ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Games to Watch this Weekend 14.8

Rebels stare Death Valley in the face
Just a handful of really exciting game this weekend but certainly some room to think that there might be an upset here and there.  Many teams we thought had the talent to be serious contenders have lost games or not looked quite as good as we thought and while they might not be competing for a spot in the playoff any longer, they sure can ruin somebody else's road to glory.

Who's playin?

  • UConn at #18 East Carolina - (ESPNU) Check it out to see ECU's QB Shane Carden light it up.  He has been one of the most prolific passers in college football but doens't get on National TV too often.  I don't get the feeling that UConn is going to slow him down so it might be a good opportunity to catch him play. ECU wins 52-13
  • Chargers at Broncos - (NFL/CBS) Great matchup here.  The Chargers have been one of the hottest teams in the NFL over the past few weeks and the Peyton Mannings have the Broncos on their team, so that is always must watch football. Broncos win 31-20
  • South Florida at Cincinnati - (ESPN2) How often are there two watchable Friday night games in a season?  This is one of those weekends.  Check out Cincy's QB Gunner Kiel and their air it out offense against South Florida.  USF always seems to have a very athletic secondary. Cincy wins 35-18
  • #6 Oregon at Cal - (FS1)  Could the Pac12 make their games any less watchable?  Why on earth would they put Top ranked Oregon against Cal this late on a Friday night and air it on a channel most people don't know exists?  Seriously?  The other night I tried to watch playoff baseball (super bored I guess) and after searching through "all the channels" two or three times gave up and figured that it just wasn't on TV.  I was surprised that the MLB wouldn't air all their playoff games on TV but rationalized it given how boring it generally is but later saw it listed on line the game was on Fox Sports 1.  Then I had to look online to find out what channel that is for Time Warner Cable subscribers.  Took forever.  You are probably as bored reading this description as I was when I finally turned the game on for a minute only to decide I should probably just go to bed.  Anyway, Oregon is going to score 70 points this week. Oregon wins 70-35
  • Rutgers at #18 Nebraska - (ESPN2) Can Rutgers surprise the heavily favored Cornhuskers?  Maybe.  I think that Rutgers is very good against the run and given how poorly Nebraska throws the ball there is a good chance that they just play this game like they did the Navy offense.  Nebraska's DE Randy Gregory and RB Ameer Abdullah are some of the best in the country but the team as a whole has looked vulnerable at times.  If this game were at Rutgers I could see the Scarlet Knights surprising them but I think in Nebraska, they'll lose a close game.  Huskers win 24-20
  • Michigan at #8 Michigan State - (ABC) Michigan is coming off a happy win for them against PSU but Michigan State is fresh off a dominating performance against Indiana.  This one feels like it could get ugly fast if MSU is able to stuff Devin Gardner.  The Spartans also have some great weapons in Lippett and Langford that will be hard for the Wolverines to slow them down.  Spartans win 42-13
  • #3 Ole Miss at #24 LSU - (ESPN) A top ranked Ole Miss team travels to Death Valley to take on the talented Tigers.  If there was some sort of upset alert logo or buzzer that I had, I'd use it here.  I feel like LSU is just too talented on both sides of the ball to lose more than three games in a year and I'm not completely sold on the Rebels ability to play at a #3 in the country type level week in and week out for a full season.  They have a few players that are special but LSU wins the talent battle (they do that against just about everyone though) and I think if their QB can make a few plays as opposed to just not, they make this close and pull away in the second half.  LSU wins 17-16
  • South Carolina at #5 Auburn - (SEC) Auburn is somehow under the radar here after playing in the National Championship game last year, returning a good portion of that team, and generally looking very good in all of their games this season.  Now that I've said that I think this is another game that could be an upset.  Yes South Carolina has been disappointing this year but they are disappointing because they have so much talent and we expect that talent to win battles.  While they've come up on the short end of that stick more often then we thought they would it doesn't mean that they can't hang.  Mike Davis hasn't gotten going this year and their D has been underwhelming but let's not forget that this team beat Georgia earlier this year.  Could be a very entertaining game with talent all over the field.  Auburn wins 31-26
  • Lions at Falcons - (FOX) MORNING FOOTBALL ON THE EAST COAST!!  How Californian!? I'm still surprised that Atlanta is this bad.  I realize that their line is still banged up and they basically just have a battering ram playing running back but between Julio Jones and Matt Ryan I have to think they should be winning more of these games.  My gut says that without Calvin Johnson playing and the Falcons approaching this like a business trips that their lives depend on, that they'll get the W.  Falcons win 24-20
Cam Newton brings a whole lot of offense to the Seattle defense.
  • Seahawks at Panthers - (CBS)  The Seahawks are going to lose again.  I just don't see how they can travel across the country to play the early game against a pretty good Panthers team and get the win.  Between LBs Davis and Kuechly I think the Panthers will neutralize Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch forcing QB Wilson and his WRs to make all the plays.  Conversely the Seahawks have no answer for the Panthers best weapons Cam Newton, Greg Olson, and Cam Newton.  Panthers win 30-24
  • Eagles at Cardinals - (FOX) Both teams are 5-1 and fun to watch.  The Cardinals have been unable to get Larry Fitzgerald going this season but that doesn't appear to be slowing them down at all.  The Eagles finally look like they have McCoy going again.  Eagles win 32-27
  • Packers at Saints - (NBC)  The Saints are just like the Falcons, what is going on with these teams in the NFC South?  The Packers started the season slow but Rogers looks like a top QB right now and I wouldn't be surprised if Brees returns to form in this game.  I'll keep my fingers crossed for a shootout here.  Saints win 42-38
  • Washington at Dallas - (ESPN)  The Cowboys are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now and Washington is not.  They are down to their third string QB, who just happens to be Texas quaterbacking legend Colt McCoy, the all time winningest QB from the University of Texas!  How odd is that?  The Cowboys are going to steamroll the team from Washington though.  Dallas wins 31-13

