make some adjustments at halftime as they outscored War Eagle 34-18 in the 2nd half. It’s almost impossible to stop Amari Cooper & TJ Yeldon. Those are men among boys right now.
#2 After last year’s 36-35 squeaker in Eugene, the Ducks left no doubt in the 2014 Civil War, hammering Oregon St. 47-19 in a game that wasn’t even that close. Oregon held a 30-0 lead midway through the 2nd quarter & probably would have been up 33-0 early in the 3rd if not for a last second FG by the Beavers to close out the first half. QB Marcus Mariota once again put on a clinic throwing for 367yds/4TD which keeps padding his Heisman resume. If Auburn/Alabama taught us anything it might be that the Bama defense is susceptible to an explosive offense. The only team remaining that has those attributes is Oregon which makes me thing we should get ready for an Oregon/Alabama national championship.
#3 Florida St. simply can’t help themselves at this point. Once again they took a game down to the wire and came out ahead beating Florida 24-19 to remain unbeaten & improve to 12-0. It was Florida St.’s 6th close win of the season & their 3rd straight! QB Jameis Winston was downright horrible completing just 50% of his passes for 125yds while throwing 4 interceptions! If the Gators had any motivation to play this game they probably would have come out victorious. It’s possible FSU can just turn it on & they are so good that if the game is tight they can will their way to victory, but their next 2 games might be their toughest. Georgia Tech is next who could possibly drop FSU out of the playoffs. A win there likely means a date with Oregon!
#4 If you aren’t going to hammer TCU for barely getting a win over Kansas a couple of weeks ago then it’s hard to hammer Baylor escaping Arlington with a 48-46 win over Texas Tech. Keep in mind that Baylor was up 35-17 when QB Bryce Petty left the game. Granted, Baylor’s defense was non-existent & Petty has nothing to do with Baylor’s defense, but maybe it plays a role in that the Bears might have won the game 69-46 which we’ve come to expect from Baylor. Baylor still controls their own destiny in the Big XII & the only thing that separates the Bears from TCU is TCU’s win over Kansas State. Baylor get a chance next week when they play the Wildcats in Waco. Hopefully Bryce Petty plays & the Big XII is decided.
#5 Ohio St. might have won the battle, beating Michigan 42-28 in what is likely Brady Hoke’s last game as HC of the Wolverines, but it might have lost the war as JT Barrett suffered a broken ankle and will miss the rest of the season. Cardale Jones now takes over. The 6’5/240lbs giant is going to be interesting to watch as he’s thrown directly into the fire as the starting QB in the Big 10 Championship game against Wisconsin. I don’t think this has much chance of happening, but what if Jones beats Wisconsin & then the Buckeyes sneak into the playoffs. What if they win the national championship? Can you imagine a 3-way QB controversy in 2015 between Braxton Miller, JT Barrett & Cardale Jones?
#6 TCU made quick work of Texas on Thanksgiving night, beating the Longhorns 48-10 in Austin behind Texas’ 6 turnovers. TCU (and Baylor) have an uphill battle to climb because this is definitely a year where not having a conference championship is going to come back to bite them. If Baylor beats Kansas St., then I don’t see how in the world the playoff committee can not have Baylor over TCU because of the Horned Frogs head to head loss. Furthermore, if Ohio St. beats Wisconsin then you’ll have a 12-1 Buckeyes team that just won the Big 10 title. If you believe Ohio St. should rank higher than Baylor then you have to put Ohio St. ahead of TCU when it’s all said & done. A tough predicament for the Big XII.
#7 Michigan St. had no problems beating Penn St. 34-10 in Beaver Stadium to end the regular season 10-2. Jeremy Langford rushed for over 100yds putting his season total 1360yds & 19TD! Tony Lippett caught another TD giving him 11 for the season along with 1124yds. The defense had a great game & ranks 7th in the nation in total defense. A fantastic year but hollow because so much was expected….but is there a way for Sparty to crash the playoff party? They came into Week 14 ranked #10 in the playoff poll. UCLA & Georgia lost so they’ll be at least #8 this week & maybe #7 depending on Mississippi State. Only Baylor, TCU & Ohio St. stand in their way. If all 3 teams lose next Saturday can Michigan St. get in?
#8 In their 2 biggest games of the season, the Bulldogs came up short barely losing to Alabama & then getting trounced in the Egg Bowl 31-17 by in-state rival Mississippi. I don’t want to be too hard on Dak Prescott but in MSU’s losses he was 49/85 (57.6%) for 572yds (286yds/G) with 3TD/3INT. In MSU’s wins he was 162/260 (62.3%) for 2424yds (242yds/G) with 21TD/7INT. It’s not entirely Prescott’s fault. Those two losses were on the road against EXCELLENT SEC West teams. Anyone could lose those game. The defense also had problems stopping Ole Miss RB Jaylen Walton & the MSU offense couldn’t convert on 3rd down. The loss cost MSU a shot at the playoffs but finishing the season 10-2 is HUGE for the program.
