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Saturday, 17 September 2016

#BetweenTheHashMark: Week #3 Preview
Mid-September always provides potential slip up games for top contenders


Another week of hard work, early mornings and long nights has come and gone.  Welcome to the weekend.  It's time to add a few more deep grooves to that butt indent on your couch and enjoy some college football action sports fans.

In week one we had intense overtime games, massive upsets and a few blowouts.  We had to all know that kind of drama and intrigue wouldn't carry over into week two right?  Well, if you were expecting tons of excitement to match the opening week of the season on the turf last weekend, you probably went to bed Saturday night happy the NFL returned the next morning.  Week two did not provide too much drama to the whole #CFBPlayoff debate.  We did see many quality games on the field mind you...but no major upsets (except you TCU), rather we also saw way more blowouts and less-than-stellar final results too.

The top ranked teams basically dominated their opponents last week (minus one who had to sweat it out).  With blowouts upon blowouts upon blowouts, did any of them impress #TwineTime enough to move up (or down) the weekly #PowerRankings?  Let's find out:

NCAA

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

So even though all the top teams barely stressed out a quarter of football last weekend, we do see some movement.  The biggest move is Clemson.  For the second week in a row, the Tigers are looking less and less like a legit national championship contender.  The offense is struggling right now and they barely survived both "weaker" opponents.  And with those sweated out wins Clemson has to move down the rankings and now are below the #CFBPlayoff cut list.  Also worth noting is the new team in the coveted #6 spot: Washington Huskies!  The #6 spot each week will be reserved for a team maybe not quite up there for a playoff spot but a team on the verge of playoff conversation.  The Huskies have A LOT of attention towards them right now and many are considering them a dark horse pick.  Of course whether they survive the Pac-12 is another story...but for now, enjoy your spot with the best teams Huskies.

Up north, the CIS football season is getting very interesting as well.  The defending #VanierCup champions UBC T-Birds are struggling big time and were completely dominated last week by rival Calgary.  Last week we also saw crazy results in Ontario and Quebec.....and the Atlantic schools finally hit the turf.  Here are the updated CIS #PowerRankings:

CIS

1.  Calgary (LW: 4)
2.  Montreal (2)
3.  Carleton (6)
4.  Laval (5)
5.  Ottawa (NR)
6.  Saskatchewan (NR)

LOTS of movement in the rankings after last week's crazy CIS action.  Bye Bye UBC, Hello Calgary!  The Dino's destroyed the defending champs and are looking to be firing on all cylinders right now.  They have a monster of a match up this week on the road against newly ranked Saskatchewan though.  Also, who would have thought at the start of the season Carleton and Ottawa would be the dominant teams in Ontario?  Carleton has already beat Western.  Ottawa upset McMaster last week (as accurately predicted by #TwineTime btw) and has only surrendered 9 points ALL SEASON!  Defense wins championships and the Gee Gee's are looking like a championship contender.

With little to no upsets on the field last week, #TwineTime was able to pick up a high winning percentage with the predictions.  But there were a few notable wins as well, namely predicting Utah over BYU and Ohio beating Kansas.  What do we have in store this week?  It's time for #TwineTimePredictions:

NCAA


Last Week:  60 - 13 (82%)
Overall Record:  113 - 26 (81%)

GAME of the Week:  (10) Louisville def. (2) Florida State - MASSIVE game...both on full #CFBPlayoff implications but also within the ACC.  With Clemson looking very vulnerable right now, the winner of this game should have the inside track towards winning the ACC and earning that playoff berth.  FSU has looked good this season but so have Louisville.  The Cards are playing at home though and the crowd could be the difference.  Everyone is predicting an unpredictable season and upsets, this would be a minor upset based on rankings....but Louisville could turn the season on it's head quick here.

UPSET of the Week:  North Dakota State def. (13) Iowa - Yes! Yes! Yes!  What a HUGE match up we get right here.  We get the dominant FCS champions of North Dakota State going on the road to match up with a highly ranked power conference opponent.  Something has to give right?  Iowa is a good team...but so are the Bisons.  This is the upset everyone has been wanting to see since this match was originally scheduled.  Get excited college football fans, this should be a great game with HUGE upset potential!

Penn State def. Temple

(22) Oregon def. Nebraska - #GoDucks

(15) Tennessee def. Ohio

TCU def. Iowa State

Marshall def. Akron

Rutgers def. New Mexico

Middle Tennessee def. Bowling Green

(5) Clemson def. South Carolina State

Memphis def. Kansas

(9) Wisconsin def. Georgia State

Appalachian State def. (25) Miami (Fl.) - Ok App. State you should already have a ranked team conquest on your season but you fell short in the opening week.  This is redemption time...at home!  Week 3 is always a scary week for ranked teams vs. unranked teams and the Hurricanes should be VERY concerned.

Georgia Tech def. Vanderbilt

UCONN def. Virginia

Tulsa def. North Carolina A&T

Washington State def. Idaho

Kansas State def. Florida Atlantic

Ball State def. Eastern Kentucky

Central Michigan def. UNLV

Toledo def. Fresno State

San Diego State def. Northern Illinois

(4) Michigan def. Colorado

(1) Alabama def. (19) Ole Miss

UMASS def. Florida International

Kent State def. Monmouth

Western Kentucky def. Miami (OH)

North Carolina def. James Madison - Could this be a little trap game for the Heels?

