Thursday, November 27, 2014

Week 14: THE GA_E (And _any Others)

1) Draper                40-19    (6-7 upset)
1) Hoying               40-19    (4-9 upset)
3) Seeberg              38-21    (2-11 upset)
4) Schweinfurth     37-22    (6-7 upset)

We would like to give thanks for college football, titanic Rivalry Week clashes, the greatest sports rivalry in the world, and the fact that we are blessed enough to be Let's Go Bucks! and not Let's Go Blue!

#6 _ississippi State Bulldogs @ #16 Ole _iss Rebels
Draper: In what is an Egg Bowl for the ages, we should see a pretty good contest.  In fact, this could have been an epic showdown...if it had been played a few weeks back.  The state of these schools had the best first half of a college football season ever, but has since declined.  The Rebels played the role of David that took down Goliath but the loss of Laquan Treadwell vs. Auburn has been too great an obstacle to surpass in the last few weeks.  A beat down by Arkansas has Dr. Bo hobbling into the rivalry.  The Bulldogs rebounded nicely after dropping to the Tide.  The local advantage in Oxford is great and will keep it reasonably close, but the Bulldogs and Dak Prescott know they still are in the hunt and need a big win to stay viable as a non-division winner.  With no downfield passing attack from the Rebs (see loss of Treadwell) the ground and pound Dawgs take care of business to end the season #5.  If it was in StarkVegas, I'd expect a blowout.  In Oxford, close, but no cigar.  Bulldogs: 24--Rebels: 17
Hoying: It's been quite a while since the Bulldogs and Rebels were #1 and #2 back in October. Since then, Dr. Bo and friends have dropped 3 of 4, with their one win over lowly PresbyterI-AAn. But it didn't appear that the Rebs had given up until last week's outing, when they were drilled by 30 by Bert and the 'Backs. Even so, it's not like the Bulldogs have shown any greater degree of excellence, struggling against Kentucky and Arkansas before losing to the Tide. There's (probably) no longer an SEC West title on the line, but this is still the biggest Egg Bowl in recent recollection. Can fading all-SEC candidate Dak Prescott find a few gaps in what is still the nation's top defense? Will the good Dr. Bo show up? Better indicator: look to the running attack. State has one, Johnny Reb doesn't. The Bulldogs continue to hang around like a black cloud over OSU's playoff chances. Bulldogs: 27--Rebels: 20
Schweinfurth: Ole Miss is starting to show their true colors by losing 3 of their last 4 games.  I also feel that Hail State was exposed by Alabama.  Bo Wallace is pretty much meh and Dak Prescott hasn't exactly impressed the last few weeks.  The Bulldogs are the better team and should win.  Bulldogs: 35--Rebels: 21
Seeberg:  How the ephemerally mighty have fallen.  Mississippi was the center of the college football universe for a month or so (ssshhh, don't tell Paul Finebaum and/or Alabama).  Now this one is mostly for pride, barring an unforeseen collapse in Tuscaloosa.  Arkansas ran rampant last week against the Rebels' usually stout D, and MSU can run it almost as well.  Don't expect much from former Heisman frontrunner Dak Prescott, but the ground game will be enough to win the Bulldogs the Egg Bowl.  Bulldogs: 24--Rebels: 17

#20 _innesota Golden Gophers @ #13 Wisconsin Badgers
Can the Gophers really pull this off? The potent Badgers return to the friendly confines of Wisconsin to battle for the axe behind the legs of Gordon.  Cobb vs. Gordon is what this is about.  I think the Gophers will fight valiantly and keep this close until Gordon shows his style.  Everyone is overlooking the Gophers due to recent failure (recent as in the last 10 years), but I believe they'll play with a great deal of pride.  Wisconsin just has a little extra talent on their sideline that will be the difference.  Bucky nips Goldy as the Fifth Quarter sends the Badgers on a date with the Buckeyes,  Wisc: 31--Goldy: 27
Hoying: Now we turn to B1Gger affairs: who will be Ohio State's opponent in Indianapolis next week? The Badgers nearly gagged one away in Iowa City last week, but they're a totally different squad on their own field. The nation's top running back, Gordon, is still running strong, playing far better than Nebraska's Abdullah, who the Gophers were able to shut down last week. David Cobb will be able to get a touchdown or two, and Goldy will keep it close for a quarter or two, but Wisconsin is just...better. WARNING: if you like the forward pass, or any other football innovation since about 1910, you probably should avoid the Big Ten Network at 3:30. Goldy: 24--Bucky: 38
Schweinfurth: I really can't believe that the Gophers are a win away from the B1G Championship.  This game will be a fast one with all the running these two teams do.  I am actually looking forward to watching Cobb and Gordon run the ball.  Not much QB play here but man will it be a slobberknocker.  Next week, OSU vs. Bucky.  Goldy: 17--Bucky: 24
Seeberg:  Amazingly enough, we're 11 games into the season and I STILL don't know what to make of Minnesota.  Yeah, they played us close, largely because we were in an early Christmas mode, giving them opportunities left and right.  Yeah they got whipped by TCU early, but it turns out TCU is really good.  Yeah they beat Nebraska, but Nebraska's lousy.  This one won't be pretty to watch, but Gordon will officially stamp his ticket to NYC with another 200 yard, multi-TD day.  Goldy: 20--Bucky: 35