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

College Football Weekly Digest 14.8

Kevin White take
The biggest news from the past weekend is the loss by Baylor to previously unranked but always saucy looking West Virginia team.  The Mountaineers QB, Clint Trickett, to WR, Kevin White combo has been one of the best in the country this season and it really stood out against a Baylor defense that hasn't looked as bend but don't breaky as usual these past few weeks.

Alabama absolutely destroyed Texas A&M too.  I definitely did not see that coming as A&M's offense appeared to be an unstoppable juggernaut until about two weeks ago.   

In other news Notre Dame and Florida State played a toss up.  Both teams looked great and while Florida State won, I think this game showed that both teams are Playoff contenders.

Kansas State beat Oklahoma which is somewhat surprising unless you've seen them both play this year.  Kansas State QB, Jake Waters is very good.

TCU blew out Oklahoma State which is notable as the horned frogs absolutely outplayed Baylor last week except for the final minutes of the game when they incredibly gave up 24 points to lose.  At this point I'd rate TCU over Baylor despite last week's game.

It looks like the Big Ten is going to come down to Michigan State and Ohio State with Nebraska a somewhat close third right now.  The Pac12 is a total mystery if you just look at the box scores but I still think Oregon is the best team by a wide margin.  The SEC is totally up for grabs but I think Georgia looks like the best team in the East.  The Big12 comes down to TCU and Kansas State with West Virginia a surprising third for me at this point but they are really just getting into the swing of their schedule.  Oh yeah, the ACC still exists.  Could they be more boring?  UNC, Virginia, Pitt, BC, Miami, blech!  These teams are all so mediocre or bad.  Syracuse and Wake Forest are so bad they almost don't even count. Nobody longs for 1983 quite like ACC fans, except maybe Notre Dame fans (that glorious year they started retirement!).  Perfect!  FSU and Clemson are easily the cream of the crop here but FSU already beat them without their best player on the field.  Boring.

Heisman rundown is unchanged:
  1. Prescott
  2. Mariota
  3. Golson
  4. Carden
  5. Gordon
  6. Cooper
  7. Abdullah
SKOHRboard's Top 25:
  1. Mississippi State
  2. Mississippi +1
  3. Florida State +1
  4. Notre Dame +2
  5. Alabama +2
  6. Oregon +2
  7. Michigan State +5
  8. Ohio State +1
  9. TCU -4
  10. Auburn 
  11. Kansas State +2
  12. Georgia -1
  13. Arizona State +7
  14. Arizona +4
  15. West Virginia +9
  16. Baylor -14
  17. East Carolina -3
  18. Nebraska +6
  19. Oklahoma -4
  20. Utah -1
  21. Louisville (NR)
  22. USC -1
  23. Minnesota (NR)
  24. Clemson -1
  25. UCLA (NR)
Dropouts: Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Stanford

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Games to Watch this Weekend 14.7

Has Meyer been playing the long game?  An eye on the Rutgers job this whole time?  
There might not be as many blockbuster type games this weekend as there were the previous two but there are still good matchups at nearly every time slot.  Apparently those Mississippi schools can hang this season.  We are always learning.  Alabama looked mortal against Arkansas last week and Nick Saban hates you for thinking that.  TCU is a pretty good football team but Baylor is juuuuust a little bit better.  The Pac12 is as evenly matched as any conference has been in recent memory.  

In the NFL last week we saw the resurgence of an absolutely dominant Eagles team as they made Eli make the Eli face so much so, that ESPN actually aired a montage of the Eli face.  This is not that gif, it's from week one from last year, but I think you get the point.  Also the Eliface is a SKOHRboard favorite so... enjoy!

Let's hope there is some more of that this weekend!!

Here's what to watch this weekend:

  • Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh - (ESPN) Hey look!  Recognizable football teams are playing and you just got home from work!  Great!  Actually the Pitt running back James Connor led the NCAA in rushing for the first five weeks of the season or so, then he ran into Iowa and never looked the same.  Also Virginia Tech beat Ohio State at the one point this year so that's something. Va Tech wins 28-18
  • NYJ at New England - (CBS/NFL) If you are a Jets fan and you are being honest with yourself, how much do you miss Mark Sanchez right now?  I feel like the Jets QBs have gone a combined 3-36 passing over the last two weeks, which if you are keeping track at home, is bad.  The Patriots probably aren't as bad as everyone thought they were when they got crushed by KC but they also probably aren't as good as they have been in recent years.  Wouldn't it be a hoot if the Jets won?  Patriots win 24-13
  • #4 Baylor at West Virginia - (Something called Fox Sports 1)* This is another one of those classic Big12 matchups where Defense is something they play only in those fancy coastal towns!  "Here in the middle we throw that ball up fer grabs on every dang play like a real football team is 'sposed ta." - Everyone at Baylor and West Virginia.  West Virginia has been my favorite Dark Horse team this season after playing both Alabama and Oklahoma very tight in two unfortunately losing efforts.  If they can beat Baylor I think they jump into the Top 15. But they'll have to beat Baylor first. *Honestly Fox Sports 1 just move your channel next to ESPN so people can find it.  I spent probably 5 minutes scrolling through "all" the channels several times last night completely perplexed as to how the playoff baseball game wasn't on TV only to look it up online and find that it was on FS1, which is after all the foreign channels and even the music channels that nobody goes to.  Baylor wins 61-53 
  • #14 Kansas State at #11 Oklahoma - (ESPN) Kansas State QB Jake Waters looked awesome against Auburn but unfortunately he was the only one that looked that way.  They need WR Tyler Lockett to make some plays as he is certainly capable of to beat Oklahoma but this should be a great game.  Kansas State wins 31-28
  • #21 Texas A&M at #7 Alabama - (CBS) Can A&M's QB Kenny Hill get his mojo back against a vulnerable looking Alabama team?  Can Alabama's stud skill players Yelden and Cooper bust out against an A&M defense that is very inconsistent?  I'd watch.  A&M wins 38-30

  • Rutgers at #13 Ohio State - (ABC) Rutgers begins the toughest stretch of games in the program's history with this matchup in Ohio.  Their defense has looked very good this year but mobile QBs have given them fits (see Howard).  I have a bad feeling that despite being relatively inexperienced, Ohio State's Barrett and the overwhelming talent of their WRs will make for a long day with Rutgers shaky secondary.  Hopefully Rutgers QB Gary Nova can play like he did against Michigan and rise to the occasion making this a game that they can win despite Vegas predicting they'll lose by three touchdowns.  Ohio State wins 36-24 (kills me to write that)
  • #15 Oklahoma State at #12 TCU - (FS1)  Has Oklahoma State played a game since losing to Florida State in week 1?  Doesn't really feel like it.  They are another one of those Big12 teams capable of putting up 80 points if you aren't watching them but I have a feeling TCU went back to the drawing board after giving up 24 points in a row last week to lose a heartbreaker to Baylor.  TCU wins 48-44
  • #5 Notre Dame at #2 Florida State - (ABC) This game has been all over the news this week as FSU's delinQB Jamies Winston continues to get bailed out by his coach whose livelihood is riding on the success of a wildly immature and out of touch 20 year old who thinks he is above the law and smarter than everyone else.  Did that come off as heavy handed?  I just think this kid needs a reality check or he is going to find himself in serious trouble sooner than later.  In the battle of choir boy QBs I guess Notre Dame's Everett Golson, who was only suspended all of last year for being caught cheating on exams, comes out on top but man does this game feel slimy.  I hope they cancel it and everyone just agrees that that would be for the best.  Nobody wins.
  • #23 Stanford at #17 Arizona State - (ESPN)  This game is the Week 7 installment of two highly ranked Pac12 teams playing against one another and somehow the whole conference loses no matter what.  I can't tell what would be the best outcome in this game for the conference.  Stanford somehow cannot put points on the board with 4 star guys at every position when the rest of the country seemingly doesn't know what to do with all the points falling out of their pockets every weekend.  If they can figure that out they might be a Top 20 team but until then they are almost painful to watch.  Keep an eye on ASU's WR Jaelen Strong, that guy can play.  Arizona State wins 31-20
  • Bengals at Colts - (CBS)  Both teams have looked very good at times with the Colts coming on really strong lately.  Andrew Luck just makes play after play and is worth the price of admission every weekend.  The Bengals were good until Tom Brady blew their doors off in New England two weeks ago.  Colts win 35-27
  • Saints at Lions - (Fox)  Somehow the Saints only have two wins so far.  They were probably a Top 5 pick to win the Super Bowl before the season started.  What gives?  The Lions will most likely be without WR Calvin Johnson so the Saints might have the ability to steal this one on the road.  Saints win 31-20.  It could be 31-26 but the Lions will miss at least two field goals.
  • Panthers at Packers - (Fox)  Two of the most entertaining QBs in the NFL.  What's not to like?  Cam Newton is seriously like 80% of the Panthers offense and will need to find someone else to share the load or he won't make it through 16 games this season let along playoffs.  Aaron Rodgers looked great last weekend but needs to keep it up for the Panthers to win as Eddie Lacy has been underwhelming at best this season.  Panthers win 24-21
  • 49ers at Broncos - (NBC)  Kaepernick is probably the most divisive QB in the NFL as he can look transcendent at times and like Eli Manning at others.  He and Peyton might be the most opposite good QBs in the league and it should be a fantastic game to watch.  Both teams are extremely competitive and have fiery leadership.  Broncos win 38-28
All Weekend

