Monthly Archives: November 2016

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I’M A RAMBLIN’ WRECK FROM GEORGIA TECH AND A HELL OF AN ENGINEER
A HELLUVA HELLUVA HELL OF AN ENGINEER
LIKE ALL THE JOLLY GOOD FELLOWS
I DRINK MY WHISKEY CLEAR
I’M A RAMBLIN’ WRECK FROM GEORGIA TECH AND A HELL OF AN ENGINEER

IF I HAD A DAUGHTER, SIR, I’D DRESS HER IN WHITE AND GOLD
PUT HER ON THE CAMPUS
TO CHEER THE BRAVE AND BOLD
IF I HAD A SON, SIR, I’D TELL YOU WHAT HE’D DO
HE’D YELL “TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!” LIKE HIS DADDY USED TO DO

I WISH I HAD A BARREL OF RUM AND SUGAR THREE THOUSAND POUNDS
A COLLEGE BELL TO PUT IT IN
A CLAPPER TO STIR IT AROUND
I’D DRINK TO ALL THE JOLLY GOOD FELLOWS
WHO COME FROM FAR AND NEAR
BECAUSE I’M A RAMBLIN’ GAMBLIN’ HELL OF AN ENGINEER HEY!

THWG Thought of the Day: 11/26

Men, Georgie’s a fine football team, a very fine football team. Georgie’s bigger and faster than we are. Probably a little tougher, too.

That’s okay, because we’re smarter than they are.

Now, let me tell you what’s going to happen. That Georgie team’s going to come running out of the tunnel screaming and foaming at the mouth and smashing one another upside the head just to get warmed up.

We won’t do any of that. While they waste their energy, we’ll conserve ours. I’ve told you that they’re bigger, faster, and tougher than you. That’s true. But we do have that one big advantage.

We … are … smarter.

Think about what I teach you. Play field position. Play great defense. Make no mistakes on offense. Be great in the kicking game. Do that and we’ll keep it close.

As the game goes on, they’ll start to get tired because they wasted so much energy in the beginning. Because we’re smart, we’ll have plenty of energy left, and at some point in the fourth quarter they’ll make a mistake.

When they do make that mistake, we’ll get the football. And when that happens, I’ll think of something and we’ll win!

Coach Bobby Dodd, as told by Bill Curry

This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Michigan @ Ohio State (ABC) (41˚, clear): Once again, I’ll be doing weather for each of these games, though I can go ahead and sum it up here: it’ll be chilly-to-cold in most places but clear, with overcast conditions in the northeast and rain throughout most of the day on the West Coast.
    Anyway! Here’s a wonderful demonstration of why having rivals in the same division is still pretty neat. Of course, it could be slightly neater if either Michigan or Ohio State were still undefeated, but what can you do? Either way, theses are still two of the best teams in college football, though each has their weaknesses. I personally think this game is going to be tight and low-scoring. Both teams sport pretty good defenses, and the best player on the field will be one of Michigan’s linebackers (Jabrill Peppers). Both have had difficult with their offenses in the past few weeks, and Ohio State’s run game has really been kind of lacking all year. I view this game as kind of a coin flip, and earlier in the week I picked Michigan. I’m not terribly convinced either way, though.
  • Kentucky @ Louisville (ESPN) (47˚, clear): In mid-September, I think most of us who follow college football thought Mark Stoops was going to get fired, but then the Wildcats put together a respectable season against the very soft underbelly of the SEC East. So, naturally, they get to face a frustrated Louisville after a close loss to Houston. Good luck with that!
  • Virginia @ Virginia Tech (ESPN2) (41˚, clear): Over in the other Commonwealth, VPI sort of won the Coastal by default, but that means the pressure is off and, yeah, I think they’re going to pound UVA.
  • Kansas @ Kansas State (FS1) (55˚, clear): Like I said the other day, I still really miss KU-Mizzou, but I’m okay with this game being moved to rivalry week for now. But yeah, I think K-State’s got this.
  • Purdue @ Indiana (ESPNU) (45˚, clear): Nothin’ like playing Purdue to get that necessary sixth win…
  • Rutgers @ Maryland (ESPNEWS) (49˚, clear): [substitute “Purdue” with “Rutgers”]
  • Georgia Tech @ Georgia (SEC) (62˚, clear): To Hell With Georgia
  • Illinois @ Northwestern (BTN) (44˚, clear): So Illinois is slightly better than Purdue and Rutgers, but not by much. Northwestern should also get to 6.
  • Central Florida @ South Florida (CBSS) (78˚, clear): I think this one could be pretty tight, but USF is just on too much of a roll this year. Also, USF needs this game to stay in the AAC East title hunt.

