Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hobbitcore's College Football Corner (Week 3)












HEADLINES

The University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks celebrate a HUGE road upset of #8 Arkansas

-So, as is often the case, a week in college football that seemed unbearably boring on paper was incredibly interesting to watch on the field.  If you were to ascribe a headline to Week 2 it would probably be something along the lines of "UPSETS AND CLOSE CALLS!"  Let's go down the list:
No. 8 Arkansas fell to Louisiana-Monroe 34-31 in OT
No. 13 Wisconsin lost to Oregon State 10-7 in a game I figured to be no more than "Montee Ball padding stats." (note: Ball had 15 carries for 61 yards and zero TDs)
No. 14 Ohio State got all they could handle from UCF in a game that was tied until 15 seconds to go in the second half.  OSU began to open it up in the 3rd quarter but still came up with only a 31-16 victory.
No. 16 Nebraska couldn't stop UCLA's dynamic new offense which proved that Week 1 was in no way a fluke by posting 36 on the tough Husker D.
No. 18 Oklahoma State, after blanking poor, lowly Savannah State 84-0, picked on somebody their own size and got a taste of their own medicine as a result (two cliches, one sentence? you bet), yielding 59 points to Rich Rodriguez's Arizona Wildcats with the help of four turnovers (including a devastating interception returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter) and 15 penalties for 167 yards.
No. 19 Michigan needed a whole lot of Denard Robinson heroics to pull them from the throes of a hangover game, barely getting by the Air Force Falcons 31-25.
No. 22 Notre Dame beat unranked Purdue 20-17 on a last second field goal

Texas A&M and Missouri are out to prove they can hang in the SEC

-The other big headline from this week, of course, was that Texas A&M and Missouri played their SEC debuts.  Both games played out more or less as expected, at least on paper.  Texas A&M took control in the first half and then folded like a card table in the second half (well, sort of...not really...I'll come back to this).  Missouri kept it close for three quarters before Georgia ran away with the win. But both Mizzou and A&M should come away from these games feeling as though they've proven they belong in the SEC.  Both stood toe-to-toe with quality SEC opponents (one a top ten team) and competed their tails off and played very, VERY physical football--especially Texas A&M.  The Aggies knocked the Gators on their asses in the first half.  You could tell the Gators were in no way prepared for that.  There was a signature moment--I wish I could tell you I remember when it happened or who was involved.  I want to say it was late in the second quarter and I'm pretty sure the perpetrator was A&M RB Christine Michael and the man on the receiving end was a member of the Gators secondary.  In any case, A&M broke a pretty big run to get the ball inside the red zone and when the Gators finally stopped Michael, he lowered his head directly into the gut of the defender and...just...absolutely LEVELED the guy.  Wow.

-Sadly (and/or, perhaps, mercifully) the epic battle between Florida State and Savannah State was called off with 9 minutes left in the third quarter and the 'Noles up 55-0, much to the chagrin of gamblers everywhere (who were, of course, refunded their money and all bets were called off).

Collin Klein torching the 'Canes' D

-The Homer Hobbit Says: As pathetic as the 'Canes looked Saturday, tell me this Collin Klein motherfucker isn't a beast.  Not only did he throw for over 200 yards on 11 attempts (9 of them completions) but he carried the ball a whopping 22 times for 71 yards and 3 TDs (two of them from a yard out and another from six yards out)--this allowed RB John Hubert to carry the ball a mere 19 times for 106 yards and one more TD.  Kansas State has one more tune-up game against North Texas this weekend before a date with the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman next Saturday.  I see an Upset of the Week in the making.  For the time being, Collin Klein is my dark horse Heisman candidate with 379 yards and 3 TDs on 71.8% passing and 135 yards rushing and 3 TDs on 35 carries.

Last Week: 9-4
*ATS: 6-7
Overall: 20-5
*ATS: 15-10
Upset of the Week: 1-0

* - ATS = Against the Spread -- not actually measuring how I do against the spread, obviously, since I don't pick scores or who is going to win by exactly how much, etc.  This is more of a subjective account of how I did predicting what would actually happen in each game.  For instance, last week I picked Kansas State to "squeak out a win" over Miami.  I correctly picked the winner but clearly was mistaken about the outcome of the game, so that counts as a loss.
** - by the way, this week I plan on being more discerning about the games I'm picking...I know I said I would pick every game on TV but the reality is setting in that no one gives a good god damn about Washington State @ UNLV this Friday night...anydangway...







Rutgers @ South Florida -- ESPN -- Thursday, 7:30pm

Neither of these teams have been truly tested although the Bulls did squeak out a win on the road at Nevada.  I don't think Rutgers will have any answers for USF QB B.J. Daniels. 

Hobbitcore sez: South Florida

Heisman Hopeful: OSU QB Braxton Miller in the open field

California @ #12 Ohio State -- ABC -- Saturday, 12pm

Lou Holtz seemed pretty flabbergasted by the fact that Cal lost at home against Nevada.  I can't really see why, Nevada has been better than Cal for a couple years now.  There certainly is no Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, or Jahvid Best on this team.  Not even a Shane Vereen for that matter.  Ohio State coasts to another relatively easy win. 

Hobbitcore sez: Ohio State

Alabama QB A.J. McCarron is PUMPED

#1 Alabama @ Arkansas -- CBS -- Saturday, 3:30pm

Well, well, well, Arkansas.  Way to totally screw CBS over.  This time last week they had an epic mid-day clash of top ten SEC powers.  Not so much anymore.  However, one only need think back two years to another early season matchup between a much-hyped Alabama team on the road against an ostensibly overmatched SEC opponent (#19 South Carolina) to see that Alabama absolutely cannot take this game lightly.  I doubt they will though and with QB A.J. McCarron's confidence sky high, very few teams can mess with the Tide right now. 

