Thanksgiving and vacation conspired to keep me away from here. How did my teams finish their seasons?
Tennessee Volunteers 50, Kentucky Wildcats 16 (W)
New Mexico Lobos 21, Utah State Aggies 28 (L)
#9 Auburn Tigers 7, #15 Georgia Bulldogs 34 (L)
#1 Mississippi State Bulldogs 20, #5 Team That Shall Not Be Named 25 (L)
Tennessee Volunteers 21, #20 Missouri Tigers 29 (L)
Colorado State Rams 58, New Mexico Lobos 20 (W)
#14 Auburn Tigers 31, Samford Bulldogs 7 (W)
Western Carolina Catamounts 14, #1 Team That Shall Not Be Named 48 (L)
Tennessee Volunteers 24, Vanderbilt Commodores 17 (W)
Colorado State Rams 24, Air Force Falcons 27 (L)
#15 Auburn Tigers 44, #1 Team That Shall Not Be Named 55 (L)
New Mexico Lobos 36, Wyoming Cowboys 30 (W)
These 3 Weeks: 5-7 Final: 30-26 (.536)
Above 500, but nowhere close to where I’d hoped. However, all three of my primary teams are going bowling, which is way better than last year, so I don’t know that I can complain. Tennessee will be taking on Iowa in the Taxslayer Bowl on January 2nd, Colorado State meets former Mountain West foe Utah in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl on December 20th, and #19 Auburn gets #18 Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day. (As if I needed another reason to crave cheese fries!)
A busy two weeks for me, a crummy two weeks for my #1 team, a great two weeks for my #2 team, and a weird on week for my #3 team. Throw in some questionable officiating, and you’re pretty much up to speed.
Tennessee Volunteers 3, #3 Ole Miss Rebels 34 (L)
Colorado State Rams 16, Utah State Aggies 13 (W)
New Mexico Lobos 31, Air Force Academy Falcons 35 (L)
#21 Texas A&M Aggies 0, #7 Really Mad 1-Loss, 1-Barely-Win Team 59 (L)
With the first playoff rankings released this week, one of the games next week is #3 Auburn vs. #4 Ole Miss; that should be a good one. Tennessee visits Columbia to see if they can give Steve Spurrier an L, while Colorado State has the opportunity for some separation in the Mountain West if they can beat San José State on the road.
Thanks to two driving Saturdays, I didn’t catch much college football. I did catch some of Thursday’s Auburn / Kansas State game, and it was a good one. However, I’ll dispense with the commentary and just see how I did over the past two weeks.
9/13 Results (AKA “Yay for the Mountain West!”)
Tennessee Volunteers 10, #4 Oklahoma Sooners 34 (L)
Colorado State Rams 49, UC Davis Aggies 21 (W)
Air Force Falcons 48, Georgia State Panthers 38 (W)
Southern Miss Golden Eagles 12, #3 Team That Shall Not Be Named 52 (L)
New Mexico Lobos 38, New Mexico State Aggies 35 (W)
#14 South Carolina Gamecocks 48, Vanderbilt Commodores 34 (W)
#5 Auburn Tigers 20, #20 Kansas State Wildcats 14 (W)
Florida Gators 21, #3 Team That Shall Not Be Named 42 (L)
These 2 Weeks: 5-3 Cumulative: 10-6 (.625)
Special thanks to my 3 replacement games for all being winners. This next week, Tennessee visits a Georgia team that they hope used up all their points this past week, Colorado State visits a strong Boston College team, Auburn hosts Louisiana Tech, and New Mexico hosts a Fresno State team with a similar record. See you next week!
It’s back! 4 teams each week, looking for a winning record; last year, I went 23-33, for a .411 average. New this year, I will set a default line-up for fill-in teams for off weeks or conflicts. First alternate is the University of New Mexico Lobos, and second alternate is the Air Force Academy Falcons. When both of those are unavailable, I continue my willy-nilly picking of replacement teams. This year, the teams are:
The University of Tennessee Volunteers - Coming off a nice first-year effort, #Team118 is looking to add their bricks to the “brick by brick” rebuilding that Butch Jones began leading last year. The schedule is pretty tough this year; three opponents are in the preseason top-10, and six are in the top 25. Wins will certainly have to be earned. (September 20th: UNM over New Mexico State Aggies)
The Colorado State University Rams - Jim McElwain enters his third season as head coach on a high note, with a late-game victory in the New Mexico Bowl to end last year. However, CSU graduated a cadre of seniors who had played together for several years, and the second team is now the first team. While none of their opponents on the schedule are ranked in the top 25, their path to a bowl invitation will be an uphill journey. (September 20th: South Carolina Gamecocks over Vanderbilt Commodores)
The Auburn University Tigers - I’m switching the third team this year, bringing in the favorite team from the “in-law” side of my family. Gus Malzahn sets out to show that last year was not a fluke, and with the personnel he has returning, he has a good chance of showing just that. Ranked 6 in the preseason polls, they have six top 25 teams in their schedule, plus the #2 team in the Iron Bowl. Auburn could win its way to a rematch with Florida State, but they will have to do just that - win. (September 13th: AFA over Georgia State Panthers)
As per tradition, any team that can give Lame Kitten an (L). That team is a switch this year as well.
