Friday, December 2, 2016

Championship Week

Championship Week-Impact Games-Friday

MAC Championship-17 Western Michigan vs Ohio
This is the biggest game (so far) in Western Michigan football history. A win here almost certainly will make them the highest rank Group of 5 Champion, which will place them in a New Year's 6 Bowl. A loss will give them a 12-1 season with no New Year's Bowl and the thought of what could have been a perfect season is done.
Prediction: Western Michigan 41, Ohio 20

PAC-12 Championship- 4 Washington vs 8 Colorado
This game has major playoff implications for both teams especially Washington. If the Huskies win, they will almost definitely be in the Playoff. However, if Colorado wins, the PAC-12 winner would not be guaranteed as the Buffaloes would have to see what happens in the ACC and Big Ten Championship Games. They would also have to see if a PAC-12 Championship would override a loss to Michigan. Either way, there is a lot to play for on both sides, and it should be a fun game.
Prediction: Washington 27, Colorado 24

Championship Week-Impact Games-Saturday

AAC Championship-19 Navy vs Temple
Since Western Michigan won, Navy's chances at a New Year's 6 are probably done unless the committee values an AAC Champion with 2 losses over an undefeated MAC champion. The Owls have been strong down the stretch, but Navy's offense was unstoppable last week.
Prediction: Navy 34, Temple 28

Conference USA Championship-Louisiana Tech vs Western Kentucky
Western Kentucky has been the best team in the conference this season. The game will likely feature a lot of offense.
Prediction: Western Kentucky 49, Louisiana Tech 37

Big 12- 10 Oklahoma State at 9 Oklahoma
The default Big 12 Championship Game does not have Playoff implications, but it is still the Bedlam game where the winner will be crowned the Big 12 Champion. The Sooners are yet to lose in conference play and are at home.
Prediction: Oklahoma 48, Oklahoma State 41

SEC Championship-1 Alabama vs 15 Florida
Even with a loss, Alabama will likely remain in the Playoff. The Crimson Tide have been unstoppable for most of their games, so it does not seem like a loss to Florida is even possible.
Prediction: Alabama 28, Florida 7 

MWC Championship-San Diego State vs Wyoming
Without Ohio winning over Western Michigan, A Temple win over Navy would mean nothing to the MWC Champion since the winner of this game has no chance at a New Year's 6 Bowl anymore. Still the winner of this game gets a great alternative prize to play in the Las Vegas Bowl. San Diego State has looked better, but the Mountain Division which Wyoming played in was much tougher.
Prediction: San Diego State 28, Wyoming 27

ACC Championship-3 Clemson vs 23 Virginia Tech
It is a do or die game for Clemson's Playoff hopes. A win and they will very likely be in. A loss and the Playoff does not seem as likely. Clemson has had its inconsistencies at time during the season that has made some of their games unexpectedly close. Will this be another one of those games? The Hokies have their eyes on a New Year's 6 Bowl, so Justin Fuente and company would love to spoil Clemson's chances to clinch that spot.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 30, Clemson 27

Big Ten Championship-6 Wisconsin vs 7 Penn State
This could be the most interesting game of the day especially if Clemson was to lose, which would make this a likely play-in game for the Playoff. If Clemson wins, what are the chances of the winner of this game to be taken over Ohio State, which did not win the Big Ten? Penn State has looked very good down the stretch and was the only team to beat Ohio State this season. Wisconsin has looked good especially on defense all season. This is definitely the most anticipated game. 
Prediction: Penn State 21, Wisconsin 20

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

College Football Playoff Contenders- Who will make the Playoffs?

The last week of the season is here and so are conference championships. The College Football Playoff Rankings came out today. USC and Florida have been eliminated from playoff contention as Oklahoma is pretty much done as well. Here are the remaining contenders in order of best odds to worst odds. 

The Tide have been dominate over the course of the season and probably punched a ticket to the Playoff with their win over Auburn. The Tide will likely make the playoffs even if they lose to Florida in the SEC Championship. A victory over Florida in the SEC Championship would cement a #1 seed in the playoff. 

Best Wins: USC, Texas A&M, Tennessee, LSU, Auburn
Losses: None

Ohio State(11-1)
Ohio State find themselves in a different position. They can't win the Big Ten and have to sweat it out for a week. The Buckeyes own three great wins including last week's thriller over Michigan. Have they done enough even though they won't be the Big Ten Champs? Will the committee take four conference champions over the Buckeyes? If Clemson loses, I think Ohio State will be safe since this would eliminate the ACC's playoff chances. I could maybe see Colorado potentially hopping the Buckeyes if they beat Washington but its not likely. However, I don't see the Big 12 champ finishing ahead of Ohio State.