#15 Arizona State Sun Devils @ #11 Arizona Wildcats
Draper: I expected great things in this showdown before I heard RichRod's frosh sensation QB may be sidelined.  The Wildcats played very well in Salt Lake City to perhaps show they were for real, and the Sun Devils have fallen back.  That being said, the Cats were fully dependent on Anu's throwing ability and his quick decisions.  Bercovici and crew should return to their rightful throne of the Sun in this contest to let RichRod know that he can't win this week...anywhere.  Anu would lead to an interesting Anu and the Sun Devils control the Grand Canyon State.  ASU: 31--Zona: 24
Hoying: Unfortunately for those in the Grand Canyon State, this showdown between top-15 crews is likely to be inconsequential. As long as UCLA takes care of business against Stanford on Friday, neither of these two will represent the Pac-12 South in San Francisco. At any rate, this one will likely depend on the availability of Arizona's frosh starting quarterback, Anu. The Wildcats' backup has tried all of 7 passes this season, lacking the experience of ASU's Bercovici. Not that the Sun Devils will need Bercovici; Taylor Kelly's doing just fine these days. I'll take a risk and bet that Anu won't be ready to go, which should guarantee an ugly throwdown in the desert. ASU: 38--Zona: 17
Schweinfurth: From what I have seen, ASU is the more rounded team.  That's all my insight here.  ASU: 42--Zona:24
Seeberg:  Anyone remember who beat Oregon anymore?  Yeah I barely do either.  Amazingly, the Wildcats' victory over the Ducks is an infinitely better-looking loss than our loss to Virginia Tech (yeah, I know, it's not basketball.  I can't figure it out either).  Arizona has done nothing else of note until a thrasing of Utah last week.  Meanwhile, ASU inexplicably lost to the OTHER Oregon team (AKA, the OTHER OSU), knocking them off of the Pac-12 South podium.  Unfortunately, that demolition of the Utes may be a pyhrric victory for Arizona as their QB has a dodgy ankle.  He will likely give it a go on Friday, but one fewer day of recuperation will ruin Rich Rod's chances at his 10th win.  ASU: 34--Zona: 20

#17 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets @ #10 Georgia Bulldogs
Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate--that's a title for a rivalry.  The Yellow Jackets triple option attack is no fun for anyone to face (poor Noles).  UGA has rebounded with a few nice wins since the drubbing to the Gators on the legs of Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb (which is a all-inclusive list of the talent of the Dawgs).  This Bulldog squad is nothing to sneeze at...but nothing to go wild over either.  The rushing attack is good, but there is little to no...other talent.  That being said, the Jackets are so rush heavy and 'eh' on defense, UGA VIII could have a big day toting the rock.  The Dawgs control the battle between the hedges and escape with token knee injuries stay alive in the playoff chase (if on life support).  GT: 30--UGA: 37
Hoying: Nothing like a little Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate to close out the regular season. Is there a squad as undervalued as the Yellow Jackets? Sure, they're predictable and passing is strictly optional, but only two heartbreaking losses to Duke and UNC deprived GT of an 11-0 start and a spot in the playoff chase. As it stands, they'll have to settle for a crack at the SEC East's two-talented-RBs-and-garbage group, who have bounced back nicely after getting crushed by the Gators. How did Florida pull off that win? Oh yeah, they RAN THE BALL over and over and over and over and then Georgia lost by 18. If the Gators can do that, think what the Jacket juggernaut is capable of. GT: 34--UGA: 27
Schweinfurth: Let's see, Georgia has Nick Chubb and...yea that's it.  Georgia Tech and the triple option are always hard to prepare for.  In a way, it's almost like playing the shell game.  Just because Georgia is in the SEC doesn't mean they are good.  Florida ran all over Georgia and that's what Tech does best.  Tech bleeds this down.  GT--24--UGA: 14
Seeberg:  The ramblin' wreck head between the hedges this year down in JO-gia for their annual in-state clash.  As much running as there will be in the Goldy-Bucky bout, there may be even more in this one.  The Yellow Jackets are basically a REALLY fast Navy, which causes fits for pretty much everyone.  However, Georgia completely shut down an equally prolific rushing offense in Auburn in a 34-7 beatdown, a game featuring Todd Gurley's return from making money for himself (a standard NCAA violation).  Coupled with Mizzou's loss against Arkansas (see my upset special!), Georgia heads to the SEC title game with some momentum.  GT: 24--UGA: 38

