Thursday, November 27, 2014

FOOTBALL NEWS AFTER NFL WEEK TWELVE - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!



FROM THE DESK OF THE “FUGITIVE” COMMISSIONER

Hello Football Fans,

We have three potentially great divisional NFL  games on Thanksgiving Day,

And a great slate of rivalry games in college football this weekend. 

The final CFP rankings will be coming out in a week and a half - December 7th.

What a weekend of football we have ahead of us !!

Enjoy,

The Fugitive Commissioner of the FFHL

COLLEGE

CONFERENCE STANDINGS AFTER FFHL WEEK #12

POWER FIVE CONFERENCES

PACIFIC-12 CONFERENCE (PAC-12)

NORTH           OREGON has clinched a spot in the 12-Pack title game.

SOUTH           UCLA, Arizona State, and Arizona are all 6-2.  The Bruins, after beating USC 38-14 last Saturday, control their own destiny; they need only a home win vs. Stanford this Friday, 11/28/14 to get the title shot.
            If UCLA loses, the winner of Arizona State at Arizona game on Friday gets to meet the Ducks in the title game.
           
TITLE GAME: At neutral site Levi’s Stadium (new SF 49’ers home) in Santa Clara, CA, on Friday night, December 5th

BIG TEN

EAST  OHIO STATE clinched the division title with a 42-27 win over Indiana last Saturday

WEST The winner of this Saturday’s “playoff” game – Minnesota at Wisconsin, will win the division title.

TITLE GAME: At Lucas Oil Stadium (Colts’ home) in Indianapolis, IN on Saturday, December 6th

SOUTHEASTERN (SEC)

EAST  MISSOURI (6-1) will clinch the division title with a home win vs. hot Arkansas on Saturday (11/29/14); if the MU Tigers lose, Georgia (6-2) will win the tiebreaker and go to the title game, having beaten Mizzou earlier in the year, 34-0.

WEST ALABAMA (6-1) will clinch the division title with a home win vs. Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday (11/29/14); if the Crimson Tide loses, Mississippi State (6-1) with a win on Saturday at Mississippi in the Egg Bowl will win the division and go to the title game.  If both win or both lose, ‘Bama wins the tiebreaker (having beat MSU at home earlier this month, 25-20).

TITLE GAME:  At the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, December 6th

BIG XII            Three teams are tied with 6-1 records – TCU, Baylor, and Kansas State.
            Kansas State and Baylor will be big favorites in their conference games this week, and then the KSU Wildcats play at the BU Bears on Saturday, December 6th.  TCU plays at Texas on Thanksgiving Day and then hosts Iowa State on December 6th.  

TITLE GAME: NONE

ATLANTIC COAST (ACC)

ATLANTIC      FLORIDA STATE clinched a berth in the title game.

COASTAL       GEORGIA TECH clinched the division title when Duke lost at North Carolina last Thursday night, 45-20.

TITLE GAME: FSU vs. GA Tech, to be played in Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC (NFL Carolina Panthers home field), on Saturday, December 6th

GROUP OF FIVE CONFERENCES (“Non-Power 5” teams)

“THE AMERICAN”   ATHLETIC (AAC)

AAC    MEMPHIS (6-1), CENTRAL FLORIDA (5-1), and CINCINNATI (5-1) all have just one loss in the conference.  Memphis hosts UConn in its final regular season game on Saturday (and beat Cincinnati earlier this year for potential tiebreaker).  UCF plays road games vs. USF on Friday and vs. East Carolina on Thursday, December 4th.  Cincinnati plays at Temple this Saturday and then hosts Houston on December 6th.

TITLE GAME: NONE

MOUNTAIN WEST (MW)

West    SAN DIEGO STATE and FRESNO STATE are currently tied with weak 4-3 conference records.  Both teams have one regular season game remaining, both at home vs. relatively easy opponents – SDSU hosts San Jose State and Fresno hosts Hawaii.

Mountain         COLORADO STATE, UTAH STATE, and BOISE STATE are tied with 6-1 conference records with one week to go.  The USU Aggies play at Boise State this Saturday and CSU plays at Air Force this Friday.