Best Wins: Michigan, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Nebraska
Losses: Penn State

The Huskies took another step towards the playoffs by winning the Apple Cup. The Pac-12 Championship against Colorado awaits. An opportunity against a playoff contender. Will a win put the Huskies in the Playoffs? A victory over the #8 team should be enough to put the Huskies in. Out of conference schedule strength doesn't help but the Pac-12 also plays 9 conference games. A loss would end their playoff hopes. 

Best Wins: Stanford, Utah, Washington State
Losses: USC

The Tigers demolished the Gamecocks this past weekend. The ACC Championship against Virginia Tech awaits for Clemson. A win should be enough for the Tigers to clinch a playoff berth as a loss would definitely end their playoff hopes.

Best Wins: Louisville, Auburn, Florida State
Losses: Pittsburgh

Losing to Ohio State has likely eliminated the Wolverines. Michigan owns one of the best trios of victories(Wisconsin, Colorado, Penn State) of any team in college football but sit at #5 in the rankings and its hard to imagine a scenario they get in even if Washington and Clemson lose, unless their head to head victories gets them in over a conference champion(s) they defeated. They will certainly be sweating it out this week.

Best Wins: Wisconsin, Colorado, Penn State
Losses: Iowa, Ohio State

The Badgers play Penn State in the Big Ten Championship. A win over Penn State will give them a chance at a playoff berth. A Clemson loss will likely put the Badgers in if they win the Big Ten Championship. A Washington loss would open the door as well. However, Colorado would also have a case for a playoff bid as well. Does a Big Ten Championship put Wisconsin in the playoffs? Could they bump Ohio State out of the playoff? Maybe, it depends how they value the Big Ten Champs against Ohio State's resume.

Best Wins: Nebraska, LSU, Iowa, Minnesota
Losses: Ohio State, Michigan

What a turn around in Boulder! Colorado has a chance to win the Pac-12 and is still in contention for the playoffs. Their best hope is to beat Washington and hope Clemson loses to Virginia Tech. If this happens, do they make the jump into the Top 4? Its definitely possible. Even if Clemson wins, it is also possible Colorado jumps to number 4 with a win. 

Best Wins: Stanford. Washington State, Utah
Losses: Michigan, USC

Penn State(10-2)
The Littany Lions won the Big Ten East over Ohio State and Michigan and now play Wisconsin for the Big Ten Championship. A win gives Penn State a chance at cracking the Top 4. Their best hope would be to win and for Clemson to lose as Virginia Tech has no chance to make the playoff as Washington and Colorado do. They are in the same situation as Wisconsin. Win and hope the dominoes fall your way.

Best Wins: Ohio State, Iowa, Minnesota
Losses: Michigan, Pittsburgh

Not enough chaos happened last weekend making the odds very slim for Oklahoma to get in the playoffs. 

Best Wins: West Virginia
Losses: Ohio State, Houston

Monday, November 28, 2016

M+J's College Football Rankings- Week 14

1 Alabama
2 Ohio State
3 Washington
4 Clemson
5 Michigan
6 Wisconsin
7 Colorado
8 Penn State
10 Oklahoma
11 Oklahoma State
12 Western Michigan
13 Florida State
14 Stanford
15 West Virginia
16 Virginia Tech
17 LSU
18 Iowa
19 Florida
20 Louisville
21 Navy
22 Pittsburgh
23 Utah
24 Auburn
25(tie) Washington State
25(tie) South Florida

Thursday, November 24, 2016

College Football Week 13 -Rivalry Week

UPSET WATCH- Teams that could get upset

Iowa over Nebraska
The Hawkeyes host the Huskers in the new Corn Bowl Rivalry. Iowa is still riding high with the upset win over Michigan. Expect a defensive battle where whoever makes more plays on defense wins. The home crowd will be loud with their A-I-O-W chant. Which defense makes more plays?

Arizona over Arizona State
The Duel in the Desert. Both teams on losing streaks. ASU has lost 5 in a row and Arizona has lost 8 in a row. The Sun Devils have a chance to become bowl eligible and to keep the Wildcats winless in conference play. The Wildcats can prevent the Sun Devils from a .500 season and bowl eligibility. Who will be more motivated to claim the Territorial Cup?

Vanderbilt over Tennessee
The Commodores are coming off a big road win over Ole Miss and have a chance to win bragging rights of the state of Tennessee. The Vols seemed to find things offensively last week against Missouri. Vanderbilt can become bowl eligible with a win. Commodores or Volunteers? Will Tennessee start strong? Does the Vanderbilt defense shut down the Volunteer offense?

New Mexico over Wyoming
The Lobos are 1 game behind the Cowboys and the Broncos. Wyoming can win the Mountain division over Boise State with a win. The pressure is on the Cowboys who travel to Albuquerque. New Mexico, with a win can also create a three way tie in first if Boise State loses to Air Force. Can the Cowboys survive the road challenge?

Iowa State over West Virginia
The Cyclones finally had a breakout performance last weekend against Texas Tech. Will the Cyclones be twisting strong in Morgantown? West Virginia was eliminated from the Big 12 Championship race last week. Will they be motivated against a suddenly red hot Iowa State team?
Weekend Picks
Score Projections:
LSU 27 Texas A&M 20North Carolina 42 NC State 28Houston 35 Memphis 14Arkansas 31 Missouri 27Washington 28 Washington State 24TCU 49 Texas 45Iowa 19 Nebraska 14Western Michigan 27 Toledo 24Baylor 70 Texas Tech 66Arizona 21 Arizona State 17Georgia 24 Georgia Tech 20Louisville 38 Kentucky 24Kansas State 45 Kansas 10Michigan 24 Ohio State 23Indiana 37 Purdue 17Northwestern 27 Illinois 0USF 38 UCF 20 Virginia Tech 34 Virginia 17Pittsburgh 49 Syracuse 31Mississippi State 27 Ole Miss 24Alabama 28 Auburn 21USC 49 Notre Dame 24Penn State 30  Michigan State 17Wisconsin 23 Minnesota 7Oregon 45 Oregon State 42UNLV 31 Nevada 24UCLA 32 California 31Colorado 27 Utah 21Clemson 28 South Carolina 22Vanderbilt 35 Tennessee 28Florida State 21 Florida 13BYU 35 Utah State 14

Stanford 56 Rice 7
Maryland 28 Rutgers 7
Connecticut 10 Tulane 7
San Jose State 31 Fresno State 14

Sunday, November 20, 2016

College Football Playoff Contenders

With two weeks left of college football, the playoff picture is starting to shape itself out. Here is a list of the top contenders and what they need to do to secure a spot or keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Tide have been dominate over the course of the season and can pretty much lock up a playoff bid with a victory over Auburn in the Iron Bowl. A victory over Florida in the SEC Championship would cement a #1 seed in the playoff. I believe even with a lose to Florida, the Tide will still be in the playoffs.

Best Wins: USC, Texas A&M, Tennessee, LSU
Losses: None

Ohio State(10-1)
Urban Meyer's team has played great football for most of the season and find themselves in a potential strange position. If the Buckeyes beat Michigan, they will add another marque win on their resume, BUT will not play for the Big Ten championship if Penn State beats Michigan State. Would not being a conference champion hurt the Buckeyes? Would a 1 loss Clemson, 1 loss Washington, and Big Ten Champion get in ahead of the Buckeyes? A win and a Clemson or Washington loss would help the Buckeyes chances.

Best Wins: Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Nebraska
Losses: Penn State

Unlike the Buckeyes, the Wolverines can still win the Big Ten. Their heated rivalry with the Buckeyes will be on center stage this weekend as the loser will likely be eliminated from playoff contention. The Wolverines own the best trio of victories(Wisconsin, Colorado, Penn State) of any team in college football and can add another big win this week and march to the Big Ten Championship. If they beat the Buckeyes, but lose to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, would they still make it? There would definitely be a chance. Most important thing is to beat Ohio State.

Best Wins: Wisconsin, Colorado, Penn State
Losses: Iowa

Another big rivalry game this week- the Apple Cup. Winner takes the north. The Huskies can take another step towards the playoffs and the Cougs can end their dreams of the Playoffs and the Pac-12 championship. Out of conference schedule strength doesn't help, therefore the margin of error is thin. A loss would end their playoff hopes. A win and a Pac-12 Championship victory over Colorado or USC would give them a chance at a playoff berth.

Best Wins: Stanford, Utah
Losses: USC

At times the Tigers have looked really good this season and other times they haven't been their best. They need to take care of business against South Carolina and win the ACC championship. A loss would definitely end their playoff hopes as well as the ACC's playoff hopes.

Best Wins: Louisville, Auburn, Florida State
Losses: Pittsburgh

The Badgers have played a very tough schedule and played well against their schedule keeping playoff hopes alive. A rivalry with Minnesota is a must win for the Badgers. Anymore losses would eliminate the Badgers from playoff contention. Beat Minnesota and win the Big Ten Championship is what the Badgers can do to increase their odds of a playoff berth. Would this get them in over a 1 loss conference champ? How about 1 loss Ohio State, who they lost to?

Best Wins: Nebraska, LSU, Iowa
Losses: Ohio State, Michigan

The Buffaloes are the biggest surprise this season. Mike Macintyre has completely turned things around in Boulder and can win the Pac-12 South with a victory over Utah. If Colorado beats Utah and then beats the Apple Cup Champion would they have a chance at the playoffs? The answer is yes, but no guarantee. The Buffaloes need to keep winning and hope chaos strikes Clemson, Oklahoma, or the Big Ten.