August 30 - West Virginia Mountaineers
September 6th - Florida Atlantic Owls
September 13th - Southern Miss Golden Eagles
September 20th - Florida Gators
September 27th - Off (UNM over Fresno State Bulldogs, played September 26th)
October 4th - Ole Miss Rebels
October 11th - Arkansas Razorbacks
October 18th - Texas A&M Aggies
October 25th - Team #1 (Troy Trojans over South Alabama Jaguars, played October 24th)
November 8th - LSU Tigers
November 15th - Mississippi State Bulldogs
November 22nd - Western Carolina Catamounts
November 29th - Team #3 (UNM over Wyoming Cowboys)
The regular season is now complete, so let’s see if the final 3 weeks got me to .400. Colorado State ended its regular season at 7-6, and becomes the lone bowl-eligible team of the three I follow here.
After last week, any wins would be a win. This week, we got 2. Colorado State put one away in the 4th quarter, and is now 1 win away from bowl eligibility; nice job, Rams! New Mexico also got their first conference win by defeating Air Force in a Friday night game. Sadly, Tennessee was not able to handle #9 Auburn; there didn’t seem to be an aspect of the game where Auburn didn’t have the edge.
Tennessee Volunteers 23, #9 Auburn Tigers 55 (L)
Colorado State Rams 38, Nevada Wolfpack 17 (W)
New Mexico Lobos 45, Air Force Falcons 37 (W)
California Golden Bears 28, USC Trojans 62 (L)
This Week: 2-2 Cumulative: 17-27 (.386)
I missed a second off week for Tennessee; while I would replace it with Auburn (vs. Georgia), I already have that game picked because Colorado State plays New Mexico. Stanford (vs. USC) is also already on the schedule as well, and Air Force is also off. So, all my standby picks are already used! I guess I’ll pick South Carolina over Florida. See you next week.
After last week, I don’t think anything other than a Tennessee win over #1 Alabama would have made this week better than last week. That didn’t happen; a mix of upset-hangover on Tennessee’s part, combined with Alabama’s best performance I’ve seen yet this season, left them with a now 7-year win streak in this rivalry. Meanwhile, Colorado State took care of Hawaii - barely, letting a good portion of their lead evaporate in the 4th quarter. I’ve been harping on the whole the-game-is-four-quarters thing for nearly 2 years with regards to CSU; at least they’re starting to put up enough points in the first three quarters to last that final 15 minutes. (And, maybe I’m all wet; South Carolina only needed a quarter and a couple of OT periods to knock off then-undefeated Missouri.) The other two games were flops; Air Force is not having the greatest season (I blame sequestration! LOL), and USC decided they wanted to win a football game.
Tennessee Volunteers 10, #1 Alabama Crimson Tide 45 (L)
Colorado State Rams 35, Hawaii Warriors 28 (W)
Air Force Falcons 10, Notre Dame Fighting Irish 45 (L)
Utah Utes 3, USC Trojans 19 (L)
This Week: 1-3 Cumulative: 15-21 (.417)
Next week, Tennessee visits Missouri. We beat South Carolina, and South Carolina beat them, so we should be good, right? Colorado State hosts Boise State (hey, Boise ain’t a state!), a team that’s been more vulnerable than in years past; while New Mexico heads out to take on San Diego State, another traditionally strong Mountain West team that’s stumbled in recent weeks. Oregon State hosts the Trojans. With the exception of that latter game, this Saturday’s theme is “uphill-but-doable.”
I saw the second half of the Tennessee / Georgia game. Tennessee’s turnaround is definitely real. Meanwhile, the Lobos routed their in-state rivals, Air Force added 1 to an already-swollen L column, and Stanford squeaked by Washington.