#14 Auburn Tigers @ #3 Alaba_a Cri_son Tide
Draper: The Iron Bowl...boy...another clash that was soooo sexy a few weeks back...but not so now.  Our boy Brent is even back to call the rivalry, but this should be a bit one-sided.  The Tigers rushing attack has faded in the past few weeks and Gus's wild offense has toned down.  The Tide have been taking control with the defense that has become interchangeable with Saban.  The Tide QB has been good...but not as good as the SEC crazies would have you believe.  The Tiger QB hasn't been up to his standards lately...and this one is in Tuscaloosa...uh oh.  Saban knows revenge is a dish best served cold...and he'll portion out a heaping serving to the Tigers.  Roll Tide to Atlanta.  Aub: 16--Tide: 30
Hoying: Let's have a few seconds of silence for the Tigers, who saw their season die at the hands of the Aggies 3 weeks ago. Since then, they got drubbed by Georgia and foundered for a few quarters against Bobby Bowden's first coaching stop before pulling out a victory. Passing is non-existent, the rush attack is failing, and the defense is kaput. The Tide haven't really done anything astounding since crushing the Aggies 59-0, but they're passing the ball reasonably well, and the defense is fantastic. No last-second oddities this year; just the extension of the dynasty, COWTURD! Tigers: 13--Tide: 24
Schweinfurth: I really could care less about these two teams.  Alabama is the better team but has had a tendency to play down to the competition this year.  For that reason alone, Auburn will hang around in this game.  Saban's teams are very good in revenge games and that should ring true here.  Tigers: 17--Tide: 20
Seeberg:  A month ago, a second-straight Tiger victory in the Iron Bow l seemed a distinct possibility.  Now?  Not so much.  The Tide has been rising of late, but that only lifts their own boat sadly, contrary to JFK's beliefs.  In any event, Amari Cooper and Co. will be on high alert to avoid a similarly miraculous debacle as last year.  Perhaps Gus has some tricks up his sleeve saved up for this one, but given how bad they looked against Georgia, I'm pretty sure that's not the case, as saving his season would have been more important than winning this game.  Tide rolls.  Tigers: 17--Tide: 34

The Cesspool of the West @ #7 THE Ohio State University Buckeyes
Draper: This one is easy.  If the Bucks stop turning the ball over, it's a 4 touchdown spread.  But this rivalry goes beyond the sidelines.  There are those who fear the Blue...but that's in the past.  Now is the era to crush the spirit of the Blue.  They are to fear the Scarlet and Gray.  Brady, Navarre, Grbac, Biakubatuka, Perry, Braylon, Woodson...they aren't stepping on the field.  Those who are...they are scared...and they should be.  On a day when Troy enters the rafters of hallowed territory, it is on the Bucks to continue his legacy.  JT needs to return to the style and flair we all saw earlier this year.  Zeke and the line need to dictate the pace with speed and power.  The defense needs to hit hard, strong, and SURE to send notice to that State Up North that this is not a passing fancy.  The Buckeyes own you...and will continue to do so.  It's all over but the crying.  GO BUCKS! BEAT BLUE!!  Cesspool: 17--OSU: 48
Hoying: Perhaps it's a sign of how spoiled I've been by the last 14 years, but I haven't loved the way Ohio State has played its last two tilts against That School Up North. Urban does a fantastic job of getting his players up for the big showdowns, but in this rivalry, they've tended to start the first half a bit too excited, leading to overpursuit, penalties, and general foul-ups. If the Buckeyes can settle down, stick to the plan, and TACKLE a ballcarrier or two, this one shouldn't be close. The Wolverine offense is a total disaster: Gardner's too shell-shocked to play well, Funyuns has given up on the season, and I don't think they actually have a running back left. The defense is fine, but the Buckeyes haven't been stopped since Virginia Tech (other than by their own goofs). A couple of turnovers or boneheaded kicking plays will prevent a total blowout, but this one should never really be in doubt. I can barely stand to see a true blue Wolverine coach depart with a losing record against the Buckeyes, but how can I argue with tradition? Cesspool: 16--OSU: 38
Schweinfurth: I am a child of the 90s, therefore I will always be worried about this game.  It's in my nature.  However, I don't know if there has been a bigger mismatch since Rich Rod's first year.  This Wolverine offense has been anemic all year and don't get me started on that defense.  J.T. hasn't looked great the last two weeks but I really think that changes this week.  These seniors get to go out with another set of Gold Pants!!  Cesspool: 17--OSU: 52
Seeberg:  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I will ALWAYS, forever and ever amen, get nervous this time of year.  This nervousness was instilled in me by one John Cooper, who recruited 80 bajillion all-Americans (Eddie George, Orlando Pace, Terry Glenn, Shawn Springs, Bobby Hoying, Mike Vrabel, oh wait we had all of those guys on the SAME TEAM in 1995) that somehow collapsed in the third weekend of November.  Thankfully, things have changed.  Saint Urban of Ashtabula (can't take credit for that catchy nickname, but check out landgrantholyland for a hilarious piece on the state of the rivalry at present) has arrived and is 2-0 against TTUN, though neither victory has been all that smooth, winning by a combined six points.  The talent level has become increasingly disparate in the rivalry but it hasn't shown on the scoreboard...until this year.  TCotW kicks a few field goals, gets a mercy TD late, but order remains in the long as we hold on to the (insert favorite expletive here) ball.  Hold onto the ball, move on to Indy.  Cesspool: 23--OSU: 42

Upset Special
Draper: Texas over TCU
Hoying: Florida over Florida State (I live to be disappointed)
Schweinfurth: Notre Dame over USC
Seeberg:  Arkansas over Missouri

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Top 25 and Heisman Ballots - After Week 13

Rankings, as always, are based on what teams have done so far, not how we believe they will finish. Leave a comment and tell us how YOU would rank 'em.

