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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