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Friday, 7 November 2014

Every Week is Playoff Week! 
#CFBPlayoff Race Heats Up

Well the second set of rankings for the #CFBPlayoff were released and, to no surprise, there were changes.  This will not be uncommon in the weeks to come.  I expect to see a different line-up of 4 teams every week for the remainder of the season.  Of course, some weeks might have the same 4 teams but perhaps in a different ranking order.  Not to brag or anything here, but this week's Top 4 from the Selection Committee looks exactly like #TwineTime Top 4 from last week.  I said Ole Miss was overranked and would stumble...now they are basically done.  Hmmm maybe I should be putting my name forward now to argue a position on this board.  Wouldn't that be fun?  A random guest newbie blogger from Canada having a vote for the biggest and most debatable sports playoff?  I like it....

Here are the rankings:

Selection Committee                                       #TwineTime

1. Mississippi State                                         1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State                                                2. Florida State
3. Auburn                                                        3. Auburn
4. Oregon                                                        4. Oregon
5. Alabama                                                      5. TCU
6. TCU                                                            6. Alabama

Ok so first glance it looks like I took the easy way out here but at this point of the season, based on the numbers and criteria used for this ranking, I think the committee basically got it right this week.  Do I think these rankings will look the same next week or the end of the season, heck no!  But as I mentioned last week, these rankings are only to take into consideration the output each team has displayed on the field so far, not what we expect to happen.  Here is a great image to help summarize (courtesy of @SECstats):

Based on the graphic above, I would actually be more inclined to rank Auburn above Florida State.  However, an undefeated defending national champion Seminole team ranked above one-loss Auburn is not a huge injustice I suppose.  The big eye test for me is 'Bama and TCU.  Both beat West Virginia; however, TCU beat Oklahoma and lost to Baylor.  Alabama doesn't have another quality win, barely escaped a few wins earlier this season and has a loss to Ole Miss, a team I have already shared my dislike for.   The team with the most to gain would be the Tide though.  Win out and they will be ranked #1, even if Florida State goes undefeated I would put them at #1.  Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State could in theory almost eliminate one another and we could go from 3 SEC teams in the Final 4 to only one.  Oregon's best hope is to win out and have Arizona State win out as well.  A PAC-12 final between Oregon and Arizona State should almost guarantee the winner a spot in the final 4.  The team with the biggest gripe is going to Michigan State.  Win out, win the Big 10 and I still do not see them making the Final 4.  Oregon losing actually hurts the Spartans.  Ohio State and Nebraska do not have strong enough resumes.  It is not impossible for them to make it but the odds, right now, are heavily stacked against them.  The team least deserving on here is Notre Dame.  The Irish beat nobody and lost to Florida State.  Now should they beat ASU this weekend, ok they can stay in the top 10 but I don't see them rising too high, maybe 8 (only because Kansas State - TCU loser will drop).  One thing is for sure, every week we will see elimination games and while the playoff cloud looks murky and confusing now, I think the results of the upcoming weeks are going to solve the issue on the field...as it should be!  On to the picks...


Last Week: 39 - 13 (75%)
Overall: 157 - 61 (72%)

Quick notes from last week's games and my picks, with major #CFBPlayoff games highlighted:

  • UCONN beat UCF?  WTF?  100% no way I saw that coming...either did the Knights apparently.
  • Temple beat East Carolina - I even mentioned this looked like an upset game and I still didn't pull the trigger.  Lesson learned here folks...sometimes go with your gut!
  • I have been uneasy on Georgia all season and thought they were hyped too much.  The loss to Florida proved me hunch correct, if only I man'd up and made the pick.
  • Ole Miss overrated!!!  Have I made that point enough yet
  • Still undefeated on Friday!!!!!
Memphis over Temple - People may not be familiar with either of these teams in the American conference but if you can watch these game, I recommend it.  These are two very good teams and this should be a huge game in Philadelphia.

Utah State over Wyoming - Wyoming has become my Georgia Tech 2.0.  I can never correctly pick how they will do each week....which means either I am really bad at this (my percentage numbers I think disagree) or the Pokes are one of the most inconsistent teams this season.

