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My Live Game This WeeK: LSU-Louisiana Tech

I don't bother to give up an entire Saturday to attend LSU home games against FCS teams. So I skipped Southeastern Louisiana and will now head to BR for Louisiana Tech.

  • Be honest. If anyone had told you before the season LSU would be ranked #6 in the nation heading in this game, would you have believed them? You probably thought the Tigers would be 1-2 after three games.
  • Frankly, I'm skeptical that LSU deserves that high a ranking, but we'll take it one game at a time and see what happens.
  • I'm anxious to see Joe Burrow in person and watch his throws in three dimensions rather than the two dimensions of a TV screen.
  • I also want to see if LSU can go another game without a turnover, especially in inclement weather. Their record in the turnover department last year plus three games has been amazing. They led the nation last year with only eight turnovers and right now are the only FBS team without a turnover this season! They even survived the "Turnover Chain" Hurricanes.
  • I took Louisiana Tech and the 21 points, figuring LSU will have another lackluster effort coming off a big win like they did against Southeastern. But maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised and the Tigers will go out and take control of the game from the start and trounce the Bulldogs.
  • 70% chance of rain forecast for 4-5 PM in Baton Rouge and 55% for 6 PM kickoff. The % drops to 25, then 15 the rest of th evening. So I'll have my poncho in the West upper deck.
  • Rain can be an equalizer because turnovers are more possible with a slippery ball. But if the underdog turns it over more, LSU will cover the 21-point spread with ease.
My Week 4 Picks
This year I'm participating in a Yahoo Pick 'Em Group that selects the winners against the point spread for all games involving Top 25 teams. Home team is in CAPS.
  • #16 CENTRAL FLORIDA over Florida Atlantic +13.5
    The Knights return to action after week off for hurricane.
  • ILLINOIS +28 over #10 Penn State X
    Illini score enough to cover at home.
  • #8 Notre Dame over WAKE FOREST +7.5
    Deacons' pass defense too weak.
  • #2 Georgia over MISSOURI +14
    UGA scores more on Mizzou D than vice-versa.
  • #19 MICHIGAN over Nebraska +19
    Husker O line too porous to protect backup QB
  • PURDUE +7 over #23 Boston College
    Boilermakers finally break into win column
  • Clemson over GEORGIA TECH +16.5
    Tiger D-line controls Yellow Jacket option attack.
  • Florida International +26.5 over #21 MIAMI
    Hurricanes win but don't cover.
  • #12 WEST VIRGINIA over Kansas State +16
    QB Grier will be the difference for WVU.
  • #4 OHIO STATE over Tulane +37
    Buckeyes celebrate Meyer's return.
  • #22 Texas A&M +27 over #1 ALABAMA
    Awful lot of points to give a Jimbo Fisher team
  • #13 Virginia Tech over OLD DOMINION +27.5
    Hokies try to dispel opinion they're overrated.
  • #17 TCU over TEXAS +3.5
    Frogs bounce back from Ohio State loss.
  • #25 BRIGHAM YOUNG over McNeese State NO SPREAD
  • Army +32 over #5 OKLAHOMA
    Cadets eat up enough clock to cover
  • OKLAHOMA STATE over Texas Tech +13
    First team to 50 wins
  • Louisiana Tech +21 over LSU
    Tigers have another lackluster outing after Top Ten win.
  • #24 Michigan State over INDIANA +4.5
    Spartans want to end bad taste from Arizona State loss.
  • #7 Stanford over #20 OREGON +2
    Cardinal defense stifles Ducks.
  • IOWA +3 over #18 Wisconsin
    Hawkeyes pull another home upset.
  • Arizona State +17 over #10 WASHINGTON
    Huskies offense hasn't been scintillating.
Record after three weeks: 38-23

Intriguing Numbers - Week Three/Four
643 Yards Penn State gained against Kent State last Saturday
626 Yards given up by Illinois last week against South Florida
12
Consecutive Big Ten losses by the Illini
5 Passing TDs given up by Wake Forest against BC last week
81% Completion percentage of Georgia through three games
572 Passing yards Missouri gave up last week against Purdue
10 Sacks by Nebraska in their two games
6 Turnovers committed by the Cornhuskers in two games
1957 Last time Nebraska started a season 0-2
4 Boston College kicks (three punts, one FG) blocked in three games
1 Georgia Tech's national rank in rushing yardage per game
752 Rushing yards by Army the last two games
605 Yards passing by Texas Tech QB Alan Bowman against Houston
16 Sacks by Oklahoma State - tops in the nation
16-0 LSU's record against Louisiana Tech
1-11 Arizona State's record against Washington since 2001
Did You Notice? NFL Week 2
  • Browns' Misery Again
    The Saints didn't win the game Sunday. The Browns lost it. Cleveland once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when now-former PK Zane Gonzalez missed two FGs and two PATs. Since Saints kicker Will Lutz also missed a FG, that's five net points the visitors could have used in their three-point defeat. To make matters worse, when Gonzalez missed the tying FG with eight seconds left, the Browns' owner was standing under the goal posts. Afterward, it was revealed that Gonzalez had a groin injury that the coaching staff knew nothing about.
  • Roughing the Passer?
    The Packers led the Vikings 29-21 when Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins threw an INT with 1:45 remaining to seemingly seal the victory for Green Bay. But referee Tony Corrente called Clay Mathews for roughing the passer to give the Vikes new life. They drove to a TD and two-point conversion to send the game into OT. Neither team scored again to change a possible Green Bay victory into a tie. When asked about the call after the game, Corrente said, "When he hit the QB, he lifted him and drove him into the ground." Watch the play and decide for yourself. The NFL's Senior Vice-President of Officiating Al Riveron not only defended the call but sent a video of the play to all 32 teams as a lesson. The previous two people who held Riveron's position, Dean Blandino and Mike Pereira, strongly disagreed.
  • Another Controversial Call
    The Lions had just scored two straight TDs to cut their 17-point deficit against the 49ers to three. Then rookie Tracy Walker picked off Jimmy Garoppolo to give the Lions great field position in the red zone. But the play was negated by a defensive holding call on Quandre Diggs. Watch the play and decide whether the call was ticky-tacky. Detroit got the ball back with a minute left but couldn't reach midfield. 49ers 30 Lions 27
  • Jaguar Revenge
    The Jacksonville Jaguars and their fans are still smarting from their loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game last year. The Jags blew a 20-10 Q4 lead thanks to two Tom Brady-to-Danny Amendola TD passes. Jax got some satisfaction from jumping out to a 24-3 lead at home against New England and holding on for a 31-20 victory. Watch Keelan Cole's OBJ-like one-handed grab in the game. Also watch Dede Westbrook's run down the sideline for a TD to seal the win.

