Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hobbitcore's College Football Corner (Week 5)

Last Week
Overall: 8-2
Upsets: 2-1 (Wisconsin wasn't even close to an upset so that's the loss)

Season
Overall: 26-6
Upsets: 5-2




HEADLINES

-This week's biggest headline happened off the field when Electronic Arts (EA) Sports announced Thursday that there would be no college football video game next year (what would have been "NCAA Football '15") due to ongoing legal issues with the NCAA.  Basically, several organizations including EA and the NCAA are being sued by thousands of student-athletes both past and present for the use of their names and/or likenesses in "NCAA Football."  Every organization has settled but the NCAA, who vows to continue the fight to keep their slaves--er, student ath-o-leets--from seeing any of the massive profits they generate for any number of organizations including the NCAA themselves.  Moreover, it remains unclear whether the plaintiffs who are active student athletes will be allowed under NCAA rules to collect the settlement money or if it will be set aside.


Vundablog.com hereby expresses our solidarity with the fast-growing "All Players United" (APU) movement calling for reforms to the antiquated NCAA rules outlawing player compensation and also calling upon the NCAA to dedicate more attention to issues of player safety--specifically concussions.

And, in the words of Pat Forde:

Shame on Northwestern, Georgia Tech for trying to stifle 'All Players United' movement

-That was pretty much the only headline in what has to be one of the WORST WEEKS OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL EVER.  Jesus Christ.  I mean, I'm probably one of the biggest college football fans on Earth and even I was bored out of my mind this past Saturday.  Thank the Football Gods that this week is here to save us from the mind-numbing drudgery of last week's lineup of games.

-In fact, last week was so dull that the most interesting thing that happened was that it was BLOWOUT DAY IN FLORIDA!  No, but seriously, with the exception of FAU losing in OT and Florida's 14-point win over Tennessee, there were four games last week that involved at least one team from Florida and the combined score of those games was...wait for it...
279-13
to be specific...
-Ohio State 76, Florida A&M 0 (A&M had 80 total yards)
-Louisville 72, Florida International 0 (FIU had 30 total yards...THIRTY...LESS THAN HALF THE NUMBER OF POINTS LOUISVILLE SCORED...but yeah, good call firing Mario Cristobal, guys...)
-Miami (FL) 77, Savannah State 7 (this was the score at the end of the third quarter...it was so bad, both coaches agreed to a 12 minute 4th quarter...some guy named Gray Crow completed all six of his passes and threw a touchdown...he is the third string QB...I was surprised to learn that he's even on scholarship)
-Florida State 54, Bethune-Cookman 6

Mercifully, this week is chock full of intriguing matchups...sooo...

CLICK "READ MORE" FOR PICKS ON LSU/GEORGIA, OKLAHOMA/NOTRE DAME, OHIO STATE/WISCONSIN, ALABAMA/OLE MISS, AND MORE...



#11 Oklahoma State @ West Virginia -- ESPN -- 12:00pm

As much as Oklahoma State has yet to do anything that has impressed anyone, West Virginia just appears to be in shambles without Geno Smith.  The only decent thing they've done all year is blow out Georgia State.  In their other three games, they've 1. barely beaten William and Mary, 2. lost 16-7 to Oklahoma (a valiant effort...sort of...), and 3. gotten blanked 37-0 by Maryland and held to 175 total yards (51 of which came on one run with 3:31 left in the game and the score already 37-0).  No-brainer.

Hobbitcore sez: Oklahoma State

UCF RB Storm Johnson

#12 South Carolina @ UCF -- ABC -- 12:00pm (UPSET ALERT)

Good for UCF getting on network television.  This will be huge for them, especially if they can hang around even a little bit with the Gamecocks.  And they just might be able to with a truly special player at RB by the name of Storm Johnson--a transfer from Miami who got sick of sitting on the bench behind the huge stable of ultra-talented RBs that have been coming through The U the last couple years.  Ultimately, Upset Hobbit is confident that the Knights will fall, because the South Carolina D will be keyed in on Johnson and I doubt the UCF D will have an answer to Connor Shaw, but he's also convinced that this one will be "closer than the experts think" because SC hasn't exactly wowed anybody this year and UCF may be one of the more underrated teams in college football (and I went there for my first two semesters of college way back in fucking 1954 or whenever it was I first started so GO KNIGHTS).