Let's Go Bucks! Index

1. Florida State (unchanged)
2. Oregon (unchanged)
3. Alabama (unchanged)
4. TCU (unchanged)
5. Baylor (unchanged)
6. Mississippi State (unchanged)
7. Ohio State (unchanged)
8. UCLA (up 2)
9. Michigan State (unchanged)
10. Georgia (up 1)
11a. Kansas State (up 1)
11b. Arizona (up 2)
13. Wisconsin (up 1)
14. Auburn (up 1)
15. Arizona State (up 1)
16. Ole Miss (down 8)
17. Georgia Tech (unchanged)
18a. Missouri (up 2)
18b. Marshall (up 2)
20. Minnesota (unranked)
21. Oklahoma (up 2)
22. Colorado State (up 2)
23. Clemson (up 2)
24. USC (down 2)
25. Utah (down 7)

Others receiving votes: Duke, Louisville, LSU, Nebraska, Boise State, Texas A&M

Dropped from rankings: #18 Nebraska

Let's Go Bucks! Heisman Index
1. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3. JT Barrett (QB--Ohio State)

Draper Top 25
1. Florida State (unchanged)
2. Alabama (unchanged)
3. Oregon (unchanged)
4. Baylor (unchanged)
5. Mississippi State (unchanged)

6. TCU (unchanged)
7. Ohio State (unchanged)
8. UCLA (up 3)
9. Georgia (unchanged)
Arizona (up 4)
11. Michigan State (unchanged)
12. Kansas State (unchanged)
13. Wisconsin (unchanged)
14. Auburn (up 1)
15. Arizona State (up 1)
16. Ole Miss (down 8)
17. Georgia Tech (up 1)
18. Missouri (up 2)
19. Minnesota (unranked)
20. Oklahoma (up 1)
21. Marshall (up 2)
22. Colorado State (up 2)
23. Utah (down 4)
24. Nebraska (down 7)
25. Louisville (unranked)

Dropped from rankings: 
#22 USC, #25 Duke

Draper Heisman Ballot
1) Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2) Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3) J.T. Barrett (QB--Ohio State) -- hanging on by a thread

Hoying Top 25

1. Florida State (unchanged)
2. Oregon (unchanged)
3. Alabama (unchanged)
4. TCU (unchanged)
5. Mississippi State (unchanged)
6. Ohio State (unchanged)
7. Baylor (unchanged)
8. UCLA (unchanged)
9. Georgia (up 2)
10. Arizona (unchanged)
11. Auburn (up 1)
12. Michigan State (up 2)
13. Kansas State (up 2)
14. Mississippi (down 5)
15. Arizona State (down 2)
16. Wisconsin (unchanged)
17. Missouri (up 1)
18. Minnesota (unranked)
19. Georgia Tech (up 2)
20. Clemson (down 3)
21. LSU (up 4)
22. Utah (down 3)
23. Colorado State (unchanged)
24. USC (down 4)
25. Texas A&M (down 1)

Dropped from rankings: #22 Nebraska 

Hoying Heisman Ballot

1. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3. JT Barrett (QB--Ohio State)

Schweinfurth Top 25
1. Florida State (Unchanged)
2. Oregon (Unchanged)
3. Alabama (Unchanged)
4. Baylor (Unchanged)
5. TCU (Unchanged) 
6. Ohio State (Unchanged)
7. Michigan State (Unchanged)
8. Mississippi State (Unchanged) 
9. Kansas State (Unchanged)
10. Marshall (Up 1)
11. Arizona (Up 1)
12. UCLA (Up 1)
13. Wisconsin (Up 1)
14. Georgia (Up 1)
15. Georgia Tech (Up 1)
16. Ole Miss (Down 6)
17. Auburn (Unchanged)
18. Arizona State (Unchanged)
19. Colorado State (Up 1)
20. Duke (Up 1) 
21. Oklahoma (Up 3)
22. Minnesota (Unranked)
23. Clemson (Unranked)
24. Louisville (Unranked)
25. Boise St. (Unranked)

Dropped from Rankings: Nebraska, Notre Dame, Utah, USC 

Schweinfurth Heisman Ballot
1. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3. J.T. Barrett (QB--Ohio State)

Seeberg Top 25
1.) Oregon (same)
2.) Alabama (same)
3.) Florida State (same)
4.) TCU (same)
5.) Mississippi State (same)
6.) Ohio State (same)
7.) Baylor (same)
8.) Georgia (up 2)
9.) Michigan State (same)
10.) UCLA (up 1)
11.) Kansas State (up 1)
12.) Wisconsin (up 1)
13.) Arizona State (up 1)
14.) Arizona (up 1)
15.) Auburn (up 1)
16.) Ole Miss (down 8)
17.) Georgia Tech (same)
18.) Missouri (same)
19.) Oklahoma (same)
20.) USC (down 1)
21.) Minnesota (up 4)
22.) Marshall (same)
23.) Louisville (unranked)
24.) Colorado State (same)
25.) Boise State (unranked)

