Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week 13 wrap up

It's such a bittersweet time of year.  While in some ways, it's a relief to finally know all of the division winners, that also means that the weekly wrap up is pretty much over.  All that is left is for a few select teams to jockey for CFP position.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week 12 wrap up

Another weekend that did not quite go to script.  Every Power 5 conference with divisions has at least one participant of their title game determined.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Chaos Theory Week 12

Only one unbeaten lost last week.  We're down to the final five undefeated teams.

Wake Forest over Clemson
Michigan State over Ohio State
Purdue over Iowa
UConn over Houston
Baylor over Oklahoma State

Worst case scenario, Iowa and Ohio State will face off in the conference title game if they win out, and would guarantee one less team.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Setting up winner take all games in week 13

Thanksgiving weekend is always special in college football, because that's when 90% of the biggest rivalries occur.  To top it off, several of those games can become "winner take all" games where the winner either wins their division or conference.

Below I have listed the setups that can occur with the games played on the weekend on November 21.

ACC and SEC - none.  In both cases, one division has already been clinched, and the other has contenders who have already faced off.

In the East, there are two games that could be set up as divisional championships.
Ohio State at Michigan - if both teams win.
Penn State at Michigan State - if both teams win on 11/21, and Michigan beats Ohio State in the noon game on 11/28.

UCLA at USC - there are three outcomes that can set up a divisional title match here:
-UCLA win + USC win
-UCLA win + USC loss
-UCLA loss + USC loss

If USC wins and UCLA loses on 11/21, then the division will already be decided.

Big 12
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State - if both teams win

Baylor at TCU on Black Friday cannot be a true winner take all game.  Even if both teams win on 11/21, they will still be waiting on future outcomes.  Both teams would still rely on the outcome of Bedlam the following day, while Baylor would still need to win against Texas on December 5.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Games to Watch: Week 12

A lot of games this week with championship implications, but not always for the teams involved.

Saturday, November 21
Michigan at Penn State, ABC.  The winner stays alive in the B1G East.  The loser is out.  If Michigan wins, they set up a winner take all against Ohio State next week.

UNC at Virginia Tech, ESPN.  UNC wants to win this game and lock up the ACC Coastal.  Virginia Tech wants to win this game to go to a bowl, and send their legendary coach out with his final home win.

Purdue at Iowa, ESPN2.  Iowa can lock up the B1G West with a win here.

Memphis at Temple, ESPNU.  A cross divisional battle in the American conference that has more championship implications for Temple than for Memphis.

William & Mary at Richmond, CSN.  Gotta give a shoutout to rivalry weekend in the FCS.

3:30 PM
USC at Oregon, ESPN.  A cross divisional Pac-12 game that greatly affects both sides of the conference.  An Oregon win would keep them alive in the North, hoping that Stanford loses.  A USC win would give Stanford the North, and give USC the South if UCLA loses.

UCLA at Utah, Fox.  Utah is already out of contention.  UCLA needs a win to force a winner take all game against USC next week, unless USC also loses.

LSU at Ole Miss, CBS.  This game could decide the SEC West.  If LSU wins, then Alabama wins the division.  If Ole Miss wins, then the race goes on for one more week.

Michigan State at Ohio State, ABC.  Another game keeping the winner alive in the B1G East, but also dependent on the Michigan/Penn State game earlier.

3:45 PM
Louisville at Pitt, ESPNEWS.  If UNC loses, Pitt can stay alive with a win.  If Pitt loses here, UNC clinches the ACC Coastal regardless of their outcome.

7:30 PM
Baylor at Oklahoma State, Fox.  Baylor needs the win to stay alive, and keep the Big 12 in chaos.

8 PM
TCU at Oklahoma, ABC.  If Oklahoma State beats Baylor, the loser of this game is out of contention.  An Oklahoma win here plus an Oklahoma State win would force a winner take all Big 12 championship next week.

10:30 PM
Cal at Stanford, ESPN.  If Oregon loses earlier in the day, this game doesn't matter.  But if the Ducks win, Stanford can clinch the Pac-12 North with a win here.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week 11 wrap up

No one's making it easy this weekend.  I do believe that every team that could have clinched this weekend ended up losing, keeping the races open.  We have a few contenders that are right on the bubble that have been eliminated due to tiebreakers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Games to Watch: Week 11

The schedule heats up as several conferences have their schedules backloaded so their leaders play each other at the end of the season.

Thursday, November 12
7:30  PM
VT at GT, ESPN.  No bearing on anything other than VT's bowl potential, but it's the final Thursday night game coached by Frank Beamer.  #GameDay4Frank.