MOUNTAIN WEST
TITLE GAME: The higher-ranked division winner will earn home field advantage; the game will be played on Saturday, December 6th

CONFERENCE USA (C-USA)        

EAST  MARSHALL clinched the division title.
           
WEST LOUISIANA TECH (6-1) has a 1-game lead over RICE (5-2).
            The Rice Owls play at LA Tech on Saturday, with the winner securing a place in the title game vs. Marshall.

TITLE GAME: Home game for Marshall, the “better” division winner, on Saturday, December 6th.

MID-AMERICAN (MAC)                  

EAST  BOWLING GREEN has clinched a spot in the title game.
           
WEST NORTHERN ILLINOIS, WESTERN MICHIGAN, and TOLEDO are tied with 6-1 records.  The NIU Huskies play at W. Michigan this Friday in the regular season finale for both teams.  Toledo plays at cupcake Eastern Michigan this Friday.

TITLE GAME: At Ford Field, Detroit, MI (NFL Detroit Lions’ home field) on Friday night, December 5th.


SUN BELT     GEORGIA SOUTHERN (7-0) has a one-game lead over LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (6-1).  The GA Southern Eagles host Louisiana-Monroe this Saturday in their final regular season game.  The ULL Ragin’ Cajuns play at Troy in their finale.


FBS UNDERDOG WINNERS

Overall, NINETEEN underdogs won their games outright in 53 games, for a 36% upset rate (that’s more than one of every three games).

Last Thursday night, Kansas State +2h won at West Virginia, 26-20, to stay in the hunt for the Big XII title.  The KSU running game was anemic (ONE net yard rushing on 29 carries), but WR Tyler Lockett caught 10 passes for 196 yards and ran back a punt for a TD.  The Wildcats uncharacteristically committed 10 penalties for 102 yards, but won the turnover battle, 4-2, and prevailed.

Last Thursday night, North Carolina +5h won handily at Duke, 45-20, allowing Georgia Tech to clinch the ACC Coastal division.

Texas Tech +1h won at Iowa State, 34-31.

Virginia +5h beat visiting Miami of Florida, 30-13.

Maryland +5 won at Michigan, 23-16, and the Brady Hoke era is nearly finished.

Arkansas +3h beat visiting Mississippi, 30-0.  The ARK Razorbacks are the first unranked team in NCAA history to shut out ranked opponents in back-to-back weeks (beat LSU 17-0 the previous week).

Minnesota +10 won at Nebraska, 28-24, to eliminate the Cornhuskers from the Big 10 West Division race.  With the upset win, the Gophers stayed alive for the division title and need a win at Wisconsin this weekend to earn a berth in the Big 10 title game vs. Ohio State.

Louisville +3 won at Notre Dame, 31-28.  A lot of strange things happened in this game, but late in the game with 1st-and-goal, the ND Irish couldn’t punch it into the endzone and had to settle for a 32-yard FG attempt … “no good” with 0:50 on the clock and the game was over.

Illinois +6h beat visiting Penn State, 16-14.  PSU scored a TD early in the 4th quarter to take a 14-10 lead, but the Illini kicked two FG’s including the game-winner with 8 seconds remaining in the game.

Northwestern +1 won at Purdue, 38-14.

Missouri +3h won at Tennessee, 29-21, to stay in position to win the SEC East Division title.  The MU Tigers control their own destiny, needing “only” a home win over surging Arkansas this weekend.
The game was tied 13-13 at halftime, but Mizzou scored two 4th quarter TD’s to take a 29-13 lead and eventually prevailed, also winning the turnover battle 2-0.  The Tigers won their 10th straight true road game (i.e., played at opponent’s home stadium) and 8th straight SEC road game.

Arizona +4h won at Utah, 42-10, and the Wildcats remain in the hunt for the PAC-12 South Division title (needing a victory over rival Arizona State and a UCLA home loss to Stanford).

Wake Forest +15 beat visiting Virginia Tech, 6-3 in double overtime.  Regulation play was scoreless, and it was an exciting 3-3 after the first overtime period.

GROUP OF FIVE GAMES (non-Power 5 conference matchups):

Last Tuesday night, Akron +3 beat visiting UMass, 30-6.

