Fantasy Gunslinger

Football with an Emphasis on Fantasy & Gambling

NCAA POWER 25 – 2017 WEEK 13

RANK TEAM COMMENTS
#1 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Minnesota 31-0. The Badgers emerge as the only Power 5 conference team to post a perfect regular season. If you were looking for a blueprint to win a national championship, you want outstanding defense, big uglies up front that dominate & a great rushing attack. Wisconsin ranks #2 in the nation in scoring defense. They rank #1 in the nation in rush defense. They rank #18 in the nation in rushing offense & Jonathan Taylor should be at the Heisman ceremony. The schedule isn’t fantastic, but the Badgers check all the boxes.
#2 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Alabama 26-14. If you are going off the past 5 weeks, Auburn is the best team in the nation. They’ve beaten the #1 team in the nation in 2 of the last 3 weeks. This is what happens with Gus Malzahn has a fantastic QB running his offense. They are practically unbeatable. Auburn didn’t just beat Alabama. They dominated the Tide from start to finish. RB Kerryon Johnson is practically unstoppable and the War Eagle defense is one of the best in the country. Auburn is set to be the first 2-loss team to get into the playoffs.
#3 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Auburn 14-26. So you lose to Auburn in Auburn. Big deal. The Tigers might be the best team in college football right now so Alabama can definitely make a case they are the #2 team in the nation. Alabama’s big problem was they couldn’t get Auburn off the field. The Tigers were 9 of 18 on 3rd down. Coming into the game, Alabama was allowing just 31% conversion in 3rd down so it definitely affected outcome & certainly affected time of possession. Does Alabama make the playoffs now? They need some help at this point.
#4 Computer Hope Last Week Beat West Virginia 59-31. Baker Mayfield didn’t start? It didn’t matter! Mayfield still went 14 of 17 for 281 yards & 3TD. Mayfield finishes the regular season passing for 4,097 yards & 37TD to only 5INT. The Heisman is his to lose & I don’t see him losing it. Oklahoma can make a case for being the best team in the nation. The offense is incredible & the loss to Iowa St. now looks more like a fluke than anything meaningful. If the Sooners hammer TCU, Mayfield will be put on the biggest stage and we’ll see how he plays in the spotlight.
#5 Computer Hope Last Week Beat South Carolina 34-10. Like Oklahoma, Clemson can certainly make a case they are the best team in the nation. The loss to Syracuse came with Kelly Bryant wasn’t 100% so it seems more like a fluke than a red flag against the Tigers. South Carolina is a solid football team & Clemson treated them like a local high school team. It’s fairly remarkable how Clemson has finished the season 11-1 & is in prime position to defend their national title. We’ve seen how great Deshaun Watson really is and replacing him was no easy feat.
#6 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Michigan 31-20. One thing that stands out to me in this game is Michigan taking a 14-0 lead. After that, Ohio St. outscored the Wolverines 31-6! That’s humiliation boys! Maybe there is something to a cameraman actually injuring JT Barrett before the game which  meant it took the Buckeye QB a bit to warm up. That certainly seems to be the case, because after Ohio St.’s slow start, they were outstanding. Ohio St. is one of the best 4 teams in the nation. I don’t think you can argue that. Will they make the playoffs? Tough to say.
#7 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Georgia Tech 38-7. Anytime you play a tripe option team, your defense needs to be extremely disciplined, extremely fast and extremely tough. Georgia proved all three in spades, beating the Yellow Jackets by 31 & completely shutting Georgia Tech’s offense down. The 7 points was the lowest point total for the Tech offense this season & a lot of credit needs to go to Kirby Smart & his staff. Georgia’s task now is simple. Beat Auburn, go to the college football playoffs. Lose to Auburn and enjoy a New Year’s 6 bowl. Not bad.
#8 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Maryland 66-3. Pure domination. Maryland stinks but 66-3!? You can’t help but feel sad for the Nittany Lions. This is a 10-2 team with losses to Ohio St. & Michigan St. by a total of 4 points and both games were on the road. I think the fans miss out too. Penn St. has an exciting defense and their offense is heralded by a couple of the nation’s best playmakers in Trace McSorley & Saquan Barkley. If every team were to play every game on a neutral field, you could make a case that Penn St. might actually be the #1 team in the nation.
#9 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Pittsburgh 14-24. Mark Walton would have been nice to have against the Panthers. The loss to Pittsburgh stinks, but to be honest it doesn’t really matter. I think more than anything, this loss underscores how difficult it is to finish a season undefeated. The goal is still the same. If Miami-FL beats Clemson next week and wins the ACC, it’s going to the playoffs. It’s that simple. Lose to Clemson & the dream season ends. To be honest, Miami-FL is playing with house money at this point. Nobody would have expected this season.