    Intriguing Numbers - NFL Week 2
    34 Consecutive winless games on Sundays by the Browns
    1-32 Hue Jackson's record in 2+ years as Cleveland head coach
    1986 Last time Kansas City won in Pittsburgh before last Sunday
    29%
    Percentage of times NFL coaches went for it on 4th downs during the first two weeks of the 2017 season.
    41% Percentage of times NFL coaches went for it on 4th downs during the first two weeks of this season.
    2 Number of teams (Seahawks and Lions) who punted in opponents' territory on 4th and 2 or less the first two weeks of this season. Both punts came in 0-0 games and both teams lost the games by one score.
    28 Receptions by Saints WR Michael Thomas in two games, eight ahead of second-place Christian McCaffrey of Carolina
    14 Receptions by McCaffrey against Atlanta last week - the most by a RB since 1999
    65 Pass completions by Drew Brees in the first two games to lead second-place Ben Roethlisberger by three in the NFL standings
Golden Conference Rankings after Three Weeks
It's too early to publish my entire team-by-team rankings. But enough games have been played to show how the conferences stack up so far.

Conference Rankings
Conference Avg.
SEC 12.531
ACC 12.314
Big 10 12.292
Big 12 12.248
PAC 12 12.145
America Ath. Conf. 12.008
Mountain West 12.004
Sun Belt 11.910
MAC 11.856
CUSA 11.779

You need to understand the basics of the Golden Rankings system to understand the figures above.

  • Each team in a game starts with 12 points.
  • The winner gains points based on the number of victories of the vanquished team and margin of victory.
  • The loser loses points based on the number of losses of the victor and margin of defeat.
  • Teams may also gain bonus points for road wins against good teams.
  • Each team's ranking is computed by dividing the total points the team has accumulated divided by the number of games.
  • Each number in the table above is the average of the ratings of the teams in the conference.
Did You Notice? NCAA Week 3
  • Another Bad Day for the Big Ten
    Brigham Young 24 Wisconsin 21
    Kansas 55 Rutgers 14
    Temple 35 Maryland 14
    Troy 24 Nebraska 19
    South Florida 25 Illinois 19
    Missouri 40 Purdue 37
    Akron 39 Northwestern 34
  • New Coach Report
    Three new coaches with a record of success at previous schools have yet to defeat an FBS opponent the first three weeks at their new schools.
    --Chip Kelly, who compiled a 46-7 record at Oregon before moving to the NFL, is 0-3 with UCLA, having been outscored by 61 points.
    --Scott Frost, who led Central Florida to an undefeated season last year that culminated with a Peach Bowl victory over Auburn, is 0-2 in his debut with his alma mater, Nebraska, losing at home to Colorado and Troy. (Do LSU fans feel less bad about last year's loss now that the Trojans have bitten the Cornhuskers this year?)
    --Willie Taggart's Florida State Seminoles lost to Virginia Tech before coming from behind in Q4 to beat FCS Samford 36-26. Last Saturday, Syracuse spanked the Noles 30-7. Taggart keeps trying different combinations in the offensive line to no avail.
  • Sometimes Icing Works
    As Wisconsin lined up with 41 seconds left for a 42y FG to tie the game against Brigham Young , Cougars coach Kalani Sitake called timeout twice to ice the Badgers' senior kicker Rafael Gaglianone. It worked. The ball sailed wide left.
  • Q3 Outburst
    TCU led Ohio State 14-13 at halftime Saturday night at Jerry's World. After 15 more minutes of playing time, the Buckeyes prevailed 33-28. Do the subtraction and you get 34 points scored in Q3, including 14 by OSU in 1:04 during the period - the second coming on a 26y INT return. The final quarter was anti-climactic, the Big Ten boys scoring the only TD to win 40-28.
  • Mean Green Trickery
    North Texas's Keegan Brewer caught a punt and stood still. Two Arkansas defenders stopped in front of him for a few seconds until they decided he must have called for a fair catch. When the Razorbacks headed to the sideline, ignoring the fact that the officials had not blown a whistle, Brewer took off and ran untouched for a TD.
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About This Site
This site is devoted primarily but not exclusively to college and pro football. The unique feature of this site is the publication each fall of the author's rankings of all FBS college football teams and similar rankings for the NFL. I live in New Orleans and am a graduate of LSU and FSU. So I present a Southern and particularly an SEC point of view but one that is reasonably objective. I also publish a monthly Football Magazine with stories from the past and a monthly Baseball Magazine with a similar format. During the winter and spring, there's a monthly Basketball Magazine.

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