Penn State over Indiana

(4) Oregon over (17) Utah - Huge game for the PAC-12.  Oregon will sew up the North title with one more victory.  Utah is fighting to win the South and needs this win and some help after the loss to ASU last weekend.  This is also Oregon's last chance to impress the committee before the PAC-12 championship game.  A big road win over a very good Utah team will help.  Worth noting, ranked teams are only 1-4 on the road vs a ranked Utah team.

Louisiana Tech over UAB - Tech on their way to an undefeated conference record?

Rice over UTSA

Tulsa over SMU - Pillowfight of the Week!  1-7 hosting 0-7.  Stay winless SMU!

Minnesota over Iowa - Ok minus the unexplainable loss to Illinois a few weeks back, most people would be taking the Gophers at home.  They have had two weeks to prepare for this game.  Iowa hasn't looked that good of a team until last weekends big win.  Both teams are 3-1 in the Big 10 and trying to position themselves for a better bowl game invite.

(12) Baylor over (15) Oklahoma - If the Bears lose this game, playoff hopes are gone.  They need the win to have a shot at the Big 12 Championship and, even then, still might be a long shot to make the Final 4.  Huge opportunity though to pick up a big road win and impress the committee.  Remember this Bears team should have beat TCU and could have been undefeated right now.

(25) Wisconsin over Purdue

(20) Georgia over Kentucky

(24) Georgia Tech over NC State - Tech curse continues?

Arkansas State over South Alabama

Troy over Georgia State - Pillowfight of the Week 2.0.  These are two 1-8 teams battling it out.  Can Georgia State pick up their 1st conference win?  I'm taking the home team.

Appalachian State over UL Monroe

(3) Auburn over Texas A&M - The Aggies were once thought of a team that could make the Final 4.  Now nobody is paying attention to them and they are huge underdogs in this game.  The Tigers should roll here at home.  Not a meaningful win opportunity here for Auburn but a home loss could take them right out of the Final 4 playoff.

(9) Arizona State over (10) Notre Dame - The Irish have been unimpressive.  The Sun Devils are explosive.  ASU is at home.  This game should prove the Irish are overrated.  I might be eating my words next week, but I think I am safe in this one.

Connecticut over Army - Well if the Huskies team that beat up on UCF show up this weekend as well, Army is in for a long day.

Houston over Tulane

FIU over Old Dominion

(23) West Virginia over Texas - I only highlight this game not because I think WVU has a shot at the playoff but more because how they do the rest of the season will impact the resume of the teams above them in the Big 12.  They keep winning, others benefit.

Northwestern over Michigan

Iowa State over Kansas - Finally someone will win a conference game.  Cyclones are a better team.

UTEP over Western Kentucky

Air Force over UNLV

Oregon State over Washington State

(1) Mississippi State over UT Martin - An SEC team playing a cupcake game in the middle of the season?  Well that never happens?!?! #sarcasm

Georgia Southern over Texas State - The battle for the Sun Belt championship perhaps?

San Diego State over Idaho

(2) Florida State over Virginia - FSU cannot allow a slip up for the rest of the season.  I cannot see a one-loss Seminole team making the Final 4 over a few other one-loss teams.  They have to win out..and they have the easy enough schedule to do so.

Florida Atlantic over North Texas

Marshall over Southern Miss - Come on committee, give the Herd some love.  They are undefeated.  sure easy schedule but still...throw some sympathy votes their way.  It's not their fault their conference sucks!  I hope Marshall ends up being the last undefeated team standing.

Boise State over New Mexico

Colorado State over Hawaii

(18) UCLA over Washington

Louisville over Boston College

(6) TCU over (7) Kansas State - Basically a playoff game here.  Winner has a great opportunity.  Loser is eliminated.  Biggest game of the week in regards to the rankings.  TCU at home though...

Florida over Vanderbilt

(16) LSU over (5) Alabama - See my thoughts above on Bama.  LSU at home, looking better week in and week out, going with the slight upset here.  Put the SEC in more chaos please...

LA-Lafayette over New Mexico State

(8) Michigan State over (14) Ohio State - Basically the de facto Big 10 championship game.  Oddly enough, a Spartan win helps Oregon more than anything.  The Spartans are going to have a tough time jumping ahead of anyone.

(19) Arizona over Colorado

San Jose State over Fresno State

Enjoy the action this weekend everyone.....