Cleat Geeks

Troy Trojans Dominate North Texas Mean Green in 2017 New Orleans Bowl

The 2017 College Football Bowl season has begun and with it the last chance to see some exciting match-ups and performances in College Football. The FBS Bowl match-ups kicked off with the Troy Trojans (11-2) dismantling the North Texas Mean Green 50-30 in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

The Trojans were worried about the Mean Green offense ranked 18th in total offensive yards per game and 21st in passing yards per game without some of their main Defensive Backs. The Trojans also needed a big game from QB Brandon Silvers and the offense to match the intensity of the fast-tempo Mean Green offense. Not only did the Trojans score 50 points against the Mean Green defense but the Trojans put a huge performance with their defense.

 

QB Brandon Silvers and WR Damon Willis Were Efficient Leaders on Offense

The Troy Trojans also have a fast-tempo offense, but they are more focused on the short passing game whereas North Texas goes deeper. Some of the usual plays that the Trojans do are quick slants, Receiver screens, and out-routes. Troy took a hard hit in the beginning of the game when their leading in WR Deondre Douglas was injured in the first play of the game on the opening kickoff and did not return. Troy did find a reliable replacement in WR Damon Willis with his quick speed and great catch-ability. Throughout the game, QB Brandon Silvers and Willis were an excellent match-up for the Trojans as they made quick work on scoring drives.

Brandon Silvers accounted for 305 yards on 24 completions (out of 31 attempts) for 4 touchdowns, 1 interception, and rushed for a touchdown. Silvers also accounted for a passer rating of 196.2. Damon Willis accounted for 11 receptions for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns. Silvers had set a tie for 2nd in consecutive completions in the beginning of the game where he was 11-for-11. When given great passing situations, Silvers delivered the ball with great precision and away from the opposing Defensive Backs. Willis accounted for his two touchdowns early in the 2nd quarter and late in the 4th quarter to put the game away for Troy.Image result for Josh Anderson troy

The Trojans offense accounted for 435 total offensive yards with 130 coming from the ground. Jordan Chunn was injured again for Troy but Josh Anderson was up for the task as he rushed for 113 yards on 22 carries for 2 touchdowns. The Trojans Offensive Line was stout as they only gave up one sack from North Texas and 4 tackles for loss. Mean Green DE/LB Joshua Wheeler accounted for 2 tackles for loss and 1 sack.

There was no drive of Troy that lasted more than 4 minutes and 23 seconds. Troy only had 2 total drives that lasted more than 4 minutes. The Trojans averaged 6.3 yards per play on offense with Silvers averaging 12.7 yards per completion. Troy was highly efficient against this Mean Green defense who relied more on their ability to create pressure throughout the season but couldn’t pressure consistently against Troy.

 

The Defensive Line and Linebackers of Troy Smothered the Mean Green Offense

The Troy Trojans knew the North Texas Mean Green offense would be a tough unit to crack being ranked 20th in points per game (35.9) and 21st in passing yards per game (291). The Trojans defense did see a weakness in the Offensive Line that was tied for the 14th highest allowed sacks (33). Before the game, the Trojans defense accounted for 36 total sacks from throughout the line. North Texas QB Mason Fine was 9th in the nation in total passing yards accounted for, but the Trojans Defense pressured well all throughout the game.

The defense for Troy accounted for 6 sacks and 11 tackles for loss and forced 5 total turnovers from the Mean Green offense. DT Jamal Stadom accounted for 5 total tackles, 3 solo tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack and helped the set the momentum for the Trojans in the Mean Green’s 1st drive by forcing a fumble where LB Sam Lebbie would recover at their 14-yard line.

Fine accounted for 303 yards on 30 completions (out of 54 attempts) for 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Fine also fumbled twice on the pressure from the Trojans defense. Though Fine had a good passing game for the most part, he was consistently pressured where he would throw the ball several times. DE Hunter Reese accounted for 4 solo tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack and an interception off a pass breakup from S Cedarius Rookard. LB Sam Lebbie was the team’s 2nd leading tackler with 5 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and the fumble recovery in North Texas’ 1st drive that set up the Trojan’s 2nd touchdown of the game.

 

A Young, Primarily Inexperienced Defensive Backs Tested But Held Their Own

The main worry for the Troy Trojans was their Defensive Backs, who had gone through some significant injuries. CB Blace Brown and S Kris Weatherspoon both had experienced injuries that would sideline them against the 21st ranked offense in the nation in North Texas. Even with the Defensive Line and the Linebackers creating some pressure against the North Texas offense, it was the Defensive Backs’ role to stop the passing offense once the ball was thrown.

There were a few situations where the Mean Green were continuing drives against the Trojans defense due to open Receivers and busted coverages. For the most part, the young Trojans Defensive Backs did well in defending the pass. The Mean Green averaged 10.1 yards per completion (2.6 less than Troy’s passing game) as well as averaged 5.6 yards per passing attempt due to pressure on the Quarterback or the DB’s forcing the incompletion on the Receivers.

In the press conference when asked about the injured Defensive Backs and if they blitzed or substituted more, Trojans Head Coach Neal Brown responded “Probably what we’ve been doing the last three weeks I guess is playing a 6 DB package. We had two starters out in the secondary, we just played some young guys. Marcus Jones got the start at Corner, he’s been starting at the Nickel. We played Tyler Murray a lot today and we’re excited about his future.”

Overall, the Defensive Backs did very well in defending against this aggressive passing offense of North Texas. S Cedarius Rookard was the team’s leading tackler with 9 total tackles, 6 solo tackles and accounted for 2 pass breakups. Freshman CB Marcus Jones and CB Kamryn Melton each also accounted for 2 pass breakups. Another tested young player was S Ardarius Wesley, who accounted for an interception in the 2nd play of the 4th quarter.

 

Troy Trojans finish their best FBS season in program history

The Troy Trojans finish the 2017 College Football with an 11-2 record (their first 11-win season in their FBS schedule), a win over #25 LSU earlier in the season, their first Sun Belt Conference Championship since 2010, and a huge win in the 2017 New Orleans Bowl. Not only did the defense for the Trojans hold the Mean Green to -8 total rushing yards but it is the first-time in New Orleans Bowl history that a defense holds their opposing team to negative rushing yards. QB Brandon Silvers finishes out his Troy Trojan career as the 2017 New Orleans Bowl MVP as well as the Troy Trojans career leader in total touchdowns (87). Silvers will begin a potential 2018 NFL Draft process where he hopes to continue a long line of Trojans drafted in the NFL.

The Troy Trojans will take their best season in their FBS play and go into the offseason as they gear for a tough 2018 College Football season. Their first game will be a revenge game at home against the Boise State Broncos, where they lost to them in week 1 with a 24-13 score.

