Sunday, December 1, 2013

Top 10 for 12/1

1) Florida State Seminoles (beat Florida Gators 37-7 in Gainesville)
This game was actually competitive for the first quarter when the Gators were able to hold Florida State to just a field goal and had intercepted Jameis Winston. After that, they simply couldn't do anything about sophomore wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, a 6'5 beast who hauled in three touchdowns and 212 yards on the day. Winston was challenged by the Gator's defensive backs, but ultimately he had the better day. The Seminoles also dominated this game defensively, holding Florida to 193 yards and forcing two turnovers. It was a bit of a role reversal for the way that this rivalry has gone over the last seven or eight years. The Seminoles will now play Duke for the ACC title, where they have already opened up as 30 point favorites against the Blue Devils.

2) Ohio State Buckeyes (beat Michigan Wolverines 42-41 in Ann Arbor)
This was one of the greatest matches that has ever bee played in the history of this rivalry, and that is saying a lot. The only thing that could have made this game any better was if Michigan was ranked. But in any case, Ohio State played a gritty game with Michigan, a team who completely emptied the cabinet in order to take down their unbeaten nemesis. The Buckeyes defense had a miserable day, making Devin Gardner look like Tom Brady. They did better against the run, but Gardner's maneuverability in the pocket allowed him to extend plays and let his guys get open. Ohio State's offense was running just as efficiently. Braxton accounted for five touchdowns while throwing for 133 and running for 153. Carlos Hyde was a complete beast in this game, running for an OSU record against Michigan 226 yards on 8.6 yards per carry. Ohio State was favored by 16 points in this game, but as I said prior to this week, anything can happen in a major rivalry game like this. Michigan had nothing to lose and played to win, and I give Brady Hoke a tremendous amount of credit of having the balls to go for 2. But in the end, Ohio State made just one more play that made all the difference in the world.

3) Auburn Tigers (beat No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 34-28 at home)
Did this game live up to the hype or what? Auburn played the Crimson tide much better than I expected them to and pulled off an upset in the most stunning fashion I've ever seen. Nick Marshall had a fantastic game, accounting for 196 yards and three touchdowns. Those are relatively modest numbers, but he made very critical plays when he had to in order to keep Auburn alive. Tre Mason was a workhorse for the Tigers as well, carrying the ball 29 for 164 yards against Alabama's punishing defense. The Tiger's offensive linemen were able to get the better of the Alabama defensive front seven all night, opening holes for Mason and Marshall who accumulated almost 300 yards, three times what Alabama had been giving up. Their defense was also able to make some pretty big plays, although giving up a 99 yard touchdown to Amari Cooper should have been a backbreaker. All in all, in comes down to one play that completely changes the outcome of this game. In this case, Auburn benefited from Saban's need to micromanage the game and demand an extra second at the end to kick a field goal. This was easily one of the most memorable finishes to any game I've ever seen in any sport.

4) Alabama Crimson Tide (lost to No. 4 Auburn Tigers 28-34 in Auburn)
Alabama had a great game statistically, but overall they just looked a bit sloppy and vulnerable. Their defensive front could not stop the run, and they were often leaving receivers with huge amounts of room to work with in the middle of the field. I was really surprised because I really figured that when Alabama went up 21-7 that they were going to put the game away. McCarron had a pretty good game, including what probably would have been his Heisman moment with the 99 yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper to take a touchdown lead in the fourth quarter. TJ Yeldon also had a great game, but in the end this game came down to the failures of their kicker to deliver. Alabama's kicker Cody Foster missed three field goals, and then the replacement kicker missed the final field goal that was returned for the touchdown. It was really a pretty flukey play, but Alabama lost and I couldn't be happier.

5) Missouri Tigers (beat No. 21 Texas A&M Aggies 28-21 at home)
Missouri might actually have a team that is capable of beating Auburn in the SEC Championship game. They held Manziel in check the entire game, allowing him to complete 26 passes for just 195 yards and only giving up 21 yards on the ground to him. Missouri has a very athletic defense who can keep up with the up tempo teams and is very aggressive against the run. The offense is also very dangerous now that James Franklin is back from injury and looking like his old self. He threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 80 yards, playing very well against a very poor A&M defense. Dorial Green-Beckham had another strong game, catching 7 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. The opening line for next week's game against Auburn is only around 2 points, and I think that they have a very serious shot of taking down Auburn and reaching the Sugar Bowl.

6) Oklahoma State Cowboys (idle this week; next game 12/7 Oklahoma Sooners at home)

7) Michigan State Spartans (beat Minnesota Golden Gophers 14-3 at home)
It was a pretty game offensively, but the defense is what has been carrying the Spartans thus far and this game showed just how dominating they can be. Minnesota was only able to get 249 total yards and it was pretty evenly dispersed between passing and rushing. Sophomore cornerback Trae Waynes picked off Gopher quarterback Philip Nelson twice and Michigan State was also able to force a fumble. Running back Jeremy Langford had a solid day, rushing for one touchdown and 134 yards. He will have a much tougher challenge against Ohio State's front seven, lead by junior linebacker Ryan Shazier. Michigan State has a very solid defense, but I'm not sure how well they will be able to move the ball against the Buckeyes. Ohio State had some difficulty defending Devin Gardner, but Connor Cook of the Spartans doesn't possess the mobility issue that Gardner did.

8) Baylor Bears (beat TCU Horned Frogs 41-38 in Forth Worth)
Baylor really didn't look all that great in this game. Their defense had been playing well, but in their last two games they have completely lost it. It doesn't really matter too much at this point however. Baylor's chances at anything significant kind of died when they lost to Oklahoma State last weekend. Unless the Cowboys lose to the Sooners at home, which is really unlikely to happen, Baylor is going to be left out of the Fiesta Bowl and probably an at-large bid.

9) Stanford Cardinal (beat No. 25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 27-20)
Kevin Hogan had a miserable day passing, throwing two interceptions but the Cardinal did what they have all season long and ran the ball right at Notre Dame. Stanford ran for over 250 yards and held onto the ball for almost 35 minutes while dominating Notre Dame defensively. Tommy Rees wasn't very effective passing the ball, and he was forced into two interceptions while the running backs only garnered 64 yards on the ground. Stanford will get to host Arizona State for the Pac-12 title and a trip to the Rose Bowl. Arizona State boasts one of the better passing attacks that Stanford has seen all season, but Stanford has already beaten the Sun Devils 42-28 this season at home. Expect a similar result.

10) South Carolina Gamecocks (beat No. 6 Clemson Tigers 31-17 at home)
South Carolina's dominance over their instate rivals continues as they totally dominated Clemson in every phase of the game. Clemson had a total of six turnovers while South Carolina had none, and Tajh Boyd was not able to do anything effective against this ball hawking defense. Unfortunately for South Carolina, they needed Mizzou to lose to Texas A&M in order to sneak into the SECCG. I feel bad for South Carolina as they have been able to win double digit games over the last few seasons but just can't catch a break and get into a BCS bowl game. I would be shocked if they managed to this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment