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The Coastal Courier’s weekly college football pick’em contest is easy, fun and free. Play at www.coastalcourier.com
Welcome to the latest installment of the Coastal Courier’s weekly college football pick-em contest, where pickers are competing to win a $2,500 vacation card and bragging rights.
Among the Coastal Courier’s VIP’s participating are general manager Kathryn Fox, sponsor Tyler Arnold, advertising operations manager Lori McCampbell and good old absented-minded editor Jeff Whitten.
McCampbell (LM) and Whitten (JW) provide the incisive, explosive and engaging expert commentary again this week.
LM: Unless you are still in contention for that $2,500 vacation gift card, what happens the next two weeks really doesn’t matter. Many of us and many teams were out of contention weeks ago. I fell behind a few weeks ago and I couldn’t win enough games at this point to get back to that top ranked position, so I have canceled all my dream vacation plans until next year.
JW: I started behind and never caught up. Didn’t help that I forgot to pick a couple weeks, but I can’t lay on that excuse. Truth is, my performance in this contest has almost been every bit as bad as what’s happening in Statesboro this season.
LM: This week’s top 15 matchups have only one of the potential top 4 Championship teams playing which is Miami (FL). Look at Mark Richt, thriving and surviving. Miami survived a sloppy and nearly disastrous October after Hurricane Irma took a dramatic right turn and just narrowly missed Miami. The largest evacuation in U.S. History in preparation for a major hurricane put many Florida residents, business owners and students on one-way trips, destination: anywhere other than Florida.
It was unclear when many would be able to return. Despite the catastrophic landfall on the Gulf Coast shores, fuel shortages, storm surge damages, and longest stretch of traffic that I-75 and I-95 had ever seen, the University of Miami football team literally survived the storm.
They not only survived it, they have risen above it. They take on Virginia this week and after watching them destroy Notre Dame, I don’t think they will be in any danger of an ACC Coastal conference loss the remaining two weeks of regular season. They take on Pitt in week 13, again no real threat. It looks as if Miami and Clemson will join Alabama in the top 3 positions for the playoffs. Who will be joining them? It’s still a toss up between Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Ohio State after that shake up last week when Georgia was hammered by 10th ranked Auburn, and Notre Shame, I mean Notre Dame, was shut down by the Hurricanes.
Check out next week’s final commentary by your Coastal Courier VIPs on final bowl game projections for 2017.
JW: It kinda tickles me to think that coach Richt might be in the College Football Playoff and the school that fired him won’t.
I think they call that irony, or karma, or something.
Here’s what’s left of this week’s big games.
LM: Michigan beats Wisconsin taking away their chances at playing for the BCS championship. Not sure how they’ll do it, but they will. They don’t have much to lose at this point and there’s not a ton of pressure on the Wolverines unlike the Badgers who really have no strength in schedule.
JW: I learned my lesson picking a Mike Harbaugh-coached team earlier this year and got Harbaughed. Not doing it again. I think Wisconsin somehow runs the table and makes a case for being one of the last four teams left standing, along with Alabama and Miami.
LM: Kentucky plays at Georgia this week. They have played rather well on the road this year. They really put a hurt on the Commodores last week as Georgia struggled against Auburn. Can the Dawgs pull it together this week against the Wildcats? This game will be interesting and though the odds favor Georgia, is the interconference pressure something this young team can handle? They hadn’t experienced a big loss until last week. Will they bounce back? My bet is on the boys in blue! Go Cats!
JW: If I were a betting man I’d pick Georgia this week. There’s just no way the Bulldogs lose two in a row, and now that I’ve rethunk my earlier notion that Richt’s ascension to a CFP spot over Georgia is karma, let me qualify that by saying Georgia could somehow knock off Alabama in the SEC championship game and wind up right back in the mix.
Of course, that is predicated on the assumption that Alabama beats Auburn in the Iron Bowl. That’s not guaranteed. The Tigers, or War Eagle, or Tie Dyes or whatever you want to call them, beat Georgia like the proverbial rented mule and are playing at such a high level I don’t know how in the world they got beat by Clemson.
I do have to hand it to the Wildcats of Kentucky, however. They’ve improved vastly under Mark Stoops and if he can continue to build, the Wildcats could eventually become a challenger for the SEC East, if he can recruit at a high enough level to keep Kentucky relevant year in and year out.
That said, with Butch Jones out at Tennessee and Florida’s coach gone, it’s possible one or both of those programs could start rebounding and find their way back to the glory their fan bases believe is rightfully theirs.
And speaking of former glory, how many Georgia Southern fans out there miss the days when the Eagles were perennial contenders for the I-AA national title?
I know I do. That was fun football. We may not have had bowl games on the horizon, but we had something better. We had the playoffs and a legitimate shot at a national title.
Maybe the Sun Belt Conference and “FBS” is the Eagles’ destiny and for some folks a bigger stadium and more media attention is proof somehow of a program’s increased worth, but right now I’m willing to bet half of the schools in the Southern Conference could run the table in the Sun Belt. And who would’ve thought Georgia Southern would be 0-9, ever?
Not me. Not even during the short-lived (thankfully) Brian VanGorder era was it this bad.