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I like sports....lots of sports...all sports!  Follow my blog as I talk about sports....if you like sports of course

Saturday, 26 September 2015

#GameDay: Time To See Who The Real Contenders Are
Week 4 highlights PAC-12 games of the week with playoff implications



Well #TwineTime is back with the weekly dose of college football coverage.  After taking last week off due to extreme exhaustion (ok or just mismanagement of time...like so many college football coaches around the nation) it is time to get back into the swing of things.  After spending an evening celebrating fine beers at an Oktoberfest event and taking in some hockey, my attention is 100% back to college football.

Let's jump right into the #PowerRankings.  Each week #TwineTime will compare the AP Top 6 rankings with our own rankings and see where similarities...and differences...may fall.  For this comparison, the previous week ranking in parenthesis will be for Week 3 for AP BUT Week 2 for #TwineTime.  Yes yes I know I missed last week...let's move past it together though shall we?

AP                                                                         #TwineTime

1. Ohio State (1)                                                   1. Michigan State (NR)
2. Michigan State (4)                                            2. Baylor (2)
T3. Ole Miss (15)                                                 3. TCU (5)
T3. TCU (3)                                                         4. Ohio State (1)
5. Baylor (5)                                                         5. Ole Miss (NR)
6. Notre Dame (8)                                                6. LSU (NR)

As will become the norm I suspect throughout the season, we see some major differences.  Let's be clear on one thing though, because a team under the #TwineTime power rankings is listed as NR (not ranked) does not mean they were not highly considered as a top team.  The #TwineTime rankings each week only show the Top 6, not the full list of 25.  Perhaps I will get to that point in time but for now, let's just clear up that confusion right now.  Few points on the rankings:

  • Michigan State's victory over Oregon is what moves them up to the top of the rankings.  But as the week's go on, and the teams below Sparty start playing, and beating, stronger teams MSU will not be able to rest on the Ducks victory for long.  The issue for Sparty is going to be to continue winning their games.  The strength of schedule will not keep them as a top ranked team throughout the season, especially if teams right below them also keep winning.
  • I still have faith in the Big 12 power schools, Baylor and TCU.  Perhaps I am blinded by the hype but I stick by my faith in these two teams remaining unbeaten until their big match at the end of the season.  
  • With Alabama's loss to Ole Miss and Auburn looking like a pretender (which #TwineTime called), the state of Alabama is no longer the SEC power house many expected at the start of the season.  Great victory by Ole Miss but I still don't see them staying in the Top 6 for long.  If there is any team within the SEC capable, right now, of going the distance it is going to be LSU.  The Tigers seem to have the strongest team on both sides of the ball and could be the best hope for an SEC playoff championship run.  
  • Nope, still not buying into Notre Dame.  Sorry Irish fans.  I just started maybe buying into them a few weeks ago but with the piling up of injuries and the struggles they have had against inferior opponents, I am not convinced this is a playoff team.  Prove me wrong on the field of course.

Let's shift to the action on the field this week with the traditional weekly pick'em.  Week 1 saw a successful 88% winning percentage.  Week 2 was a bit of a different story, dropping to only a 77% accuracy rating.  Now, I should point out correctly predicting the winner 77% of the time out of 71 games is not too bad I would say.  Sure I missed a few upsets and made a few bonehead predictions but that is bound to happen every week.  Upsets happen....it is the reason we watch the games and enjoy the sport right?  An overall accuracy rating of 82% heading into Week 4 is pretty darn good.  Any of you doing better?  If so, the proof is in the pudding.  Go toe to toe with my picks anytime and let's see who comes out on top!  :)

Last Week (W2): 55-16 (77%)
Overall: 107 - 23 (82%)

GAME OF THE WEEK: (16) Arizona def. (9) UCLA - Easily the game of the week with HUGE playoff implications.  Both teams sitting at 3-0 with the winner of this game gaining the early upper hand in the race for the Pac-12 South division.  Playing in the desert is always tricky for higher ranked opponents, just ask Oregon.  This is going to be a nail biter.  I'm going with the slight upset and taking the Cats, led by Anu Solomon's late 4th quarter drive to win.

UPSET OF THE WEEK: Ball State def. (17) Northwestern - The 3-0 Wildcats are in the true definition of a trap game versus an unheralded MAC team.  Northwestern enters as a 19 point favorite at home but I expect a much closer game.  Ball State has some offensive weapon which could trouble the Wildcat D.  I expect a big game from Darian Green as the Cardinals complete the upset bid in Evanston.

Rutgers over Kansas - Still sticking with my belief of a few weeks ago listing Kansas as one of the worst teams in the nation.  This should prove it.

(8) LSU def. Syracuse - Possible trap game for the Tigers on the road vs. the undefeated Orange.  But I still have faith in my Top 6 power ranking for LSU and while Syracuse is having a nice start to their season, this is still barely a team worthy of a bowl berth come December.

Southern Miss def. Nebraska - Sorry Huskers fans but this team of yours has not looked good at all this season.  Southern Miss has a strong QB and is capable of putting up some high octane offensive numbers.  Given the big plays UN has conceded this season already, expect similar results in a close game down in Lincoln.

