As the final weeks of the college football season fade toward the corner of the endzone, the haze is starting to clear over the college football playoff picture.
For instance, one point of note in ESPN’s analysis of the latest rankings is that the ACC is finished for the year. Why? Clemson took a blowout loss to Notre Dame this weekend and finds themselves way out of the top 4 without much of a chance to get back in the picture.
Another note? Last week’s ‘are you for real’ questions might prove irrelevant.
For instance, LSU proved that they have found their stride and could very well find themselves in Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game. But they’re going to have a near impossible time jumping over Tennessee after the Volunteers blew them out earlier this year in Baton Rouge.
And speaking of the Vols, they seem to have taken Bama’s usual mantle of the team that loses their division but earns them a de facto bye into the playoffs as they sit just on outside looking in despite their blowout loss in Athens last weekend.
Finally, the Miami Hurricanes. They were, in fact, for real with that terrible product they’ve got on the field. Woof, they are bad.
But the other meteorological entity we should be focused on isn’t a Hurricane. But a wave.
The Mighty Tulane (Pronounced Too-Lane no where y’at) Green Wave that is are a New Year’s Six contender and could take the mantle for themselves this weekend when they host the UCF Knights in uptown New Orleans. The Wave got their fans feeling like it is 1998 all over again when Tommy Bowden led them to a 12-0 record.
Of course, UCF is no stranger to undefeated seasons themselves as it wasn’t too long ago that they were the default group of five team to punch a ticket to the New Year’s Six bowl games.
Will the Knights get back to that mantle again this year? Or will the Wave use the frustration of being bypassed by wash those dreams away?
I once again turned in a 5-5 week, putting me at 58-53 on the season. As long as I’m above .500, I’ll take it, but I would love to win a week from you guys before the year is done.
There were some real duds in the comment last week (I don’t think any of us took Virginia to cover against UNC), but Ukedadnole was able to find the right recipe this week going 7-3. It’s his first win of the year — though I thought you had won before so maybe it was last year. Regardless, congratulations and welcome to the Comment Section Championship Hall of Fame.
Comment Section Champions:
- Week 0 — NoleOhana (8-3) yeah, we did 11 games that week
- Week 1 — OhNoleHeDidnt (7-3)
- Week 2 — Jason Kuruvilla, DenverNoleFan & mr_britt (8-2)
- Week 3 — mr_britt & trojan24man (9-1)
- Week 4 — medav (7-3)
- Week 5 — medav (7-3)
- Week 6 — NoleGrad07 (7-3)
- Week 7 — Noleyman & Noles95’ (8-2)
- Week 8 — RWHUGHESJR (8-2)
- Week 9 — NoleGrad07, RWHUGHESJR & Noleyman (6-4)
- Week 10 — Ukedadnole (7-3)
Could you be the next Comment Section Champion? Leave your picks below.
If you’re new to the proceedings (which many of you probably are because I’ve only done this for one season), drop your picks in the comments with the spread provided. The following week, I’ll tally up the wins and losses, give a salute to whoever dominates the weekend and add you to our BRAND NEW BULLET LIST OF CHAMPIONS above. Remember, that I’m just a guy with a keyboard, not a gambling pro, so this isn’t advice. Just giving all of us a viewing guide and rooting interest as we watch the football season.
Reminder, I pull all the lines from Tallysight.com because it’s easier to track my picks.
There are a whole lot of potential upsets to choose from on the board this week and yes, I’m telling you that I think this could be one of them. Missouri is a notably worse team than Tennessee, but friends we’ve got a classic letdown game spot here. Tennessee is fresh off a big loss to Georgia and will be out for blood. But I think they’ll be trying too hard allowing Mizzou to hang around a bit too long. Noon kickoff won’t have the same energy as a Tennessee has faced lately so I’ll happily take the points.
Brian’s Pick: Missouri +20.5
- No. 7 LSU Tigers (-3.5) at Arkansas Razorbacks (Noon ET, ESPN)
And unfortunately, here’s another one... at least according to oddsmakers. LSU is fresh off a huge win against Alabama (and before you ask, yes, I was partying Saturday night at my house) and now has a clear path to the SEC Championship Game if they win out against Arkansas and A&M. They’ve found their offense with the huge growth of QB Jayden Daniels and the defense has been much better as they’ve found the right combination of transfers and freshman. All that said, this line seems awfully small to me against a team that has been incredibly suspect especially on defense. It feels like a spot where oddsmakers are thinking LSU is due for their letdown. I won’t buy that one.
Brian’s Pick: LSU -3.5
This is my biggest game of the weekend (because an LSU win paired with a Bama win puts LSU in the SECCG), but it’s also another incredibly surprising spread. Bama has shown some pretty deep struggles in their road performances this season. The close win over Texas, the loss at Tennessee and the OT loss to LSU were all on the road. This has been the spot that they’ve struggled the most. Plus, Lane Kiffin is the guy to give Nick Saban fits. Bama played their best game of the season and Bryce Young made a handful of those Heisman winning plays a week ago so I expect them to win, but I doubt Ole Miss gets blown out.
Brian’s Pick: Ole Miss +11.5
Don’t look now, but Louisville is peaking at the right time. Since October 1, they’ve scored more than 33 points in each game but one. They’ve been on a heater as Malik Cunningham seems to have figured it out once again and the Cardinals are dangerous. Clemson will need to rebound quickly after their loss to Notre Dame as they’ve got a much more dangerous offense on their hands. They’ll need Shipley to carry the load as they work through their QB struggles.
Brian’s Pick: Louisville +7.5
- No. 22 UCF Knights (+1.5) at No. 17 Tulane Green Wave (3:30pm ET, ESPN2)
My highlighted game of the week from above. I’ve said enough about it.
Brian’s Pick: Tulane -1.5
I continue to go back to these letdown games. This one for the exact opposite reason of Tennessee. Mississippi State had an overtime win last week and Starkville will be amped up for the No. 1 team in the country. Georgia is a much better football team, but Mississippi State is a very different team than many of the others in the SEC. Cowbells ringing will be enough to keep it close.
Brian’s Pick: Mississippi State +16.5
That Bo Nix-Kenny Dillingham combo is absolutely clicking, isn’t it? The Ducks QB threw one in, run one in and caught one in last week’s win and are back on the doorstep of the top 4. But don’t sleep on the Huskies. U-Dub got pummeled by UCLA and then took a letdown loss against Arizona State the following week, but they looked to be on a path as the Pac-12’s Cinderella this season before that. Michael Penix is a perfect college quarterback that makes a total mystery of what you might get each week. It might take a Heisman level performance to get the road win, but that’s certainly within in his abilities.
Brian’s Pick: Washington +13.5
I am in love with Drake Maye. The freshman has done an incredible job running this UNC offense that supports two great receivers. Wake Forest seems to be struggling to figure out what they’ve got going. Louisville smoked them and NC State’s defense came to play starting a two-game losing streak for the Deacs. This could be a really fun, late-night score fest so I’ll grab those 3.5 points and hope Drake can get it done.
Brian’s Pick: UNC +3.5
All of the sudden, the College Football Playoff committee respects the Horned Frogs. After getting a weak initial ranking from the CFP, TCU has leapt up to No. 4. The clear path to the playoff is just win out. But a trip to Austin stands in the way and I really like the Longhorns with Quinn Ewers back at the helm. Plus, TCU is due for a dud.
Brian’s Pick: Texas -7.5
Brian’s Pick: Florida State -7.5