Hobbitcore sez: Alabama

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater was going to be a Hurricane before The U canned former head coach Randy Shannon, who recruited Bridgewater to the 'Canes

North Carolina @ #19 Louisville -- ABC/ESPN2 -- Saturday, 3:30pm

Louisville is on a roll and North Carolina just lost to freaking Wake Forest.  This one isn't rocket science.  I feel bad for my FIU Golden Panthers who just barely escaped an overtime home game against Akron 42-39 and will be playing host to Louisville next Saturday (this week they visit UCF where they're likely to get torched by UM transfer RB Storm Johnson). 

Hobbitcore sez: Louisville 

Navy @ Penn State -- ABC/ESPN2 -- Saturday, 3:30pm

I think I've almost reached the point where I actually want to start rooting for this team.  It's hard to not want them to lose but the more I think about the fact that pretty much no one involved with the university right now was involved with the Sandusky scandal, the more I sympathize with the Nittany Lions community.  I think they finally get their first win of the Bill O'Brien era against a Navy team that yielded 50 to Notre Dame. 

Hobbitcore sez: Penn State 

#2 USC @ #21 Stanford -- FOX -- Saturday, 7:30pm

I would strongly advise against watching this one.  It's gonna be a bloodbath.  Stanford could barely put away San Jose State.  USC QB Matt Barkley is going to go wild in this one. 

Hobbitcore sez: USC

Heisman Hopeful: Michigan State RB Le'Veon Bell goes airborne

#20 Notre Dame @ #10 Michigan State -- ABC -- Saturday, 8pm

Notre Dame has been fairly impressive so far, putting the hammer down on Navy and barely getting by an underrated Purdue team.  Now it's time for them to actually prove something.  This will probably end up being another defensive battle with MSU's elite defense and, well, less-than-elite passing offense.  MSU RB Le'Veon Bell will be the difference, powering the Spartans to a win. 

Hobbitcore sez: Michigan State

GAME OF THE WEEK
and
UPSET OF THE WEEK

Tennessee QB Tyler Bray has been impressive so far this year

#18 Florida @ #23 Tennessee -- ESPN -- Saturday, 6pm

Anyone who has been following this blog for any length of time is unlikely to be surprised at me picking against the Gators in this one.  Seriously, though, Tyler Bray is looking mighty impressive and he has a dynamic playmaker in Cordarrelle Patterson which is more than the Gators can say.  RB Mike Gillislee can only do so much for the Gators and their defense is untested with a secondary that got picked apart quite a bit by Texas A&M freshman QB Johnny Manziel and definitely fell asleep on a few coverages.  I worry a little bit about the lack of running game for the Vols but they will play physical at the point of attack and knock the Gators off the ball. 

Keys to the Game
Gators:
-Know where Patterson is at all times when on defense (the Vols will want to find creative ways to get him the ball and if the Gators don't keep track of what he's doing before AND after the snap on EVERY play, they will give up big plays)
-Put QB Jeff Driskel in easy passing situations like screen passes and slants (if they have to rely on Gillislee for all their offense, they can't win)
-Attack Tyler Bray (if the Gators just sit back in coverage, they'll get picked apart; they need to pressure Bray into making some mistakes they can capitalize on as they've been so good at doing in recent years)
Volunteers:
-Protect Tyler Bray (see above)
-Get the ball in Patterson's hands (when you have a weapon like this, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know he should touch the ball as much as possible)
-Stack the box and dare the Gators to throw (if you make the Gators one-dimensional, you've already won)

Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson

Hobbitpick: Tennessee 23, Florida 20


Out-of-Whack Spreads
Texas A&M (-12.5) over SMU
Virginia Tech (-10) over Pittsburgh
USC (-9) over Stanford
(all favorites this week...these spreads are nowhere NEAR big enough...bet the house on these, seriously)

Heisman Ballot
1. Jonathan Franklin (dude is AVERAGING 10 yards per carry through two games including over 200 yards against Nebraska; no one else has proved anywhere near as much)
2. Geno Smith
3. Braxton Miller

BCS Predictions
ACC: Clemson over Virginia Tech
Big XII: West Virginia
Big East: Louisville
Big Ten: Michigan State over Wisconsin (it's going to take more than Denard Robinson to bring a Big Ten title back to Ann Arbor)
Pac 12: Oregon over USC (I'm still kinda on the fence about this one; neither team has played anyone and they're both loaded on offense; I actually think USC beats Oregon in the regular season but then Oregon wins the rematch in the Pac 12 title game)
SEC: Alabama over Georgia

BCS Championship: Alabama over Oregon
Fiesta Bowl: West Virginia over Oklahoma
Sugar Bowl: LSU over Virginia Tech
Orange Bowl: Clemson over Wisconsin
Rose Bowl: USC over Michigan State

My Top 25
1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. USC
3. LSU
5. Georgia
6. West Virginia
7. Clemson
8. Florida State
9. Ohio State
10. Kansas State
11. Michigan State
12. Virginia Tech
13. South Carolina
14. Texas
15. Michigan
16. Notre Dame
17. Wisconsin
18. Arkansas
19. Nebraska
20. TCU
21. Louisville
22. Tennessee
23. Florida
24. UCLA
25. Arizona

1 comment:

Derrick Christopher said...

Man, I shit the bed this week...