Interview with Troy Trojans DC Vic Koenning leading to the 2017 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

As the Troy Trojans (10-2) and the North Texas Mean Green (9-4) prepare to face each other in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, I had a chance to talk to the Troy Trojans Defensive Coordinator Vic Koenning about this season and this match-up.

What do you feel has contributed the most success to your defense this season?

“I think it’s a combination. We’ve got some depth on our d-line. So, we’ve been able to keep guys fresh and by keeping them fresh on the front, it’s enabled guys to stay healthy and obviously play faster. You know the health issue is a real deal, we’ve been able to stay healthy this year and that’s kind of a crapshoot from year-to-year. Then I think that the addition to the six Freshman we’ve played every week on defense has also helped us, it’s enabled guys not play on every special team and on every snap on defense like we’ve had kind of had to do the last two years. So, it’s the influx of new talent and guys good enough to play as a freshman has really helped the whole picture. I think it’s a combination of a bunch of stuff.”

 

You guys lose 2016 Sun Belt Defensive player of the year in Rashad Dillard and you guys are tied for 14th in the nation in sacks with 36. Do you think that says more about your players stepping up and feeling in or your defense system or do you think it’s a little bit of both?Image result for rashad dillard troy

“The Pride part of me wants to say it’s a little bit of both. Always, I’ve said kind words about our players. I know we had two years ago where we had Roberts who probably should have been Sun Belt Defensive player of the year, last year Rashad was. Then we have at the same position Hunter Reese, he was a walk-on, then he was a backup then he got an opportunity to play, then got first-team all-conference. I think it’s somewhat the nature of that position and what we want out of that position in what we call it a bandit. There have been about seven or eight Bandits playing this game that have or are playing in the league, it’s some of both. I do know our guys play hard I do know if one position isn’t strong as another then teams are going to take advantage of it. So, you kind of have to be like the fence you got to be strong all the way across the fence are you going to lose what’s in it, so we have to kind of as a group play together. If you’re not good at stopping the pass or running or stopping the run you have to do a little bit of everything two to have a success.”

 

What do you feel are some of the main attributes that gave you guys the win over number 25 LSU?

“I say they probably did not respect us.They did not play at the level that they played after our game, I think we probably got their attention little bit. I’m sure it was hard to coach them that week. You know because they’re saying it’s just Troy, there’s always some of that going into it. We’ve had issues of that this year ourselves. I think that we’ve had a really good plan. I think that their ability to run the football and our ability to stop the run was a surprise for them and I think our guys played extremely hard. The team that played the hardest won the game. So, it’s probably a combination all those three things.”

 

What did you guys learn about your defense after the game against South Alabama?

“Well, we played a pretty good defensive game. I don’t know if they had 275 yards, I don’t know the exact stat. They had three plays where they got over half their yards on 3 screen passes. We obviously did well cover-wise which lends itself so if we don’t have one guy who can do a good job on-screen passes. They ran the ball and they didn’t throw the ball well except for those three-screen passes. Defensively against South, we did okay, so happens, their defense outplayed our defense. It was a hard-fought game, we didn’t play well on any phase against them. A fumble and a couple of punts which gave them immediate fill position and possession, that was what happened it was their defense that played great and they had some turnovers.”

Image result for vic koenning troy

Your defense will be playing a top 20 scoring team. 18 in total offense a quarterback that’s ranked 9th in total passing yards and a 1000-yard rusher. What do you feel is the key to not really stopping North Texas but really slowing him down?

“Well, I don’t know if we’ll be fully able to but we’re going to have to get takeaways. You know their quarterback finds a way, I think he’s very much Russell Wilson-ish. I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff and the plays from the run. They’re getting their Rusher back so there’s the other 1200-yard back. We’re going out to play unconscious, we’re going to swarm to the ball and make tackles and make takeaways. We’re going to have to force them to drive the length of the field and not give up big plays, which we’ve done a good job all year. As soon as you say something like that it goes against you. We got some young guys that are going to play, we are down two DB’s and down to our starting four, some young guys have to step up and play and play better than the way we played in the first quarter against Arkansas State.”

 

Do you feel this Mean Green offense is the best offensive unit you have played all season?

“I think they’re very topical to Arkansas State in a lot of their stats. There’s one of the best, it wouldn’t surprise me if they are. It’s going to be really a challenge for us. It’s really going to be an unbelievable precursor for us going to next year. With us playing so many young guys, it’s going to give our guys opportunity to see what we got. I know they are extremely well coached, they may be as well coach has any team we have played. I know we’re just going to have to play our best football to give us our chance to win.”

 

Your defense ranks 5th in tackles for loss per game while North Texas has given up the 14th highest allowed sacks this season. Do you feel you have an edge in the trenches with your D-Line?

“Well if we have any advantage at all, it’s going to be that. Our D-Line is going to have to pressure. We’ve kind of combined a bunch of things we’ve learned throughout the year, so the game plan is to work to what sinks in the best. We, first of all, have got to stop the run because their ability to run the football probably scares me more than anything and then we’ll know they’ll pass. when they do throw the ball, we’re going to get pressure on the quarterback and not so much in but to Image result for marcus jones troykeep them from throwing the football.”

 

What’s one match-up in this game that you are most excited for, individualized or GroupWise?

“Well like I said we are playing some guys like Marcus Jones is going to be starting at corner, Dunlap is going to play a lot of Corner. Ardarius Wesley is going to play or start at safety. So, we’ve got some new guys filling rules that they haven’t had all year. We’re going to see what they’ve got which is don’t you leave into next year. That’s what your kind of use bowls for, gives them an extra spring practice. With these bowls around the 16th, you haven’t had that many practice opportunities. So we haven’t had that much but we’re going to give these guys games reps because they’re guys that are going to have be big players for us next year.”

 

Do you think this game feels like a home game being around the Gulf Coast or if you think it’s the opposite?

“We are going to be the home team and we are going to be wearing gray. I would imagine are Troy fans will come out here. They travel great. I will be surprised if we will not have more Troy Fans in attendance. We’ve been on the road so many games this year and we feel that we’ve had as many Trojan fans then the other team did. We may not be our home team we are going to have to do that this weekend.”

 

Troy Trojans Face Explosive Offense In North Texas in the 2017 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

The 2017-2018 College Football Bowl season will kick off their FBS bowl schedule with a matchup of former conference rivals. The Sun Belt Co-Conference Champions in the Troy Trojans (10-2) and the C-USA Western divisional title champs in the North Texas Mean Green (9-4) will meet in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

The North Texas Mean Green come into this game with one of the most efficient and explosive offenses in the nation. While the Trojans are not far from the Mean Green offense in terms of consistency. The Trojans come into this game as the favorite because their reliable defense that ranks 11th in the nation in points allowed per game (17.5). Both teams will come into this matchup putting their best systematics ahead of them and trying out different techniques. Execution and consistency will be the goal for both teams to get this win.