Eagles on a bye week... chilling.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

College Football Weekly Digest 14.7

Is Dak Prescott running away with the Heisman?
The only thing this weekend was missing was another Rutgers' W.  Amiright?  Mississippi is my #1 team by any measure right now and I don't even think it's close.  Once Florida State loses some random and horribly frustrating game and somebody finally makes Winston own up to all the awful/dumb things he's done I really don't see FSU in the CFB Playoff this year.  Both Mississippi teams fooled me and kept rolling this week with good looking wins over Auburn and Texas A&M.  Baylor also showed that they belong at the top with a great comeback win over TCU who showed that they are a contender even in the loss.

Notre Dame's defense looked shaky against a beleaguered UNC team and Alabama played Arkansas too close for comfort.  Both could be considered look-a-head games but if you want to be in the CFB Playoff you cannot afford to look-a-head.  Oregon got back to looking like Oregon against one of the most hot and cold teams of the season as they dismantled UCLA.  I think we are at a point now where there are 12 teams that have really separated themselves from the pack and I'd be surprised if one of the four playoff teams came from outside that group.

Who could still win the Heisman?  SKOHRboard's Hesiman Hopefuls:
  1. Dak Prescott, QB - Miss State
  2. Marcus Mariota, QB - Oregon
  3. Everett Golson, QB - Notre Dame
  4. Shane Carden, QB - East Carolina
  5. Melvin Gordon, RB - Wisconsin
  6. Amari Cooper, WR - Alabama
  7. Ameer Abdullah, RB - Nebraska

SKOHRboard's College Football Top 25:
  1. Mississippi State +1
  2. Baylor +5
  3. Ole Miss
  4. Florida State +2
  5. TCU +3
  6. Notre Dame -1
  7. Alabama -3
  8. Oregon +2
  9. Ohio State +8
  10. Auburn -9
  11. Georgia +4
  12. Michigan State 
  13. Kansas State
  14. East Carolina +4
  15. Oklahoma -1
  16. Oklahoma State +6
  17. Texas A&M -6
  18. Arizona -9
  19. Utah
  20. Arizona State +5
  21. USC (NR)
  22. Stanford -6
  23. Clemson -3
  24. Nebraska (NR)
  25. West Virginia -4

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Games to Watch this Weekend 14.6

Auburn comin'
There are some fun games Thursday night but drop your plans for Saturday afternoon because 3:30pm has some great matchups that you do not want to miss.  

Hard to believe that the Red River "Showdown"  at Noon and the Florida v LSU at 7:30pm game aren't really noteworthy this season.  Sidebar:  How strange is it that three of the highest revenue programs in Florida, Michigan, and Texas are a combined 7-8 right now?  It wouldn't be surprising at all if they come out of the weekend 7-11 either.

Let's see who's playing!

