Can this College football season get any crazier? TWICF - 9/21/12
One thing is for sure is if the season continues to play out like it has the past two weekends, predicting the BCS games may be easier with a “magic” 8 Ball, as we had more upsets and unforeseen close calls that no one could have predicted.
To start things off, USC went into Palo Alto to try and stop Stanford’s three game winning streak, but without Sr. C Khalid Homes who was out with an injury, the Cardinal defense pressured Trojan QB Matt Barkley into one of his worse performances in his career (20 for 41 with 254 yards, no touchdowns, 2 interceptions and 5 sacks) as the Trojans could not score in the last 40 minutes of the game and lost 21-14. This lost most likely cost them more than a game as they are most likely out of the National Title picture and behind in the standings in the tough PAC 12 title chase. Additionally Matt Barkley now will drop severely in his quest for the Heisman Trophy. They may have had unfinished business this year, but someone forgot to tell Stanford it was luck they won three, now four in a row
Look at these other strange outcomes:
- Notre Dame went into East Lansing and thoroughly man handled the Michigan State offense 20-3 as Spartan RB Le’Veon Bell (19 carries for 77 yards) could not get started as the Irish put extra men on the line to make first year starter Andrew Maxwell try and beat them, which failed to mount any momentum.
- University of Louisiana – Monroe almost beat it it’s second SEC team in a row as Auburn needed OT and some luck to be the Warhawks 31-28 at home
- Wisconsin needed a missed field goal to avoid a second straight upset against Utah State at Badgers stadium 16-14.
- Ohio State got a real test from a California team that shut down the Buckeyes at home in the second half, except for one play which is all Ohio State needed to pull out a late win 35-28 vs. a tough Bears team. OSU QB Braxton Miller found Devin Smith for 72 yards touchdown pass with just over 3 minutes left for the win.
- Pittsburgh who looked terrible vs. Youngstown State and Cincinnati in losses, put a beating on the #13 ranked Virginia tech team 35-17 as they caused 4 turnovers and turned them into 21 points for the win
- Louisville had a 25 point lead with less than 14 minutes left in the fourth quarter and thought they had the game sealed. Well nobody told the visiting Tarheels as they raced back to get within 5 points before falling 39-34 to the Cardinals.
- Utah got ahead of visiting #25 BYU 24-7 and fought off the Cougars in the fourth to win 24-21 in a penalty filled game (22 penalties for 187 yards)
Here is this week’s look at the Top 10:
1. Alabama (3-0) – The are now in the driver seat with USC’s loss as they beat an completely overmatched razorback team 52-0 for the first shutout loss for Arkansas since 1966 (they lost to Baylor 7-0). This week they play Florida Atlantic at Tuscaloosa. If they beat Arkansas by 52, can’t imagine them winning by less than 65-70.
2. LSU (3-0) – The Tigers beat up an Idaho team 63-14 as they continue to prepare for the November 3rd games vs. the crimson Tide. This week they play at Auburn. If Auburn plays like they did against ULM, they will be blown out early. I think Auburn was looking ahead, but it won’t matter as the Tigers of LSU win this by 28 points.
3. Oregon (3-0) – The Ducks continue to roll through teams as they ramp up for the PAC 12 season beating Tennessee tech 63-14, but will get their first test of the season vs. #22 Arizona and their high powered offense (7th in passing, 19 in rushing and 12 in points scored – over 46.3 points/game). I would say the Ducks should win, but it will be closer than planned.
4. Florida State (3-0) – Like Oregon, they have won easily so much, beating Wake Forrest 52-0, but they also get their first test in the game of the week vs. Clemson
5. Oklahoma (2-0) – The Sooners were off this week, but they needed it to prepare for their first battle vs. Kansas State in Norman, OK. I would put the Sooners on upset alert here as Wildcats QB Collin Klein. Wildcats upset the Sooners 50-48 in a wild multi OT thriller.
6. West Virginia (2-0) – The Mountaineers had another easy time as QB Geno Smith threw for over 400 yards and five touchdowns in their 42-12 win over James Madison. They have a couple more tune ups before getting their first test. They should have little difficulty with Maryland, most likely winning by 30 points.
7. South Carolina (3-0) – The Gamecocks have had everything there way the past two weeks except in keeping QB Connor Shaw upright. South Carolina should rest Shaw while he heals before they get into the teeth of their schedule with Georgia, LSU and Florida in consecutive weeks. SC should get by Missouri by 14 points.
8. Georgia (3-0) – Like their opponent in two weeks South Carolina, they had an easy week and two more before their showdown in Columbia. The Bulldogs will get by a game Commodores team by at least 17 points.
9. Clemson (3-0) – Clemson got back All American WR Sammy Watkins and it showed as Tigers QB Tajh Boyd threw for over 300 yards and a couple of TD beating Furman 41-7. Next week we see how well they have come in the game of the week vs. Florida State.
10. USC (2-1) – The team that had unfinished business will keep having it unless they get a lot of help as stated previous above in their loss to Stanford. Now they have to rebound against a Utah fresh from their upset of BYU. We will see what Trojan team comes to play. I see a very determined and mad USC coming to play. They win by at least 25.
With USC QB Matt Barkley having the worse game of his Trojan career, like Michigan QB Denard Robinson did in week one, most likely lost any chance of the trophy. No TD and 2 interceptions in a loss will not sit well with the voters.
The new leader is West Virginia QB Geno Smith, who like noted above threw for over 400 with 5 TD and should have more games to pad his stats, much like last year winner Baylor QB Robert Griffin III did. Other possibilities waiting in the wings for a stumble by Smith are Oregon RB De’ Anthony Thomas, South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore or possibly Kansas State QB Klein, if he has a big game vs. the Sooners.
Game of the Week
Clemson vs. Florida State– Saturday 8:00pm, September 22, 2012 at Doak Campbell Stadium, FL
The Seminoles have been going at break neck speed on both sides of the ball, scoring almost 59 points a game, while only giving up 3 points so far this season, but the opponents have not been stellar, while the Tigers are more middle of the road, as they are scoring just under 40 points while giving up just under 18 points a game. The one thing that helps Clemson is they have been tested when they beat Auburn in week one, which could be the difference maker in this match up
The Seminoles were in a similar situation last year when they went into their game vs. Oklahoma and everyone thought they were ready and got beaten by a tougher stronger Sooners team. They learned from this and will do this to Clemson
Prediction: Florida State wins 49-17
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