 

Trojans’ Successive Offensive Match-ups VS. The Mean Green’s Explosive Tempo

Image result for r+l carriers new orleans bowl

Both the North Texas Mean Green and the Troy Trojans display a fast tempo type of offense that gives their offense a significant advantage against the opposing defense in terms of speed and aggression. The Mean Green offense are ranked 18th in the nation in total yards per game (467), 20th in points per game (35.9), and 21st in passing yards per game (291). This is due largely to the input from Quarterback Mason Fine, who has thrown for 294 completions (out of 457 attempts) for 3,749 yards, 28 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and has accounted for a 147.8 rating. Fine is ranked 9th in the nation in total passing yards. The Mean Green also a 1,000-yard rusher in RB Jeffery Wilson, who has rushed for 1,215 yards on 188 attempts (an average of 6.5 yards per rush) and 16 touchdowns.Image result for r+l carriers new orleans bowl

Their version of the fast-tempo offense utilizes a deep passing setting and a diverse run game. Offensively the North Texas Mean Green rank 40th in the nation in offensive efficiency. The Troy Trojans, on the other hand, also utilize a fast-tempo offense but use more short-yardage plays like screens, bubbles, and quick slants. The Trojans have a talented and accurate Quarterback in Brandon Silvers to run those plays. Silvers will be playing in his last game for the Troy Trojans after being a four-year starter.

The Trojans have not only revived their successful program to consistent bowl eligibility, but they have turned into a non-power 5 conference powerhouse where they have won 10 games in back-to-back years. They have done so with an offense that is impressively consistent and efficient by being ranked 50th in points per game (30) and 34th in passing yards per game (266.7). This season, Silvers has passed for 2,985 yards on 259 completions (out of 412 attempts), 13 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and accounted for a 131.2 rating. His most reliable target in WR Deondre Douglas has accounted for 628 yards on 48 receptions (an average of 13.1 yards per catch) and 4 touchdowns. Douglas is much more than a bubble screen receiver. He can fly through the opposing team’s Defensive Backs with incredible breakout speed.

 

Trojans Defense Is Ready For This Mean Green High-Power Offense

AImage result for rashad dillardlthough the Trojans offense is very good and efficient, it is their defense that makes opposing teams very cautious. Troy’s defense is ranked 14th in the nation in rushing yards allowed per game (114.8) and 11th in points allowed per game (17.5). When 2016 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the year in Trojans DE Rashard Dillard graduated, many thought the Trojans defense would lose potency. Instead, the Trojans became more stout in the interior of the Defensive Line with DT Jamal Stadom being the new leader of the Defensive Line. The Trojans are also tied for 14th in the nation in sacks accounted for with 36. The pressure coming from the Defensive Line and the Linebackers quickly make the opposing offense disarrayed during the play and even before the snap with the anticipation.

Even with the Mean Green offense is efficient in creating big plays and a large amount of yardage, the weakness might be the Offensive Line. The Mean Green offense has allowed the 14th most sacks in the nation with 33 allowed sacks. The Trojans defense is great in creating pressure and sacks because of the multiple packages with their Defensive Line, Linebackers, and their blitzing Defensive Backs. One of the biggest keys when going against a talented offense like North Texas is to create turnovers. The Trojans will be without CB Blace Brown (ACL tear) and S Kris Weatherspoon (ankle), so the Trojans will need to rely on creating turnovers on their main pass rushers and some reserves filling in the Defensive Backs. Star Freshman Cornerback Marcus Jones will get the start for the Trojans defense.

 

Watch For The Trojans To Start Scoring At A Highly Fast Pace

The North Texas Mean Green defense is not as a talented and consistent as their offense. The Mean Green defense ranks 65th in passing yards allowed per game (223.1), 108th in rushing yards allowed per game (208.1), and 105th in points allowed per game (33.8). The Mean Green defense is ranked 110th in the nation in defensive efficiency.

Image result for brandon silvers troyTheir latest matchup in the C-USA Conference Championship against the Florida Atlantic Owls (10-3), the North Texas Mean Green had no answer to stopping the highly efficient offense of the Owls early. Within 2 full quarters and 2:39 minutes into the 3rd quarter, the Owls had already scored 34 points against the Mean Green defense. At the end of the game, the Owls had accounted for 633 total yards against North Texas’ defense.

If Troy wants to take the game early from North Texas’ reach, the Trojans will have to start trick plays and deep passing situations on 1st downs. Troy has a Quarterback in Brandon Silvers that is accurate in his deep throws. An early connection between Silvers and Deondre Douglas deep down the field can dismantle the Mean Green’s defensive stability. Trojans RB Jordan Chunn can also be a key factor for Troy as he and the Offensive Line led by 1st team All-Sun Belt Tackle Steven Rowzee. If the Trojans utilize their run game efficiently then it will make their offense more versatile and likely to tear apart the Mean Green defense.

 

Final Analysis And Prediction

Despite North Texas being a more productivity team offensively, the Trojans are the overall efficient team. North Texas Head Coach Seth Littrell has done an incredible job with the Mean Green in his two seasons (14-12) but the Trojans will also have the favor in coaching. Trojans Head Coach Neal Brown has accounted for a 24-13 this season and last season. He will be one of the hottest non-power 5 conferences coaches to be looked at within possibly after this season or at the end of the next season. In the meanwhile, he has a goal for the Troy Trojans. This Saturday, that goal is to beat the North Texas Mean Green and finish with 11 wins in the 2017 season.

Silvers will have a chance to show NFL scouts that he has potential to be in the league. He will have one final chance to make more consistent deep passes as he will be playing his last game with the Troy Trojans. Defensively, DE Hunter Reese can continue his impressive performance against one of the top offenses in the C-USA. So far, this season, he has accounted for 11.5 tackles for loss. The Trojans are ranked 5th in the nation in tackles for loss per game (8.4). The consistent presence in the background will make a huge impact against the Mean Green offense but they will need to capitalize on this attribute. Starting fast and finishing strong is something the Trojans have been doing all season, expect North Texas to attempt a comeback but their drive depends on the energy levels of Troy.

 

Prediction:
Troy 33, North Texas 28

 

Final College Football Top 25 And More

CFP top 25 teams

On December 3, 2017, the College Football Playoff selection committee announced their final team rankings for the year.

In the fourth year of the College Football Playoff era, this was the first time that two of the four semifinalists (Georgia and Alabama) were from the same conference.

Rank Team W–L Conference and standing Bowl game
1 Clemson Tigers 12–1 ACC champions Sugar Bowl
2 Oklahoma Sooners 12–1 Big 12 champions Rose Bowl
3 Georgia Bulldogs 12–1 SEC champions Rose Bowl
4 Alabama Crimson Tide 11–1 SEC West Division second place Sugar Bowl
5 Ohio State Buckeyes 11–2 Big Ten champions Cotton Bowl
6 Wisconsin Badgers 12–1 Big Ten West Division champions Orange Bowl
7 Auburn Tigers 10–3 SEC West Division Champions Peach Bowl
8 USC Trojans 11–2 Pac-12 champions Cotton Bowl
9 Penn State Nittany Lions 10–2 Big Ten East Division second place (tie) Fiesta Bowl
10 Miami Hurricanes 10–2 ACC Coastal Division champions Orange Bowl
11 Washington Huskies 10–2 PAC-12 North Division co-champions Fiesta Bowl
12 UCF Knights 12–0 AAC champions Peach Bowl
13 Stanford Cardinal 9–4 PAC-12 North Division co-champions Alamo Bowl
14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 9–3 Independent Citrus Bowl
15 TCU Horned Frogs 10–3 Big 12 second place Alamo Bowl
16 Michigan State Spartans 9–3 Big 10 East Division second place (tie) Holiday Bowl
17 LSU Tigers 9–3 SEC West Division third place Citrus Bowl
18 Washington State Cougars 9–3 Pac-12 North Division third place Holiday Bowl
19 Oklahoma State Cowboys 9–3 Big 12 third place Camping World Bowl
20 Memphis Tigers 10–2 AAC West Division champions Liberty Bowl
21 Northwestern Wildcats 9–3 Big Ten West Division second place Music City Bowl
22 Virginia Tech Hokies 9–3 ACC Coastal Division second place Camping World Bowl
23 Mississippi State Bulldogs 8–4 SEC West Division fourth place (tie) TaxSlayer Bowl
24 NC State Wolfpack 8–4 ACC Atlantic Division second place Sun Bowl
25 Boise State Broncos 10–3 MWC Champions Las Vegas Bowl

Bowl-eligible teams

  • American (7): Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, South Florida, Temple, UCF
  • ACC (10): Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Miami, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
  • Big Ten (8): Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
  • Big 12 (8): Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia
  • C-USA (10): FIU, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Southern Miss, UAB, UTSA, Western Kentucky
  • Independent (2): Army, Notre Dame
  • MAC (7): Akron, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan
  • Mountain West (6): Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, San Diego State, Utah State, Wyoming
  • Pac-12 (9): Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State
  • SEC (9): Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M
  • Sun Belt (5): Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Georgia State, New Mexico State, Troy

Number of teams going to bowl games: 78

Number of bowl-eligible teams: 81

Bowl-eligible teams that did not receive a berth

As there are more bowl-eligible teams than bowl berths, three bowl-eligible teams will not receive a bowl berth:

  • Buffalo (6–6)
  • UTSA (6–5)
  • Western Michigan (6–6)

Bowl-ineligible teams

  • American (5): Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Tulane, Tulsa
  • ACC (4): Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
  • Big Ten (6): Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rutgers
  • Big 12 (2): Baylor, Kansas
  • C-USA (4): Charlotte, Old Dominion, Rice, UTEP
  • Independent (2): BYU, Massachusetts
  • MAC (5): Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (OH)
  • Mountain West (6): Air Force, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV
  • Pac-12 (3): California, Colorado, Oregon State
  • SEC (5): Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
  • Sun Belt (7): Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Idaho, Louisiana–Lafayette, Louisiana–Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State
Notes
  1. Despite winning six games for a .500 (6–6) regular-season record, Ole Miss is bowl-ineligible due to a self-imposed bowl ban.
  2. Coastal Carolina is in the first year of its two-year transition from FCS to FBS and is bowl-ineligible due to NCAA regulations, but would have been ineligible based on record in any case.

Number of bowl-ineligible teams: 49

Complete 2017-18 College Football Bowl Schedule

It is that time again where you start to plan out the rest of your college football watching season. Which days to take off work, or call in “football sick.” Decide where to watch the games, with who and what food to have. This is one of the best times of the year for football fans, 40 college football games in a stretch of 16 days with only 3 days, December 17th, 18th and 25th having no college bowl games played. Here is your complete list of every bowl game, the stadium, city, teams, records and where you can watch or listen to the games.

Non-CFP bowl games

Changes from the prior season’s bowl games are the Frisco Bowl replacing the Miami Beach Bowl, and discontinuation of the Poinsettia Bowl. What was the Russell Athletic Bowl is now the Camping World Bowl, due to a sponsorship change and the St. Petersburg Bowl has been rebranded as the Gasparilla Bowl.

