Monthly Archives: November 2011

J3C College Football Top 25 (after Week 13)

Looks like squash was the favorite holiday side dish for most college football teams this past weekend or at least the most frequent one.  I imagine some teams loved it while others now have it on their list somewhere behind cauliflower and brussel sprouts.  Of course there were some turkeys too, come to think of it.

In Atlanta, there was plenty of squash but the biggest turkey of the day turned into a pumpkin.  I’m hard pressed to believe that anyone think Paul Johnson can recruit enough talent to play big time college football at this point but since that’s ostensibly his job then another rout at the hands of an arch rival ought to mean the clock has struck midnight.  Of course the financial part of the equation, along with an annoying tendency to willingly accept mediocrity, means he isn’t going anywhere any time soon and that’s a pity … In Knoxville, there was another pumpkin come to think of it, and I don’t mean a sighting of The Great Pumpkin (aka Phil Fulmer).  No, what turned into a pumpkin in Lexington was the now laughable myth that Derek Dooley was remotely ready to be a major conference coach.  The last time Tennessee had back to back losing seasons was 1910-11.  It took Coach Doofus just two seasons to change that.   At this point his only job security is based upon, ironically perhaps, the wandering eye of Lane Kiffin.  Kansas was smart enough to rid themselves of the overmatched Turner Gill after this weekend, it’s beyond a pity that the powers that be in Knoxvegas don’t have the sense to do the same … Squash was plentiful on The Plains, as Alabama toyed with the cats from Auburn.  Trent Richardson should have locked up a Heisman trophy on Saturday, although I doubt he did … LSU served up plenty of squash with their roast hog on Friday, which doesn’t make Arkansas a bad team, just reinforces how far ahead of the pack the Bayou Bengals are this year.  They’re clearly one of the two best teams in college football regardless of what happens in the Georgia Dome this weekend … VaTech squashed the rumor that UVA was anything more than a decent team … The Ol’ Ball Coach’s poultry had plenty to crow about after routing their badly fading arch-rivals … FSU squashed the notion that you need any offense to beat Florida at this point … Louisiana Tech routed NM State on Saturday for their 7th straight win after a 1-3 start that included a one point loss to Houston and a two point loss to Southern Miss.  Why do I bring this up?  Because their win over Ole Miss a couple of weeks ago means that they won as many SEC games without Coach Doofus Dumbass as Tennessee managed to win with him … And on that depressing, yet illuminating, note it’s time to head the rankings for another week.

1. (1) LSU
2. (2) Alabama
3. (4) Virginia Tech
4. (5) Houston
5. (6) Stanford
6. (8) Oregon
7. (7) Oklahoma State
8. (3) Arkansas
9. (9) Michigan State
10. (10) Wisconsin
11. (11) TCU
12. (12) Oklahoma
13. (14) South Carolina
14. (15) USC
15. (13) Boise State
16. (16) Michigan
17. (17) Georgia
18. (18) Kansas State
19. (21) Baylor
20. (22) Nebraska
21. (23) West Virginia
22. (20) Clemson
23. (Un) Texas
24. (Un) BYU
25. (19) Penn State

Dropped Out: Tulsa (24), Virginia (25)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week 12)

So, anything interesting happen in college football over the weekend? What’s that?  You don’t say?  Who says the BCS is broken?  After all, the two best teams in the game are poised to meet in the national championship game, seems to me it’s working just fine.  Of course, Arkansas, Georgia, and Auburn all hope to turn that upside down but that’s for another day … I don’t think anyone saw Iowa State’s upset of the Cowboys coming, not even with the sad distractions surrounding Oklahoma State on Friday … I didn’t think USC would have enough to finish off Oregon but it’s not shocking on the level of the ISU win either … Oklahoma, well, Baylor isn’t a bad team and the Sooners aren’t a great team, so this wasn’t a huge surprise to me either … Clemson on the other hand, umm, WTF?  Were the Tigers confused and thinking that clinching their division meant they didn’t have to play again until the ACC championship game?  … Props to Georgia Southern for hanging in with Alabama as well as they did.  While Georgia Tech was struggling their way past mighty Duke, I couldn’t help but wonder why the Eagles managed to be more competitive than there’s any possible reason to think the Jackets would have done … Georgia wins ugly but it works, so congrats to the Mutts for winning the SEC Least, a division that’s so bad right now that it took an inappropriate review & subsequent reversal of a blown call for Tennessee to beat Vandy.  In Neyland of all places … Much as I dislike LSU, how crazy is it that after Friday they will have played the #2, #3, and previously #4 teams in the same season?  Even if they end up losing a game somewhere along the way, they may still find themselves playing for a national championship in January.