12:30: Syracuse @ Pittsburgh (ACC) (40˚, overcast): At least Pittsburgh is holding up its end of the weather bargain. Shouldn’t matter either way against the ‘Cuse, though.

3:00: Boston College @ Wake Forest (ACC/RSN) (53˚, clear): BC’s 30-0 win over UConn last weekend says a lot, lot more about the current state of UConn football than it does about the Eagles, who still struggle to score points, and that doesn’t figure to change against Wake Forest.

3:30:

  • Notre Dame @ Southern California (ABC) (60˚, rain): After this game Notre Dame will be 4-8 and it will be fantastic. But chin up, Domers, the Cowboys are good this year, and the Yankees are finally rebuilding a little bit!
  • Auburn @ Alabama (CBS) (63˚, clear): so my parents don’t live in Alabama anymore, which means I’m not there this week like I usually am. I can’t say I miss it too much, but one thing I do miss the absolutely frenzy about this game that engulfs the whole state. That said… I think this will probably be kind of a boring game? It’s in Tuscaloosa and Alabama is just too dominant this year.
  • Michigan State @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN) (42˚, overcast): Sparty showed some signs of life in its past two games, pasting Rutgers the way everyone is pasting Rutgers this year and then losing a tight game to Ohio State. Will the Buckeyes be watching this game the lockers under Ohio Stadium, hoping for an upset? I’m not sure about that part, but I can say a little more definitively that the odds are pretty long here. Yeah, Penn State’s schedule other than Michigan and Ohio State has been pretty easy, but they’ve also beat most of those opponents pretty soundly. I like the Nittany Lions here.
  • Duke @ Miami (ESPN2) (79˚, clear): Duke may be playing for bowl eligibility here (more on that later today or Sunday), but it doesn’t look good against a rejuvenated Miami squad.
  • West Virginia @ Iowa State (FS1) (54˚, clear): Iowa State needs to be taken seriously, but as long as can do they should be able to take care of business in Ames.
  • Navy @ Southern Methodist (ESPNU) (62˚, partly cloudy): Navy’s got the AAC West in the bag already, but they should be able to close out conference play with a statement and a potential shot at hosting the AAC title game (depending on who wins the East).
  • Mississippi State @ Mississippi (SEC) (55˚, clear): I think recent years have made us forget that this is was pretty much the norm for the Egg Bowl in most years. Losing 38-18 to Vandy is never a good look, but I still like the Rebels here.
  • Minnesota @ Wisconsin (BTN) (48˚, partly cloudy): Paul Bunyan’s Axe is also for the Big Ten West there year, but let me be clear: if Minnesota wins this will be a huge upset.
  • San Jose State @ Fresno State (CBSS) (55˚, rain): Of all the games at this timeslot, this sure is a game that you could watch. I’m going with SJSU.

4:00:

  • Tulane @ Connecticut (ESPNEWS) (46˚, clear): Tulane, mostly because I’d like to see them win.
  • Oregon @ Oregon State (Pac12) (47˚, rain): Well, this is probably the most low-key Civil War in several years (I’m not even sure I’ll be able to watch it here, I should probably check that). At any rate, I’m picking the Beavers here, because why not?

5:30: Florida Atlantic @ Middle Tennessee State (beIN) (55˚, partly cloudy): Going with MTSU here.

7:00:

  • California-Los Angeles @ California (ESPN2) (55˚, rain): UCLA has a litany of issues, yes, but frankly I think they’re still probably a better team than Cal. Going with the Bruins over the Bears here.
  • Western Kentucky @ Marshall (ESPNU) (41˚, partly cloudy): This used to be one of those sneaky-good fun games, but the Thundering Herd are 3-8 on the year and 2-5 in Conference-USA, so the odds are not looking good for them.

7:30:

  • Utah @ Colorado (FOX) (51˚, partly cloudy): If they gave “comeback of the year” awards to teams, the Buffs would win in a landslide. I think they’ll complete their rise with a win here and a meeting with Washington next week in Santa Clara.
  • South Carolina @ Clemson (ESPN) (53˚, clear): I think Clemson is as good and as flawed as either, say, Michigan or Ohio State, but they’re still miles ahead of a punchless South Carolina.
  • East Carolina @ Temple (ESPNEWS) (45˚, partly cloudy): If Temple wins this game, they’ll be playing next week in Annapolis for the AAC title, otherwise Navy will have to go to Tampa. That said, I don’t figure ECU to offer up much resistance.
  • Tennessee @ Vanderbilt (SEC) (46˚, clear): Well, Vandy sure did a good job of beating up a very injured Ole Miss team last weekend. Will lightning strike twice for the Commodores? I’m figuring no.