Last Thursday night, Texas State +6 beat visiting Arkansas State 45-27.

Western Michigan +1 won at Central Michigan, 32-20, and the WMU Broncos remain undefeated ATS this year.

Old Dominion +11h beat visiting Louisiana Tech, 30-27.

Fresno State +7 won at Nevada, 40-20, to stay alive in the MW West Division title race.

Appalachian State +10 won at Louisiana-Lafayette, 35-16.

NOT QUITE:

Boston College +17 was tied 17-17 at Florida State and started a drive from its own 8-yard line with only 13½ minutes remaining in the game.  The BC Eagles called 14 straight running plays and matriculated down to the FSU 26-yard line.  The next play was not a run – it was a wide receiver throwback pass across the field to the QB that fell incomplete; the drive stalled and BC missed a 42-yard FG with only 4½ minutes left in the final quarter.  This set up the Seminoles’ game-winning drive of 12 plays for 66 yards that culminated in a successful 26-yard FG with 3 seconds left to keep their 27-game winning streak alive.
FINAL: FSU 20, BC 17 and Florida State found a way to win in the 4th quarter–AGAIN!

Indiana +34h was a huge underdog at Ohio State.  The OSU Buckeyes held only a 21-20 lead after three quarters, but left no doubt in the final stanza with three unanswered TD’s to prevail.
FINAL: OSU 42, IND 27   

Alabama-Birmingham +20 was behind visiting Marshall at halftime 17-6, but closed the gap and took the lead on a TD with 11½ minutes remaining in the 4th quarter.  The UAB Blazers missed the 2-point conversion attempt, and the score was 18-17.  Undefeated Marshall answered back on a TD with 7:35 showing on the clock and the Thundering Herd held on to win, 23-18.

Iowa +10 scored a TD early in the 4th quarter, but failed for the second time in the game on a 2-point PAT try and ended up losing by 2 points, 26-24.  Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon rushed 31 times for 200 yards and 2 TD’s for the visiting Badgers.

NFL

NFL UNDERDOG WINNERS

All 32 teams have now played 11 games (with five more regular season games – Weeks #13 through #17) and there will be no more “bye” weeks.

DIVISIONAL RACES

UNUSUAL RACES IN TWO DIVISIONS

In the AFC NORTH, all four teams are still over .500; Cincinnati (7-3-1) holds a ½-game lead over the other three teams -- Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Baltimore, all with 7-4 records.  That means all four teams are at least 3 games over .500, the first time this has happened in league history.  After this weekend, they could all be 4 games over .500.

In the NFC SOUTH, all four teams are miserably under .500; New Orleans and Atlanta are tied for the division lead with 4-7 records (three games under .500), while Carolina with a lousy 3-7-1 record is only ½ game back, and miserable Tampa Bay at 2-9 is only two games out of the division lead with five games to go (and of course HC Lovie Smith thinks the Bucs still have a decent chance to win the division).  Atlanta currently holds the tiebreaker in the NFC South with a 4-0 record against division opponents, which means the Falcons are 0-7 against the rest of the league.

THE OTHER DIVISIONS

In the NFC EAST, Philadelphia (8-3) and Dallas (8-3) both won on Sunday and are still tied for the division lead.

In the AFC WEST, Denver (8-3) grabbed a 1-game lead over Kansas City (7-4) and San Diego (7-4) with a close 39-36 home win over Miami on Sunday, while the KC Chiefs lost at Oakland on Thursday night and the SD Chargers got a narrow 27-24 home victory over St. Louis to stay in the division race.

In the NFC NORTH, Green Bay (8-3) finally took the division lead by one game over Detroit (7-4) after the Packers won at Minnesota 24-21 and the Lions lost at New England 34-9 on Sunday.

In the AFC EAST, New England (9-2) extended its division lead to three games with a home win over Detroit; Miami (6-5) lost a close game at Denver, 39-36 and Buffalo (6-5) beat the NY Jets in Detroit on Monday night (too much snow in Buffalo) to stay in the playoff race.