Pittsburgh def. Oklahoma State

South Florida def. Syracuse

Virginia Tech def. Boston College

Western Michigan def. Illinois - The MAC came through for me (kind of) last week with a few upsets, this is a great opportunity for another one.

Kentucky def. New Mexico State

East Carolina def. South Carolina - East Carolina is coming off an upset last week, why not another one this week?  Plus, we kind of like seeing SEC teams upset right?

Colorado State def. Northern Colorado

Wyoming def. UC Davis

Oregon State def. Idaho State

Charlotte def. Eastern Michigan - Just as fast as I like to call a MAC upset win, I also know MAC teams are very prone to upset losses as well.  This could be a perfect example.

NC State def. Old Dominion

Georgia Southern def. Louisiana-Monroe

Wake Forest def. Delaware

Maryland def. UCF

Navy def. Tulane

SMU def. Liberty

Louisiana Lafayette def. South Alabama

Texas Tech def. Louisiana Tech

Southern Mississippi def. Troy

(20) LSU def. Mississippi State

(17) Texas A&M def. Auburn

Army def. UTEP

(24) Arkansas def. Texas State - The Hogs follow-up their huge OT upset win on the road vs. TCU last week with an exciting battle vs. Texas State....yay SEC scheduling!

(23) Florida def. North Texas

(12) Michigan State def. (18) Notre Dame - HUGE HUGE HUGE game right here.  The Irish cannot afford another loss if they are hoping to have any playoff chances.  The Spartans, on the other hand, need to head into B1G action undefeated to keep high playoff chances alive.  Let's hope this game lives up the hype.

(16) Georgia def. Missouri

(14) Oklahoma def. (3) Ohio State - See MSU - ND game above.  The Sooners already have a loss on their schedule and cannot afford another one.  Their entire season could be lost before they even enter conference play if they lose this game at home.  The Buckeyes are similar to the Spartans...they need to enter B1G play undefeated.

Duke def. Northwestern

(7) Stanford def. USC

(8) Washington def. Portland State

Nevada def. Buffalo

BYU def. UCLA

Utah def. San Jose State

(11) Texas def. California

Arizona def. Hawaii

CIS


Last Week:  10 - 2 (83%)
Overall Record:  16 - 7 (70%)

GAME of the Week:  (2) Calgary def. (10) Saskatchewan - The Canada West is so damn competitive, it almost feels like every week we get a match up of two highly ranked national teams.  Calgary is looking unstoppable so far this season though.  Last week they not only defeated UBC, the embarrassed the defending champs 35-8.  Both of these teams are undefeated.  Both of them have been at the top of the Canada West many, many times before.  This is probably the strongest competitive rivalry in Canada West.  Sure the provincial rivalry games are exciting and fun...but these two teams genuinely dislike one another.  USask is playing at home.  UofC has looked better this season though.  I expect another close game, maybe going down the final play, but the Dino's will pick up the big road win.

UPSET of the Week:  (7) Laurier def. (4) Carleton - So here I go praising the Ravens in the new rankings above...and then predict them to lose?  At home?  Say it ain't so #TwineTime!  Well, the OUA has already been unpredictable this season...why not add even more intrigue to the conference playoff race with this "upset".  Let's be fair here though.  Laurier is also undefeated this season and has been playing amazing football.  Remember they put up 74 points against York two weeks ago and do enter this road game following a bye week.  Carleton beat up Toronto 65-7 last week.  Expect a close battle here.

St. Mary's def. Mount Allison

McGill def. Bishop's

(1) Montreal def. Concordia

Manitoba def. Alberta - The loser of this game will have a very tough time making the Canada West playoffs.  I expect this game to basically be an elimination game...in week three!

Acadia def. St. FX - The Atlantic conference favourites look to go to 2-0 and establish themselves as the team to beat out East.

(9) McMaster def. Waterloo - Blowout city!  Waterloo has surrendered 57, 65 and 75 points in their three games this season.  This is going to be ugly way before half time.  Poor Waterloo in a way though.  Last week they played Western after they were upset by Carleton.  This week they get McMaster after they lost to Carleton.  Tough schedule for an already bad team.

(8) Ottawa def. Guelph

York def. Toronto - York you truly confuse me.  One week you win 57-13.  The next week you lose 74-3.  Last week you win 56-32.  Which team shows up this week?  The high offense one or the struggling just to get first down's one?  Given your opponent has surrendered points of 41, 32 and 65 in the first three weeks of the season, I expect to see the 50+ points team on the field this weekend.

(5) Western def. Queen's - Western won 75-14 last week.  Guess we can assume they were still quite pissed off over their upset loss two weeks ago?  Expect the same rage on the field this week...sorry Queen's.

(6) UBC def. Regina - The Rams pulled one of the biggest upsets of the season so far beating Manitoba last week.  Can they keep the upset bus rolling right into BC Place?  UBC is struggling hard as the defending national champions and if they hope to have any shot at the Canada West playoffs, let alone a repeat title, they cannot afford another loss...especially at home.  This could be another close, explosive (OT?) game.

(3) Laval def. Sherbrooke