Sunday, October 20, 2013

Football 2013 - Week 8

by Bill Holmes

My recap of the only football games that matter.

This week started early with a Thursday night L.D. Bell game. The Blue Raiders took on fellow HEB school district Trinity Trojans. Two schools that are four miles apart and share the same football stadium, the same pee-wee football league and a couple of feeder schools. Besides local and school district bragging rights, the game was for first place in district 6-5A play. This year looked like a close game on paper. Bell was 5-1 and Trinity was 4-2. It had been 15 years since Bell had beaten Trinity. Unfortunately it wasn't a close game and it has now been 16 years since Bell has won. It was 20-0 at halftime and then it got worse. The Trojans won 55-0 and it wasn't even that close. Total yard were 600 to 200 with rushing yards even more lopsided at 483 to 70. Bell also had three turnovers. A complete blowout. The Blue Raiders will probably still make the playoffs but this game shows they are not equal to the top area teams. Next up at the 2-5 Arlington MacArthur Cardinals.

Once again Bishop Kenny was a bright spot with a 41-7 win over the Stanton Blue Devils. The Crusaders scored all their points in the first half. They are now 6-0 overall and 5-0 in district 3-5A. Next game is at home against the 4-3 Yulee Hornets. 

The best news for college Saturday is that the USF Bulls had a bye. They play at  home next week against the #8 Louisville Cardinal. Louisville is coming off a 38-35 upset lose to UCF. Will they be pumped up for revenge or were they exposed as pretender?

It was all downhill from there. The TCU Horned Frogs were the first to lose. They were defeated at #21 Oklahoma State Cowboys 24-10. They were down 17-0 before they finally kicked a field goal in the third quarter. The Frogs had 4 turnovers, 85 yards in penalties and allowed the Cowboys to score on a 95 yard punt return. TCU falls to 3-4 and 1-3 in conference play. Next week the Texas Longhorns come to Fort Worth. 

A few minutes later the #22 Florida Gators were beaten at the #14 Missouri Tigers 36-17. It wasn't that close. Florida scored one of their two TDs on a 100 yard kickoff return. They were outgained 500 yards to 151 yards and had three turnovers. The Gators are almost completely inept on offense. The usually strong defense didn't look so great either. In the words of Gators head coach Will Muschamp after the game "We're just not a very good football team." Mizzou is now comfortably leading the SEC East. Gators fall to 4-3, 3-2. They have a week off to lick their wounds then travel to Jacksonville for the Florida-Georgia game. Both teams' fans will need plenty of cocktails this year. Neither team is playing well.

The SEC was full of surprises this week. What a mess we have now. That's what happens when you play in the toughest conference in the country. There were six SEC games this week, all of them conference games. So of course six SEC teams were going to lose. Nobody expected it to be the six teams that did ultimately get beat. #3 LSU, #7 A&M, #11 South Carolina and #15 Georgia were all upset. #22 Florida and unranked Arkansas also lost but those were not upsets. Only Alabama and Missouri held service. It's going to be interesting to see how the rankings shake out. Mizzou is now solidly atop the SEC East which is ironic for a team that is located west of all but two of the 14 SEC teams.

I'd be remiss and in trouble with some family members if I didn't mention the stunning victory of the #5 Florida State Seminoles over the #3 Clemson Tigers. A #5 over an #3 is not a big upset. The top 10 ranked teams are usually pretty close in talent. The surprise is that the Noles completely dominated the Tigers 51-14. The game was never in doubt as FSU got off to a 17-0 lead. Congratulations to the Seminoles. 

As suspected there were big changes in the college football rankings. In the AP poll, whose rankings I have been using all season the SEC suffered. Last week there were eight SEC teams in the top 25, this week there are six. Florida and Georgia fell out of the rankings and LSU, Texas A&M, South Carolina lost ground. Missouri and Auburn made big gains, Alabama remains solidly number one. This was the first week for the official BCS rankings. Only the top 16 teams in this poll are eligible for BCS bowls. There are five SEC teams that currently qualify with Alabama again ranked number one. In a slight surprise, FSU which is now ranked #3 in the AP poll leapfrogged Oregon for the number two slot in the BCS poll. The Noles lead over the Ducks is a mere 0.003 points. 

After all the termoil and upsets in the college ranks, there were no surprises in the NFL. Going into the Sunday pro games I knew one of my teams would win. That's because Tampa Bay was at Atlanta. 

In the NFC South battle the low flying Falcons beat the blind and limbless Buccaneers 31-23. The Bucs actually won the battle of the statistics but they mostly settles for field goals while Atlanta was scoring TDs plus the one Tampa Bay turnover resulted in a Falcon TD. The Birds now surge to a 2-4 record while the Bucs remain a perfect 0-6. Next up is a quick turnaround for TB as the Carolina Panthers travel to Tampa for a Thursday night game. Atlanta travels to the Arizona Cardinals for a normal Sunday game.

There were no surprises at EverBank Field. The Jaguars lost to the San Diego Chargers 24-6. It wasn't that close. Jacksonville may have the worst offense in NFL history. It doesn't matter who is playing quarterback. Even the once great Maurice Jones-Drew can't gain any yardage. The Jags continue their march to perfection with a 0-7 record. Next up a home game against the 49ers.

There are only three winless teams left in the NFL, I follow two of them. 2013 is not going to be a football year that I remember fondly, assuming I can remember it at all. Every one of my teams with the exception of my alma mater Bishop Kenny Crusaders is having a tough season. I hope you are having a better year.


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