The excitement is building as the games begin to showcase the more notable teams and we get closer to the playoff games. It is also growing as we get closer to crowning our winner. We had some good shake up after yesterday’s games. Here’s a recap.
I read a comment yesterday that said the Virginia players must have bet on Navy, because they sure didn’t appear to want to win. After returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown, the Cavaliers would never see the end zone again. Even an injury to the starting QB did not stop the Midshipmen. His replacement, Zach Abey rushed for 5 touchdowns! To make it more amazing, Navy only attempted one pass, and it was incomplete! Fitting that Navy should win the Military Bowl, right?
Next up was a good game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Virginia Tech Hokies. Oklahoma had a tough time really putting this one away as Tech pulled within 6 with 5:40 left to play. They had more yards on the day, which is surprising against such a high flying offense as the Cowboys’. As has been the story in so many games, the turnovers were the real difference. When you lose the ball, especially within scoring distance, it can take a lot out of your team. Do it twice and you are really going to have a tough time, especially against an opposing QB who ends his career with 52 school records. He probably isn’t going to take his foot off the gas.
TCU and Stanford were next up. Boy did they give the fans a show. At first, TCU QB Kenny Hill looked completely out of sorts, making terrible, uncharacteristically bad decisions. Stanford doesn’t usually miss an opportunity to make you pay for your mistakes. They capitalized on the moment and raced out to a 21-3 lead. The Horned Frogs appeared to be flat, but just like their last Alamo Bowl appearance, you could not count them out. They came back from a 31-0 deficit in 2015, so 18 points is nothing! Hill finally got rolling, scrambling, passing, and even catching touchdowns. (Coach Gary Paterson always has a trick play or two up his sleeve and he seems to know exactly when and how to use them.) It’s hard to hold back extremely talented offenses and it shows when you allow plays like the 93-yard pass Hill threw to Jalen Reagor and the punt returned for a touchdown by Desmon White. The Cardinal did come back to take the lead, but they missed the 2pt conversion and left too much time on the clock. Hill got TCU to field goal range and the defense sealed the win with an interception.
Unfortunately, the Washington State v. Michigan State game showed us exactly why it is hard to pick a winner in this crazy contest. You have to look at how teams played for the season, at the end of the season, what their coaching changes look like, and what players are going to be absent. If you aren’t privileged to some of that information, it is hard to make an educated choice. I am not saying that the game’s result would have been any different, but it sure would have been nice to know Luke Falk was injured and wasn’t going to be flinging the ball for the Cougars. It didn’t help that Coach Leach kicked the top receiver off the team after the regular season and the third best receiver left the team. I think the Spartans have a great defense, so it may not have mattered. It just would have been nice to see them play WSU at full strength.
Unfortunately for the staff, our current superstar had a bad day, going 1-3. Add to that a stellar performance from our guest pickers, and we find ourselves in a deeper whole than before. Here’s how we stand:
Sprinkles: 17-9, Stride: 16-10, Scoot: 14-12, Leo: 13-13, Trip: 12-14, and Rambo: 10-16
There was a bit of a shake up at the top of the field and more folks find themselves poised to beat our picks. Our lead picker struggled a bit and had to relinquish her spot. Many of you had great days yesterday and took advantage of some great picks.
1st place: (20-6) Nancy Brenneman (she picked all 4 correctly!)
2nd place: (18-8) Kelly Mensinger and Doug Markott
tied with us: (17-9) Kosh Fort, Seth Lazansky, Jeff Esping, Colin Kiener, Joel Miller, and Thomas Benson III
one spot away: (16-10) Eric Hickerson, Jennifer Lancaster, Sarah Pedro, Nella Mitchell, Trey Hodges, Ashley Kelly, Melanie Tarpley, and Buddy Brantly
I did not gain any real ground yesterday, but I did manage to remain off the bottom rung. Five of you are keeping me company. We can keep each other warm as we dwell in the cellar.
Have a great weekend and enjoy some football!