Sunday, November 10, 2013

Football 2013 - Week 11

by Bill Holmes

My recap of the only football games that matter.

Let's start with the highlight team of the week and season. The Bishop Kenny Crusaders beat the Episcopal Eagles 55-21 to complete an undefeated regular season. Kenny completely dominated the game with almost 500 yards, 328 on the ground, to just over 100 yards for the Eagles. Kenny has a perfect 9-0, 7-0 record with one game cancelled due to weather. They are the district 3-5A champs and now head into the class 5A playoffs. First up BK hosts the 6-4, 3-1 Palatka Panthers from district 4-5A in a Region 1 quarterfinal game.

Next we have good news, bad news. The bad news, the LD Bell Blue Raiders lost to the Colleyville Heritage Panthers 49-16. Not a good showing. Bell ends the regular season with a 7-3, 5-2 record and finished third in district 6-5A. The good news is the Raiders are in the 5-A division II playoffs. They next play the 7-3, 4-1 Carrollton Hebron Hawks. As I've mentioned before, Bell is an above average football team but not a top program. I don't expect them to go very far in the playoffs. Still a good year.

On to the college games. USF had a bye week. Next week they play the 2-6 Memphis Tigers in Tampa.

Some good news to start my Saturday. The TCU Horned Frogs beat the Iowa State Cyclones 21-17 with a last minute TD. The Cyclones came into the game at 1-7, 0-5 yet TCU struggled to win. It was not a pretty game but in this rather ugly season, any win is a good one. Both teams had two turnovers. In a close statistical game the Frogs were able to overcome a 98 yard kickoff return TD by Iowa St. The win improves TCU to 4-6, 2-5. They need two wins to become bowl eligible. No chance. The Frogs could possibly pull off an upset at the 5-4,3-3 Kansas State Wildcats next week but there is no chance they will beat 8-0, 5-0 #5 Baylor at the end of November.

Now on to the disaster. The once mighty Florida Gators were completely overwhelmed by the never mighty Vanderbilt Commodores. The score was 34-17 but it wasn't that close. Vandy got out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back. The Gators won most offensive statistics including turnovers. They had a fumble and three interceptions. Let's put this into perspective, this is the first Vandy win over Florida since 1988. That's a long time but it gets worse. This is the first Commodores win in Gainesville since 1945 which is also the first time the schools played each other. I am an old fart but that means this is Vandy's first win at Florida in my lifetime. Florida has had some bad teams in the past but still managed to usually beat Vanderbilt and always in the Swamp. They were 35-9-2 against Vandy going into this game. By the way, this was Florida's homecoming game, bet the alumni are very proud. The Gators now fall to 4-5, 3-4 for the year. They need two wins in their next three games to become bowl eligible. Not going to happen. They should beat division two Georgia Southern but will lose to #10 South Carolina next week and #2 FSU in the last game of the season. Muschamp is and should be in the hotseat. He is 22-13 in his three seasons. That includes the very suspect 11-1 record last year that was against a weak schedule and lots of luck. The worst 11-1 team I ever saw. Did I mention he has lost three straight to Georgia? So who is your pick for the next Florida football head coach?

In the SEC the big game was #1 Alabama vs #13 LSU. This is almost always a good game and it was for about three quarters and then the Crimson Tide took over. Final score was 38-17 with 'Bama outscoring the Tigers 21-3 in the second half. 

Thirteen of the fourteen SEC teams played this week. Georgia won the only non-conference game. All the ranked teams except LSU won. Mizzou remains in first place in the East and Alabama in the West. Auburn and South Carolina still have a chance to overtake the division leaders. 

Alabama remains the number one ranked team in the nation. Although LSU dropped a few spots, the SEC has seven teams in the top 25. Georgia slips back in at #25. There are now five SEC teams in the top 11. The lead for Alabama shrunk a little but they are clearly in the drivers seat. 'Bama still has to play #7 Auburn. 

The final college note is that with the Oregon lose to Stanford on Thursday, the number two spot in the BCS is now firmly in Florida State's control. They held up their part on Saturday with a dominating 59-3 win over Wake Forrest. The Noles improve to 9-0, 7-0 for the season. They finish their regular season schedule with Syracuse, Idaho and at Florida. All mediocre to bad teams. They still have to play the ACC championship game too, but none of the teams in the Coastal division look that strong.  

We now move on to Miracle Sunday. I hope you are sitting down. Wait for it - the Jacksonville Jaguars professional football club won a regulation NFL football game! It wasn't easy and they did their best to give it away but they did win. Final score was Jaguars 29 Titans 27. In classic fashion for the offensively challenged Jags, the margin of victory was a fourth quarter safety. As is always the case, Jacksonville lost all the offensive statistical categories. They did win the turnover battle 4-2. In addition to the safety the defense also scored a TD on a recovered Titan fumble with 2:32 remaining in the game. I'm not sure if this win is good or bad. On the good side, it's a win. Unfortunately it was in Nashville and not in front of the home fans. On the bad side it moves the Jaguars behind the Buccaneers, who play Monday night, for the first pick in the draft. This unexpected win moves the Jags to a sterling 1-8 record. They next play at home against the 5-4 Arizona Cardinals.

Let's get back to reality. In the battle of the Accipitridae, the Atlanta Falcons lost to the Seattle Seahawks 33-10. Another lackluster performance by a team that had high hopes at the beginning of the season. Seattle dominated the game. The Falcons fall to 2-7. They are in the race for the most futile team trophy. A race that features all three of my pro teams. Next up is a real stellar matchup. The Birds travel to Tampa to play the 0-8 Bucs. That should be a great game.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the 4-4 Miami Dolphins in the Monday Night Football ESPN extravaganza. I'll summarize that game in next week's blog.  

Next week brings the start of the high school playoffs.



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