Date Game Site Television Radio Teams Affiliations Results
Dec. 16 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans
1:00 P.M. EST
ESPN ESPN Radio Troy Trojans (10–2)
North Texas Mean Green (9–4)
Sun Belt
C–USA
AutoNation Cure Bowl Camping World Stadium
Orlando, Florida
2:30 P.M. EST
CBSSN Touchdown Radio Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (6–6)
Georgia State Panthers (6–5)
C-USA
Sun Belt
Las Vegas Bowl Sam Boyd Stadium
Las Vegas
3:30 P.M. EST
ABC Sports USA #25 Boise State Broncos (10–3)
Oregon Ducks (7–5)
Mountain West
Pac–12
Gildan New Mexico Bowl Dreamstyle Stadium
Albuquerque, New Mexico
4:30 P.M. EST
ESPN ESPN Radio Marshall Thundering Herd (7–5)
Colorado State Rams (7–5)
C–USA
Mountain West
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Cramton Bowl
Montgomery, Alabama
8:00 P.M. EST
ESPN Arkansas State Red Wolves (7–4)
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (6–6)
Sun Belt
C–USA
Dec. 19 Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl FAU Stadium
Boca Raton, Florida
7:00 P.M. EST
ESPN Florida Atlantic Owls (10–3)
Akron Zips (7–6)
C–USA
MAC
Dec. 20 DXL Frisco Bowl Toyota Stadium
Frisco, Texas
8:00 P.M. EST
ESPN RedVoice, LLC Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (6–6)
SMU Mustangs (7–5)
C–USA
American
Dec. 21 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl Tropicana Field
St. Petersburg, Florida
8:00 P.M. EST
ESPN Temple Owls (6–6)
FIU Panthers (8–4)
American
C–USA
Dec. 22 Bahamas Bowl Thomas Robinson Stadium
Nassau, Bahamas
12:30 P.M. EST
ESPN UAB Blazers (8–4)
Ohio Bobcats (8–4)
C–USA
MAC
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Albertsons Stadium
Boise, Idaho
4:00 P.M. EST
ESPN Central Michigan Chippewas (8–4)
Wyoming Cowboys (7–5)
MAC
Mountain West
Dec. 23 Birmingham Bowl Legion Field
Birmingham, Alabama
12:00 P.M. EST
ESPN Texas Tech Red Raiders (6–6)
South Florida Bulls (9–2)
Big 12
American
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Amon G. Carter Stadium
Fort Worth, Texas
3:30 P.M. EST
ESPN Army Black Knights (8–3)
San Diego State Aztecs (10–2)
Independents
Mountain West
Dollar General Bowl Ladd–Peebles Stadium
Mobile, Alabama
7:00 P.M. EST
ESPN Nevada SN Toledo Rockets (11–2)
Appalachian State Mountaineers (8–4)
MAC
Sun Belt
Dec. 24 Hawaiʻi Bowl Aloha Stadium
Honolulu, HI
8:30 P.M. EST
ESPN ESPN Radio Fresno State Bulldogs (9–4)
Houston Cougars (7–4)
Mountain West
American
Dec. 26 Cactus Bowl Chase Field
Phoenix, Arizona
9:00 P.M. EST
ESPN Kansas State Wildcats (7–5)
UCLA Bruins (6–6)
Big 12
Pac-12
Quick Lane Bowl Ford Field
Detroit
5:15 P.M. EST
ESPN WJR Northern Illinois Huskies (8–4)
Duke Blue Devils (6–6)
MAC
ACC
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl Cotton Bowl Stadium
Dallas
1:00 P.M. EST
ESPN RedVoice, LLC West Virginia Mountaineers (7–5)
Utah Utes (6–6)
Big 12
Pac-12
Dec. 27 Walk-On’s Independence Bowl Independence Stadium
Shreveport, Louisiana
1:30 P.M. EST
ESPN Sports USA Florida State Seminoles (6–6)
Southern Miss Golden Eagles (8–4)
ACC
C–USA
New Era Pinstripe Bowl Yankee Stadium
Bronx, New York
5:15 P.M. EST
ESPN ESPN Radio Iowa Hawkeyes (7–5)
Boston College Eagles (7–5)
Big Ten
ACC
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl NRG Stadium
Houston
9:00 P.M. EST
ESPN Texas Longhorns (6–6)
Missouri Tigers (7–5)
Big 12
SEC
Foster Farms Bowl Levi’s Stadium
Santa Clara, California
8:30 P.M. EST
Fox Fox Sports Radio Purdue Boilermakers (6–6)
Arizona Wildcats (7–5)
Big Ten
Pac-12
Dec. 28 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Annapolis, Maryland
1:30 P.M. EST
ESPN ESPN Radio Virginia Cavaliers (6–6)
Navy Midshipmen (6–5)
ACC
American
Camping World Bowl Camping World Stadium
Orlando, Florida
5:15 P.M. EST
ESPN #19 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9–3)
#22 Virginia Tech Hokies (9–3)
Big 12
ACC
Valero Alamo Bowl Alamodome
San Antonio
9:00 P.M. EST
ESPN #13 Stanford Cardinal (9–4)
#15 TCU Horned Frogs (10–3)
Pac-12
Big 12
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl SDCCU Stadium
San Diego
9:00 P.M. EST
FS1 Fox Sports Radio #16 Michigan State Spartans (9–3)
#18 Washington State Cougars (9–3)
Big Ten
Pac-12
Dec. 29 Belk Bowl Bank of America Stadium
Charlotte, North Carolina
1:00 P.M. EST
ESPN ESPN Radio Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7–5)
Texas A&M Aggies (7–5)
ACC
SEC
Hyundai Sun Bowl Sun Bowl Stadium
El Paso, Texas
3:00 P.M. EST
CBS Sports USA Arizona State Sun Devils (7–5)
#24 NC State Wolfpack (8–4)
Pac-12
ACC
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Nissan Stadium
Nashville, Tennessee
4:30 P.M. EST
ESPN ESPN Radio #21 Northwestern Wildcats (9–3)
Kentucky Wildcats (7–5)
Big Ten
SEC
Dec. 30 TaxSlayer Bowl EverBank Field
Jacksonville, Florida
12:00 P.M. EST
ESPN Touchdown Radio Louisville Cardinals (8–4)
#23 Mississippi State Bulldogs (8–4)
ACC
SEC
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Liberty Bowl
Memphis, Tennessee
12:30 P.M. EST
ABC ESPN Radio Iowa State Cyclones (7–5)
#20 Memphis Tigers (10–2)
Big 12
American
NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Arizona Stadium
Tucson, Arizona
5:30 P.M. EST
CBSSN New Mexico State Aggies (6–6)
Utah State Aggies (6–6)
Sun Belt
Mountain West
Jan. 1 Outback Bowl Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, Florida
12:00 P.M. EST
ESPN2 Sports USA Michigan Wolverines (8–4)
South Carolina Gamecocks (8–4)
Big Ten
SEC
Citrus Bowl presented by Overton’s Camping World Stadium
Orlando, Florida
1:00 P.M. EST
ABC ESPN Radio #17 LSU Tigers (9–3)
#14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9–3)
SEC
Independents

College Football Playoff and Championship Game

The College Football Playoff system will be used to determine a national champion of Division I FBS college football. A 13-member committee of experts will rank the top 25 teams in the nation after each of the last seven weeks of the 2017 season. The top four teams in the final ranking will play a single-elimination semifinal round, with the winners advancing to the National Championship game.

The semi-final games will be the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, both to be played on New Year’s Day, as part of a yearly rotation of three pairs of six bowls. Their winners will advance to the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on January 8, 2018.

Date Game Site Teams Affiliations Results
Dec. 29 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas
8:30 pm EST ESPN
#8 USC Trojans (11–2)
#5 Ohio State Buckeyes (11–2)
Pac-12
Big Ten
Dec. 30 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, Arizona
4:00 pm EST ESPN
#11 Washington Huskies (10–2)
#9 Penn State Nittany Lions (10–2)
Pac-12
Big Ten
 
Capital One Orange Bowl Hard Rock Stadium
Miami Gardens, Florida
8:00 pm EST ESPN
#10 Miami Hurricanes (10–2)
#6 Wisconsin Badgers (12–1)
ACC
Big Ten
Jan. 1 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta
12:30 pm EST ESPN
#12 UCF Knights (12–0)
#7 Auburn Tigers (10–3)
American
SEC
 
Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual Rose Bowl
Pasadena, California
5:00 pm EST ESPN
#3 Georgia Bulldogs (12–1)
#2 Oklahoma Sooners (12–1)
SEC
Big 12
 
Allstate Sugar Bowl Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, Louisiana
8:45 pm EST ESPN
#4 Alabama Crimson Tide (11–1)
#1 Clemson Tigers (12–1)
SEC
ACC
Jan. 8 College Football Playoff National Championship Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta
8:00 pm EST ESPN
  (Rose Bowl Winner vs. Sugar Bowl Winner)

Let us know which game you are most looking forward to in the comment section below and spark a conversation amongst sports fans!