#9 Arizona won an extremely weird game over rival Arizona St. 42-35 to improve to 10-2 & win the Pac 12 South. Arizona St. had more total yards, more than twice as many first downs & held the ball for 12 more minutes than the Wildcats, but came up 7pts short in their bid to win the South. Nick Wilson was outstanding rushing for 178yds/3TD in a game Arizona St. has to be feeling like they gave away especially when you consider that Arizona turned the ball over twice & had over 100yds in penalties! Now Arizona gets a rematch with Oregon, who they beat earlier in the year which gave Oregon their only loss of the season. It’s virtually impossible to beat teams like Oregon twice in one year but if it happens is Arizona in?
#10 You can hardly blame the Auburn offense on their 55-44 loss in the Iron Bowl. I think any team that goes into Tuscaloosa & posts 44 on Alabama’s defense should expect to win games. Instead the Tigers defense gave up 55! To me this is the Auburn squad we thought we were getting & if Auburn plays like this all season then there is no way they lose to Texas A&M, Georgia & Mississippi State. This is probably the best 8-4 team in the country & if they come out motivated to play in their bowl game then some program is going to get embarrassed especially so if good Nick Marshall shows up. It’s too bad someone had to lose but Nick Marshall, Sammie Coates, D’haquille Williams & Cameron Artis-Payne went out with a bang!
#11 Sometimes teams just don’t show up. Ole Miss did that last week against Arkansas when they were hammered 30-0. This week they had a lot of pride on the line & took down Mississippi St. in the Egg Bowl 31-17 when the Bulldogs had EVERYTHING to play for. It’s amazing to think that there is a team that has beaten both Alabama & Mississippi St. this season. That team is Ole Miss. Take away the Arkansas game & Ole Miss has a brutal 3pt loss in Baton Rouge & a brutal 4pt home loss to Auburn where they lost their top WR in Laquan Treadwell. When you look at this team statistically they didn’t get great QB play & their running attack wasn’t dominant. Not a lot of teams have higher ceilings.
#12 It took Wisconsin a little while to get going but once they did, they had little problem dispatching Minnesota & winning the Big 10 West. Minnesota led early 17-3 but from that point forward, the Badgers outscored the Gophers 31-7 to grab a 34-24 victory. Melvin Gordon ran for 151yds which pushed his season total to 2,260/26TD! He’s averaging 7.99ypc and making a legitimate case to win the Heisman even with Marcus Mariota playing out of his mind. Wisconsin has a golden opportunity to win the Big 10 now that JT Barrett is injured for Ohio State. The big question now is whether or not Wisconsin can make the playoffs if they knock off Ohio State. Like Michigan St., they need TCU & Baylor to lose.
#13 Talk about dramatic! Georgia Tech beat Georgia 30-24 in what can only be described as insane fashion in Athens! The Yellow Jackets needed a 53yd FG by Harrison Butker to tie the game & send it to OT. In an attempt to ice the kicker, Mark Richt calls a TO, but the TO actually saved GT from getting a delay of game penalty which would have made the kick 58yds! Butker BARELY nailed it from 53 so the same kick would have come up just short from 58! In OT GT scores first but Georgia BLOCK the PAT meaning a TD & a PAT gives the game to Georgia. Instead, Huston Mason throws a pick & GT gets the road win! GT can make a case for being 12-0 & their 2 losses were by a combined 11pts. They can beat Florida State.
#14 A really bizarre game in Columbia as Missouri took down Arkansas 21-14 to ensure their 2nd consecutive SEC East title. You have to give a lot of credit to Missouri. This is the same team that lost to Indiana at home & was BLOWN OUT by Georgia 34-0 but came back to win 6 straight while UGA threw their season away with inexplicable losses to Florida & South Carolina! I watched this game & it was tough. Arkansas QB Brandon Allen was BEAT to death & I don’t see why the Razorbacks continued to throw the ball. They had 30 pass attempts to 30 rushing attempts. Terrible coaching by Bret Bielema on a big stage. Missouri pass defense is NASTY & could be trouble for Alabama. If Mizzou wins the SEC do they make the playoffs?
#15 I’m just not that impressed with Kansas St., but to be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever been impressed with a K-State team under Bill Snyder. Maybe I’m being overly critical here & I’m missing some years where Kansas St. was dominant, but I’ve always thought Snyder did a GREAT job at winning games he was supposed to win & snagging a home upset every now & then to get Kansas St. to 10 wins a season. It looks impressive on its face but even this year it’s odd. K-State is here almost by default at 9-2 but we know that Baylor & TCU are the only other good teams in the Big XII. K-State has already lost to TCU & they get Baylor this week. If they lose to the Bears, they’ll finish 9-3 but who have they beat? Oklahoma? West Virginia?