#10 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Washington St. 41-14. That is the kind of Washington team we thought we’d see all year back when we were talking football in September. The Huskies defense can be completely dominant at times & showcased itself against a prolific Cougars offense. UW forced Wazzou into 4 turnovers and held the Cougars to just 14 points which was their 2nd lowest output of the season. Myles Gaskin ran WILD going for 192 yards & 4TD on the ground. Washington can’t win the Pac 12. They can’t go to the playoffs, but they can finish 11-2!
#11 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Texas A&M 45-21. Texas A&M isn’t fantastic & Kevin Sumlin is certainly on his way out but LSU still rolled them up decisively. Derrius Guice ran for 127 yards while Darrel Williams ran for 106. I didn’t like QB Danny Etling throwing 30 passes but you could argue that LSU didn’t want to run it up THAT bad so Etling starting passing more. Give a lot of credit to Ed Orgeron & his staff. They found a fantastic formula that works & with Guice healthy, LSU is VERY tough to beat. If the season started today, I think this is a top-5 squad.
#12 Computer Hope Last Week Beat South Florida 49-42. Quinton Flowers and the South Florida offense gouged the UCF defense a bit, but if I’m an opposing coach, I don’t want UCF QB McKenzie Milton anywhere near the ball with the game on the line. If it’s close and late, UCF probably isn’t losing when they have the football. Milton didn’t quite post the video game numbers that Flowers did, but he did finish with 373 passing yards & 4TD along with 56 rushing yards & another TD. It probably won’t happen, but getting Milton to the Heisman ceremony would be cool.
#13 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Baylor 45-22. QB Kenny Hill returns in the season finale & torches the Baylor Bears for 325 passing yards & 3TD, adding another TD on the ground. Given the chaos that happened on Saturday with Alabama losing & with Miami-FL losing earlier in the week, TCU seems like the forgotten team. They are 10-2 and they are playing for the Big XII championship game that would cause even more chaos should the Horned Frogs get revenge & beat the Sooners. What hurts TCU is the 2 losses & perception. They can’t crash the playoffs.
#14 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Notre Dame 38-20. When Stanford is playing well and Bryce Love is 100% healthy, the team is a viable top-10 squad. Because they lost two early season games, it’s difficult to keep in mind that Stanford is 8-1 in their last 9 games with wins over Notre Dame, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Arizona St. & UCLA. All bowl eligible teams mind you. The early season loss to San Diego St. looks ridiculous, but the Aztecs did finish the season 10-2. In context, their 3 losses look odd & Stanford is probably THIS close to being a 12-0 team.
#15 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Stanford 20-38. The season will make a lot of sense if Stanford beats USC in the Pac 12 title game. If that happens, then in essence Notre Dame seems a lot like Michigan. They can beat pretty good teams & have a great season, but they couldn’t be ELITE teams (Georgia, Miami-FL, Stanford) which forced the Irish to 9-3 & kept them still from making the jump into ELITE status. The bigger question is if this is as far as the Irish can go under Brian Kelly? Going 9-3/10-3 isn’t bad, but it isn’t nationally relevant either is it?
#16 Computer Hope Last Week BYE. USC was the only top team that didn’t play this past weekend so it got a chance to study either Wazzou (not worth studying) or Stanford (worth studying) on Saturday in preparation for the Pac 12 championship. The Trojans are going to get a second helping of the Stanford Cardinal, and this won’t be the same Stanford team they beat very early in the season. There is still quite a bit on the line for USC. A win & they are 11-2. Sure that is out of the playoff mix, but I think if enough chaos ensues next weekend, USC could start arguing.
#17 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Rutgers 40-7. You can’t read too much into the dominant win over Rutgers. Brian Lewerke was solid, the rushing game was dominant and the defense completely shut the Scarlet Knights down to run Michigan St.’s record to 9-3. This season has been a STUNNING success in East Lansing! In what could be considered a rebuilding year, the Spartans beat Michigan, they beat Penn St. and they finished with a better record than Michigan. It’s hard to believe this team only returned 4 starters on offense & 4 starters on D from 2016!
#18 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Washington 14-41. Terrible way for Washington St. to end their season. Not only did they get dismantled by in-state rival Washington in embarrassing fashion, the loss also cost them the Pac 12 North title & a shot at a New Year’s 6 Bowl. Washington St.’s narrative is pretty complete. When QB Luke Falk is off, the Cougars lose. In Wazzou’s 3 losses, Falk was 78/121 (64%) for 748yds (249ypg) with 2TD/8INT. In their wins, Falk was 279/413 (68%) for 2845yds (316ypg) with 28TD/5INT. That’s a pretty significant difference.