The College Football “What If” Game

I love chos, I love coming right down to the wire on the final week of the college football season and not knowing who the top 4 teams in college football will be. In years past, there has been some mystery about 1 or maybe 2 of the top 4 teams but this year, none of them seem to be a complete lock. It makes college take center stage this weekend, and I love it! Therefore, it allows us to play the “What If” game. Here we go, hope you enjoy.Image result for tcu vs oklahoma 2017

WHAT IF…..TCU beats Oklahoma? If I were a betting man, this would be my lock. I just don’t think TCU has the horses or the horned frogs to pull off this upset. Baker Mayfield and RB Rodney Anderson (who will transition well into the NFL) are just to much for TCU. But, if somehow they do it, it should knock Oklahoma , but it will not move TCU into the top four. In my opinion, an Oklahoma loss is Alabama’s best shot at being in the top 4.

Image result for georgia vs auburn 2017WHAT IF……Georgia beats Auburn? Auburn has looked like the best team in football by knocking of 2 #1 teams in 3 weeks. But, since their 40-17 loss to Auburn (which was their only loss of the season) they have taken care of both Kentucky and Georgia Tech by a combined score of  80 to 20. In their first match-up Georgia was only able to muster 46 rushing yards for the entire game. They have to improve that stat to have a shot. If Georgia can win this time on a neutral field, it would certainly knock Auburn out of the top 4 as it would give Auburn 3 losses. Plus, it should catapult Georgia into the top 4.

WHAT IF…..Ohio State beats Wisconsin? Of these 4 games, Ohio State is the only lower ranked team favored. Not only are they favored, but they are the visitor in Wisconsin and favored by 6.5. Wisconsin RB Jonathan Tayloris truly running down hill. He currently ranks 3rd in the country with 1,806 total yards and has averaged 155.3 yards per game in his last 3 games. The other side of this Big 10 coin is who is going to start at QB for Ohio State.J.T. Barrett or Dwayne Hoskins. While we are on this subject, I think it is unfair for Clemson to be given a pass in there 1 loss because their QB was injured and forced to leave in the 3rd quarter. When last week Ohio State were the visitors, were trailing, lost their QB and still came back to win. Yet they did not move up in the rankings. OSU should be 6th right now, but it is not going to matter, OSU will beat Wisconsin and move into their proper place in the top 4.

Image result for ohio state vs wisconsin big ten championship game

WHAT IF……Miami beats Clemson? Miami will be focused and ready to play after being stunned by their down to earth 24-14 loss to Pitt. Plus, Miami has revenge on their mind remembering their last meeting in Miami during the 2015 season where they were embarrassed 58-0. They will be motivated to knock Clemson out of the #1 spot. And I believe they will successful in doing so.

Image result for miami vs clemson 2017

Do THEY have an Argument?

Now that USC beat Stanford do they have an argument? I think they do have an argument against 1 loss Alabama team who did not play for the conference title as compared to a 2 loss team in USC who won the PAC-12 title.

If Central Florida stays unbeaten do they have an argument? I would like to say yes, because I love the story of them going winless just 2 short years ago and being undefeated now. But no has to be my realistic answer. But, I think it could be interesting if; Miami, Ohio State, Georgia and USC all loose if the committee would jump them up to #6? If so there reward would simply be to challenge a major school in a major bowl game.Image result for miami vs clemson 2017

What I think the Top Ten will look like on the final poll on Sunday

  1. Oklahoma
  2.  Auburn
  3.  Miami
  4.  Ohio State
  5.  Clemson
  6.  Alabama
  7.  USC
  8.  Central Florida
  9.  Georgia
  10.  Wisconsin

Iron Bowl Grudge Match- #1 Alabama (11-0) @ #6 Auburn (9-2)

Imagine a rivalry game where the stakes are high with the SEC West division, SEC Championship berth, and a possible College Football Playoff berth all on the line. It’s just another typical Iron Bowl match-up between the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0) and the #6 Auburn Tigers (9-2). This year will feature great defenses led by potential All-American candidates and, surprisingly, two of the most aggressive offenses in the nation. The winner of this very likely classic will be the winner of the SEC West division, favorites to beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship, and a huge candidate to get in the College Football Playoffs with only one more week in-between.

The winner of the past 8 match-ups has either won the National Championship, gone to the National Championship game, or gotten into the College Football Playoffs. The winner of this game could very well make it a 9th time in a row.

The Alabama Crimson Tide currently lead the series 45-35-1 as well as having the current winning streak at 3 games since the 2014 season. The Tide are looking to make this 4 wins over their most hated rival but history says that Auburn will provide a bigger scare than Alabama realizes. Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban is 0-5 against the Auburn Tigers whenever they account for 9 wins in the season before their matchup against Alabama. This is a record that extends back to his head coaching days at the LSU Tigers (also in the SEC West). Auburn is also looking to account for another win against a #1 team since the huge 40-17 win over the #1 Georgia Bulldogs two weeks ago. This doesn’t concern the Crimson Tide as they are looking to prove the nation of the relevance of their #1 ranking and ready to claim the SEC West.

 

A time to shine for the Quarterbacks

Image result for 2017 iron bowlThe Iron Bowl has made big names of Quarterbacks of both teams for many years ranging from Joe Namath (Alabama), Pat Sullivan (Auburn), Kenny Stabler (Alabama), Cam Newton (Auburn), A.J. McCarron (Alabama), and Nick Marshall (Auburn). This year, a new great leader may be immortalized by the state of Alabama for either Alabama QB Jalen Hurts or Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham. Both of these Quarterbacks have been playing fantastic in their form of performance. Hurts might be the most underrated dual-threat Quarterback in the entire nation and Stidham has been accelerating his game as a passer even since he transferred from Baylor this past off-season.

Both of these Quarterbacks excel in different areas of being an efficient playmaker. Stidham has a strong solid arm while Hurts has consistent accuracy in and out of the pocket and can extend drives with his feet. Both of these playmakers will also go through a ton of obstacles when facing the opposing defenses.

Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham has thrown for 2,445 yards and 16 touchdowns against some of the best defenses in the nation. Stidham will face an Alabama defense that ranks 1st in the nation in points allowed per game (10.2) and 3rd in passing yards allowed per game (156.7). This is one of the best Alabama Secondary units they have had in a long time with Nickel Minkah Fitzgerald and CB Levi Wallace leading the defense.

Alabama’s Jalen Hurts has accounted for 2,514 total yards (1,828 passing, 686 rushing) and 22 total touchdowns (14 passing, 8 rushing). Hurts will face an Auburn defense whose has a Defensive Line/blitzing Linebackers who penetrates the backfield consistently. Auburn DE/OLB Jeff Holland is a potential SEC Defensive Player of the Year candidate who has accounted for 11.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. What makes Jalen a great Quarterback is that he does not make mistakes, get sacked, or throws interceptions. He has only thrown one interception throughout the whole season. If the pressure gets too heavy, Jalen will escape the pocket and likely account for the first down with his arm or his feet.

 

Which defense will crack the most from the opposing offenses?

Both the Crimson Tide and the Tigers have top ten scoring defenses. Alabama’s defense is the top-ranked scoring defense and they are also ranked 2nd in the nation in rushing yards allowed per game (87.4). Auburn’s defense is ranked tied for 8th in the nation in points allowed per game (16.6). Alabama’s defense also ranks 1st in the nation in total yards allowed per game (249) and 1st in defensive efficiency. Auburn’s defense is ranked 10th in total yards allowed per game (303) but 3rd in defensive efficiency.

The Auburn Tigers’ defense has not experienced an offense as an overall unit as Alabama while the Crimson Tide has been experiencing more inconsistencies due to recent injuries. Alabama’s ranks 9th in the nation in rushing yards per game (270.3) due to the high-volume of rushers from RB Damien Harris, QB Jalen Hurts, RB Bo Scarbrough, and now RB Joshua Jacobs. Auburn is ranked 18th in the nation in rushing yards per game (244) with RB Kerryon Johnson being the dominant rusher for Auburn. Johnson has accounted for 1,172 yards on 220 carries (5.3 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns.

Both the defenses will need to stop a two-dimensional style of offenses under different formats. Auburn’s defense cannot allow Jalen Hurts to escape the pocket and rush for a 1st down or open up the middle of the defense for an easy slant route pass to WR Calvin Ridley for a 1st down. Alabama’s defense will need to depend on DT Da’Ron Payne and their Defensive Line to be their solid first line of defense and not allow Johnson to run over all over them.

 

Will injuries be the difference maker?

Image result for 2017 iron bowlEvery team has experienced a significant amount of injuries that have impacted their team. Alabama has suffered major injuries in the Linebackers with Terrell Lewis, Christian Miller, Mack Wilson being out. Leader and consistent playmaker in ILB Shaun Dion Hamilton suffered a knee injury and is out for the season. Star Defensive Back in Minkah Fitzpatrick suffered injuries in wins against LSU and Mississippi State and sat out for the game against Mercer. Fitzpatrick is at 100% and ready to force Auburn into terrible situations. Freshman LB Dylan Moses has been a big surprising big-time playmaker for the Crimson Tide defense, he can have a big impact for the Tide in the future with a big game against Auburn.

Auburn’s star LB in Tre Williams and Nickel Jeremiah Dinsoisre a game-time decision against Alabama and would be big losses for Auburn if they were out. The possible loss of Williams and Dinson will only put more pressure on DE/OLB Jeff Holland and DT Marlon Davidson. RB Kamryn Pettaway is also out against Alabama. Even though Johnson is the overall workhorse for the Tigers rushing game, Auburn would greatly benefit from a deep running game with Pettaway in the depth chart. Expect Tigers CB Carlton Davis to put up more coverage against players like Alabama star Receiver Calvin Ridley instead of a switch formation defense. Davis has been a big playmaking in the Secondary by accounting for 10 pass deflections.

 

Overall analysis and prediction

This game could either go into a shoot-out between two respective explosive offenses or a defensive struggle between two tough defenses. The Offensive Line will be a big factor in how efficiently the offenses will be. Alabama G Ross Pierschbacher will be out of a number of weeks for the Tide, this will leave the interior open for penetration on an offense that strives on running holes opening. Despite the loss of Pierschbacher, the Tide can easily find ways to protect themselves from Holland. Jalen must be able to throw the ball away in key pressures and avoid throwing interceptions to Davis.

Auburn’s objectives will be harder to fulfill than the Alabama Crimson Tide. While Mississippi State did a great job of striving for longer drives, they did so with an athletic Quarterback. Despite the fact that Stidham has a strong arm, he is not an elusive runner as Cam Newton and Nick Marshall was that defeated Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide defense.

Expect Auburn to try multiple quick plays and hurry-up offensive drives to throw Alabama off. They will do so successfully but will eventually not work due to their recouping of the defense. With Jalen Hurts being a more athletic and more consistent Quarterback than the past Alabama offensive leaders, he can be able to score on a fast and steady basis. Alabama can easily outgain the Auburn defense and eventually score against this tough Tigers defense.

 

Alabama 31, Auburn 21

Ring the UPSET Alarm

 

Welcome to Ivan (J.D.) Geter’s weekly “Ring the Alarm” upset picks series. Every week I sit down and look for potential upset picks at the NFL and College Football level. The next three weeks my focus is on College Football as the season winds down and the playoffs will be a big talking point. I hope you enjoy this series, and please leave you comments below.

College Football

“Ring the Upset Alarm” for Washington going on the road to Stanford on Friday night. Stanford is coming off a three point loss at Washington State and will be looking to bounce back. Stanford will be looking to control the game with their running attack. Bryce Love is still in the Heisman conversion with 1456 yards rushing and averaging 9.6 yards per carry. I have not been impressed with Washington this year, they have no key wins to point to and I see this game looking like the game with Arizona State that they lost. I have Stanford wining a close game 23-20.

“Ring the Upset Alarm” for Wisconsin hosting an Iowa team that just destroyed Ohio St and will be riding a wave of momentum. Iowa is a team that doesn’t blow you away with stats; they are just a work hard team that makes plays. Their three loses to Penn St, Northwestern and Michigan State were all good games. I see Iowa keeping the game close and controlling the Wisconsin offense. I can see Iowa slowing down the running game of Jonathan Taylor and holding him below his 7.2 yards per carry average. I got Iowa winning 17-14.

Image result for jonathan taylor wisconsin

“Ring the Upset Alarm” for Notre Dame going into Miami. Miami is playing with swag these days and flying around the ball causing turnovers every week. I swear I see the Miami team passing around the turnover chain at least twice a game. They had a big win last week at Virginia Tech and will look forward to Notre Dame coming to town. I still hear Miami fans talking about the Catholics vs. Convicts special highlighting the rivalry between these two teams. I see Miami making a statement and winning 31-20.

 

I hope you enjoyed my picks and remember as you watch the games and you see an upset brewing shout out “Ring the Alarm.”

 

 

Top Ten Thursday; College Football

After another week of college football the top ten teams get more clear, yet at the same time get more unclear as teams loose, win, come from behind, and unexpectedly dominate. So yet again we have several changes in our top ten. Two drop out, one team drops three spots and another moves up four spots…….but both of them won?!?!

