College Football Thoughts – Week 14

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If there is any doubt that college football surpasses the NFL in

the psyche of the American people, all doubt was set aside yesterday as CFB experienced it’s most exciting Saturday of the season.

4 of the top 25 teams fell to lesser opponents including 2 of the top 5 in Oregon and Baylor.

San Diego State

Long after the east coast was tucked in bed, the Aztecs prevailed against the perennial power Boise State Broncos for the second straight year.

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 9.05.02 AMSDSU’s defense dominated the first half. And I mean dominated. Boise State’s first 1st down came with 9 minutes left in the second quarter. If not for a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the score should have been 14-0 with Boise getting something like 50 yards in the first half. It was as dominating a performance as we’ve seen all year.

Later, in the 4th quarter, the Aztecs slipped up… in quick succession gave up a long TD run, then fumbled the ball on the kickoff, then watched Boise march down and score another touchdown to take a 21-14 lead.

That was at the 12 minute mark in the 4th quarter. At least 10,000 Aztec “fans” made for the parking lot. (Because people who go to games in San Diego aren’t fans, they just go to games for a while. Weirdest thing ever.)

Unlike the people buying tickets to the games, this year’s Aztec squad doesn’t leave early. Instead, a few minutes later their defense got a pick-6 to tie the game before eventually heading into overtime at 28-28.

In the first overtime, the Aztec defense came up huge and forced a field goal. Next, SDSU battled it down to the 10 yard line… then… in the little corner at the Q where no one can ever see what really happened, Colin Lockett nabbed the catch of his life to clinch it.

These Aztecs don’t quit. That’s their 4th overtime game of the year. Unreal.

Bowl prediction: San Diego State is staying home, again, for the Poinsettia Bowl. I’ll go begrudgingly. But I wish we could go to the Vegas Bowl for once.

Notre Dame

Earlier in the day, with a backdrop of snowflakes and driving wind at Notre Dame Stadium, the Irish pushed a gnawed on and beat up on old BYU. Seriously, BYU was never in that game. (Which makes this Aztecs fan happy. We do not care for the team from Provo.)

It was a nice, boring game to watch.

Bowl prediction: Rumor has it the Irish are headed to New York for the Pinstripe Bowl. But I think there are bowl commissioners, in this very moment, crafting a way to get a 9-3 or 8-4 Notre Dame team to a better bowl. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them play a bowl in Texas for recruiting purposes.

Elsewhere in CFB

Where to begin? Rich Rod got a career redeeming win against Oregon. They didn’t just beat Oregon, they slapped them around from the first snap. And the Cowboys of OK State proved to everyone that they are for real. (And a blast to watch.)

Another thing that is becoming more and more clear: The SEC just isn’t as far ahead of everyone as they think they are. Florida… I mean, what the heck? And lowly Vandy with 7-wins? The 2013 version of the SEC bears little resemblance to the 2011, 2012 conference dominance. While I fully expect Alabama to make it to the BCS championship game, I’m not sure they are better than Florida State. I think Ohio State or Florida State could beat them. (Stanford and Oregon won’t get the chance, but they’d beat them, too.) In other words, the SEC is “dominant” only insofar as scheduling is concerned.

Week 14 predictions

Notre Dame @ Stanford – Cardinal by a lot

SDSU at UNLV – Aztecs

WMU @ NIU – Western

Ole Miss @ Miss State – Miss State

Texas Tech @ Texas – TTU (Mack Brown replaced by Nick Saban?)

Iowa @ Nebraska – Huskers

Arkansas @ LSU – LSU

Fresno State @ San Jose State – Fresno State

Oregon State @ Oregon – Ducks

Florida State @ Florida – FSU by 140

Ohio State @ Michigan – Buckeyes (Hoke is out by Christmas… I’m telling ya)

Minnesota @ Michigan State – Sparty

Bama @ Auburn – Bama

Penn State @ Wisconsin – Badgers

Clemson @ South Carolina – Clemson

UCLA @ USC – USC

Arizona @ Arizona State – ASU

12 thoughts on “College Football Thoughts – Week 14

  1. I think you underestimate Auburn and the power of playing in Jordan-Hare Stadium. I think Auburn will win by 3. If they were playing in Tuscaloosa I’d say Alabama all the way. However, WAR-EAGLE!

    1. Gotcha, well traditionally that weak non-conference schedule has come back to bite teams. It’d be funny to see Bama lose in the SEC championship so that no SEC team made it to the championship.

  2. How much are you willing to lay on it that Hoke will be gone by Christmas? I say he is still there next season. I think you are just being a blowhard about it and trying to be contentious.

    1. This is the old “AD has to give a vote of confidence before recruits de-commit” strategy. And an AD defending his hire: http://espn.go.com/blog/colleges/michigan/post/_/id/16424/michigan-ad-defends-brady-hoke I think Brady has to win Saturday– miraculously– to keep his job, if it’s reasonably close he should still lose his job but they might give him the Lane-Kiffin-shoulda-fired-now-we’ll-do-it-after-State-crushes-us routine in 2014. But if it’s a blow out, I think the AD and the coach probably get canned in the locker room after the game via a text message. I mean, they know it’s over…

      I’m watching them play and wondering if you and I are watching the same thing? They are absolutely terrible. Not playing hard. Not playing for each other. Wow, they beat Notre Dame… but they sure haven’t gone on to anything since then. That was the peak of their season and it’s been a rough go since then.

      But this note from the AD wasn’t a good sign. Only Michigan fans saw it as a good sign. Everyone else saw it as Michigan acknowledging they were in trouble with recruits.

      With all their recruits watching on Saturday… what will they see? If they see a team that gets rolled, expect a lot of this:
      http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf–loss-of-no–1-recruit-da-shawn-hand-to-alabama-puts-michigan-on-the-ropes-201918557.html

      Here’s two things about keeping a guy who has excellent recruiting classes and mediocre output on the field:
      1. Signing great kids isn’t a reflection of a great head coach. It’s a reflection of how much money is spent and the people doing recruiting for you. The head coach announces the recruits and make a few visits. But the real work is done by a team of assistants and 3rd party professional recruiters.
      2. Notre Dame had this problem for a long time, Texas has this problem now. When you have top recruiting classes but fail to reflect that on the field… that shows that the system is not developing players and the decisions made in the office and the field are the wrong ones. In short, that’s a lack of leadership.

      If I’m a recruiter for another team I’m texting my targets after Ohio State scores it’s 6th touchdown tomorrow and saying, “Do you want to be on that sideline next year, getting whooped on national TV again? Or do you want to come to a winner like Florida State?”

      1. The team has played hard. The QB has played awful and given the ball away. I am not saying that Michigan’s team is a top tier team and under that delusion like you are with ND.

        Michigan proved today that they can play as a team and play tough when their QB decides to keep the ball safe and secure instead of giving it to the other team.

        Once again I ask you to back up your Hoke is gone by Christmas. I say he is safe and will be the head coach with a top 10 class next season. I am willing to back it up, because it is going to happen and I am not just being contentious to draw attention to myself like you have been with these outlandish statements.

  3. Adam, it’s a good thing you got a day job. Your prognostication skills were more than a bit off this week. And at 8 for 17, it wasn’t just Bama that bit you. Even some of your wins weren’t the “by a lot” wins you predicted. Better luck next week.

  4. Well, I have to admit that I rarely even gave your football predictions a second look, but when I saw you picked hapless Western Michigan over unbeaten NIU this week I thought: first, what’s he smoking, and then does he know something I don’t? So, I thought I would check out how you did and if that was just a fan pick or if you really knew something. Based on this week, you don’t. But have fun. I enjoy your other columns.

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