In the NFC WEST, Arizona (9-2) gave up some of its big lead in the division with a 19-3 loss at Seattle.  2nd-place Seattle (7-4) and San Francisco (7-4) are now just two games back.  The Niners won at home over Washington, 17-13.
In the AFC SOUTH, Indianapolis (7-4) extended its division lead to 2 games over 2nd-place Houston (5-6) after the Colts won 23-3 over visiting Jacksonville and the Texans lost at home to Cincinnati 22-13 on Sunday.


NFL UNDERDOG WINNERS

Overall, FOUR underdogs won outright in 15 NFL games, for a 27% upset rate this week (43% last week).

On Thursday night, Oakland +7h beat visiting Kansas City, 24-20, to snap its 16-game losing streak.  Putting the Raiders in my Quiz Questions last week evidently shook them out of their funk and they improved to 1-10 for the season.  The Raiders have not been playing poorly of late and are currently 6-5 ATS this year.

Cleveland +3 won at Atlanta, 26-24.  The ATL Falcons took a 24-23 lead in the 4th quarter on a TD and the go-ahead 53-yard FG with 44 seconds remaining in regulation play.  But on the ensuing drive, the CLE Browns got in position for a 37-yard FG and it was “good” with no time left on the clock.

Cincinnati +1h won at Houston, 22-13.

On Monday night, Baltimore (+3) won at New Orleans, 34-27.  The NOR Saints have lost three home games in the last three weeks, after having won 11 straight home games before this ugly streak.

NOT QUITE

St. Louis +5h scored a TD with only 2 minutes remaining in the game to trail at San Diego only 27-24, after which the Rams got the ball back quickly and had 2nd-and-goal from the SD Chargers’ 3-yard line with just under 1 minute to go in regulation play.  STL Rams’ QB Shaun Hill then threw an interception at the goal line and there would not be any chance for the tying chip-shot FG.  Game over.
FINAL: SD 27, STL 24 but the Rams covered against the spread in losing only by three.

“BACKDOOR” COVERS ATS

Miami +7 was ahead 28-17 after three quarters at Denver, but the Broncos surged ahead with three unanswered 4th-quarter TD’s to lead 39-28 -- tentatively covering against the spread.  But the MIA Dolphins scored the “meaningless” TD with only 1:34 remaining in the game to get the backdoor cover ATS in losing only by three, 39-36.

Minnesota +9 was behind visiting Green Bay 24-13 until the Vikings scored a late TD with 3:23 remaining in the 4th quarter to lose only by three, 24-21, and cover ATS.


FFHL RESULTS – WEEK TWELVE

Overall, we FFHL’ers really stunk it up at 27-57-0 (32.1% ATS).  In college picks, we were a lousy 14-27-0 ATS (34.1%), and in the NFL we were even worse at 13-30-0 ATS (30.2%).

This week we selected 26 underdogs out of 84 total picks.  On our 12 underdog picks in the NFL, we were 6-6-0 ATS.  And in our 14 college ‘dog picks we were 10-4-0 ATS.  Overall, that means we were a decent 16-10-0 ATS (61.5%) on underdog picks.  Doing the math, that means our “favorites” picks were really bad at 11-47 ATS (19.0%-WOW!).
Good thing Filter King and Fugitive weren’t in Vegas for this mess.

FFHL LOP-SIDED and CONTESTED PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD (ATS)

                                    ATS Picks
Team                           For-Against     Result / Unsolicited comments

In our 41 college picks, we had only 2 contrary picks.
In our 43 NFL picks, we had 5 contrary picks.

GB Pack -9 at MINN              8-0       LOSS, Green Bay wins only 24-21
DAL ‘Boys -3h at NYG           4-0       LOSS, Cowboys win 31-28 to not cover by ½ point
ATL Falcons -3 vs. CLE         3-0       LOSS, Browns win outright, 26-24
SF 49’ers -8h vs. WSH           3-0       LOSS, Niners win only 17-13 to not cover ATS
DEN Broncos -7 vs. MIA        5-1       LOSS, Denver wins only 39-36
AZ Cards +7 at SEA               4-1       LOSS, Seahawks win handily 19-3
NE Pats -7 vs. DET                3-1       WIN, New England still on a roll, 34-9

