BIG 10

Natty Title Preview

The moment we have all been waiting for is finally here. In the 1st annual College Football Playoffs, Ohio State and Oregon will battle it out for the National Championship. Oregon is a 7 point favorite and rightfully so. They demolished the defending champs, Florida State, and was an early favorite coming into this season. Ohio State started off ranked 5th in the AP preseason poll but once Braxton Miller was ruled out for the season, everyone counted them out. Now with their 3rd string QB, they find themselves 1 win away from shocking the world. 

Ohio State did the unthinkable in the Sugar Bowl by defeating Alabama. I didn't think it was impossible for them to do it, I predicted that they would get it done. I wasn't sold on Bama, nor was I confident in Blake Sims, who threw 3 INTs. Cardale Jones didn't have an unbelievable game but he didn't cost the Buckeyes the game either, only 283 total yards for him. 

With 3:24 remaining on the clock, Elliot bust it for 85 yards that pretty much sealed the game for the Buckeyes. In his last 4 games, Elliot has rushed for 678 yards and 7 TDs. Someone is in the zone. (Al Tielemans/SI)

With 3:24 remaining on the clock, Elliot bust it for 85 yards that pretty much sealed the game for the Buckeyes. In his last 4 games, Elliot has rushed for 678 yards and 7 TDs. Someone is in the zone. (Al Tielemans/SI)

I do want to apologize to Ezekiel Elliot, who I said wasn't going to have a big game against Bama. Elliott not only played well but he rushed for 230 yards on the Tide, averaging 11.5 yards a carry. I did say that Elliot was needed to beat Bama and I was right on that part. I did not expect him to have a game like that though. 

The Buckeyes will need Elliott once again to have a monster game. He seems to get stronger by the game and the higher the importance, the harder he runs. Oregon's defense against Florida State proved they could play physical but they didn't stop the run. Delvin Cook and Karlos Williams both combined for 183 yards on 27 carries (6.7 yards a carry). Elliott has proved that he can handle that workload by himself. 

If the Buckeyes can get the running game going, Jones won't have to make so many plays. In the 1st quarter of the Sugar Bowl, the Buckeyes wasted two redzone opportunities trying to pass the ball instead of pounding the rock. Opportunities like that are not to be taking for granted against Oregon because they will turn it up on you. 

 Ohio State best bet is to slow the game down, similar to what FSU tried to do, just without the turnovers. Defensively, they shouldn't look to stop the Ducks but focus on containing them. Keep the big plays to a minimum, and make Mariota stay in the pocket. The Buckeyes in the last two games has kept both Melvin Gordon and Amari Cooper under 80 yards, now on their way to playing the third and winning Heisman finalist. 

Oregon has to speed this game up, similar to how they did Florida State. What was 18-13 at halftime, turned into a 27-point quarter for the Ducks. Mariota and the Ducks are going to need another great performance from their bruiser back, Thomas Tyner. Tyner gave the Ducks that physical presence they needed to beat the Noles and he'll have to do it again against the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes only allow 328 total yards a game, and similar to Stanford, they are very good against the run. 

It takes Oregon 10 seconds to get the play in from the pressbox, down to the field, and to Mariota. No one has ran this offense as well as Mariota. (Robert Beck/SI)

It takes Oregon 10 seconds to get the play in from the pressbox, down to the field, and to Mariota. No one has ran this offense as well as Mariota. (Robert Beck/SI)

Mariota must have the best game of his career. He has to put the pressure on Cardale Jones and the Buckeye's offense to score points. Unlike the Florida State game, I think his arm will be needed. I would say the defense won them the game against the Noles but this time Mariota will have to prove he is the Heisman. 

If I had to pick a winner for this game it would be Oregon. I like the Buckeyes defense but I think playing with a third string QB will finally catch up to them. Even though they beat Bama, scoring 28 straight, Jones still made some mistakes. Mistakes against Oregon will cost you even if its just one. If Jones can limit his mistakes to zero and keep up with Mariota, then the Buckeyes will have a chance, that's a big if though. I expect a great game with the final score being 42-31 Oregon. 

The Weekend: Week 3

Only 3 weeks in and I can already tell this new playoff system will involve some controversy. In week one, Kirk Herbstreit said that Georgia is one of his top 4 teams, even though they were ranked #12 in the preseason polls. Now, 2 weeks later, I would like to hear Mr. Herbstreit's top 4 to see if Georgia is still in it. If Herbstreit,  a very credible and knowledgeable college football analyst, is picking teams week-to-week, then I'm sure the selection Committee is doing that also. I understand what their criteria is, and I hope strength of schedule holds the most weight, but I am scared their will be favoritism involved. I can see 2 out of the 3 teams being from the SEC, which I wouldn't agree with. Two teams from the same conference should not be included, especially if one beat the other. Conference Champions should be the only ones considered unless they are outside of the Top ten and the only teams considered should be those in the top ten. Oh wait I forgot, the SEC can have up to 5 teams in the top ten. 

AP Top 25

RKTEAMRECORDPTS

1Florida State (37)2-01466

2Oregon (17)3-01424

3Alabama (1)3-01346

4Oklahoma (2)3-01325

5Auburn2-01252

6Texas A&M (3)3-01195

7Baylor3-01134

8LSU3-01114

9Notre Dame3-0917

10Ole Miss3-0840

11Michigan State1-1832

12UCLA3-0807

13Georgia1-1729

14South Carolina2-1718

15Arizona State3-0680

16Stanford2-1560

17USC2-1459

18Missouri3-0446

19Wisconsin1-1414

20Kansas State2-0326

21BYU3-0246

22Clemson1-1209

23Ohio State2-1204

24Nebraska3-0172

25Oklahoma State2-1126

Fan-i 25 

  1. Florida State (2-0) LW 1, BYE
  2. Oregon (3-0) LW 2, W 48-14 Wyoming 
  3. Alabama (3-0) LW 3, W 52-12 Southern Miss 
  4. Oklahoma (3-0) LW 4, W 34-10 Tennessee 
  5. Auburn (2-0) LW 5, BYE
  6. Baylor (3-0) LW 6, W 63-21 @ Buffalo 
  7. UCLA (3-0) LW 7, W 20-27 @ Texas 
  8. LSU (3-0) LW 9, W 31-0 UL-Monroe 
  9. Texas A&M (3-0) LW 13, W 38-10 Rice 
  10. Notre Dame (3-0) LW 12, W 30-14 Purdue*
  11. Michigan State (2-0) LW 11, BYE
  12. Ole Miss (3-0) LW 15, W 56-15 La-Lafayette 
  13. South Carolina (2-1) LW 17, W 38-35 #8 Georgia 
  14. Arizona State (3-0) LW 16, W 38-24 @ Colorado 
  15. Ohio State (2-1) LW 14, W 66-0 Kent State 
  16. Georgia (2-1) LW 8, L 35-38 @ #17 South Carolina 
  17. USC (2-1) LW 10, L 31-37 @ Boston College 
  18. Stanford (2-1) LW 18, W 35-0 Army 
  19. Kansas State (2-0) LW 19, BYE
  20. Wisconsin (1-1) LW 20, BYE
  21. Nebraska (3-0) LW 21, W 55-19 @ Fresno State
  22. Mizzou (3-0) LW 22, W 38-10 UCF
  23. Clemson (1-1) LW 24, BYE
  24. BYU (3-0) LW NR, W 33-25 Houston 
  25. Penn State (3-0) LW NR, W 13-10 Rutgers 

In the conversation: Marshall (3-0), Oklahoma State (2-1), Duke (3-0), 

 

4 teams from the SEC are ranked in the FI25 top ten vs 5 in the AP poll. Last week there was only 3 but with USC losing, that opened up room for another SEC school. USC was on their way to becoming a potential playoff team but couldn't manage a trip to the east coast. I try not to use "travelling" as a reason for a teams loss but it does have an affect on the team. Another team that suffered a shocking loss was Virginia Tech. VT suffered a 28-21 loss to ECU in front of the same home crowd that stayed up to 4am to welcome them back from Ohio State, just a week ago. College Sports is the prime example of why you have to play hard every game, cause on any given day you can lose. 

  • UCLA has been escaping all season, but still winning. A team that some has picked to come out of the Pac-12 has only defeated their opponent by a total margin of 18, all of which were un-ranked. 
  • Penn State and BYU has entered into our rankings, both of which are undefeated. The NCAA has lift all of Penn State sanctions, which led to a big celebration by the student body, who also wanted their statue back. Happy Valley has been a happy place lately. 

Baller of the Week

WIlson, a true freshman, is currently the Blue Devils leading rusher, averaging 15.9 yards a carry. (Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports)

WIlson, a true freshman, is currently the Blue Devils leading rusher, averaging 15.9 yards a carry. (Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports)

RB haun Wilson, Duke - 12 carries, 245 yards, 3 TDs vs Kansas 

Honorable Mentions:

  • QB Bryce Petty, Baylor - 23/34, 416 yards, 4 TDs, 209.2 QB rating vs Buffalo
  • QB Gunner Kiel, Cincinnati - 25/37 418 yards, 6 TDs, 216.0 QB rating vs Toledo
  • WR, Phillip Dorsett, Miami - 4 catches, 201 yards, 2 TDs vs Arkansas State

Georgia and South Carolina was the best game of the weekend. Going into the 4th quarter, Georgia was down 28-31, a good enough margin to still run the ball without worrying about the clock. Instead they only gave Gurley the ball 5 times for 18 yards in the 4th quarter. Georgia was also on the 4 yard line with a 1st and goal but didn't run the ball. Instead they ran a pass play which resulted in a intentional grouding, sending them back 10 yards and a loss of downs. Gurley would get the ball once but the Bulldogs had to settle for a missed field goal to end their hopes of taking the lead. Gurley carried the ball 20 times for 131 yards but he needs the ball 25-30 times a game. And you definitely have to give him the ball when you're inside the 5 yard line. 

Florida and Kentucky played a great game that went into three overtimes. Even though they loss, I am very impressed with Kentucky.

Grayson Lambert is mobbed by Cavalier fans after they defeated the heavily favorited Louisville Cardinals, 23-21. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Grayson Lambert is mobbed by Cavalier fans after they defeated the heavily favorited Louisville Cardinals, 23-21. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Welcome to the ACC Louisville. Louisville failed on 11 straight drives after they scored their first drive of the game. Louisville turned the ball over 3 times while only gaining 282 yards. The Cavs didn't do anything special to win, they also turned over the ball 3 times with less than 300 total yards, but played stout defense. How will the Cards bounce back from this? They are supposed to be the ones that will dethrone the Seminoles as ACC champs. Good luck with that bruh. 

All rights reserved to Fan-i Sports Group LLC 2018