The Upset Hobbit sez: South Carolina

#8 Florida State @ Boston College -- ABC/ESPN2 -- 3:30pm

I really wanted to wake up the Upset Hobbit for this one as well but we're talking about a Boston College team that yielded 35 points to a USC team in one of its downest down years...maybe ever.  So yeah, this is definitely not happening and QB Jameis Winston will probably get to pad his stats a little more so that Noles fans can continue calling him The Chosen One or Famous Jameis or whatever the hell.  But this totally isn't the same thing as Tebow-mania because Chief Osceola or something.

Hobbitcore sez: Florida State

FSU QB Jameis Winston

Iowa @ Minnesota -- ABC/ESPN2 -- 3:30pm

Oh.  Wow.  What?  This is really on ABC in some parts of the country?  Well, OK.  I guess I shouldn't hate on this game since it's one of the oldest rivalries in college football.  The first meeting between the two teams was in 1891 and they've been playing on a fairly regular basis since 1909 but since 1931 they have played every single year.  That's kinda cool and makes this game worth watching as both an artifact of the uniquely rich tradition of college football as well as a good old fashioned hard-nosed Big Ten rivalry game featuring two teams no one cares about except their diehard fans.  I have absolutely no clue who might win this game since we have no idea who either of these teams are yet but Minnesota is at home and didn't lose their opener to Northern Illinois (like Iowa did) so I'm going with the Gophers.

Hobbitcore sez: Minnesota

#14 Oklahoma @ #22 Notre Dame -- NBC -- 3:30pm

THIS could get interesting.  Neither of these teams has looked particularly impressive so far this year but Oklahoma seems to be a whole new team with QB Blake Bell(dozer) behind center.  Seems like the only people who didn't realize the Belldozer should have been starting all along work for Bob Stoops.  Notre Dame is fresh off a narrow escape against a Michigan State team that can barely find the end zone with a map and a compass.  Oklahoma's defense will be ready to capitalize on any Tommy Rees mistakes and the Irish D probably won't be able to avoid being Belldozed.

Hobbitcore sez: Oklahoma

Oklahoma QB Blake Bell

#21 Ole Miss @ #1 Alabama -- ESPN -- 6:30pm

A lot of people are saying the Rebels may have a pretty good chance of knocking off the champs but all I have to say to that is I'd love some of whatever these people are smoking.  Alabama has been hearing all year about how underwhelming they've been and you can bet the D will be fired up to stop RB Jeff Scott and company and the offense will come out swinging.  I'm not even waking up Upset Hobbit for this one.  Tide will roll...

Hobbitcore sez: Alabama

#23 Wisconsin @ #4 Ohio State -- ABC -- 8:00pm (UPSET ALERT)

This one could get really interesting.  Wisconsin has themselves a really dynamic, balanced offense and a typically tough Wisconsin defense that's going to get a rusty Braxton Miller behind center.  If Brax's back starts hitting the turf early and often, the Buckeyes could be in serious trouble.  Upset Hobbit is very much intrigued and really wants to pull the trigger on this one but just can't bring himself to due solely to the fact that this is a rivalry game at night in the Horseshoe and that rarely turns out well for the visiting team.

The Upset Hobbit sez: Ohio State

GAME OF THE WEEK

#6 LSU @ #9 Georgia -- CBS -- 3:30pm

Man, oh, man.  These are the games that make people unfairly biased toward the SEC.  Two storied programs meeting in a stadium that has its own nickname ("between the hedges"), both in the top 10, both chock full of NFL talent, both led by stud QBs and untackleable RBs.  I can't even begin to imagine how I'm going to make a pick on this game because these two teams are so ridiculously evenly matched.  The only things that tip the scales here are: 1. LSU hasn't been tested yet, whereas this is Georgia's 3rd game against a ranked opponent this year, 2. the game is in Athens, and 3. Mark Richt is a better coach than Les Miles.

Hobbitpick: Georgia 31, LSU 30



Left to Right: Georgia QB Aaron Murray and LSU QB Zach Mettenberger








Heisman Ballot
1. QB Aaron Murray, Georgia
2. QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson
3. QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M







Out-of-Whack Spreads
-Oklahoma (-3.5) over Notre Dame
-Miami (-18) over South Florida
-Texas A&M (-15) over Arkansas






BCS Projections
AAC: Louisville
ACC: Clemson over Miami (FL)
Big XII: Oklahoma
Big Ten: Ohio State over Northwestern
Pac-12: Stanford over UCLA
SEC: Alabama over Georgia

National Championship: Alabama over Stanford
Orange Bowl: Clemson over Wisconsin
Sugar Bowl: Georgia over Florida State
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma over Louisville
Rose Bowl: Ohio State over Oregon