  • BYU at UCF - (ESPN) A Taysum Hill-less BYU travels to Central Florida.  BYU wins 34-24
  • Indianapolis at Houston - (CBS) Andrew Luck and the Colts take on a surprisingly frisky Texans team led by JJ Watt who is looking just about unstoppable again this season.  Indy wins 20-17
  • #13 Georgia at #23 Missouri - (CBS) Just when Georgia seems to have everything moving in the right direction their star running back Todd Gurley goes and gets suspended.  Oops.  This game is going to be a lot closer now and there is a good chance that Mizzou can upset Georgia too.  Missouri wins 27-26
  • #12 Oregon at #18 UCLA - (Fox) This game would have been so much more exciting if it happened two weeks ago when they were both not coming off of horrendous championship dream crushing loses.  They are both still in contention to win the Pac12 but so is everyone else in the Pac12 except for Colorado who has apparently been seen googling "Is there College Football Relegation."  Watch this game to see if the two star QBs, Oregon's Mariota and UCLA's Hundley can look the part of Heisman winners like everyone hoped they would before the season started.  Well Mariota has looked great this year with the exception of just a decent showing last week. Oregon wins 44-20
  • #9 TCU at #5 Baylor - (ABC) The second biggest game of the weekend here and a battle between the top two teams in the Big12.  Is TCU for real?  Is Baylor for real?  I think TCU might surprise some people because they actually have this thing heretofore undiscovered in Big12 circles called "defense."  Both teams have prolific offenses, the Horned Frogs probably more surprising than the Bears who have been scoring 15 TDs a game for years now dating back to the pre-RG3 era.  This game has tremendous potential and I'm really excited to see Bryce Petty continue to lead his team to the promised land even after breaking his back in Week 1 and continuing to play!  Baylor wins 48-31
  • #2 Auburn at #3 Mississippi State - (CBS) Here's the big one.  Auburn has been playing top notch football for a few years now and in my opinion has more experience in these big time games than Misssissippi State does.  That said the Bulldogs have looked every bit the part of a top team in their games so far this season.  Both QBs, Auburn's Nick Marshall and MSU's Dak Prescott, play some highly entertaining football and this game should be a lot of fun to watch.  The winner will have a big leg up on taking home the SEC West title.  Auburn wins 27-24
  • #3 Ole Miss at #14 Texas A&M - (ESPN) Can Ole Miss do it again?  They got way up to beat Alabama at home last week but now they have to go on the road to play an angry A&M team with a very powerful offense.  I think it's going to be hard for Ole Miss to pull this one off as A&M looks to have a rebound game and show that they belong at the top of the Conference but that's why they play the games.  Keep an eye on Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell.  He was the top WR recruit in the country two years ago and looks to be playing every bit the part as he was a one man wrecking ball against a top tier Alabama secondary last week.
  • USC at #10 Arizona - (ESPN2)  Arizona showed up big last week when they knocked off Oregon and will have to do so again as they face a flawed but dangerous USC team.  The Cats haven't exactly been dominant this year but they do keep winning.  It should be fun to see if Rich Rod can keep their mojo going this week and maybe help everyone better understand exactly what is going on in the Pac12 this season. USC wins 32-28
  • Patriots at Bills - (FOX) Tom Brady is back!  Did he ever leave?  He might be playing better but I don't think the Patriots are as good as they have been in recent years.  The Bills with Orton now in his second week with the team actually look pretty decent.  I have a feeling that the Bills front seven defenders are going to give Brady more than he can handle on Sunday.  Bills win 21-17

  • Panthers at Bengals (FOX) The Bengals did not come to play in Prime Time last week but have a fascinating matchup against the Panthers this weekend.  The Panthers are basically a Cam Newton only Offense and a very good defense.  Can the Bengals shut down Newton after looking so vulnerable against Brady and the Pats?  Bengals win 28-20
  • Bears at Falcons - (FOX) Could two teams swing more wildly from week to week?  At times they look like serious playoff contenders and the next week look completely unable to contend.  Both teams need to get things moving in the right direction and there is no better time than now. Falcons win 32-30
  • Cowboys at Seahawks - (FOX)  The Cowboys face a major test on Sunday as they travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks.  I think Romo is going to have a long day as the DBs in Seattle won' t be so easy to throw desperation heaves against as the Texans D was last week.  Should be fun to watch Russell Wilson and Lynch try to get it going against a Cowboys defense that has surpassed just about everyone's preseason expectations.  Seahawks win 38-17
  • Giants at Eagles - (NBC)  Game time!  Assuming the Cowboys get brought back to Earth by the Seahawks in the afternoon game, this one is for the lead in the NFC East.  The Giants have looked much more formidable lately and the Eagles have collected perhaps the flukiest four wins of anyone this season.  We all know that Eli is more than capable of dropping the football right into Eagles players hands for defensive TDs but unfortunately he doesn't punt too.  Can the Eagles get McCoy going this week?  He's looked mostly terrible for the past three weeks but that could be due to the OLine being banged up.  Eagles win 27-26