#19 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Illinois 42-7. The Wildcats have won 7 straight games and while they aren’t going to be playing in the New Year’s 6, it has been a tremendous season for Pat Fitzgerald & Northwestern. Hammering Illinois was icing on the cake. Justin Jackson ran for 144 yards on the day bringing his total to 1,154 yards with 9TD. The loss to Duke seems like a joke now in retrospect & if not for that loss, Northwestern could be playing for an 11-2 season with a bowl win. This could potentially be the best season NW has had in all of Fitzgerald’s tenure.
#20 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Virginia 10-0. Virginia Tech certainly isn’t finishing the season with a bang with uninspiring wins over Pittsburgh & Virginia, but wins are wins and the Hokies are sitting at 9-3. It’s not where they want to be for certain, but they’ll have a chance at bowl win to finish 10-3 on the season. The win over Pittsburgh actually looks better now that Pitt beat Miami-FL although the loss to Georgia Tech looks bad after the Yellow Jackets were pummeled by Georgia. A bowl win means HC Justin Fuente will have gone 20-7 in his first 2 seasons!
#21 Computer Hope Last Week Beat Kansas 58-17. It was Oklahoma St. v. Kansas. What did you expect if not the Cowboys running the score up & filling up stat sheets? I’m not sure what to think about OK State at this point. I don’t like the Kansas St. loss at all. Losing to Oklahoma & TCU I sort of get although both games were in Stillwater. Is the issue really the idea that coaches can’t win a title at Oklahoma St. like Jimmy Johnson & Les Miles suggest or has that paradigm changed & Mike Gundy might be the issue because he’s not emphasizing defense? Touch call.
#22 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Ohio St. 20-31. A lot like Notre Dame. There are some that are going to rag Jim Harbaugh about losing yet again to Ohio State, but I don’t think that is necessarily fair. Ohio St. is a MACHINE at this point under Urban Meyer & I think Harbaugh needs another year or two of recruits to get Michigan to that level. The Wolverines are still dealing with QB issues & I think the defense can be a little bit tougher at certain positions. Whereas Notre Dame has reached their ceiling under Brian Kelly, I still think UM is far away.
#23 Computer Hope Last Week Beat East Carolina 70-13. Memphis made a statement with a 70-13 beat down of the Pirates to finish off the season. The Tigers are a very good football team under HC Mike Norvell. I think the 70 points was a reminder to UCF, who they’ll meet in the conference championship game, that the Memphis they’ll see on December 2nd isn’t the same Memphis team that UCF beat earlier in the year. I think if Memphis can beat UCF next week they’ll crash the New Year’s 6 bowl party which would be a pretty amazing story for the Tigers.
#24 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Central Florida 42-49. What a show Quinton Flowers put on against UCF. Flowers ended the game having thrown for 503 yards & 4TD while rushing for 102 yards & another TD. For a little perspective, the feat of throwing for 500 yards & rushing for 100 yards in the same game is something that Louisville QB Lamar Jackson has never accomplished! Depending on how explosive Flowers is in their bowl game, the senior QB has a chance to finish the year with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards. Great season!
#25 Computer Hope Last Week Lost to Ole Miss 28-31. Losing QB Nick Fitzgerald probably cost Mississippi St. the Egg Bowl and a chance at a double digit win season, but keep in mind that Ole Miss was playing without starting QB Shea Patterson as well so you might be able to criticize the Bulldogs for wasting an opportunity. Like previous seasons, the big story surrounding Hail State isn’t their prowess on the football or whether or not they can take the next step, but rather is HC Dan Mullen finally going to be lured away to another destination? Florida could call…….

DROPPING OUT

#25 BOISE ST. BRONCOS: Losing to Fresno St. isn’t a huge deal I suppose if the ultimate goal is to win the Mountain West. In an odd sort of scheduling outcome, Fresno St. & Boise St. will play against next week in the Mountain West title game! What the loss did prevent is potentially Boise St. winning 12 games. If Boise had beaten Fresno St., they would have finished 10-2. A conference title win along with a bowl win would have Boise St. finishing 12-2 with the potential of finishing within the top-15. I guess they can still finish 11-3 which would be their best season since 2014 when they went……12-2 and finished #16.

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November 26, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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