(20) Georgia Tech def. Duke - Again another ranked team on the road playing a pretty good team.  Tech is coming off the tough loss vs. Notre Dame.  They need to regroup and stay focused on the ACC race.  Tech should still be one of the favorites to win the conference and should brush aside a strong challenge from the Blue Devils.

(7) Georgia def. Southern - YAWN!

South Carolina def. UCF

(22) BYU def. Michigan - The Holy Mary plays for BYU ran out last weekend but I still support this team.  It will be tough on the road in the big house with Michigan coming off a nice win last weekend.  Expect another close game and, if there is any justice in sports, please let us see yet another last second TD score for the win for the Cougars.  I just love the excitement of watching this team play.

(2) Michigan State def. Central Michigan

Navy def. UConn - Navy aiming for the 3-0 start to the season.

Bowling Green def. Purdue

North Carolina def. Delaware

Indiana def. Wake Forest

Northern Illinois def. Boston College - The Huskies almost knocked off the top ranked Buckeyes.  If they don't suffer a post-loss emotional hangover from the win that got away, they can go into Chestnut Hill and escape with a much needed victory.

Colorado def. Nicholls State

Louisiana Tech def. Florida International

New Mexico def. Wyoming - Continuing last year's trend with the Pokes.  I pick them to win...they lose.  Now I am picking them to lose, so they will probably win at home.  Will we ever get along Wyoming?

West Virginia def. Maryland - Don't look now but if I am right here, the Moutaineers will be 3-0 on the season.  Dark horse candidate here?

(5) Baylor def. Rice

Iowa def. North Texas

Ohio def. Minnesota - Don't underestimate the MAC this season.  They have been playing the Power 5 conference teams quite competitive and the Bobcats are undefeated on the season right now.  The Gophers could find this as a trap game before entering Big 10 play.

(24) Oklahoma State def. Texas

Virginia Tech def. East Carolina

Tennessee def. Florida - I bought into the Orange juice a few weeks ago, expecting the Vols to beat Oklahoma.  For most of the game, it looked like I was correct.  Then the epic end of game meltdown and now Tennessee is again lost in limbo.  Florida is undefeated on the season after beating...AGAIN...Kentucky.  This is a pivotal SEC match up for both teams.  I think UT rights the ship and gets their season back on track.

Old Dominion def. Appalachian State

(6) Notre Dame def. UMASS - Mismatch!

(1) Ohio State def. Western Michigan

Penn State def. San Diego State

Miami (OH) def. Western Kentucky

(12) Alabama def. Louisiana-Monroe

Middle Tennessee def. Illinois

(3) TCU def. Texas Tech - Many calling this a trap game for the Frogs.  Expect a high scoring game here.  TCU enters as only a 5.5 pt favorite as both teams are 3-0.  This would be a HUGE upset win for the Red Raiders if they can pull it off.

Washington def. California

Eastern Michigan def. Army

Louisville def. Samford - Who would have thought this would be the first win of the season for the Cardinal?

(14) Texas A&M def. Arkansas - Remember when everyone was talking about how good the Hogs would be this season and how they could push for the SEC championship?  Yup, neither am I.  Those people have all gone silent.

(3) Ole Miss def. Vanderbilt - Are the Rebels for real?  We won't know much after this weekend when they beat up on the 'Dores.

UPSET of the Week 2.0:  James Madison over SMU - #TwineTime always loves seeing a FCS school beat one of the big boys.  This is a perfect opportunity to see it happen again.  James Madison is a legit threat for the FCS championship this season.  SMU is average at best.

Colorado State def. Texas San Antonio

Charlotte def. Florida Atlantic

Louisiana Lafayette def. Akron

Toledo def. Arkansas State

Mississippi State def. Auburn - Both teams already with one loss on the season and in conference play.  The loser of this game is all but eliminated from SEC championship consideration....and it is only Week 4.

(25) Missouri def. Kentucky - The SEC team who continues to win and continues to get no respect....just keep plowing along Mizzu.  Someday we will all recognize you as the SEC contenders you have been over the past few seasons.

NC State def. South Alabama - The Wolfpack could be 4-0 after this weekend.

UTEP def. Incarnate Ward

(22) Wisconsin def. Hawaii

Houston over Texas State - Chance for the Cougars to go to 3-0 on the season.

GAME of the Week 2.0:  (13) Oregon def. (18) Utah - Another big time Pac-12 match up as undefeated Utah steps into the always dangerous Autzen Stadium to try and dethrone the Ducks hopes for another Pac-12 title.  Expect a close game until half time but, as is usually the case in Eugene, UO pulls away in the 3rd quarter.

Georgia Southern def. Idaho

San Jose State def. Fresno State

(19) USC def. Arizona State - Could both L.A. schools be in trouble in the desert on a Saturday night?  Don't be surprised if the pitch forks come out strong in this one and the state of Arizona goes for the sweep of L.A. schools this weekend.  Yet again, the theme of the weekend it appears, expect a close game in the #Pac12AfterDark

Enjoy the action everyone...and my apologies for missing last week.  Feel free to share your thoughts and your picks with me in the comment section below or find me on twitter.  Have the cold beverages on ice and the chicken wings soaked in your favorite seasoning, with this slate of games, you will be glued to your tv with your butt on your couch all day Saturday.