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

College Football Weekly Digest 14.6

Rutgers is sky high.
What a weekend!  That was ridiculous.  A total of eleven teams in the Top 25 rankings lost!  Oregon, Alabama, and Oklahoma all lost and they were teams #2, #3, and #4 in the AP rankings.  Personally I like to keep my rankings highly fluid because I feel like we learn so much about teams each week that holding on to any preconceived notions about what teams are better than others is silly given the incredibly limited sample size we are working with.  However, this weekend has thrown all of my ranking capabilities in compete turmoil, they were simply not prepared for what has happened here.  Fortunately that was only Week 6 and we have quite a few more games to play.

In happy news, Rutgers beat Michigan for their first win as a member of the Big Ten Conference.  It was a back and forth game that saw Gary Nova turn in one of his best Collegiate performances.  The defense rose to the occasion getting stops when they needed to and despite some pretty bad calls against them managed to stop Michigan when they needed to.  Let's also not fail to mention Rutgers' ability to block kicks.  Yowza can Kemoko Turay get up there!

This weekend also saw some pretty dramatic changes in our Heisman rankings.  Let's see what happened there first.

Heisman Watch through 6 weeks:
  1. Dak Prescott, QB - Mississippi State
  2. Marcus Mariota, QB - Oregon
  3. Todd Gurley, RB - Georgia
  4. Everett Golson, QB - Notre Dame
  5. Shane Carden, QB - Eastern Carolina
  6. Kenny Hill, QB - Texas A&M
  7. Melvin Gordon, QB - Wisconsin
  8. Ameer Abdullah, RB - Nebraska
  9. Amari Cooper, WR - Alabama
Dropped out - Taysom Hill, QB - BYU broke his leg in this weekend's game and unfortunately as impressive as he's been so far this year this injury precludes him from doing what needs to be done over the course of an entire season to win this award.  You have to feel bad for Hill and the Cougars who were really playing great football this season.

SKOHRboard's College Football Top 25:
  1. Auburn +3
  2. Mississippi State +7
  3. Ole Miss +7
  4. Alabama -3
  5. Notre Dame +6
  6. Florida State
  7. Baylor
  8. TCU (NR)
  9. Arizona (NR)
  10. Oregon -8
  11. Texas A&M -6
  12. Michigan State
  13. Kansas State +1
  14. Oklahoma -11
  15. Georgia +1
  16. Stanford +6
  17. Ohio State +8
  18. East Carolina
  19. Utah (NR)
  20. Clemson -1
  21. West Virginia -8
  22. Oklahoma State +2
  23. LSU -8
  24. UCLA -1
  25. Arizona State (NR)
Dropped Out: USC, Nebraska, Wisconsin, BYU

Don't forget to "like" SKOHRboard's Facebook page, follow @SKOHR on Twitter, and if you enjoyed this article please Bookmark and Share it with your friends.  You can easily do all three with the links included here, the buttons just below this, and the gadgets to the right of the page!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Games to Watch this Weekend 14.5

Another one of these games please.
More big time games this weekend for your viewing pleasure!  There will be some huge SEC matchups with highly ranked teams.  The Michigan Wolverines will finally stop avoiding the Scarlet Knights after 135 years of ducking Rutgers, the Nation's longest winning College Football program, as they face off in New Jersey on Saturday night.  There will also be a big barometer game between Notre Dame and Stanford, the outcome of which should help us better understand how the Pac12 stacks up with some other conferences.

A schedule of where to point your eyeballs this weekend:

  • Minnesota at Green Bay - Both of these NFC North teams had big program wins last weekend.  The Vikings won big on the debut start of their first round QB, Teddy Bridgewater and the Packers returned to playing like we all thought they could in a lopsided win.  Unfortunately for the Vikings, Bridgewater's potential is already in question as he has been dealing with a sprained ankle on a short week and will be a game time call tonight.
  • Arizona at #2 Oregon - The Ducks look to prove themselves against a team that might actually play as fast as they do.  Arizona hasn't looked nearly as impressive over 4 quarters in any game this year as the Ducks have but maybe they can change that tonight?
  • #6 Texas A&M at #12 Mississippi State -  (ESPN) These teams play just like one another and Kenny Hill looks like a younger Dax Prescott.  Prescott might be more athletic but they both have fantastic arms and use their escapability as a weapon.  The winner here will be the team who can contain the QB and cover the WRs.
  • #20 Ohio State at Maryland - (ABC) This is a big one for both schools as Ohio State wants to prove that they are still the top dog in the B1G and Maryland wants to show that they can hang with ranked teams, something they haven't done in a long time but with 18th year QB CJ Brown supposedly returning from injury to lead the Turtles it could be a great game.
  • SMU at #22 East Carolina - (ESPNU) If you like points, Eastern Carolina led by Heisman hopeful QB Shane Carden might put up 150 against a pony defense that has tried two tactics this season, shrugging indifference and outright giving up.  Neither of which has done much to stop opponents and the Pirates have a habit of racking up TDs lately against even some formidable foes.
  • Florida at Tennessee - (SECN) Made the list only due to talent on hand and notable rivalry, the outcome is largely inconsequential.  
  • #3 Alabama at #11 Ole Miss - (CBS) Am I the only one that feels like this game won't even be close?  We've all been congratulating Alabama's QBs on their brave performances but they have also been the only weak spot on an almost impossibly talented team this year.  If they have even a decent showing against and Ole Miss team that has some great talent in spots, they will win by at least 20.
  • #4 Oklahoma at #25 TCU - (FOX) TCU has had a spunky defense this year but it will be a tough challenge for them to stand up to the enormous Sooner offensive line.  If they can get some pressure off the edge and somehow jam up the running lanes it will be a lot of fun to see Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight try to win one through the air.
  • #14 Stanford at #9 Notre Dame - (NBC)  Both teams look and feel like Top 15 squads right now and a big win here will help propel either into the upper echelon discussion but a close game will only add to the confusion of ranking the Pac12.  Also look for Notre Dame's QB Everett Golson to put up a highlight performance against a stout Stanford defense.  He could really make a leap in the Heisman race with a big game on Saturday.
Rutgers looks to find similar success against a non-directional Michigan school

  • Michigan at Rutgers - (BTN) Could the Scarlet Knights put the nail in Michigan's Athletic Dept coffin?  There have been student protests on campus in Ann Arbor this week as the kids are fed up with the team and the staff running the show there.  Those kids decided to go to Michigan to see a winning football team and now the just have to go to class and watch loses to Utah and Minnesota.  I wouldn't be happy either.  Rutgers would be 5-1 and in great position with a win on Saturday night before a bye week and a game at Ohio State on the horizon.
  • #15 LSU at #5 Auburn - (ESPN) This one is going to go a long way to sorting out the SEC.  Both teams are loaded with talent but LSU's offense has largely been invisible against teams that play defense while Auburn's offense is a threat to anyone.  Matching up against Auburn's QB Nick Marshall is tough for anyone but the team speed on LSU's defense might be the most difficult challenge for him this season.
  • Arizona State at #16 USC - (FOX)  If ASU's QB Taylor Kelly is back this should be an interesting game as both teams look talented but have had devastating loses already this season.  If he doesn't play, USC needs to win this one going away.
  • #19 Nebraska at #10 Michigan State - (ABC) Michigan State started the season as the favorite in the Big Ten and still hold a lead on that "title" despite a hard fought loss to Oregon in Week 1.  Nebraska has looked shaky at times this year but hasn't lost yet despite a scare against the ever-threatening McNeese State somethingorothers.  This has "Heisman Moment" potential as Nebraska's all world RB Ameer Abdullah who is leading College Football in rushing yards at this point in the season faces a very tough Spartan defense.  Look for MSU's offense to surprise some people as they are a big reason why Michigan State wins this one.

