College Football 2014 Week 2: is the B1G already eliminated?

My teams went 2-1, but with the Ags and the Badgers playing cupcakes. Didn’t see the Badgers, but checked the game thread at Bucky’s 5th quarter a few times.

USC 13 Stanford 10

The Stanford loss to USC, at Stanford, was a depressing result for the weekend.

Stanford won or tied the stats except for the two that matter the most:

 USCStanford
Total yards291413
First downs1621
possession26;1333:47
punts42
3rd down conversion7-147-14
turnovers02
points1310

Stanford had the ball 9 times.

StartedDeepest penetrationEnded
Stanford 31USC 21USC 32 (missed FG)
Stanford 35USC 13USC 29 (punt?!!!)
Stanford 23USC 0USC 0 (TD)
Stanford 20USC 7USC 16 (FG)
USC 30USC 9USC 9 (missed FG)
Stanford 36USC 3USC 3 (downs)
USC 32USC 32USC 32 (fumble)
Stanford 35USC 23USC 32 (punt)
Stanford 25USC 22USC 25 (fumble)

All 9 possessions got inside the USC 35. The Cardinal got 1 TD and 1 FG to show for this. Both punts were taken from within FG range for a decent kicker. The first one went into the endzone for a touchback; the second put USC on their own 7 with the score tied late in the game. The Trojans marched down for the winning FG.

The game was also notable for a couple of things:

  • Pat Haden coming down to the field to be the first AD to argue with the refs on national TV based on getting a text message.
  • The usually excellent Kirk Herbstreit’s explanation that it’s OK for DBs to mug receivers as long as they are looking back for the ball.

The San Jose Mercury quotes coach David Shaw in the post-game:

The bottom line: You don’t take advantage of opportunities, you lose games to good teams,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “They made plays and we didn’t. They made calls and we didn’t.”

Then, anticipating a familiar criticism from Stanford fans, Shaw added: “We were bad in the red zone, and it had nothing to do with being too conservative.”

I agree that it was not about being too conservative overall, but punting from the 32 and the 29 is pathologically conservative in my book.

Texas A&M 73 Lamar 3

The Aggies’ game was notable for being the first in the partially remodeled Kyle Field, for a 2 hour delay for lightning in the area, and for lots of Aggie subs getting valuable game experience.     The game was about to start and fireworks could be heard from our house when Coach Sumlin cut off the pregame interview on the SEC Network Alternate Channel by saying “We’ve got to get off the field”.  At first, I thought this was the usual coachspeak about how the defense has to get stops. Then it became clear that he meant it literally: lightning had been detected within the radius that mandates a delay of a game.

Texas A&M may have screwed up how this was handled. As detailed on Good Bull Hunting, leaving 104K fans in the stands during a lightning warning was not very smart. It also probably violated NCAA recommended policy.

Once the game got going, the Ags dominated as expected, with one breakdown allowing the Lamar Cardinal to get close enough to the goal line to kick a FG. 3 QBs played, and two seldom used running backs got a lot of carries.4th string  Junior Brice Dolezal ended up the leading rusher when he ignored the plan to run out the clock and broke a 41 yard run for a TD with 1:26 to go and the Ags already up 66-3.

Is the B1G out of the playoff picture already?

Big 10 (base 14) commish Jim Delaney says no

“Big games matter on big stages with big ratings and a lot of attention,” Delany told ESPN.com on Sunday. “In the three primetime games, we didn’t win any. That’s disappointing. I would say this: I said they would be disproportionately impactful but I didn’t say they would be dispositive. We’re not feeling very good but the facts are the facts. I would just say with 50 percent of the nonconference games and 100 percent of conference games remaining, it’s premature to make any judgments.

Here’s what’s left for the B1G OOC, with teams sorted by record and then name

  • Illinois (2-0): Washington, Texas State
  • Iowa (2-0): Iowa State, Pittsburgh
  • Maryland (2-0): W Virginia, Syracuse
  • Minnesota (2-0): TCU, San Jose State
  • Nebraska (2-0): Fresno State, Miami
  • Rutgers (2-0) Navy, Tulane
  • Penn State (2-0) UMass, Temple
  • Indiana (1-0) Bowling Green, Mizzou, N. Texas
  • Michigan (1-1): Miami, Utah
  • Michigan State (1-1) E. Michigan, Wyoming
  • Ohio State (1-1): Kent State, Cincinnati
  • Purdue (1-1): Notre Dame, S. Illinois
  • Wisconsin (1-1): Bowling Green, S. Florida
  • Northwestern (0-2): W. Illinois, Notre Dame

Teams from the former BCS conferences plus Notre Dame are in bold. Currently ranked teams in either the AP or the coaches poll are in italics. The opportunities to impress based on out of conference wins are limited. The B1G may still get into the playoff if their conference champ is undefeated and other conferences fail to produce unbeaten teams. But IMO it won’t be based on out of conference impressions.

This all just fits with my belief that the idea that the playoff will reduce controversy is delusional.