Dropped from rankings :  #20 Utah, #23 Nebraska

Seeberg Heisman Ballot
1.) Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2.) Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin
3.) Trevone Boykin (QB--TCU)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Grading the Bucks--Week 13: Indiana

Offense: B
J.T. had another 'eh' game.  He missed too many open receivers that can't happen against a better team.  I love him, but he hasn't been as ridiculously good as he was early in the season.  He's still a stud, but he needs to become more consistent. The first pick was horrible.  The second wasn't his fault (yes, a little high, but the ball should have been caught). The big issue is turnovers. Was the Michael Thomas play a fumble? I'm not sure.  But I do know we should have scored at will on the Hoosiers.  See the first drive as an example.  The O-line wasn't up to par as they should have DOMINATED the IU line. Zeke was pretty non-existent after the first big run.  Oh yeah, that Heuerman guy is pretty darn good.

Defense: B
Stop. Missing. Tackles.  This is an epidemic that must be stopped.  Overall, the Buckeyes bottled up Coleman for most of the game (ignoring those two HUGE runs).  The long run by the (non-mobile) QB on 3rd and 11 was inexcusable.  Stop there and the game is a blowout from the start.  The D-line sleepwalked through the game.  Secondary was pretty good, but this run D must improve before Melvin Gordon (or David Cobb again).  This team's defensive woes come down to one thing...big plays.  If we can limit those, this team can do some great things.

Special Teams: Yoyo but C+
Jalin Marshall returning a punt for a TD => Good.  Jalin Marshall nonchalantly hopping over a bouncing punt on the way to the sideline => Bad.  Marshall calling for a fair catch, picking up the bouncing ball on the 5 => BAD.  KICKOFF OUT OF BOUNDS AGAIN => BAAAADDDD.  I get the strategy about pinning the opposing team inside the 25 on kickoffs, but the kicker can't keep it in bounds.  The risk isn't worth it.   The bright spot was another fantastic day by Cameron Johnston.  The punt that checked up at the 2 was beautiful.  And bad to bad...another missed FG.  GET BETTER!

Coaching: C+
JT was struggling but there seemed to be no commitment to running the ball.  I still don't get this coaching staff.  Also, IU apparently was the first team to watch OSU film and realized that Herman ALWAYS calls a QB Power run from an empty set on 3rd and 1.  Predictability isn't a good thing for the coach (granted, OSU should be able to tell IU what the play is and still have it work). Defensively, there is a bit too much overpursuit.  Aggressiveness is not always a good thing.

Overall: B-
It was a 15 point game overall a bad-OK IU team.  The Hoosiers this year are better than in the past, but Coleman is a special player (that Gordon has overshadowed).  That being said, the Bucks didn't play their best and got it done.  Also, everyone points out that the score wasn't indicative of the game saying it was a lot closer...don't forget, Coleman broke another long TD in garbage time.  Yes, it was close in the 3rd, but the score may have actually been CLOSER than it was.

Now, nothing else matters....GO BUCKS! BEAT BLUE!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Week 13 - Low Pressure System

1) Draper               36-18    (5-7 upset)
2) Hoying               35-19    (3-9 upset)
3) Seeberg              34-20    (1-11 upset)
4) Schweinfurth     33-21    (5-7 upset)

In meteorology, a low pressure system moving into your region of the atmosphere means that a storm will soon be coming.* In this week's college football landscape, the huge number of games that suck creates an atmosphere of very low pressure for the playoff contenders, with a huge storm on the horizon over the following two weeks.

In the meantime, we focus on the Pac-12 South and B1G West races, with 5 and 4 teams still in the running, respectively. 

*Yes, meteorology people, I know, this is a bit of an over-generalization. Please withhold your angry comments.

#22 USC Trojans "@" #10 UCLA Bruins
Draper: UCLA is getting better every week and has wuietly entered the top 10.  SC on the other hand seems to have faded over the season. Hundley is looking pretty good, but more importantly, the line is protecting him...a little.  Kessler is having a nice season, but consistency is an issue.  I'm leaning on the hot hand right now which points to the Bruins.  I don't feel great about it, but Sark hasn't shaken the Earth in LA.  UCLA has too much to play for with a potential rematch with the Ducks in their grasp.  USC: 31--UCLA: 38
Hoying: Five teams vie for the Pac-12 South crown; only UCLA controls its own destiny. First hurdle: its biggest rival, the only conference opponent against whom the Bruins have a losing record. UCLA proudly proclaimed that "the LA monopoly is over" back in 2008, but that prophecy didn't come true until the script flipped 2 years ago. Now it's the Trojans who are struggling, giving up late TDs to Utah and Arizona State and needing a last-second missed FG to get by Arizona. Not that UCLA's been banking style points either, needing 2OTs to get by awful awful Colorado. Astoundingly, it's USC QB Cody Kessler who's been the star of the Pac-12 South this season, not everybody's preseason Heisman darling, Brett Hundley of UCLA. Will he be enough to overcome a lack of run defense and focus? Not this year. Hundley's escapability will make up for the Bruins' suspect pass protection and lead UCLA to their 3rd straight victory over the hated Trojans. USC: 24--UCLA: 27
Schweinfurth: Ahh, the battle for L.A.  It does appear that the So Cal monopoly is over as USC has trailed off in recent years (thanks Lane Kiffin).  This year has been a bit of resurgence for the Trojans.  Steve Sarkesian has that offense humming along pretty well.  UCLA's offensive line has been brutal this year and Brett Hundley has been taking a beating.  The beatings will continue!  USC: 35--UCLA: 31
Seeberg:  Well, UCLA has the home-field advantage this year so...ok maybe not.  In any event, both teams are quietly picking up wins lately, albeit not particularly impressive wins as both teams struggled to put away Cal (USC winning by 8 at home, UCLA by 2 on the road) and UCLA slept through their tilt with Colorado.  These teams are pretty equally matched up, and with home field a non-issue, I always revert to my default position- pick the team with the better defense.  In this case?  The Trojans.  USC: 31--UCLA: 23

#13 Arizona Wildcats @ Utah Utes
Draper: Can the freshman Solomon keep it going in a tough road environment?  The Utes have been really good at home when they actually carry the ball all the way into the endzone before dropping it.  The downside is that I don't expect the same environment for a game vs. Arizona (even though they're a top 15 team).  Anu Solomon has had a great freshman season in RichRod's system that will only improve (assuming Mr. Rod is still in Tuscon next year).  I think this is going to come down to the wire with another last second win for the Cardiac Cats. Zona: 34--Utah: 31
Hoying: Can you win in the Pac-12 without throwing the ball? It's not like the Utes had a terrific aerial assault early in the season, but since the loss of top receiver Dres Anderson, they've really dropped off, falling in 2 of their last 3 games (and winning the third in double overtime). Arizona's Anu Solomon is more of what you'd expect from a west coast offense, leading one of the nation's top 15 pass attacks and easily one of the most exciting, executing incredible comebacks against Cal and Washington and coming a field goal away from stunning USC. This game's not being played against a Los Angeles team, so the Wildcats should be safe, and RichRod should stay in the hunt for his first conference title. Zona: 31--Utah: 20
Schweinfurth: I don't know much about these two teams, so I am going to grandstand a bit.  I feel that the east coast, and the country as a whole, would appreciate the Pac-12 if the games didn't start after the 8:00 games ended.  I like college football and all, but between life and sleep, I can devote a maximum of around 6-10 hours on Saturdays to football.  That means the really late games are off the table for my viewing pleasure.  Start some games before 8:00 and I will gladly watch. Oh, Zona wins.  Zona: 42--Utah: 35
Seeberg:  From the surprisingly-decent-second-tier-conference-matchup file comes this game.  Sadly, the game would have been much more competitive before Utah's one-dimensional offense has cost them two of their last three games.  Arizona is hanging their hat on that head-scratching Oregon win and the Wildcats would have likely struggled in this game against a healthy Utah squad.  A dinged up Ute team, however, means the Wildcats continue their unlikely run to compete for the Pac-12 South.  Zona: 38--Utah: 24

Minnesota Golden Gophers @ #18 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Draper: Let's see...Nebraska is 8-2 with 2 to go.  To reach that non-elusive 9-4 they need 1 win and 2 losses (including the bowl).  All signs point to loss, win, loss...but NO! Bo Pelini gets the troops fired up to defend the home turf against David Cobb.  This is a pride game.  The 'Blackshirts' were embarrassed by a guy named Malvin last week.  Cobb is a great runner, but I don't see the Huskers falling flat on their faces again in their last home game.  Hey Bo, Give. Ameer. the. rock.  Over and over.  Cobb will go for 130 and 2 TDs, but Ameer will hit 200 all-purpose yards and 3 TDs. Minn: 27--Neb: 31
Hoying: Boy, is this game a lot less appealing than it was a week ago. These teams have a ton of wins against a ton of suck and a few losses against some very good teams, but now it's time to see what they'll do during their late-season stretch run. What did we learn from two games in the snow? 1. Minnesota can't move the ball against a good defense, aside from breaking a few good runs. 2. Nebraska doesn't have a good defense, particularly against the run. 3. JT Barrett and Melvin Gordon are really good (sneak preview of a game prediction 2 weeks from now). Since his injury, Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah has been a non-factor, while his Gopher counterpart David Cobb keeps getting stronger. Can a team that doesn't throw the ball beat the Huskers? DUUUUUUHHHHH. Minn: 30--Neb: 27
Schweinfurth: Holy crap did the Blackshirts get exposed my Melvin Gordon last week.  That was a truly abysmal performance against a team that lines up and practically says, "We are running up the middle...stop it if you can."  This week the Huskers face another team that likes to run.  From what I could see last week, David Cobb is the real deal.  You have to wrap that guy up and Nebraska has gotten into this arm tackle thing.  Not a good combination for Nebraska.  Throw in the fact that Ameer Abdullah hasn't looked right since his injury and it all spells out a Gopher win.  Minn: 35--Neb: 21
Seeberg:  Let's be honest- we need Minnesota to win this one to keep our victory over them looking good in the eyes of the football deities that ultimately decide our postseason fate.  Fortunately, they are playing a team that just gave up 57 kajillion yards on the ground (Note:  Statistic is an estimate...likely an underestmation).  Minnesota's O-line may not be quite as good as Wisconsin's, nor their RB, but Cobb is very solid and should have another highly productive day.  Abdullah still hasn't been himself since tweaking his knee, and without him healthy and confident, Nebraska doesn't have enough answers on offense.  Minnesota, at least for a week, not a disgrace.  Minn: 34--Neb: 24

