College Football’s Saturday Seven

Nov 22, 2013 5 Comments

Alabama Football

The game of football has four quarters.  When the whistle blows at the end of the third quarter you see the players hold up four fingers to symbolize crunch time.  It’s time to put up or shut up.  How you play the fourth quarter will determine the outcome of a competitive game.  We have now reached the end of the third quarter in the 2013 college football season and there are still plenty of stories that will play out over the course of the final quarter.  Who will keep winning and end up in the BCS Title game?  Who might end up undefeated, but get left out?  Which player will rise above the rest and win the Heisman Trophy?  The answers will reveal themselves over the next few weeks.  So as we enter this season’s fourth quarter, let’s take a look at sports-glutton.com’s “SATURDAY SEVEN.”

1) CONTENDERS

The pressure to go undefeated has claimed a few more victims over the last few weeks, leaving 4 teams vying for the coveted last 2 spots.

Alabama:  Great coaches get their teams “rolling” at the right time in order to hit their peak at the end of the season when it counts the most.  Nick Saban has done that this year once again.  LSU came to town looking to pick a fight.  Instead the Tide had one of its more dominant performances of the year.  AJ McCarron has his team ready to reach the title game once again, but a huge game is waiting for them against 6th-ranked Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

Florida State:  The Seminoles walked right into Death Valley a few weeks back and crushed Clemson.  They have proceeded to blow out every team since and have positioned themselves as the favorites to meet Alabama in the title game.  The remaining games on the field should not change this course…however, distractions off the field are building like a thunderstorm and threaten to derail their hopes of a title.

What about us?  Ohio State and Baylor stand undefeated and ready to tell anybody willing to listen that they deserve a title shot too.  And why not?  They’re undefeated.  They’ve taken care of everything they can control.  But that’s the BCS and we don’t have a playoff for another year.  Plus, both of these teams have big games remaining, with Baylor playing Oklahoma State this weekend, and Ohio State possibly playing a Top 10 ranked Michigan State in the Big 10 Title game.  Get by those teams and this debate will grow louder.

2) PRETENDERS

Two more contenders turned pretender…

Clemson:  The Tigers lost…51-14…at home…on prime time national TV.  You just can’t do that and be included in the title conversation.  They’re alive for a spot in the Orange Bowl as the ACC representative as long as FSU keeps winning and ends up in the BCS title game.

Oregon:  The fast-paced modern offense that the Ducks run was no match for the good ole’ fashioned smashmouth football Stanford displayed in Palo Alto.  Marcus Mariota was playing hurt and it showed.  That’s how razor-thin the margin of error is in staying undefeated in college football.

Johnny Manziel Texas AandM Football3) THE HEISMAN CRYSTAL BALL

  • Winner:  Jameis Winston, Florida State…winning on the field helps, possibly losing off the field hurts
  • Runner-Up:  Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M…stat machine is the most dynamic player in college football
  • Invited to Ceremony:  AJ McCarron, Alabama…still the most underrated star in college football
  • In the Conversation:  Bryce Petty, Baylor…huge game this week vs. Oklahoma State will test him
  • Can’t Be Ignored:  Andre Williams, Boston College and Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois

4) THE HOT SEAT HEAT CHECK

▪  Mike London, Virginia:  Last time around we said their best case scenario was a 4-8 record.  Now they sit at 2-8 with daunting games vs. Miami and Virginia Tech.  Most likely they’re looking at 2-10 record with no wins in the ACC.  His seat can’t get any hotter.

  Bo Pelini, Nebraska:  What’s going on in Lincoln?  A record that once again is not up to Cornhusker standards.  A PR disaster earlier this year for Pelini with a tape of him ripping Big Red fans.  Now rumors he is considering stepping down?  Either way this sounds like uncertainty in the heartland.

  REPLACING A HOT SEAT CASUALTY?:  Coach Ed Orgeron stepped in for Lane Kiffin after he was fired.  All Coach ‘O’ has done is lead USC to a 5-1 record since then, including a huge upset over Top 5 ranked Stanford, who was coming off an upset of Oregon.  He is USC’s best recruiter and he has his team believing in themselves and playing good football again.  I think he’s earned serious consideration here.

5) PERFORMANCE OF THE THIRD QUARTER

  Ryan Switzer, North Carolina:  This true freshman wide receiver has had a break out third quarter and has been a key playmaker for the Tar Heels during their current 4-game win streak.  Switzer has managed to catch a TD, throw a 59-yard TD against rival NC State and return a punt for a TD vs. Virginia.  His highlight reel grew this past week as he returned not one, but two more punt returns for TDs against Pittsburgh.  The second one sealed the road win for UNC.

6) VIRAL MOMENT

▪  Auburn Hail-Mary:  Wow, after blowing them out early, Auburn let the Georgia Bulldogs come all the way back and take the lead with less than a minute to go at home.  Relive what happened next below…

7) THE SATURDAY SEVEN AMATEUR POLL

Top 5:  1.) Alabama  2.) FSU  3.) Ohio State  4.) Baylor  5.) Oklahoma State

NATIONAL TITLE GAME

Alabama vs. FSU

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5 Responses to “College Football’s Saturday Seven”

  1. Jeff E says:

    Another great article Jeff. While I do not dispute Alabama is one of the best teams in the country. It would be interesting to see what the rankings would look like if we did not start with a pre-season poll. So much of the time the teams at the top don’t change unless they lose so strength of schedule and other factors don’t come into play as much. Unfortunately, this will not change next year giving any team at the top an advantage, in my opinion, when it comes to picking the 4 teams in the playoffs.

    • Rico McCloud says:

      Great article. The ACC needs Florida state to be represented in the national championship bc of cash & recruiting. Two huge wins by the Oklahoma schools on Saturday. I didn’t think OSU would be Baylor.

    • Jeff Greenberg says:

      Thanks Jeff. I agree, most of the time the preseason polls give some teams an advantage. But Alabama has won 2 in a row and look stacked again. The Iron Bowl will tell us how good both of those teams really are….or not.

  2. Andy says:

    I wish the playoff started this year.

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