Tennessee Volunteers 31, #6 Georgia Bulldogs 34 (L)
Air Force Falcons 10, Navy Midshipmen 28 (L)
New Mexico Lobos 66, New Mexico State Aggies 17 (W)
#5 Stanford Cardinal 31, #15 Washington Huskies 28 (W)
This Week: 2-2 Cumulative: 10-14 (.417)
Tennessee has next week off before a run of 6 straight SEC games, the first two being against the current #13 and #1 teams. Colorado State will be back from their off week, opening their conference play against an underperforming San José State. On the other side, New Mexico gets a Mountain West test from Wyoming, one of the stronger teams in the MWC this year. Finally, we get our first indication of whether the problem was the players or the coach, as Arizona heads to Southern California. Week 7 should be a fun week!
This week was better than the scores would indicate. Tennessee and Florida played one of the sloppiest halves of football I can remember seeing in recent history; in the second half, though, Tennessee’s offense looked decent against Florida’s defense. Tennessee’s defense, though, seemed to always leave one guy uncovered, and that was the one who ended up burning them. Tennessee’s rebuilding decade continues apace.
I just have to brag on Colorado State. Those Rams were ready for Alabama, and their defense played better than I’ve ever seen it before. They were down by 11 points at the end of the third quarter to the #1 team in the country! Sadly, though, the 4th quarter letdown pattern continued, and the final score looked more like people expected it would. (Psst… Hey, Coach McElwain - your conditioning coaches need to fix this immediately; games are 60 minutes, not 45.) If the Rams that showed up to this game show up to their remaining games, they should be very competitive in the Mountain West this year. This game had huge implications for Alabama as well; they were not firing on all cylinders. I would not be surprised to see Oregon move ahead of them in the rankings that come out later today; but, whether they stay #1, or become #2, this is not the well-oiled machine of previous years - yet.
Utah State almost pulled it off; great try, Aggies. Looks like I picked the wrong MWC matchup in the Lobo’s off week as well, which led to the first 0-4 this season.
Tennessee Volunteers 17, #19 Florida Gators 31 (L)
Colorado State Rams 6, #1 Alabama Crimson Tide 31 (L)
Air Force Falcons 23, Wyoming Cowboys 56 (L)
Utah State Aggies 14, People of Troy 17 (L)
This Week: 0-4 Cumulative: 5-11 (.313)
Tennessee goes non-conference next week before hitting the toughest part of their schedule in October, while Colorado State hosts UTEP and New Mexico hosts UNLV. It should be a good week!
Continuing a tradition started last year, we’ll track cumulative records for four games each week. The teams for this season are the same as last year.
The University of Tennessee Volunteers - The Vols open this year led by a new head coach, Butch Jones. There hasn’t been the stability at head coach that there was when I was growing up, but there also hasn’t been the success. The Vols share a division with 4 top-25 ranked teams as the season opens, so this year promises to be another uphill battle. (October 12, their off week, we’ll pick Auburn over Western Carolina.)
The Colorado State University Rams - In his second year, will we see that Jim McElwain has transplanted “the process” to Fort Collins? Conditioning is a big part of that, and what the Rams lacked last year; the fourth-quarter implosions that marked Steve Fairchild’s last few seasons carried on. (October 5, their off week, we’ll pick Air Force over Navy.)
The University of New Mexico Lobos - Bob Davie, also in his second year, has had a full recruiting year, and a year to develop the players that were there already. Their look should be different from last year, but if last year is any indication, Davie isn’t afraid to pull out some unorthodox schemes to match his players’ strengths. (October 26, their off week, we’ll pick Air Force over Notre Dame. November 16, the week they play Colorado State, we’ll pick Auburn over Georgia.)
Anyone who can give Lame Kitten an (L). (October 5, their off week, we’ll pick Stanford over Washington.)
August 31 - University of Hawaii Warriors (played August 29)
September 7 - Washington State University Cougars
September 14 - Boston College Eagles
September 21 - Utah State University Aggies
September 28 - Arizona State University Sun Devils
October 12 - University of Arizona Wildcats (played October 10)
October 19 - University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish
October 26 - University of Utah Utes
November 2 - Oregon State University Beavers (played November 1)
November 9 - University of California Golden Bears
November 16 - Stanford University Cardinal
November 23 - Colorado University Buffaloes Hippies
November 30 - University of California Los Angeles Bruins
This gives us 56 games. Now, let’s see week 1’s results.