Saturday, November 14
Pitt at Duke, ESPNEWS.  The winner of this game will be set up for second place in the ACC Coastal, and will have the best shot if UNC drops a game or two.

3:30 PM
Miami at UNC, ESPNU.  Another ACC Coastal matchup with massive implications.

Alabama at Mississippi State, CBS.  Everyone in the division is looking for Alabama to slip up.

7 PM
Temple at USF, CBS Sports Network.  Temple can wrap up their division of the American conference with a win here.

Memphis at Houston, ESPN2.  The biggest American conference game of the year, as the lead of the western division is on the line.

7:30 PM
Oregon at Stanford, Fox.  Stanford can clinch the division with a win.  An Oregon win would keep the race alive.

8 PM
Oklahoma at Baylor, ABC.  Loser of this one is likely out of the Big 12 title hunt.

Chaos Theory week 11

Five undefeated teams went down last week, leaving us with 6.  No byes, and no battle of the unbeatens this week.

Syracuse over Clemson
Illinois over Ohio State
Oklahoma over Baylor
Minnesota over Iowa
Memphis over Houston
Iowa State over Oklahoma State

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 10 addendum: American Conference race

Normally, I stick to just the Power 5 conferences, but it's looking like the American will be sending their champion to the New Year's Six, and could even potentially crack the top 4.  Also, several of the coaches could be moving on to new jobs based on their performance this year.

The American schedule seems to be backloaded, where a lot of the top teams have yet to play each other.

Controls destiny:
-Temple (5-0) can clinch the division with a win.  Their next game is against South Florida.  Even if they lose that game, they are still in control of their destiny.

Needs help:
-South Florida (3-2) can clinch the division if they win out and Temple loses at least one other conference game.

Still in contention:
-Cincinnati (2-3) can only have a shot at the championship if they share a tie at 5-3.  Since Temple is already 5-0, Temple would be involved in any tie.  Temple already has the head-to-head against Cincy and UConn, and would win any two-team tiebreakers.

If there is a three way tie of Temple/Cincy/UConn, each team would be 1-1.  Cincy would have a divisional record of 4-1 while Temple and UConn would each have 3-2.  So, Cincy can clinch the division that way.

The three way tie of Temple/Cincy/USF would be caused by Temple losing out, Cincy winning out, and USF going 1-2 in their final three games (they play Temple and Cincy, so it already fits in).  The teams would be 1-1 against each other.  Cincy and USF would have 4-1 divisional records, and Cincy would have the head-to-head.

In the event of a 4 way tie at 5-3, USF and Cincy would both be 2-1 against the other teams, and Cincy would have the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Short version, there are three components to Cincy's championship hopes:
-win out
-Temple lose out
-USF beats UCF OR UConn beats Houston.

Out of contention:
-UConn (3-3), ECU (2-4), UCF (0-6)

How is UConn out of contention, but not Cincy?  As you can see above, UConn is accounted for in all of the ties that involve Cincy, but they do not come out ahead.  If UConn is involved in a three way tie with Temple and USF, USF would be 2-0 against the other two teams, and thus win the division.

Controls destiny:
-Houston (5-0) has yet to play the other teams in contention.
-Navy (5-0) has a tiebreaker over Memphis.

Needs help:
-Memphis (4-1) needs two Navy losses.

Out of contention:
-Tulsa (2-3), Tulane (1-5), SMU (0-5)

Since Houston and Navy have yet to play, we know that at least one team in the division will get to 6 wins, which is impossible for the bottom three teams to achieve.

Starting with Week 11, we'll be following the American in the weekly wrap up posts.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Week 10 Wrap up

Wow.  This Saturday did not go as expected.  A few bumps along the way, but at least a few teams clinched their division, while many others were eliminated.  Would you believe that the ACC Coastal is not the most wide open division right now?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Chaos Theory: Week 10

Only one undefeated went down last week, and no one is on a bye.

TCU and Oklahoma State face off, so one team is leaving the undefeated ranks this week.

Minnesota over Ohio State
Kansas State over Baylor
Alabama over LSU
Nebraska over Michigan State
Florida State over Clemson
Indiana over Iowa
Cincinnati over Houston
Navy over Memphis
NIU over Toledo

Eleven teams right now, and we're down to ten or fewer next week.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

2015 Season Thoughts: Post-October

I've been a little busier this Fall, which has taken me away from a weekly feature like I had done in recent years.  But we've come to the part of the season that has everyone on high alert: the end of October!

Week 9 wrap up

The races have taken so much shape that I'm going down to third and fourth level tiebreakers for some.  We have teams being eliminated, teams regaining control, and some teams just barely hanging on.  This wrap up has taken the most time to prepare of any wrap up this season.