1. (1) LSU
2. (3) Alabama
3. (6) Arkansas
4. (7) Virginia Tech
5. (8) Houston
6. (9) Stanford
7. (2) Oklahoma State
8. (4) Oregon
9. (11) Michigan State
10. (12) Wisconsin
11. (13) TCU
12. (5) Oklahoma
13. (14) Boise State
14. (15) South Carolina
15. (18) USC
16. (20) Michigan
17. (17) Georgia
18. (19) Kansas State
19. (21) Penn State
20. (10) Clemson
21. (Un) Baylor
22. (16) Nebraska
23. (23) West Virginia
24. (25) Tulsa
25. (Un) Virginia

Dropped Out: Southern Miss (22), Florida State (24)

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HS Football Sweet 16’s

160 teams have been whittled down to 80 as the GHSA heads into the 2nd round of the high school football playoffs.  With the end of Athens Academy’s season last week on the road in Augusta, so ends another season of consulting for the Spartans student webcast.   That means I’ve got Friday’s nights (and quite a bit of my weekday evenings) off again … so naturally I’ll take that extra time to pay more attention to high school football elsewhere.  What?  You thought I was going to do anything else at this time of year?

Let’s look at this week’s matchups, starting with Class A and working our way up.

Class A
Bowdon (9-2) at #1 Sav. Christ. (11-0)
Bowdon won’t score nearly as much as they did last week (57) but I believe they’ll keep it respectable before losing
Clinch Co. (8-3) at #3 Lincoln Co. (11-0)
I’d love an upset here just to put the state out of  the increasingly whiny Larry Campbell’s misery, but I don’t see it happening unfortunately
#6 Charlton (10-1) at #7 Prince Ave. (11-0)
I expect this to be the end of the road for PACS, the gap between south & north will show up right here
Bremen (8-3) at #5 Marion Co. (11-0)
Take Marion’s relatively balanced offense to win at home
Landmark (9-2) at Calvary Day (10-1)
Landmark took advantage of a late turnover to upset Darlington in Rd 1.  I don’t see that happening after a much longer trip to Savannah
Aquinas (8-3) at #4 Wilcox Co. (11-0)
Aquinas has a tough, physical team led by RB/LB Brendan Douglas but other than Lincoln Co I don’t think they’ve seen anything like Wilcox
Wilkinson (9-2) at #8 Seminole (10-1)
Maybe the best matchup in Class A this week, and my upset special in this bracket.  I expect QB David Whipple to do just enough to get Wilkinson through to the next round.
Greenville (8-3) at #2 ELCA (10-1)
Normally I’d say ELCA wins this going away, but with as many as four starters questionable for tonight I figure it’s much closer than it would look on paper.  I’ll take the favorite but not by a lot

Class AA

Westminster (7-4) at #9 Dublin (10-1)
I can’t honestly put my finger on why but I’m going with a Westminster upset here.  On paper it shouldn’t happen, but I think it will.
#8 Brooks Co. (9-2) at #1 Calhoun (11-0)
Tough luck for a ranked team to run into the Yellow Jackets this early, expect Calhoun’s defense to carry the day
Appling (10-1) at #5 N. Oconee (11-0)
There may come a point where honesty will force me to pick against the Titans, the closest team to me still alive in the post-season … but it’s not this week.  The defense will do enough & the offense will put the game away to keep the Region 8 champs unbeaten.
Blessed Trinity (7-4) at #7 Lamar Co. (11-0)
I know BT has lost four games but three of those were to exceptional teams.  I know LC is unbeaten but their schedule wasn’t the toughest.  I like the upset here with former Roswell coach (state champ ’06) Tim McFarlin finding a way to get it done.
Jefferson Co. (8-3) at #1 Buford (11-0)
Hey JeffCo, you just won a first round playoff game on the road at Putnam Co, what’s your reward?  A trip to Buford where the Wolves haven’t lost since 2006, a streak of 41 traight home wins.  That’ll be 42 after tonight, with six BCS D1 commitments leading the way in a blowout
Cook (7-4) at #6 Elbert County (10-1)
The Hornets know how to win on the road (10x since 2000) and the Granite Bowl hasn’t seen a playoff game since 2002.  Toughest prediction in the bracket for me, I’ll go with Elbert holding on for a narrow win.
Adairsville (10-1) at #3 Fitzgerald (10-1)
The Tigers have had a great year to be proud of but I see nothing that leads me to believe they can hang with Fitzgerald team that’s won ten straight since losing the season opener to AAAAA Tift County.
Laney (9-2) at #4 Carver-Col. (10-1)
I’ll go with the favorites but not quite by the 21 point spread predicted by the Maxwell ratings