Wisconsin -10 at Iowa 4-0       LOSS, Badgers win only 26-24 to not cover ATS
Marshall -20 at UAB               4-0       LOSS, Herd lucky just to win game 23-18
Missouri +3h at TENN            3-0       WIN, MU Tigers win outright 29-21
Utah -4h vs. Arizona               2-1       LOSS, AZ ‘Cats as ‘dogs win big 42-10
Northwestern +1 at Purdue    2-1       WIN, NW ‘Cats as ‘dogs win big 38-14


CUMULATIVE RECORDS AGAINST THE SPREAD (ATS) and STRAIGHT UP

COLLEGE – FFHL WEEK #12
                                                ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               21-31-1  (40.6%)         34-19  (64.2%)           
            HOME TEAMS           27-25-1  (51.9%)         34-19 (64.2%)

The favorites didn’t perform well overall ATS this week.

COLLEGE - CUMULATIVE
                                                ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               295-328-14 (47.4%)    481-147  (76.6%)       
HOME TEAMS           290-324-10 (47.3%)    363-262 (58.1%)

NFL – FFHL WEEK #12
                                                ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               6-9-0  (40.0%)             11-4-0  (73.3%)          
            HOME TEAMS           8-6-0  (57.1%)             9-5-0  (64.3%)

One game was at a neutral site (Buffalo vs. NYJ in Detroit due to snow storm)

NFL - CUMULATIVE
                                                ATS                             STRAIGHT-UP
                                                Record                        Record

FAVORITES               87-86-2  (50.3%)         119-55-1  (68.3%)      
            HOME TEAMS           82-88-2  (48.3%)         101-70-1  (59.0%)



COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS

FIFTH PRELIMINARY RANKINGS FROM “THE CFP COMMITTEE”
The 12-member selection committee for the CFP had better keep their eyes on the scoreboard and not get too fancy with their analysis.  You may have heard of them talking about which teams are best at “game control” (Baylor is supposedly #1 in this category); what a bunch of hooey.  Anyway, I’m not going to get too excited about these preliminary rankings, since there are still many significant games to be played.
“Scoreboard, baby!”

TOP FOUR (did not change from last week):
#1 Alabama (10-1)                 
#2 Oregon (10-1)                   
#3 Florida State (11-0)                           
#4 Mississippi State (10-1)

If there are no upsets going forward, the top three teams are almost assured of making the playoffs.  But the fourth spot is up for grabs, as I see it as unlikely that two teams from the same division of the same conference will be selected.


NEED SOME HELP:
#5 TCU (9-1)               same as last week; ahead of Baylor
#6 Ohio State (10-1)   same as last week; VA Tech loss looms
#7 Baylor (8-1)            same as last week; BU Bears are lurking

LONGSHOTS:
#8 UCLA (8-2)            Bruins move up; Ole Miss drops to #19
#9 Georgia (8-2)
#10 Michigan State (8-2)
#11 Arizona (9-2)
#12 Kansas State (8-2)                      
#13 Arizona State (9-2)
#14 Wisconsin (9-2)
#15 Auburn (8-3)
#16 Georgia Tech (9-2)
#17 Missouri (9-2)
#18 Minnesota (8-3)
#19 Mississippi (8-3)

NON-POWER 5 TEAMS:
Wow, there are now two “Group of Five” teams ranked in the CFP Top 25.

CFP#23 Boise State (9-2)      Ranked only #25 by AP and USAToday
CFP#24 Marshall (11-0)         Ranked AP#19 and USA#20

AP#21 Colorado State (10-1) is not ranked by the CFP Committee at this time.
           
Once again, the AP and USA Today polls are quite similar; the Top 25 teams are exactly the same (with slightly different order).  The AP still has Florida State at #1 with 37 first-place votes and Alabama #2 with 21 first-place votes (Oregon #3, 2 votes).  But the Coach’s Poll has Alabama #1 with 25 first-place votes and undefeated Florida State #2 with more first-place votes (30).  That means some voters have FSU ranked worse than #2.
The FWAA Super 16 poll has the exact same Top 15 in slightly different order than the AP Poll (the #16 spot is different).  The CFP rankings have the same Top 17 teams as the AP Poll.

The betting odds posted by www.bovada.lv for college teams to win the CFP championship are changing significantly from week to week.  Before last weekend’s games, following were the odds to win (with the prior week’s odds in parentheses):

ALABAMA                  5-to-2               (4-to-1)
OREGON                   15-to-4             (4-to-1)
FLORIDA STATE       6-to-1               (6-to-1)
OHIO STATE             6-to-1               (8-to-1)
TCU                            7-to-1               (6-to-1)
BAYLOR                     17-to-2             (16-to-1)
MISSISSIPPI ST        17-to-2             (15-to-2)
GEORGIA                  25-to-1
MISSISSIPPI              33-to-1
UCLA                          50-to-1

OTHER NEWS and MINUTIA

PLAYER TRANSACTIONS

CATCHUP
These items occurred prior to last weekend’s games:
MIN Vikings claimed RB Ben Tate off waivers from Cleveland.
NE Patriots re-signed Steelers’ reject RB LeGarrette Blount.
NOR Saints’ rookie WR Brandin Cooks is out for the year (wrist injury)
IND Colts’ RB Ahmad Bradshaw is out for the year with a broken leg.

FALLOUT FROM LAST WEEKEND
Northwestern’s QB Trevor Siemian is out for the year with a torn ACL suffered in last weekend’s game at Illinois.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry is out for the year after a mass was discovered in his chest.

Houston Texans’ QB Ryan Mallett suffered a pectoral injury on Sunday and is out for the season.  We may see Ryan Fitzpatrick back in the starting role, or maybe rookie Tom Savage (4th rounder out of Pitt) will get a shot.

Did you see that catch by NYG rookie WR Odell Beckham, Jr. on Sunday?  It was a miraculous one-handed TD grab (actually, he used only his thumb, index finger, and middle finger of his right hand to catch the ball while fully extended and horizontal to the ground), and he was interfered with by the defensive back before the catch.  If you didn’t see the replay, try to find a video of it.  It is most probably in the Top 10 catches of all time, NFL or college or CFL or otherwise.  Some people might consider it #1 all time.

The Washington Pig’Skins have benched Robert Griffin III and will be starting QB Colt McCoy this weekend at Indianapolis.

The NY Jets are switching quarterbacks again and going back to QB Geno Smith as the starter against Miami this Monday night.

HEISMAN TROPHY HOPEFULS

Before last weekend’s games, following were the www.bovada.lv odds for several players to win the Heisman Trophy:

Oregon QB                 MARCUS MARIOTTA           1-to-3               Big favorite
Wisconsin RB             MELVIN GORDON                5-to-2
And all of the other also-rans:
Ohio State QB                        J.T. BARRETT                       15-to-1
TCU QB                      TREVONE BOYKIN               25-to-1
Miss State QB             DAK PRESCOTT                   33-to-1
Baylor QB                   BRYCE PETTY                      40-to-1
FSU QB                      JAMEIS WINSTON                40-to-1   too much baggage to repeat

UPDATE:
As of yesterday, the race has come down to the two favorites and a bunch of other guys fighting for 3rd place.  Mariotta is still a 1-to-3 favorite to win the award, with Gordon shortening his odds to 2-to-1.

LOWER FOOTBALL DIVISIONS

FCS PLAYOFF SEEDINGS

#1 New Hampshire Wildcats (9-1)                 Lost at FBS Toledo 54-20                  
#2 North Dakota State Bison (10-1)               Lost at Northern Iowa, 23-3
                                                                        Won at FBS Iowa State, 34-14
#3 Jacksonville State Gamecocks (9-1)        Lost at Michigan State 45-7
#4 E. Washington Eagles (9-2)           Lost at FBS U-Dub and at FCS N.Arizona
#5 Illinois State Redbirds (9-1)                        Lost at Northern Iowa
#6 Villanova (9-2)        Two 1-point losses: at FBS Syracuse and at Richmond
#7 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (11-0)        No wins vs. FBS teams
#8 Chattanooga Mocs (9-3)    Lost at FBS C.Mich & at FBS Tennessee
                                                Lost at home in OT to Jacksonville State

The first eight seeds get a bye week for the first week of the playoffs.  The other 16 teams in the 24-team tournament play first round games.  The FCS title game will be played on January 10th in Frisco, TX.

The Northern Iowa Panthers (7-4) host Stephen F. Austin in the first round this weekend, and the winner of this game plays at #5 seed Illinois State on Saturday, December 6th.

Last weekend in their rivalry game to end the regular season, FCS #12 Montana State played at FCS #13 Montana.  FINAL: Montana Grizzlies 34, MT State Bobcats 7.
Montana hosts University of San Diego in the first round of the playoffs, and the winner plays at #4 seed Eastern Washington (Dec. 6th).
Montana State hosts South Dakota State in the first round of the playoffs, and the winner plays at #2 seed ND State (Dec. 6th).

DIVISION II
This division has a 24-team playoff.
The title game will be played in Kansas City on December 20th.

DIVISION III
This division has a 32-team playoff.  The Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl (title game) will be played on December 19th in Salem, VA.
Wisconsin-Whitewater and Mount Union have faced each other in the title game 8 of the last 9 years.


LOOKING AHEAD – selected games, not the full slate
COLLEGE FOOTBALL - FFHL WEEK #13

Tuesday                     Ohio U -2 at Miami, OH                      Athens vs. Oxford

Thursday                   LSU -3 at Texas A&M
TURKEY DAY                       TCU -6h at Texas                   Fort Worth vs. Austin

Friday                         Nebraska (Pick) at Iowa         Hawkeyes not favored?  J
                                    Virginia -1 at VA Tech Charlottesville vs. Blacksburg
                                    Stanford +4h at UCLA            Bruins for PAC-12 South title
Arizona St at Arizona              Territorial Cup (no line yet)
Navy -9h at South Alabama  
Central FL -12 at South FL     Orlando vs. Tampa
Houston -22 at SMU               Houston vs. Dallas
East Carolina -16 at Tulsa
Colorado St -7 at Air Force     Fort Collins vs. CO Springs
N. Illinois +7 at W. Michigan
Toledo -23 at Eastern Michigan         
Ball State +9 at Bowling Green
Akron at Kent State    (switched from Tues-Buffalo snow)
Buffalo at Massachusetts (no line yet)
W. Kentucky +21 at Marshall

Saturday        “PLAYOFF” GAMES:
                        Minnesota +13h at Wisconsin         for Big 10 West title
                        Rice +6h at Louisiana Tech             for CUSA West title
                       
RIVALRIES and other good matchups:
Auburn +10 at Alabama                                  Iron Bowl
Mississippi State -2 at Ole Miss                      Egg Bowl
Arkansas (no line yet) at Missouri      MU for SEC East Title
Georgia Tech +13 at Georgia             ACC vs. SEC
South Carolina +4h at Clemson         SEC vs. ACC
Florida +8 at Florida State                  SEC vs. ACC
Tennessee -17 at Vanderbilt               Knoxville vs. Nashville                       
Kentucky +13 at Louisville                  Governor’s Cup
Michigan +20 at Ohio State                “Former” rivalry
Purdue +3 at Indiana                          West Lafayette vs Bloomington
Illinois +8 at Northwestern                  Champaign vs. Evanston
NC State +8 at UNC                           Raleigh vs. Chapel Hill
Wake Forest +18 at Duke                  Winston-Salem vs. Durham
Notre Dame +7 at USC                      ND won last 2 SU & ATS
Oregon -20 at Oregon St                    Eugene vs. Corvallis
U-Dub -4 at WA State                         Seattle vs. Pullman
Baylor -24h vs. TX Tech                     at neutral site Arlington, TX
Kansas +28 at Kansas St                   Lawrence vs. Manhattan
Utah State +9h at Boise State            maybe for Mountain title
Nevada -9h at UNLV                          Reno vs. Vegas

