Football Follies 2019: NCAA week 15 – Week of champions

Football Follies 2019: NCAA week 15 – Week of champions
Oregon CB #2 Mykael Wright cuts through Oregon State kickoff team to sprint for 6 in the 1Q of their rivalry game, 30 Nov 019. Oregon won 24-10 to advance to the PAC-12 title game. PAC-12 Sports video, YouTube

It’s not often we’re in the position of rooting for Oregon.  In fact, we’re pretty conflicted about it: not convinced Utah should really be #5; not convinced Oklahoma should really be #6, or Baylor #7; not convinced any permutation of Utah-Oregon or Baylor-Oklahoma will really merit anyone in that group scrambling over Georgia.

Sigh.  Sportsbabblers have a rough job sometimes.

One thing we’re pretty confident about: if OU can punch the run with Baylor, that will mean very little about punching the run with the top 4 teams.  So we’ve got that going for us.

Speaking of #5 Utah and #13 Oregon, they play Friday evening for the PAC-12 title, meeting in the Tiny Stadium (Levi’s) in Santa Clara.  No claustrophobic Trojan fans will be harmed in this endeavor.  The Youths are giving 4.5 at this writing.  Go Ducks.

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Inner Circle

The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, which beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010, retires honorably from a 4-8 season absolutely saturated with quality learning.  On to 2020.  Roar, Hurricane, roar!

#6 Oklahoma barely pulled it out over Oklahoma State in Bedlam, but has been bumped up a notch and vaulted over Alabama because someone’s got one heck of a sense of humor, and someone else (or possibly the same cabal) has clearly been waiting for ages to wreak vengeance on the Tide.  On Saturday, at Jerry’s Place in Arlington, the Sooners meet #7 Baylor, which did prevail by a huge margin last week over Kansas (motto: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”), but then who doesn’t.  The “mehs” have it, as far as the eye can see.  The Bears could be ready this time for OU’s new “hoggy-sloggy offense is your best defense” strategy, at least mentally, but we’ll see if that translates.

Totem duly shaken.  Sooner give is 9 – because, you know…Sooner bettors.

Oklahoma State (8-4) finishes the season at #25, and should get a nice little Booger Bowl out of the deal.  Well done, Pokes.

Navy is 9-2 and #24, missing the AAC title match by a few points, but afforded a weekend off to gear up for The Game on the 14th.  N-A-V-Y!  Go Navy!!!  BEAT Army!!!!!!

Army lost to Hawaii Saturday night, 52-31, and is 5-7 heading for The Game.  We aren’t in despair yet; the Cure Bowl (if it’s still out there) sometimes takes teams with sub-.500 records, and it is, after all, Army.  But since we expect Navy to sing second next week, Army at 5-8 may be a bridge too far, even for the bowl that offers free mammograms at the stadium to fans.

Air Force finished 10-2 with the win over Wyoming, and is perched right behind MWC-Mountain leader Boise State.  We expect a very fine Booger slot for the Falcons, and salute their excellent season.  Bravo Zulu!

Sadly, Virginia Tech (8-4) slid out of the top 25 again with the rivalry loss to the Yahoos.  But they’re still second in ACC Coastal, and should get a nice Booger Bowl this month to gobble their last for 2019.  Nicely done, especially from where they started this year.

We’re still experiencing some nausea over the Nevada rivalry game, but gratified at least that in a rebuilding year, replete with Learning Experiences, the Wolf Pack emerged 7-5 and bowl-eligible.  We’ll see if a bowl is in the offing.  Meanwhile, congratulations, and enjoy a well-earned rest for now.

#2 LSU is once again playing the game that matters this week, meeting #4 Georgia in Atlanta for the SEC championship.  I’m not sure what LSU has to do to get the CFP to acknowledge they’re #1, but probably taking it All. The. Way. will do the trick.  If they’re still not ranked #1 when they’re waving the trophy around in January, I don’t see what there is to be done for the clearly malfunctioning CFP computers.  LSU is donating 4.

Kansas State made a nice Statement move with the win over Iowa State to bring the Wildcats to  an 8-4 run on the season.  We’re hopeful about a good Booger Bowl bid for the hungry ‘Cats, if a trifle melancholy that Snyder Family Stadium now falls silent for another year.

TCU missed it by that much with the narrow 20-17 loss to West Virginia, pride of the Big 12, and finishes 5-7 and out of bowl contention.  But we appreciate their hard work this season, and look forward to an even better 2020.

For Toledo, the good news is that being penalty- and turnover-prone, and definitely having some here’s-my-weird-face outcomes, didn’t keep them from finishing 6-6.  Not everybody’s got it like that.  They did land too far down in the pack to have realistic bowl hopes, but we know they learned a lot and have a great 2020 coming.  Keep it up, Rockets.

Wyoming, always first in our hearts, rounded off a 7-5 season and may make the Booger Bowl cut, so we’re still on pins and needles there.  The Cowboys ought to get a bowl game just because Josh Allen is being such a stud for the Bills now.  (And when did these 12-year-olds start playing in the NFL?)  Good job, Pokes, and we’re pulling for you in Bowl Lotto.

The rest of the conference championships

#1 Ohio State will have it out with #8 Wisconsin for the “B1G” honors in Lucas Oil Stadium, Indy, on Saturday night.  You never really know, of course.  But in this case, you know.  OSU gives 18, so the betting world is pretty clear on which of Ohio State and LSU is playing a true, rank-making challenger.  Have we mentioned we think the CFP computer stinks on ice?

#3 Clemson has the week off again.  Oh, shoot; muffed another one.  Clemson will meet #23 Virginia in the marquee slot Saturday evening to decide the ACC championship.  The Tiger give, in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC, is 24.5.

We’re proud to note that the AAC contenders are both in the top 25.  #20 Cincinnati and #17 Memphis will meet in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, with the Tigers donating 10.  This should be a pretty fun match, featuring two fast-and-furious offenses and intermittent defense.  Always a crowd pleaser.

Also with top 25 participants: #19 Boise State hosting Hawaii for the Mountain West title match on the Blue Field of Death in Boise, Broncos favored by 15.5.

And #21 Appalachian State will host the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette (Spirit Animal name: U-LA-LA) in Boone, NC for the Sun Belt contest.  The Mountaineers give 3.5.

Making our bites come out even: The MAC championship will be decided at Ford Field in Detroit between Miami (OH) and Central Michigan (-4.5).

And who could forget Conference USA?  The Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) Blazers head to Boca Raton to take on Kiffin’s Hooters, AKA the Florida Atlantic Owls, in FAU Stadium.  The Hooters give 7.5.

Other ranks

Our Div II phenom Slippery Rock, which slapped Shepherd silly last week, gets to host another one on Saturday when Notre Dame (OH) shows up for the quarter-final match in Super Region One.  It may be snowing now in Slippery Rock, PA, but it should be clear and brisk, if overcast, for the Saturday noon kickoff.  Fans will enjoy a balmy high temp of 35.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.