Class AAA
Woodward (8-3) at #4 Burke Co. (10-1)
I expect Burke to run the ball too well to lose this game at home
M. Persons (9-2) at #5 Allatoona (11-0)
Cobb County teams went 9-0 in the first round.  I see a loss coming here. 
Monroe (6-5) at #6 Gainesville (10-1)
Monroe shocked Baldwin in the first round with 12 seconds left.  I expect this to be over before halftime as Gainesville rolls
Troup (9-2) at #1 Sandy Creek (11-0
Someone may threaten Sandy Creek’s 40 game winning streak before the playoffs are over but it won’t happen this week
Stockbridge (9-2) at #3 Carrollton (10-1)
I expect the Lions defense to hold Stockbridge in check, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the game was closer than the 11 point spread
Ridgeland (7-4) at #8 Peach Co. (10-1)
Ridgeland jumped in front of Monroe Area early (28-0) and held on for a 35-21 win.  I don’t see them having the same first half success against Peach and that will be their undoing
Stephens County (9-2) at #7 Cairo (9-2)
I think the -10 margin for the Syrupmakers sounds about right.  They’re probably a TD better and the home field advantage makes up the rest
Henry County (7-4) at #2 St. Pius (11-0)
St. Pius will likely run, run, and run some more.  They’ll do it well enough to win this one by wearing the Warhawks down in the end

Class AAAA
#8 E. Paulding (10-1) at #6 Northgate (11-0)
Tough call in this matchup of teams that seem pretty evenly matched.  I don’t like the narrow win (10-6) for EPHS last week but I like them just a little better in this game than I like Northgate.
#7 W. Robins (9-2) at #9 Chattahoochee (10-1)
The ‘Hooch scored 66 last week, the Demons scored 42, so a shootout isn’t hard to imagine here.  I’ll take the defending state champions to survive at home
Ware County (9-2) at Heritage (10-1)
Both teams had a tough time in the opening round but Ware hung on while Heritage very possibly should have lost outright if not for a controversial call.  I’ll take Ware’s post-season experience (5th straight trip to at least the 2nd round) for the minor upset
Kell (9-2) at #5 Lovejoy (11-0)
Kell went on the road and stunned Marist in the first round, I think they make it two upsets in a row tonight in spite of the highly regarded Lovejoy defense
Griffin (9-2) at #1 Tucker (11-0)
Tucker’s top two RB’s average a TD every four touches.  The Bears have narrowly survived two straight elimination games but they run out of magic tonight
TCC (7-4) at Flowery Branch (10-1)
The Branch won on a hail mary on the game’s final play, TCC went to double OT to win their playoff opener.  I think QB Kanler Coke does enough to the Falcons to win at home & advance
#10 Clarke Central (10-1) at #2 Northside (11-0)
Very hard to pick against a local team with a RB as good as Q.Watson but I’ve seen first hand in years past how tough it can be to play NS-WR.  I’m afraid that the Gladiators season will end tonight in a tough game
Tri-Cities (9-2) at Pope (10-1)
I’ll take the Greyhounds to win at home

Class AAAAA
Marietta (6-5) at #1 Camden Co. (11-0)
Camden has been held under 55 points only once this season.  I expect them to get close to 50 tonight in a rout
#10 Colquitt (9-2) at #7 N. Gwinnett (10-1)
The Packers go on the road and will win tonight with defense
Lowndes (8-3) at Grayson (11-0)
When they last met in ’08, Grayson shocked the unbeaten defending state champs.  Tonight the Rams are the favorite & I believe they’ll live up to that status
W. Forsyth (10-1) at #4 Hillgrove (11-0)
A 5th year program visits a 6th year program in a matchup of promising newcomers.  I don’t think the extra year makes the difference tonight, I just think Hillgrove is the better team.
Lassiter (8-3) at #6 McEachern (10-1)
Lassiter blocked a PAT in overtime to escape round one.  I don’t see this one staying close enough for similar late heroics
Brookwood (8-3) at #3 M.L. King (11-0)
Even with MLK QB Jonquel Dawson questionable with a leg injury, I think last week’s OT win over P’tree Ridge is as far as this edition of the Broncos gets
Newnan (6-5) at Dacula (8-3)
Newnan went to Valdosta & eliminated the Wildcats in the opening round, Dacula beat Norcross as an underdog on their own field.  Even if Valdosta isn’t quite the caliber of some of their legendary teams, I like that win for Newnan & suspect they’ll find a way to do it again this week.  I don’t know how, but I think they’ll find a way.
South Cobb (8-3) at #5 Walton (11-0)
Last week SC came from behind to win a playoff game for the first time since 1959.  Walton will make them wait until at least next year to get another one


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J3C College Football Top 25 (after Week 11)

How the heck did it get to be Wednesday already?  Better late than never I suppose, but I’ll try to keep my comments fairly brief since another week of college football is almost upon us … I completely saw Oregon’s win over Stanford coming, the pace the Ducks maintain on both sides of the ball is simply too much for most teams.  Stanford is an okay team with an exceptional QB … Somewhat surprised, but happy, that Boise State is returned to their rightful place as a footnote in the football landscape.  Thank you TCU … No surprise last Thursday when VT beat GT and made the Jackets elimination from ACC contention official.  Reality check: they were never really a legit contender in the first place … I wasn’t surprised that UGA beat an Auburn team that struggled against Utah State early in the season.  I was surprised by how thorough the beat down was.   Dawgs played their best game on the same day that the War Eagles played their worst, perfect scenario for a major butt kicking … I still can’t get over how Texas Tech goes into Norman and beats Oklahoma only to follow up by looking like dog crap while getting outscored 159-33 in the next three weeks … I also can’t figure out how a horrendous Kansas team pushes Baylor to overtime … The Vols fall to 0-6 in the SEC and now have their entire season hinging on beating Vanderbilt at home this week.  Not sure what is more telling about the sad sorry state of football affairs in Knoxville:  that the Vandy game now critical OR that the Vols will be a rightfully deserved underdog at home against the ‘Dores.  Neither paints a pretty picture but both portray the depths pretty accurately … Enough already, on to the top 25.

1. (1) LSU
2. (2) Oklahoma State
3. (3) Alabama
4. (5) Oregon
5. (7) Oklahoma
6. (8) Arkansas
7. (9) Virginia Tech
8. (10) Houston
9. (4) Stanford
10. (11) Clemson
11. (12) Michigan State
12. (14) Wisconsin
13. (16) TCU
14. (6) Boise State
15. (15) South Carolina
16. (17) Nebraska
17. (19) Georgia
18. (18) USC
19. (20) Kansas State
20. (22) Michigan
21. (13) Penn State
22. (25) Southern Miss
23. (Un) West Virginia
24. (Un) Florida State
25. (Un) Tulsa

Dropped Out: Georgia Tech (21), Texas (23), Cincinnati (25)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after Week 10)

The showdown is over and, four missed field goals later, Les Miles still has a rabbit’s foot in his pocket.  I still don’t quite understand how Alabama let that game get away – I can only imagine how bewildered the Tide faithful must feel – but it’s LSU that’s unbeaten & in complete control of their own destiny

Oklahoma State survived a wild shootout to position themselves for a future showdown with LSU but they still have to survive Oklahoma, who in turn has to survive without their record setting wide receiver, lost for the year to an injury … Stanford still fidgets waiting to see if they get a turn, Boise State lurks in the shadows, and Oregon wonders if they might somehow get a second crack at LSU … This week it was Michigan State’s turn to survive while Michigan comes up short … South Carolina doesn’t have enough horses left to handle Arkansas although they managed a surprising amount of fight, Georgia is poised to be the beneficiary of the Gamecocks thinned ranks and might actually be able to take advantage even with another conference loss.  Of course the reward would be the chance to be offered as a sacrifice to LSU … Georgia Tech remains relevant in the ACC for at least another week, whether that will be the case after Thursday night is another question entirely … Georgia State found out just how bad things can get with a loss to a DII opponent … And in Knoxville, even I can’t blame CDD for being a little bewildered after injuries forced him to locate a kicker for homecoming from a nearby frat house.  In some respects, that may be college football at it’s surprising best …

1. (2) LSU
2. (3) Oklahoma State
3. (1) Alabama
4. (4) Stanford
5. (6) Oregon
6. (5) Boise State
7. (7) Oklahoma
8. (8) Arkansas
9. (9) Virginia Tech
10. (11) Houston
11. (12) Clemson
12. (15) Michigan State
13. (16) Penn State
14. (17) Wisconsin
15. (13) South Carolina
16. (20) TCU
17. (10) Nebraska
18. (23) USC
19. (24) Georgia
20. (19) Kansas State
21. (25) Georgia Tech
22. (14) Michigan
23. (Un) Texas
24. (Un) Cincinnati
25. (Un) Southern Miss

Dropped Out: Arizona State (18), Washington (21), West Virginia (22)

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