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Saturday, 10 September 2016

#BetweenTheHashMark: Week #2 Preview
NCAA and CIS football full of great games


What an opening weekend in the college football world we just saw!!  We saw upsets (lots of them), close games and, of course, a few blow outs as well.  There was something for everyone.  Everyone believed heading into the season we would be in for lots of drama and intrigue but with numerous top 10 (and national championship contenders) suffering opening weekend losses, we could be in for the wildest season of college football ever!

As a result of top ranked teams being upset last weekend (looking at you Oklahoma, LSU, Notre Dame), the NCAA #PowerRankings see a shake-up in only the second week of play.  Here are your updated #TwineTime Power Rankings:

NCAA

1. Alabama (LW: 3)
2. Clemson (2)
3. Florida State (5)
4. Houston (NR)
5. Ohio State (NR)
6. Michigan (6)

The biggest move in the rankings belongs to Houston.  The Cougars "upset" previously #2 Oklahoma last week and, as a result, earn their ranking into the Top 6 and are now a strong threat towards making the #CFBPlayoff.  Alabama also earns huge points for their complete destruction of ranked USC in their opening game.  Clemson underwhelmed in Week 1 but did still collect a win, similar to Michigan beating minnow Hawaii.  Florida State beat a high ranking Ole Miss, earning them some movement up the rankings as well.  Will we see more carnage and upsets in Week 2 though?  I wouldn't place too many bets on it!

As for university football north of the border, the CIS season  followed suit to the theme taking place on the field south of the border.  We had a few major upsets last weekend, namely Carleton defeating Western.  Heading into the season Western looked to be the class of the OUA and favoured to make a strong Vanier Cup run....guess they should not have overlooked an ever-improving Carleton program.  This was a huge win for Carleton and could they become the team to beat in OUA now?  Also, Calgary "upset" Manitoba to kick-off the Canada West season on the road.  Both teams should still be considered a threat in a deep Canada West conference but Manitoba sure looked confident heading into the season.  With these upsets, let's take a look at the updated #PowerRankings:

CIS

1.  UBC (1)
2. Montreal (2)
3. McMaster (4)
4. Calgary (NR)
5. Laval (3)
6. Carleton (NR)

To no surprise we welcome Calgary and Carleton to the Top 6 rankings.  Both teams looked very impressive in their "upset" victories last weekend.  UBC, Montreal and McMaster right now could be easily inter-changeable at the top.  Montreal defeated a very strong Laval to open the season, which was impressive.  UBC holds the top ranking though as the defending Vanier Cup champions.  I do expect to see these rankings jump around all season though if the opening week's results are any indication for the type of season we are in for.

Last week was a pretty successful week for the #TwineTimePredictions.  Sure, missed the boat on the major upsets but I did call Richmond beating Virginia as my upset of the week...that counts for something right?  The CIS picks, on the other hand, were a huge struggle.  Hopefully Week 2 will be a bit better for both.

Bring on Week #2....

NCAA

Overall Record: 53-13 (78%)

GAME of the Week:  Utah def. BYU - A great in-state rivalry game again this week.  This is a huge game.  Both teams have high expectations heading into the season.  I like BYU....but I think Utah is better!  Both of these teams may be unranked right now but I believe both will be ranked in the Top 20 by the end of the season.  The winner of this game could use this victory as the motivator to move the season forward in a positive way....plus who doesn't want some bragging rights over a state rival?

UPSET of the Week: Ohio def. Kansas - I said it all last season, I said it last week...Kansas is not a good football program.  Ok, yes Kansas did win last week.  Congrats, you beat a team who hasn't won a game in over a year.  The winning streak ends here though.  The MAC is always a dangerous conference for the Big 5 teams to play and are very capable of pulling off upsets throughout the season.  This game would only be considered an upset based on the conferences each team plays in....but in reality Ohio should be the favourite to win this game and should dominate.  Go Bobcats!

(2) Clemson def. Troy - The Tigers cannot afford another sloppy effort in a heavily favoured game against a weaker opponent.  The pollsters are watching Clemson...

(3) Florida State def. Charleston Southern

(5) Michigan def. UCF - Another game where we will have no idea just how good (or bad) Michigan is as they should beat up on UCF, a team who failed to win a game last season.

(9) Georgia def. Nicholls State

(20) Texas A&M def. Prairie View A&M

(22) Oklahoma State def. Central Michigan

Army def. Rice

Rutgers def. Howard

Pittsburgh def. Penn State - Great to see this inter-state rivalry being played again.  It's been 4 years...would be great to see this played every 2nd year at the latest.

