"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

And Then There Were Three...

Two More Unbeatens Go Down: As predicted in this blog, top-ranked Alabama had trouble handling the fast-paced offense of Texas A&M. Louisville succumbed to the tough atmosphere of the Carrier Dome to fall from the ranks of the undefeated in college football. Unfortunately, I missed the Syracuse upset. I also picked Northwestern to beat Michigan, but they fell five points short. Otherwise, my other 18 picks were on target as I went 19-2 for the weekend. Not bad, not bad at all if I say so myself.

Who Survives the Last Three Weeks? Oregon looked suspect for a little while last night against a very short-handed Cal team, especially when their starting QB, Marcus Mariota went down for a few plays with a shoulder injury. I didn't originate the saying, but I wholeheartedly agree that you're only as good as your backup quarterback. If Mariota goes down again, the Ducks are in trouble, especially against Stanford, Oregon State and either UCLA or USC in the Pac-12 championship game, if they get that far. But if Mariota stays healthy, I like them to make it to the BCS Championship game. Next, we have Kansas State. That defense looked very good on Saturday, which should pose plenty of problems for Texas in a couple of weeks. The Baylor game next week could be a bit of trap game on the road, but I like Bill Snyder to keep the Wildcats focused. With no Big 12 championship game to worry about, I have to put Kansas State as the best pick to make it to Miami. Finally, we have Notre Dame. They could only manage 21 points against a bad Boston College team. I just don't see them going into the Los Angeles Coliseum and outscoring a hot USC offense. Does it sound like I'm picking Oregon against Kansas State in the title game? Hmm...

What Happens if They Don't? If only one team emerges unscathed, that means it would come down to which one-loss team rises to the top of what could be a very crowded field. Right now those teams are Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Clemson, Louisville and Rutgers. Add to that, for the sake of argument, Oregon and Notre Dame. That number will be reduced dramatically however: Alabama will probably defeat Auburn to advance to play Georgia for the SEC championship; Florida State meets Florida to end the regular season; Louisville and Rutgers will also play each in their final game. So out of the nine potential one-loss teams mentioned above, we will end up with six at most. We can eliminate the Big East champion because the BCS computers just don't rate them highly enough. Clemson is probably too far down the list, especially since Florida or Florida State would get the computer benefit of the victory in their match-up. The same is true of the SEC Championship game, with the winner getting a huge bump by the computers. Some of this will also be determined by when Oregon loses, if they do. If they fall next week against Stanford, they may have time to recover in the human polls enough with a victory over Oregon State to get back in the hunt, but a loss to the Cardinal could also eliminate them from the Pac 12 championship game. Okay, let's cut to the chase. If it comes down to an undefeated team and a one-loss team, I have to lean heavily toward the SEC champion, either Georgia or Alabama, advancing to the BCS championship game. Of course, it will all be decided on the field, by the voters and the computers. I can't wait to watch it all play out!