Playing for bowl eligibility:
Virginia at VA Tech                 Both need win to qualify; only one wins
Illinois at Northwestern            Both need win to qualify; only one wins
California                                 vs. BYU
Oregon State                          vs. Oregon
Tennessee                              at Vanderbilt
Kentucky                                 at Louisville
Pittsburgh                                at Miami.FL
Temple                                    needs 1 win in two games: CIN, at Tulane
Michigan                                 at Ohio State
UAB                                        at S. Miss
Old Dominion                          at FL Atlantic
Navy                                       needs 1 win in 2 games: at S.ALA, Army
Ohio U                                     at Miami.OH
Akron                                      at Kent State
Fresno State                           vs. Hawaii

Oklahoma State                      at OKLA on Dec 6th


NFL WEEK #13 – SELECTED GAMES

BYE WEEKS:             there are no more “BYE” weeks this year
                                   
Thursday                   Chicago (+7) at Detroit
TURKEY DAY                       Philadelphia (+3h) at Dallas
                                    Seattle (+1) at San Francisco

Sunday           Divisional Matchups:
                        Tennessee (+6h) at Houston
                        Denver (-1h) at Kansas City
           
           
                        Other interesting games:
                        San Diego (+5h) at Baltimore
                        Cleveland (+2h) at Buffalo
                        New England (+3) at Green Bay

Monday          Miami (-5h) at NY Jets


QUIZ QUESTON

QUESTION #1:  Two weekends ago, Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon broke the all-time NCAA single-game rushing record with 408 yards from scrimmage.  One week later (last weekend), that record was eclipsed by Oklahoma’s true freshman RB Samaje Perine (427 yards).  Who held the record prior to the start of the 2014 season?
HINT:  He rushed for 406 yards in a game during the 1999 season, and ended up being a well-known running back in the NFL.



ANSWER #1:
LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU).
Last Saturday, the Sooners’ Samaje Perine rushed 34 times for 427 yards and 5 TD’s (49, 33, 34, 66, and 27) against an obviously porous Kansas Jayhawk defense.  He didn’t even start the game, and was pulled from the game after only a few plays into the fourth quarter.  In comparison, Melvin Gordon rushed only 25 times for 408 yards against a then-ranked Nebraska team (sat out the 4th quarter).  Nevertheless, Perine’s performance was impressive; he became the only player in NCAA history to rush for 200+ yards in both halves of a game.
Also, he broke the all-time NCAA freshman rushing record previously held by San Diego State RB Marshall Faulk (386 yards in 1991), and he also broke the all-time Big XII conference record of 378 yards by Troy Davis (Iowa State, 1996).

Did you think that it was a shocker that the rushing record was broken so quickly (back-to-back weeks), after the previous record had lasted about 15 years?  Maybe so, but it also happened back in 1989.  Cal State Fullerton RB Mike Pringle had tied the previous record set by Washington State RB Rueben Mayes (1984) with 357 rushing yards from scrimmage on November 4, 1989.  The next week, Indiana RB Anthony Thompson rushed for 377 yards and broke the recently-tied record (although it took Thompson 52 carries to amass that yardage – FIFTY-TWO!).

MORE ON MELVIN GORDON:
He became the NCAA all-time fastest player to 2,000 yards in Wisconsin’s 26-24 win over Iowa on Saturday, eclipsing the 2000-yard mark on just his 241st carry of the season. Gordon rushed 31 times for 200 yards on the day, bringing his season total to 2,109 yards on 254 attempts.
And that brings a much bigger record into play.
The junior RB is currently in 10th place on the FBS all-time single-season rushing list, sitting 519 yards away from tying Barry Sanders’ record of 2,628 yards (in 11 games); if you add in Barry’s bowl game, his total of 2,850 (12 games) would be virtually insurmountable by Gordon.
The last two weeks have brought Gordon’s average up to 191.7 yards per game on the season. Three more games at that average would put Gordon at 2,684 yards on the year (in 14 games) – breaking the record by 56 yards. Of course, the catch is that Wisconsin doesn’t have three games guaranteed left to play.  And if he breaks the record, there had better be an ASTERISK next to the total.
Wisconsin hosts Minnesota Saturday with a spot in the Big Ten title game on the line. A victory extends the Badgers’ season by a game, and puts Sanders’ record within reach.
Gordon would have to have outstanding games against not only Minnesota, but Ohio State in the Big Ten title game and a quality bowl opponent as well.


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