 

10. Washington

Last Week: NR

Last Game: Won 38-3 over Oregon

Next Game: Next Game 11/18 at Stanford

The Huskies are back in the Top Ten thanks to a few major losses this week. They have been fighting to get back every since their loss to Arizona St and an easier PAC-12 slate. National Title talks are probably gone, but a PAC-12 Title and maybe even a Rose Bowl birth if they can win out.

9. Auburn

Last Week: NR

Last Game: W0n 42-27 over Texas A&M

Next Game: 11/11 Versus Georgia

The Tigers crack the Top Ten for the first time this year, and right on top of that are facing the top team in the country this weekend. This is an all or nothing game for them, as if they lose they are basically out of a shot at the SEC Title unless Alabama falls apart completely.

8. TCU

Last Week: #10

Last Game: Won 24-7 over Texas

Next Game: 11/11 at Oklahoma

The game that most likely decides the BIG-12 has TCU in it once again. The Horned Frogs rebounded after their shocking loss to Iowa St. and now look to prove to the committee they can still be a Playoff team.

7. Oklahoma

Last Week: #7

Last Game: Won 62-52 over Oklahoma St.

Next Game: 11/11 Versus TCU

Baker Mayfield just made his case to the Heisman Trophy by putting up video game numbers at Oklahoma St. He now has a chance to help his team get that much closer to a BIG-12 Championship this weekend in another Top Ten game against TCU.

6. Wisconsin

Last Week: #3

Last Game: Won 45-17 over Indiana

Next Game: 11/11 Versus Iowa

The Badgers still control their own destiny, but now they have to face Iowa who has a habit of changing destiny. What Wisconsin has on their side is this game being at home. If Wisconsin loses this game, the BIG-10 all but loses their chance at having a team in the Playoff.

5. Miami

Last Week: #6

Last Game: Won 28-10 over Virginia Tech

Next Game: 11/11 versus Notre Dame

It might be time to take the Hurricanes seriously. Even though most of their wins have been ugly and close, they find a way. This weekend brings on a huge test, in a showdown against old foe Notre Dame.

4. Notre Dame

Last Week: #8

Last Game: Won 48-37 over Wake Forest

Next Game: 11/11 at Miami

Notre Dame has quietly worked their way up the rankings all season long. One of the most underrated offenses in the NCAA this year, they have been tearing defenses apart. They face their biggest test of the season on the road this coming weekend.

3. Clemson

Last Week: #5

Last Game: Won 38-31 over North Carolina St.

Next Game: 11/11 Versus Florida St.

Clemson is back in talks for the Playoffs, and now can focus on winning out their division and making it to the ACC Title Game. The Tigers look as healthy as they have been in weeks.

2. Alabama

Last Week: #1

Last Game: 11/04 Won 24-10 over LSU

Next Game: 11/11 Versus Mississippi St.

The Tide won, but they are no longer King. Winning is huge, but you also have to look at who they beat. Their schedule is not as stacked as it has been in years past and that causes them to fall from grace for the first week in a long time.

1. Georgia

Last Week: #3

Last Game: Won 24-10 over South Carolina

Next Game: 11/11 at Auburn

It’s good to be the King, and the Bulldogs are that once again for the first time since 2008. With three games left they need to take each of them at their own pace and not get caught up in the “We Want Bama” Hype. If they win, they will get Bama.

 

Dropping Out: Ohio State, Penn State. 

Marquee Game(s) of the Week: 

11/11 Georgia at Auburn, 2:30 CT on CBS

11/11 Notre Dame at Miami, 7:00 CT on ABC 

11/11 TCU at Oklahoma, 7:00 on FOX

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Top Ten Thursday; College Football

 

10. TCU

Last Week: #4

Last Game: Lost 14-7 at Iowa St

Next Game: 11/4 versus Texas.

A stunning loss on the road, coupled with some other major moves drops the horned Frogs all the way down to 10 in this weeks rankings. They are going to ahve to win out now if they have any shot at making the Playoffs or even being in the talks.

9. Penn State

Last Week: #2

Last Game: Lost 39-38 at Ohio St.

Next Game: 11/04 at Michigan St.

The Nittany Lions had the game in hand, but a fourth quarter of mistakes let the Buckeyes back into the game. Now, it looks like Penn State will not be able to repeat as BIG-10 Champions.

8. Notre Dame

Last Week: #10

Last Game: Won 35-14 over North Carolina St.

Next Game: 11/04 versus Wake Forest

It looks like Notre Dame is back to their old ways with another win. They have dominated their Top 25 opponents of late, and are going to need a hard push for an outside shot at the Playoffs down the stretch.

7. Oklahoma

Last Week: #9

Last Game: Won 49-27 over Texas Tech

Next Game: 11/04 at Oklahoma St.

Baker Mayfield versus Mason Rudolph. That’s the next chapter this coming week for the Sooners against their in-state rival.

6. Miami

Last Week: #8

Last Game: Won 24-19 over North Carolina

Next Game: 11/4 versus Virginia Tech

Their wins have been ugly, but they look to keep it going against a tough Virginia Tech team this coming weekend. If they keep winning they could be looking at an ACC Conference Championship Game.

 

5. Clemson

Last Week: #6

Last Game: Won 24-10 over Georgia Tech

Next Game: 11/04 at North Carolina St.

Clemson still has a shot to get into the Playoffs, but a lot has to go in their favor over the next few weeks. For now, the Tigers just need to focus on one game at a time.

4. Ohio St.

Last Week: #7

Last Game: Won 39-38 over Penn State

Next Game: 11/04 at Iowa

Iowa is known for their big upsets of ranked teams at home. They almost did it to Penn State earlier this year. The Buckeyes need to keep focused after an emotional and electrifying win at home over Penn State.

3. Wisconsin

Last Week: #5

Last Game: Won 24-10 over Illinois

Next Game: 11/04 at Indiana

The Badgers now control their own destiny. Win out and their into the BIG-10 Championship Game and a shot at the Playoffs.

 

2. Georgia

Last Week: #3

Last Game: Won 41-7 over Florida

Next Game: 11/04 versus South Carolina

Georgia just keeps marching on in the SEC. They overtook Alabama as Number One in the  first Playoff Rankings this week, but it will still take a loss by Alabama for the rest of the Nation to see them as the Top Dog.

 

1. Alabama

Last Week: #1

Last Game: 10/28 Won 45-7 over Tennessee

Next Game: 11/4 versus LSU

The Tide win and their still the King, loss and theirs a new team sitting on the Iron Throne of College Football. It’s just that simple.

Dropping Out: N/A

On the Cusp: Oklahoma St. and Washington

Marquee Game of the Week: 11/04 Oklahoma at Oklahoma St. 3:30 PM CT on FS1

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