Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 4 College Football Recap: Rankings, Heisman, BCS Projections

It was a fairly lame weekend for matchups, so the top 25 does not have too much shifting this week. Most teams were either playing cupcakes in preparation for conference games coming up, or they just took the week off. Next week starts the beginning of the games that matter. Check out my recap of week 4 below.

Top 25 Poll
Others receiving votes: Florida, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame
Dropped from the rankings: Notre Dame (25)

25 (23). Miami (3-0) – Savannah State is always a good team to schedule if you need some confidence. They have an easy ACC schedule with the exception of Florida State. They need to look impressive every week if they really want to get back to being a legitimate title contender.
24 (NR). Fresno State (3-0) – They showed off their high-octane offense against Boise State in a thriller. This team probably will not lose this year.
23 (22). Oklahoma (3-0) – Oklahoma definitely has their quarterback. They head to Notre Dame next weekend, which will likely be his stiffest test this year.
22 (20). UCF (3-0) – They had a perfectly-timed idle week before South Carolina goes to Orlando.ThaIt is an intriguing matchup for sure.
21 (16). Michigan (4-0) – How exactly does a team go from unstoppable to squeaking out wins against 2 of the 5 worst teams in the nation? Watch the 2013 Michigan Wolverines.
20 (24). Wisconsin (3-1) – Their running game is absurd, averaging close to 10 yards per rush seemingly every game. They might be the best team in the conference.
19 (15). Arizona State (2-1) – The Sun Devils had a tough loss against the physically-superior Stanford team, but they still look like a team to be reckoned with in the Pac-12 South.
18 (21). Northwestern (4-0) – They had maybe the toughest non-conference schedule to manage of any team, but they now get a big week off before they welcome Ohio State to town.
17 (18). Mississippi (3-0) – How good is Ole Miss? We do not know yet. But we will after Saturday when they travel to Tuscaloosa.
16 (14). South Carolina (2-1) – The Gamecocks would be unwise to look past an upset-minded and very talented UCF team before conference schedule really kicks in. It is even a road game. I kinda like UCF in that one…
15 (19). Texas Tech (4-0) – The Red Raiders get their first week off next weekend. It seems like very good timing so that their young QB can regroup and prepare for a tough Big 12 schedule.
14 (13). Oklahoma State (3-0) – We will see what kind of guts Oklahoma State has in their next few games against substandard teams.
13 (12). Georgia (2-1) – The Bulldogs have a quality loss, but they need to basically go undefeated in conference to play for an SEC title. That journey takes another step when LSU comes to town next weekend in a monster matchup.
12 (11). LSU (4-0) – That game at Georgia is huge for this team. The offense has improved, but we will see if they can win a shootout in Athens.
11 (19). Texas A&M (3-1) – This team seems unstoppable on offense. With a lack of overly dominant teams this year, that might just be enough to make a title run.
10 (10). Louisville (4-0) – There is not a game remaining on their schedule that they should lose / be favored by less than 17 points. It will be a massive disappointment if they do not run the table.
9 (8). UCLA (3-0) – The Bruins have a couple easy games before heading to Stanford and Oregon in consecutive weeks. Let’s see if they can avoid looking too far ahead.
8 (7). Ohio State (4-0) – Yeah, it seems foolish now thinking that Miller’s injury would hurt this team. Guiton is just a better player.
7 (9). Baylor (3-0) – 69, 70, 70…those are point totals for Baylor. They have given up 23 points this year. No one wants any part of this scary team.
6 (6). Washington (3-0) – This team looks like it could be the most complete and balanced team in the nation. We will see how much they have grown up as the brutal 4 game stretch commences against Arizona next week.
5 (5). Florida State (3-0) – The Seminole offense is looking just as good as its defense. That does not bode well for the defense-deficient ACC.
4 (4). Clemson (3-0) – Clemson flirted with a predictable trap game loss at NC State, but they were able to take over. Their schedule is soft until they play Florida State, but they cannot overlook anyone.
3 (3). Stanford (3-0) – Stanford looked impressive in a physical win over Arizona State. The Cardinal have finally shown up.
2 (2). Alabama (3-0) – Alabama has not really been lighting up the scoreboard, but they are still hammering teams. They get a nice test next week in Ole Miss.
1 (1). Oregon (3-0) – The Ducks got the week off to prepare for the worst defense in the country when the Golden Bears head to Eugene. Can they score 100?

Top 5 Games for Next Weekend
5. Oklahoma (#23) at Notre Dame, 12:30PM ABC/ESPN2 – This seems like a game that will tell us a great deal about both teams. I cannot even begin to make a pick here.
4. South Carolina (#16) at UCF (#22), 9:00AM ABC – This is one of those weird games where a powerhouse travels to a non-AQ team’s building. I love this matchup on paper. Hopefully it lives up to it. LSU (#12) at Georgia (#13), 12:30PM CBS – This is the big SEC headliner, but not the most intriguing matchup on the slate. Neither team has much of a defense, so this will be one of those offensive shows that the “experts” think are myths in the SEC.
2. Mississippi (#17) at Alabama (#2), 3:30PM ESPN – Alabama has not played a spread attack like Ole Miss yet this year. If there is a team that could jump out to a lead on them, it is the Rebels. This one smells like an upset.
1. Wisconsin (#20) at Ohio State (#8), 5:00PM ABC – This has become one of the better rivalries in the country. Both teams have been putting up huge offensive numbers. The winner probably takes the conference.

Heisman Trophy Watch
5. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville – Their 70+ point win proved that they just do not care who or where they are playing, they are going to run up the score whenever they can. That bodes well for the preconceived #1 QB on the big board.
4. Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor – His rushing numbers are just silly in that offense. I cannot even fathom what his numbers will look like by season’s end.
3. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – He has had the signature wins already. If he continues to put up these kinds of numbers in the ACC, then he could give the trophy a run.
2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – He is going to be able to do whatever he wants all year. He needs to avoid losing a couple more games for him to have a real chance at being the second two-time winner ever.
1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon – He had the week off, yet no one was able to hop up and take the top spot. He could be here for the long haul.

BCS Projections
Rose Bowl – Stanford over Wisconsin
Orange Bowl – Florida State over Louisville
Sugar Bowl – Alabama over Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl – Texas A&M over Baylor
BCS Championship Game – Oregon over Clemson

What did you think of this weekend? Thoughts? Give me your rankings in the comments!

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