 

DROPPING OUT

UCLA BRUINS (#8): Wow. Talk about a complete flop! All UCLA had to do was beat a struggling Stanford team at home & it would have won the Pac 12 South & had a good shot at beating Oregon & forcing their way into the playoff! Instead they lay an egg & lose to Stanford 31-10 which essentially cost them their entire season! I was high on UCLA at the beginning of the season and if I had to point to one team that has been most disappointing, I’d look no further than UCLA. A 9-3 season doesn’t look horrible on its face, but this has to feel terrible for UCLA fans.

GEORGIA BULLDOGS (#11): Wow. Just Wow. I don’t know how Mark Richt keeps his job other than how do you fire a guy that wins 9-10 games every season. One thing I’ve never understood about college or pro sports is a program’s/organization’s stubbornness to get rid of a coach who clearly isn’t leading the team in the right direction. Oakland A’s general manager has oftentimes said he’d rather win 65 games than 85 because 85 isn’t quite good enough to make the playoffs but never puts you in position to better the team as you are always chasing those last 9-10 wins which inevitably always elude you. Mark Richt is that 85-89 win guy who will never get Georgia competing for national championships. The counter argument of course is if Richt is not the guy then who do you go out and hire? I don’t know but how Richt remains HC is beyond me simply from a standpoint that the guy has had a ton of years in Athens with nothing much to show for it.

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS (#12): A disappointing way to end the season especially with Brandon Allen so banged up but the Hogs are going bowling and hopefully the team is 100% by that time. How can I have disliked Bret Bielema & Wisconsin so much but actually like Bret Bielema & Arkansas so much!? It’s weird. Even weirder is that I absolutely love Gary Andersen & Wisconsin now. Crazy.

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November 30, 2014 - Posted by | Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas St., Michigan St., Mississippi, Mississippi St., Missouri, Ohio St, Oregon, Power 15, TCU, UCLA, Week 14, Wisconsin

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