Cincinnati def. Purdue

Minnesota def. Indiana State

Nebraska def. Wyoming

Boston College def. UMass

NC State def. East Carolina

Temple def. Stony Brook

(1) Alabama def. Western Kentucky

(4) Ohio State def. Tulsa

(6) Houston def. Lamar

(10) Wisconsin def. Akron - The Badgers made a monumental move up the rankings upsetting LSU last weekend, can they continue the momentum for the season now?

(18) Notre Dame def. Nevada - No more slip-ups allowed for the Irish if they want to have any outside shot at making the playoff.

(19) Ole Miss def. Wofford

(23) Baylor def. SMU

Air Force def. Georgia State

West Virginia def. Youngstown State

USC def. Utah State

Georgia Tech def. Mercer

Appalachian State def. Old Dominion - Poor AppSt!  They really should have upset Tennessee last weekend.  Let's see if they can regroup though and win a game they are favoured in.

Northwestern def. Ilinois State

Duke def. Wake Forest

Navy def. UCONN

Bowling Green def. North Dakota

Florida def. Kentucky

Ball State def. Indiana - Another MAC upset brewing?

UTSA def. Colorado State

Middle Tennessee def. Vanderbilt

San Jose State def. Portland State

Miami (OH) def. Eastern Illinois

(8) Washington def. Idaho

(11) Texas def. UTEP

(14) Oklahoma def. La.-Monroe

(15) TCU def. Arkansas

(16) Iowa def. Iowa State

Virginia Tech def. (17) Tennessee - The Vols looked horrible last week, escaping the upset bid.  The Hokies are a much better team and will be looking to capitalize on an uneasy Vols team this week.

(21) LSU def. Jacksonville State

(24) Oregon def. Virginia - #GoDucks

(25) Miami (Fl.) def. Florida Atlantic

Colorado def. Idaho State

Charlotte def. Elon

Kent State def. N.C. A&T

Marshall def. Morgan State

Louisiana Tech def. South Carolina State

North Texas def. Bethune-Cookman

Toledo def. Maine

Coastal Carolina def. Florida A&M

Northern Illinois def. South Florida - Another MAC win?

Georgia Southern def. South Alabama

Western Michigan def. N.C. Central

La-Lafayette def. McNeese State

Mississippi State def. South Carolina - We get another All-SEC match up this week featuring South Carolina.  Can the Gamecocks start the season, and SEC season, 2-0?  I am not so confident!

Southern Miss def. Savannah State

Auburn def. Arkansas State

North Carolina def. Illinois

Missouri def. Eastern Michigan

UCLA def. UNLV

New Mexico def. New Mexico State - Another state rivalry game folks!

Tulane def. Southern

Arizona State def. Texas Tech

Fresno State def. Sacramento State

Boise State def. Washington State

California def. San Diego State

Arizona def. Grambling State

Hawaii def. Tenn-Martin

CIS

Overall Record: 6-5 (55%)

GAME of the Week: (3) Calgary def. (2) UBC - The Dino's looked like the championship calibre team of old last week in beating favoured Manitoba on the road.  This week they have their home opener against the defending Vanier Cup champions and will be looking to reclaim their spot at the top of the Canada West standings.  UBC looked strong in the opening win over Alberta last week but not as impressive as Calgary (and against weaker opposition).  This is easily the game of the week with the winner probably taking the #1 spot in next week's rankings.  Calgary is at home so I am going with the minor upset and picking the home team.

UPSET of the Week:  Ottawa def. (5) McMaster - There is something about this Gee Gee team that makes me think the entire OUA should be scared.  Last weekend, on the road, they dominated towards a 65-1 victory over Waterloo.  Yes, Waterloo is an inferior opponent, I get that.  However, winning a blow out game on the road to start your season also gives you massive confidence...especially heading into a monster conference game against highly ranked McMaster.  Last week we saw a major upset in OUA play with Carleton beating Western, could lightning strike twice in the OUA in back-to-back weeks?  I say it does!

(1) Montreal def. Bishops

Saskatchewan def. Alberta

Acadia def. St. Mary's

Mount Allison def. St. FX

(6) Carleton def. Toronto

(10) Guelph def. Queen's

(7) Western def. Waterloo

York def. Windsor

(4) Laval def. Concordia

Sherbrooke def. McGill