8:00:

  • Florida @ Florida State (ABC) (57˚, partly cloudy): It’s going to be completely up to the Gators’ defense to keep them in this game, and I’m not sure they can really stave off FSU’s attack for a full 60 minutes.
  • Rice @ Stanford (Pac12) (54˚, rain): Stanford.

9:00: Colorado State @ San Diego State (CBSS) (60˚, rain): If it weren’t for their bizarre loss to South Alabama, the Aztecs would definitely be in play for the Group of Five bowl slot. Instead, they should be able to take care of business here.

10:15:

  • Wyoming @ New Mexico (ESPN2) (48˚, clear): Speaking of taking care of business in the Mountain West, the Cowboys should be able to do so here.
  • Utah State @ Brigham Young (ESPNU) (41˚, chance of rain): Apparently this does have rivalry game name (“The Old Wagon Wheel”), but nonetheless the Cougars figure to roll.

I will try to get a bowl predictions update up late tonight or early Sunday, so stay tuned!

    This Week in College Football: Week 13

    As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

    Thursday
    7:30: Louisiana State @ Texas A&M (ESPN): It’s late November, which means if nothing else we’ll start getting some fun weather conditions, so I’ll be noting them for all games. (Keep in mind all forecasts will be as of early Thursday morning.) It’ll be around 60 in College Station tonight. As for the game, well, it’s not Texas-TAMU, and really, the story here may be the coaches more than anything else. (Especially since Leonard Fournette reportedly didn’t even make the trip.) DACOACHO probably isn’t going to be retained as head coach of LSU, and while I don’t think A&M will fire Sumlin, his seat is getting a bit warm. All that said, I like the Bayou Bengals here.

    Friday
    Noon:

    • Houston @ Memphis (ABC): (60 degrees, clear) Memphis was still respectable this week, but the Cougars have got their grove back after beating Louisville last weekend.
    • North Carolina State @ North Carolina (ESPN): (63 degrees, cloudy) While NC State pulling off the upset here would greatly help my bowl team predicament, I don’t think they can quite hang with Carolina’s offense.
    • Northern Illinois @ Kent State (CBSS): (40 degress, overcast) Not much at stake in this MAC matchups, but I like Huskies.

    2:30: Arkansas @ Missouri (CBS): (48 degrees, clear) I… think it’s rational to miss the KU-Mizzou rivalry? Either way, Arkansas hopes to, and should be able to, turn around a disappointing end of the season here.

    3:30:

    • Nebraska @ Iowa (ABC): (40 degrees, clear) Iowa is a slight favorite here, but I’m not buying it. I’m going with the ‘Huskers.
    • Washington @ Washington State (FOX): (44 degrees, chance of rain) And this is what you’re going to watch on Friday. The Apple Cup is fascinating for many reasons. For instance, not very mean years ago this game featured 1 win combined by these two teams. For another, I can’t think of a more marked contrast between two teams’ locales than between the gorgeous waterfront locale of Husky Stadium in Seattle and the relative moonscape that is the Palouse.
      Photo from the Seattle Times

      Tellingly, I couldn’t find a decent aerial photo of Martin Stadium. Anyway, the point is, these two places couldn’t be more different. I have hard time of thinking of any other intra-state rivals that are as distant. (I guess it depends on how you view the various California rivalries).
      As for the game itself, well, here’s the situation. I still think Washington is in the playoff if they win out, i.e., this game and the Pac-12 title game against Colorado or USC. I also still think Washington is pretty good, dismantlings by USC nonwithstanding. On the other side, we have Wazzu, which as you know by now spent the beginning of the season losing to Eastern Washington and Boise State. They also lost to Colorado last weekend, but that’s respectable this year.
      If there’s another team in the Pac-12 the Huskies resemble, it’s probably Colorado, even though they’ll be missing one of their d-line stars, I still like them to win this one. The fact the game will kick off at 12:30 local time probably also helps them.