  • St. Louis at Philadephia - #TheNickFolesExperience continues as the Eagles take on a Rams team led by Austin Davis.  For those of you who do not follow the walk-on scene at Southern Miss, Austin Davis was a walk-on QB at Southern Miss before going undrafted in 2012.  He is not the starting QB filling in for injured QBs Sam Bradford and Shaun Hill.  The biggest thing to watch here is Philly's running game against St. Lou's front seven.  Both units are expected to be difference makers for their teams but Eagles RB Lesean McCoy has looked terrible since getting walloped against the Redskins and totally cleared to play after looking like a surefire concussion victim.  Something doesn't add up here.
  • Chicago at Carolina - Does Carolina even run the ball this week?  All of their RBs seem to be on permanent injury these days.  What kind of team is Chicago this year, they look like contenders one week then above average QB Jay Cutler morphs into smoking Jay Cutler throws a bunch of interceptions and sulks all over the sidelines spreading indifference and malaise through the whole team.
  • Tampa Bay at New Orleans - Are the Saints that bad?  We have seen that the Bucs have enormous potential to be that bad then they go and beat the Steelers last week and TOTALLY REDEEM themselves.  Who is the worst in the AFC South?  Could it really be the Saints?
  • Buffalo at Detroit - Let the Age of Kyle Orton begin!  Could one man be more suited to lead the Buffalo Bills into battle?  Probably be but he's the best they have, so they are going to roll with it.  If Calvin Johnson doesn't recover from his injury any more this week I wouldn't actually be surprised if the Bills win this one.  Their defense is legit and if Orton is able to make even a few plays where Manual made mistakes the Bills are a good offense.
  • Baltimore at Indianapolis - Andrew Luck is more or less much watch TV.  He is by far the top up and coming QB in the league and with all that's been fretted about over Tom Brady's impending demise after one bad game, attention naturally turns to who is next.  The answer is Luck and the Colts need to do some work to surround him with talent, namely on the O-Line, but they have a bright future.
  • Arizona at Denver - The surprising Cardinals are one of two unbeatens but they are traveling to play a pre season Super Bowl favorite Denver Broncos and P.E.Y. at Mile High.  The Cardinals are thin all over but keep winning while it's a great story I don't see it continuing past this game.
  • Kansas City at San Francisco - The Chiefs and 49ers both had big time wins last week and look to continue the good vibes for another week.  The Chiefs have looked surprisingly threatening for a team most people had written off or lucky after they shocked everyone last year in Andy Reid's first as Head Coach.
  • Cincinnati at New England - The Bengals are undefeated and the Patriots are coming off of the worst loss of the Brady & Belichick era.  (Yes that gets a full ampersand).  The Bengals are traveling to New England to play the Pats in Prime Time.  As much as Brady is known for really bringing the intensity for Prime Time games I have to imagine he is burning with the fire of a thousand suns to avenge himself in the eyes of everyone southwest of whatever town in Connecticut decided that they were going to be Giants fans this season if the Pats aren't going to be good.  Also the Bengals are pretty good so this has great potential to be a tremendous game.

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College Football Weekly Digest 14.5

This past weekend really lacked in monumental season defining games.  The biggest outcome was Missouri beating South Carolina by the slimmest of margins.  Missouri who had just lost to Indiana the week before essentially ended the Gamecocks chances for a late season run at SEC glory.  Oh well.  

In other news UCLA made an effort to live up to their massive hype and dominated an Arizona State team who was missing their star QB.  It's a nice win for them but meh.  Show me something against Oregon, Stanford, or USC.  USC by the way is just baffling to me.  That USC loss to BC is so questionable I want to act like it didn't happen but they gave up almost 450 yards rushing to a Screaming Eagles team who lost to Colorado State last week at home and Pitt the week before!  USC, what's up with that?  Because of this ridiculousness you'll see the pack of Pac12 ranked accordingly lumped together in this week's SKOHRboard poll.

In other college football news, Michigan.  Oof.  Or should I say, uff da?  That's right, the Michigan Wolverines are in a total tailspin right now.  With a losses to Notre Dame, Utah, and Minnesota through five games, they are off to their worst start in ages and now travel to New Jersey to face a resurgent Rutgers squad coming off wins against Navy and a Joe Montana prodigy led Tulane team.  Not exactly world beaters but certainly some nice Ws after a heart breaker to Penn State earlier this year.  Either way you look at it, this is a big game for both teams.  Rutgers is favored over Michigan this weekend in a game that Brady Hoke absolutely has to win or the heat on him keeping the job might just reach ejector status and find the entire Michigan Athletic dept into complete chaos.  Should be a fun game that I'll have the pleasure of attending in person!

Heisman Watch through 5 weeks:
  1. Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon
  2. Taysom Hill, QB BYU
  3. Kenny Hill, QB Texas A&M
  4. Ameer Abdullah, RB Nebraska
  5. Todd Gurley, RB Georgia
  6. Shane Carden, QB Eastern Carolina
  7. Everett Golson, QB Notre Dame
  8. Melvin Gordon, RB Wisconsin (last week we mistakenly named him Montee Ball for no apparent reason and we apologize for the typo)
SKOHRboard's College Football Top 25
  1. Alabama
  2. Oregon +1
  3. Oklahoma +1
  4. Auburn +2
  5. Texas A&M +-3
  6. Florida State -1
  7. Baylor +3
  8. BYU -1
  9. Mississippi State 
  10. Ole Miss -2
  11. Notre Dame
  12. Michigan State
  13. West Virginia
  14. Kansas State
  15. LSU +2
  16. Georgia
  17. Wisconsin +1
  18. East Carolina +2
  19. Clemson 
  20. Nebraska +1
  21. USC +1
  22. Stanford +2
  23. UCLA(NR)
  24. Oklahoma State (NR)
  25. Ohio State (NR)
Dropped off: South Carolina, Arizona State, PSU

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