#14 Wisconsin Badgers @ Iowa Hawkeyes
Draper: Gordon. Bulldozer.  This one could get ugly...but it won't be as disgusting as last week.  Iowa is at home which will help keep it a bit closer.  I expect Gordon to get his, but everyone will be shocked that he doesn't explode.  The Hawkeyes will completely overload the box with all 11 guys...and still give up over 100--but not 400.  I have a weird feeling that this will be closer than the experts think, but not that close all the same.  The Badgers have too much to play for.  Wisc: 31--Iowa: 17
Hoying: Minnesota ran for 291 yards against Iowa. Uh oh. Wis: 45--Iowa: 17
Schweinfurth: See Hoying's stat and add in that Wisconsin ran for 581 against Nebraska.  Yea, uh oh indeed.  Gordon could go for 300+ again.  Wis: 49--Iowa: 14
Seeberg:  The only real question here is how well Melvin Gordon backs up his historic performance last week.  Iowa's enormous collapse against Minnesota two weeks ago, losing by a whopping 37, is unlikely to happen again.  Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, Wisconsin is a lot better than them, mistakes or not.  Gordon needs another 150+, 2 TD+ game to push Mariota off his Heisman pedestal, and he will likely get it at the expense of a porous Hawkeye run D.  Wis: 38--Iowa: 20

Indiana Hoosiers @ #7 THE Ohio State University Buckeyes
Draper: Telvin Coleman is having one of the best years for a running back that no one has heard about.  He went for 300+ last week...and no one cares.  JT and company return to the friendly confines to the acclaim of Buckeye Nation.  I have a feeling this will be very similar to the recent home B1G games in which the Bucks jump out to an early lead, take the game in hand, and sit back and take a nap (which will be disappointing).  Bosa and the front seven need to treat this as an important learning experience to practice for Gordon.  They need to step up and contain Coleman.  IU is on their 15th string QB so just focus on stopping the run.  That should be the goal of the game along with cleaning up the tackling.  Hold Coleman under 100 and I'll be thrilled.  You're either getting better, or you're getting worse.  OSU: 52--IU: 24
Hoying: The Hoosiers are quickly running out of chances to win a conference game, but the news isn't all bad. Sure, they visit one of the hottest teams in the nation this week, but next week they get Purdue! At home! And even if the Hoosiers' dreams don't come true against the B1G's version of Make a Wish, they'll still have that SEC East title to fall back on. Indiana is as good as running the ball as anyone in the country, unless your goal is to make sure the ball goes across the goal line at some point. And they're horrible at everything else. Ohio State is pretty good at everything except tackling running backs and preventing the ghost of Ray Small from possessing their punt returners. Bucks win big and start their streak as the only team to win the B1G East. Ind: 20--OSU: 59
Schweinfurth:  A little #narrative to start off: Indiana beat the SEC East leader.  The Buckeyes have been flat rolling inferior teams (and teams that were "better" than them) since the Va Tech game.  Last week's score was no indication of how dominant the Buckeyes were.  The only concerning thing to me is the defense on quick turnarounds (after turnovers especially).  No matter where they start on the field after a Buckeye turnover, it seems like the other team always gets points.  This is a trend that really needs to stop.  The defense has played very well for the most part but the Bullets need to stop the run.  This will be a good practice for the Buckeyes ahead of TTUN and, most likely, Wisconsin.  Time to shore up the run D and keep that offense sharp.  Barrett keeps putting up his video game numbers as well.  This is a style point game. Ind: 13--OSU: 52
Seeberg:  Ah yes, it's our favorite homecoming team come to town six weeks late.  The Hoosiers actually boast a legitimate NFL-caliber running back in Tevin Coleman, and the Silver Bullets have struggled with the power run game in consecutive weeks.  Thankfully, IU is on their 2nd-string practice squad QB at this point and Coleman is their only competent threat on offense.  The turnovers need to be cleaned up, but even if we lose the ball multiple times again it's just not going to matter.  Onto TTUN.  IND: 17--OSU: 52

Upset Special
Draper: All of the other upsets games are super weak.  Mizzou over Tenn is about as lame
Hoying: North Carolina over Duke
Schweinfurth: Maryland over Michigan 
Seeberg:  Louisville over Notre Dame 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top 25 and Heisman Ballots - After Week 12

Rankings, as always, are based on what teams have done so far, not how we believe they will finish. Leave a comment and tell us which one of us should be on the Playoff Committee.