    • Texas Christian @ Texas (FS1): (65 degrees, clear) In perhaps the worst firing ever, just in terms of the process, Charlie Strong is out. Both teams are sliding into the end of the year and a bowl bid is on the line. With all the drama around Austin, Charlie Strong is either going to get carried off the field or actually fired after the game. I’m betting on the latter.
    • Boise State @ Air Force (CBSS): (54 degrees, clear) For Boise to have any shot at the Cotton Bowl, they need to win this game and hope Wyoming loses to New Mexico. I suspect they can take for business on their end.

    4:00: Louisiana Tech @ Southern Mississippi (ESPNEWS): (72 degrees, clear) Southern Miss isn’t, like, bad, this year, but they aren’t very good either. LaTech should win. (But you’ll have something to put on during halftime of the Apple Cup, at least.)

    5:00: Toledo @ Western Michigan (ESPN2): (41 degrees, chance of rain) These are the two best teams in the MAC, and it’s not even close. The question is whether Toledo is anywhere close to Western Michigan, who have beaten every opponent on their schedule (except for Northwestern) by at least two touchdowns.

    6:00: Baylor vs. Texas Tech (@Arlington, TX): (dome) Texas Tech

    8:30: Cincinnati @ Tulsa (ESPN2): (48 degrees, clear) I don’t really see how Cincy will score enough to keep up here, or how Tommy Tuberville will retain his job.

    9:30: Arizona State @ Arizona (ESPN): (69 degrees, clear) We’ll wrap up with the Territorial Cup, which, well, the nicest thing I can probably say about this game is that Arizona probably only has any sliver of a chance because it’s a rivalry game.

    Bowl Predictions 2016: Week 6

    The new predictions are now up.

    Provided I did the math correctly, there are currently 65 bowl eligible teams. That means we need 15 more, but where will they come from? Let’s list out every team on the cusp.

    I’ll just go in order of the ESPN standings page.

    1. Southern Methodist (5-6): The Mustangs have to play at Navy this Saturday, the odds of them getting to 6-6 are pretty slim.
    2. North Carolina State (5-6): They play North Carolina on Friday, which isn’t impossible for the Wolfpack, but again, I’m not feeling good about it.
    3. Texas Christian (5-5): TCU still has two games to play, against Texas and Kansas State. I think I’ll win one but not the other, with my money on Texas.
    4. Texas (5-6): Since I have TCU beating Texas, well, that pretty much knocks the Longhorns out. Shouldn’t have lost to Kansas!
    5. Indiana (5-6): If only all of the above teams could get to play Purdue with bowl eligibility on the line! I like the Hoosiers chances.
    6. Maryland (5-6): See above, but replace “Purdue” with “Rutgers”.
    7. Northwestern (5-6): See above, but replace “Rutgers” with “Illinois”.
    8. Texas-San Antonio (5-6): The Roadrunners appear to be pretty evenly matched with Charlotte, so it could be kind of a tossup. I’m giving UTSA the edge, though.
    9. North Texas (5-6): So the Mean Green wrap up with UTEP, which is two wins worse in C-USA than North Texas but not that obviously worse. I’m still giving them a slight edge.
    10. Southern Mississippi (5-6): The Golden Eagles will play Louisiana Tech on Friday, and I just can’t favor USM over LaTech.
    11. Army (6-5): Army played two FCS teams this year, so one of the wins doesn’t count toward bowl eligibility, so if they lose to Navy (as predicted) in a few weeks then their record for bowl eligibility will actually be 5-6. That said, they’d almost certainly get picked as a 6-6 team, if they want to.
    12. Arizona State (5-6): The Sun Devils will play their arch-rivals Friday night, but they should prevail. 
    13. Vanderbilt (5-6): The Commodores will end their season against Tennessee, but as one of the schools in the APR Top 5 they’ll almost certainly get a bid at 5-7.
    14. Mississippi (5-6): I suspect Ole Miss are slight favorites in the Egg Bowl, and I imagine they’d get in at 5-7, but still, it’d make everything a lot easier if they win like they’re supposed to.
    15. South Alabama (5-5): USA only needs to win one of their two remaining games against Idaho and New Mexico State, which, well, they should be able to win one of those.

    So, yeah, that’s exactly 15 teams, and the odds of all of them winning over the next two weeks are probably somewhere near zero. I have 9 of them as legitimate favorites, so that would still leave us, and everyone, short 6 teams. I supposed it’s entirely possible all of these teams get bids, but so far I haven’t done a lot of research for the potential 5-7 teams (other than Army and Vanderbilt).

    In this week’s edition, I also started doing Internet research to try to figure out what teams are favored to go where, but with so much uncertainty it’s difficult right now. Next week should be a little more fruitful.