2016 Top Games of the Week (Week 5)

None of the pictures I want to upload are loading. Thanks Tumblr. I might edit them in later. Anyway…

The week overall doesn’t have super great matchups as a whole, but the top two games may very well decide the conference champions for two Power 5 leagues.

Top Ten Games of the Week

10. #22 Texas 2-1 (0-0) at Oklahoma State 2-2 (0-1)

Series Ledger: 24-6 Texas
Last Meeting: 30-27 Oklahoma State 9-26-2015

Is one of these teams a Big 12 contender? Is either of them? I’m not sure. This week isn’t great top to bottom. Still, there’s plenty of intrigue to this game as both teams try to establish (or reestablish) themselves in the conference race. It’s not too late for either squad to make a big splash, but they have to win this one in order to keep climbing.

9. Kansas State 2-1 (0-0) at West Virginia 3-0 (0-0)

Series Ledger: 5-1 Kansas State
Last Meeting: 24-23 Kansas State 

For an undefeated Power 5 team, West Virginia is really not getting a lot of press. They’ve beaten Missouri and BYU, two teams who are better than their records suggest, but also don’t rate very highly in a national sense. The Mountaineers host Kansas State, one of two Big 12 teams that WVU hasn’t beaten since they joined the conference in 2012 (the other being Oklahoma). A win will probably get West Virginia in the polls, and the Big 12 could use another ranked team.

8. North Carolina 3-1 (1-0) at #12 Florida State 3-1 (0-1)

Series Ledger: 15-2-1 Florida State
Last Meeting: 37-35 North Carolina 11-6-2010

Yeah I think Florida State might destroy North Carolina. However, the Tar Heels are the reigning Coastal champions and the last time these two teams met was actually a UNC victory. Thought that happened before Jimbo Fisher got the Seminoles up and running.

7. #14 Miami FL 3-0 (0-0) at Georgia Tech 3-1 (1-1)

Series Ledger: 11-10 Georgia Tech
Last Meeting: 38-21 Miami FL 11-21-2015

Miami is definitely a better team than last year, and might be the best team in the ACC Coastal if these first few games are any indication. Yeah they haven’t played a Power 5 team yet, but the margins that they won by against the G5 opponents indicates a HUGE talent difference, the kind of blowout wins that some other Power 5 teams haven’t been able to put on similar opponents. Still, nobody is gonna say the Hurricanes are “back” unless they start beating conference opponents. That starts with Georgia Tech, though I’m also not sure anybody will say that the Canes are back even if they beat the Yellow Jackets. It would be, however, a step in the right direction.

6. #18 Utah 4-0 (1-0) at California 2-2 (0-1)

Series Ledger: 5-5 TIE
Last Meeting: 30-24 Utah 10-10-2015

Utah has been the sleeper favorite for many in the PAC-12 South for a while now, and with UCLA and USC taking losses, they’re quickly becoming just the favorite. The Utes have a dangerous road test when they travel to Berkeley to face Cal. The Golden Bears pose a serious threat to preemptively derail Utah’s season. They don’t face a major opponent after the Bears until the end of October when they travel to the Rose Bowl. They could build some serious momentum going into that contest if they can put Cal away.

5. Oklahoma 1-2 (0-0) at #21 TCU 3-1 (1-0)

Series Ledger: 10-5 Oklahoma
Last Meeting: 30-29 Oklahoma 11-21-2015

I really didn’t see this one coming. This was supposed to be the game that decided the Big 12 and it doesn’t feel like it anymore. Honestly this game still might decide the conference, as we haven’t learned a lot about the other contenders and the Sooners and Horned Frogs stand a decent chance of still being the best teams in the league. They’re the only contenders that played a decent non-conference schedule and it accidentally bit them both in the rear. Oklahoma lost to two Playoff contenders and TCU outplayed a more than decent Arkansas but fell in overtime due to costly mistakes. OU can play spoiler for, well, everybody if they can beat up the rest of the conference. Texas Christian can overcome a forgivable loss if they keep winning, but it means beating what’s likely still a better team than the Razorbacks.

4. #11 Tennessee 4-0 (1-0) at #25 Georgia 3-1 (1-1)

Series Ledger: 22-21-2 Tennessee
Last Meeting: 38-31 Tennessee 10-10-2015

The SEC East might effectively be decided right this week if Tennessee can put away Georgia. It’s a game in Athens but as we’ve found out from last week the Bulldogs are not a top tier team in the conference in year one under Kirby Smart. I’m not sure the Volunteers are elite either, but if the first 4 weeks taught us something it’s that Tennessee is resilient if nothing else. The rest of the division doesn’t look like it’s ready to compete either, so the Vols can put themselves way out ahead in the race before the halfway mark in the season. If not, the picture gets a whole lot murkier.