Best Wins: Stanford. Washington State
Losses: Michigan, USC

Penn State(9-2)
James Franklin has built the Nittany Lions into a contender this season. With one game remaining, Penn State can with the Big Ten East with a victory over Michigan State and a Michigan loss. In order to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot, the Wolverines need to lose and the Lions need to take care of business against Michigan State. If both happen, a showdown with the Badgers awaits.

Best Wins: Ohio State, Iowa, Minnesota
Losses: Michigan, Pittsburgh

The Sooners are still unbeaten in conference play and have an outside chance of still making the playoffs. With their Bedlam rivalry remaining, they need to beat the Cowboys to keep their hopes alive. With losses to Houston and Ohio State, can the Sooners crack the Top 4? They likely need chaos in the Pac-12 and Big Ten as well as Clemson to lose to feel good about their chances.

Best Wins: West Virginia
Losses: Ohio State, Houston

The Trojans are playing very good football right now. Can the Trojans crack the Top 4? Not likely, but with two weeks remaining it is still possible. They pretty much need a lot of the contenders above them to trip up, especially the Buffaloes. Their fringe hopes are eliminated with a Colorado victory over Utah.

Best Wins: Washington, Colorado,
Losses: Alabama, Utah, Stanford

The Gators, like the Trojans, are fringe candidates. They are still alive because they have a chance to add two more marque wins to their resume. They travel to Tallahassee in a must win for the Gators. Beat the Noles first. Then the task of slaying Alabama approaches. Would wins over both get them in contention? Yes, but they will likely need some madness in other conferences to increase their chances.

Best Wins: LSU
Losses: Tennessee, Arkansas

M+J's College Football Top 25 Rankings- Week 12

1 Alabama
2 Ohio State
3 Michigan
4 Washington
5 Clemson
6 Wisconsin
7 Colorado
8 Penn State
10 Oklahoma
11 Oklahoma State
12 Louisville
13 Western Michigan
14 Nebraska
15 Florida State
16 Florida 
17 Stanford
18 Boise State
19 Houston
20 Washington State
21 Utah
22 Auburn
23 West Virginia
24 Texas A&M
25 Navy

Friday, November 18, 2016

College Football Week 12

UPSET WATCH- Teams that could get upset

TCU over Oklahoma State
The Horned Frogs host the Cowboys, and they are still TCU, which is never an easy place to play. TCU has played better lately and can still position themselves in a decent bowl if they finish strong. Pressure is one for the Cowboys, who still have a shot at the Big 12 title. Can the Cowboys stay on track or will their dreams die in Fort Worth?

Notre Dame over Virginia Tech
The Irish are slowly getting better, which is a good sign for Irish fans. Notre Dame really needs this to keep their bowl hopes alive. The Hokies come to town after a home loss to an average Georgia Tech team. Can the hangover continue for VA Tech?

West Virginia over Oklahoma
Both teams still have an outside chance at the College Football Playoff. If the Mountaineers can pull the upset, they will be in the driver's seat with a great chance of finishing with only one loss. The Sooners have not been as dominating as their Top 10 ranking and have a chance to prove that they are for real. In a hostile Morgantown atmosphere, the Mountaineers have a great opportunity ahead.

The Citadel over North Carolina
The Citadel has yet to lose this season, and North Carolina just lost to their arch nemesis Duke last week. If they are still thinking about that one, The Citadel could very well sneak up on them and remain undefeated. This definitely is not one for the Tar Heels to sleep on.

Mississippi State over Arkansas
Mississippi State is at home, and Arkansas has not performed too great away from home. The Bulldogs ripped Texas A&M not too long ago, so why not the Razorbacks too?

Weekend Picks
Score Projections:
TCU 45 Oklahoma State 38
Nebraska 42 Maryland 17
Baylor Kansas State
NC State Miami(FL)
LSU 17 Florida 3
Utah 45 Oregon 24
Pittsburgh 41 Duke 24
Northwestern  21 Minnesota 20
Colorado 34 Washington State 31
San Diego State 35 Wyoming 31
Michigan 45 Indiana 21
Notre Dame 28 Virginia Tech 24
Florida State 49 Syracuse 24
Stanford 28 California 14
Clemson 28 Wake Forest 17
Mississippi State 26 Arkansas 24
Washington 63 Arizona State 21
West Virginia 31 Oklahoma 28
Ole Miss 17 Vanderbilt 10
USC 35 UCLA 20

Kentucky 73 Austin Peay 3
Wisconsin 31 Purdue 0
Boston College 20 Connecticut 7

New Mexico State 27 Texas State 17