Let's Go Bucks! Index

1. Florida State (unchanged)
2. Oregon (up 1)
3. Alabama (up 2)
4. TCU (unchanged)
5. Baylor (up 2)
6. Mississippi State (down 5)
7. Ohio State (up 1)
8. Ole Miss (up 2)
9. Michigan State (up 2)
10. UCLA (up 3)
11. Georgia (up 6)
12. Kansas State (up 2)
13. Arizona (up 3)
14. Wisconsin (up 8)
15. Auburn (down 6)
16. Arizona State (down 10)
17. Georgia Tech (unranked)
18a. Nebraska (down 6)
18b. Utah (unranked)
20a. Marshall (unchanged)
20b. Missouri (unranked)
22. USC (unranked)
23. Oklahoma (unchanged)
24. Colorado State (unranked)
25. Clemson (down 4)

Others receiving votes: Duke, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, LSU, Minnesota

Dropped from rankings: #15 Duke, #17 Notre Dame, #19 LSU, #24 Texas A&M, #25 Florida

Let's Go Bucks! Heisman Index
1. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3. JT Barrett (QB--Ohio State)
4. Trevone Boykin (QB--TCU)

Draper Top 25
1. Florida State (unchanged)
2. Alabama (up 4)
3. Oregon (up 1)
4. Baylor (up 3)
5. Mississippi State (down 3)

6. TCU (down 3)
7. Ohio State (up 1)
8. Ole Miss (up 2)
9. Georgia (up 8)
10. Michigan State (up 1)
11. UCLA (up 8)
12. Kansas State (up 2)
13. Wisconsin (up 8)
14. Arizona (up 6)
15. Auburn (down 6)
16. Arizona State (down 10)
17. Nebraska (down 5)
18. Georgia Tech (up 7)
19. Utah (down 3)
20. Missouri (unranked)
21. Oklahoma (unranked)
22. USC (unranked)
23. Marshall (unchanged)
24. Colorado State (unchanged)
25. Duke (down 12)

Dropped from rankings: #15 LSU, #16 Notre Dame, #18 Clemson

Draper Heisman Ballot
1. Marcus Mariota (QB - Oregon)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB - Wisconsin)
3. J.T. Barrett (QB - THE Ohio State University)

Hoying Top 25

1. Florida State (up 1)
2. Oregon (up 1)
3. Alabama (up 2)
4. TCU (unchanged)
5. Mississippi State (down 4)
6. Ohio State (up 4)
7. Baylor (unchanged)
8. UCLA (up 1)
9. Mississippi (up 2)
10. Arizona (up 3)
11. Georgia (up 8)
12. Auburn (down 4)
13. Arizona State (down 7)
14. Michigan State (unchanged)
15. Kansas State (up 5)
16. Wisconsin (unranked)
17. Clemson (up 4)
18. Missouri (unranked)
19. Utah (unranked)
20. USC (unranked)
21. Georgia Tech (unranked)
22. Nebraska (down 7)
23. Colorado State (unchanged)
24. Texas A&M (down 7)
25. LSU (down 13)

Dropped from rankings: #16 Duke, #18 Florida, #22 Miami, #24 Notre Dame, #25 Oklahoma

Hoying Heisman Ballot

1. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3. JT Barrett (QB--Ohio State)

Schweinfurth Top 25
1. Florida State (Unchanged)
2. Oregon (Up 1)
3. Alabama (Up 4)
4. Baylor (Up 1)
5. TCU (Down 1) 
6. Ohio State (Unchanged)
7. Michigan State (Up 4)
8. Mississippi State (Down 6)9. Kansas State (Up 5)
10. Ole Miss (Up 5)
11. Marshall (Down 1)
12. Arizona (Up 4)
13. UCLA (Up 5)
14. Wisconsin (Up 5)
15. Georgia (Up 6)
16. Georgia Tech (Up 6)
17. Auburn (Down 5)
18. Arizona State (Down 10)
19. Nebraska (Down 10)
20. Colorado State (Up 5)
21. Duke (Down 4) 
22. Notre Dame (Down 9)
23. Utah (Unranked)
24. Oklahoma (Down 4)
25. USC (Unranked)  

Dropped from Rankings: Minnesota, Clemson

Schweinfurth Heisman Ballot
1. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3. J.T. Barrett (QB--Ohio State)

Seeberg Top 25
1.) Oregon (up 2)
2.) Alabama (up 3)
3.) Florida State (down 1)
4.) TCU (same)
5.) Mississippi State (down 4)
6.) Ohio State (up 1)
7.) Baylor (up 1)
8.) Ole Miss (up 2)
9.) Michigan State (up 2)
10.) Georgia (up 5)
11.) UCLA (up 2)
12.) Kansas State (up 2)
13.) Wisconsin (up 5)
14.) Arizona State (down 8)
15.) Arizona (up 1)
16.) Auburn (down 7)
17.) Georgia Tech (up 7)
18.) Missouri (unranked)
19.) Oklahoma (up 4)
20.) Utah (unranked)
21.) USC (unranked)
22.) Marshall (same)
23.) Nebraska (down 11)
24.) Colorado State (unranked)
25.) Minnesota (same)

Dropped from rankings :  #17 Duke, #19 Notre Dame, #20 LSU, #21 Clemson, 

Seeberg Heisman Ballot
1.) Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2.) Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3.) Trevone Boykin (QB--TCU)