3. #8 Wisconsin 4-0 (1-0) at #4 Michigan 4-0 (1-0)

Series Ledger: 49-14-1 Michigan
Last Meeting: 48-28 Wisconsin 11-20-2011

It’s a meeting between top ten teams but it’s only 3rd on the list which is surprising even myself. I guess that’s what happens when there are three top ten matchups in a week. My explanation for this is that this specific game will not decide the Big Ten’s conference champion/Playoff contender. If Michigan or Wisconsin wins, that only (sorta) eliminates one team from the discussionn, but Ohio State is still very much in the conversation. In the other two games, the winner becomes the favorite to win their conference. Either way, this is a great game and could be a ton of fun. Michigan is the team we expected to contend, Wisconsin is the team we didn’t. The Badgers shot out of nowhere with wins over LSU and Michigan State. The Wolverines haven’t played an elite team yet, but they’ve killed pretty much everybody they played aside from that one quarter against Colorado. Wisconsin won the last two meetings, but both teams have had multiple coaches cycle through since those encounters.

2. #7 Stanford 3-0 (1-0) at #10 Washington 4-0 (1-0)

Series Ledger: 41-41-4 TIE
Last Meeting: 31-14 Stanford 10-24-2015

The PAC-12 North, and probably the PAC-12 might come down to this game. Ever since 2009, Oregon and Stanford have fought exclusively for the conference crown. It’s not looking like the Ducks are in that position this season. Stanford is the conference favorite, and the Cardinal have tackled two of their biggest perceived challengers already (though now it’s looking like USC wasn’t in that category). Washington is the usurper. The Huskies have been decent for a while but they haven’t truly been good since the very early part of this century. This is the year that they’re supposed to return to the national stage. They’re 10th in the country based on expectation alone. UDub beat up a couple of nobodies and was taken to the wire by Arizona. If this is the year for them then this is the week to prove it. It’s Friday night home game against Stanford, less than a week after the Cardinal had a draining game against UCLA and lost their two starting corners. It’s the perfect chance for Washington to finally tip the balance. 

1. #5 Louisville 4-0 (2-0) at #3 Clemson 4-0 (1-0)

Series Ledger: 2-0 Clemson
Last Meeting: 20-17 Clemson 9-17-2015

This might be it, folks. The winner in this game is a HUGE favorite to win not only the ACC but potentially lock in a Playoff spot. Clemson are the defending conference champions and have beaten Louisville in the only two games the schools have ever played. Both were very close calls. The Cardinals have the current best player in the universe on their team and have already beaten Florida State. A win here would pretty much guarantee that they win the ACC Atlantic and likely the conference.

5 Group of 5 Games of the Week

5. Connecticut 2-2 (0-1) at #6 Houston 4-0 (1-0)

Series Ledger: 1-0 Connecticut
Last Meeting: 20-17 Connecticut 11-21-2015

The payback game. The last team to beat the Houston Cougars were none other than the Connecticut Huskies. I don’t think it’ll happen again, but this might be fun to watch because Houston might try to make an example out of UConn.

4. South Florida 3-1 (0-0) at Cincinnati 3-1 (0-1)

Series Ledger: 8-5 Cincinnati
Last Meeting: 65-27 South Florida 11-20-2015

Neither team is in much of a position to be the Power 5 champ, sure, but these are two of the best American teams and it’ll be a good game. Well maybe, South Florida demolished Cincinnati last year. I’m sure the Bearcats haven’t forgotten.

3. Western Michigan 4-0 (0-0) at Central Michigan 3-1 (0-0)

Series Ledger: 47-37-2 Western Michigan
Last Meeting: 41-39 Western Michigan 10-10-2015

I can’t believe this is the first conference game for both teams. The stakes are obviously high as these two are probably the best teams in the MAC unless Toledo has something to say about it.

2. Memphis 3-0 (0-0) at #16 Ole Miss 2-2 (1-1)

Series Ledger: 48-11-2 Ole Miss
Last Meeting: 37-24 Memphis 10-17-2015

Memphis has quietly reasserted themselves as one of the best Group of 5 teams this year. Just how they were last year, then they beat Ole Miss and suddenly became the talk of the nation. They won’t be favored, no, but the Tigers did humiliated Kansas and Bowling Green in a manner similar to the way the Rebels would do to both teams.

1. Navy 3-0 (2-0) at Air Force 3-0 (1-0)

Series Ledger: 28-20 Air Force
Last Meeting: 33-11 Navy 10-3-2015


FCS Game of the Week

#10 Charleston Southern 2-2 (1-0) at #14 Coastal Carolina 3-1

Series Ledger: 8-5 Coastal Carolina
Last Meeting: 33-25 Charleston Southern

Coastal Carolina left the Big South last season to compete as in independent while they get ready to move up to the Sun Belt in 2017. The Chanticleers are a young football program, and have only been around since 2003. Their biggest rival has been Charleston Southern, whom they’ve played every year since the founding of their program. This week the two prepare to do battle one last time before the series is ended.