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CFB Insider: What Did Week 6 Do to Bowl Projections??

Let the Postseason Debate Begin!

Week 6 brought some unexpected upsets *cough* Alabama *cough* but how much does one week of wins and losses really mix up Bowl Season projections? Honestly, it depends on who you ask.

Read on to see which experts are predicting the predictable and who is expecting an upset for Big 12 and SEC matchups. Don’t forget to check out our latest @TexasBowl Twitter post to give us your opinion and enter to win some fun prizes.

 

CFP Series

Orange Bowl (CFP Semifinal)
USA Today: Alabama vs Ohio State
Athlon Sports: Georgia vs Cincinnati
CBS Sports: Georgia vs Cincinnati
247Sports: Georgia vs Cincinnati

Cotton Bowl (CFP Semifinal)
USA Today: Oklahoma vs Georgia
Athlon Sports: Iowa vs Alabama
CBS Sports: Iowa vs Oklahoma
247 Sports: Iowa vs Alabama

CFP Title Game
USA Today: Alabama vs Georgia
Athlon Sports: Alabama vs Georgia

Big 12 and SEC Bowl Games

Sugar Bowl (Big 12 vs SEC)
USA Today: Texas vs Kentucky
Athlon Sports: Ole Miss vs Oklahoma
CBS Sports: Alabama vs Texas
247Sports: Ole Miss vs Oklahoma

Texas Bowl (Big 12 vs SEC)
USA Today: Baylor vs Mississippi State
Athlon Sports: Baylor vs LSU
CBS Sports: Baylor vs Texas A&M
247Sports: Baylor vs Texas A&M

Outback Bowl (Big Ten/ACC vs SEC)
USA Today: Michigan vs Mississippi
Athlon Sports: Wisconsin vs Arkansas
CBS Sports: Nebraska vs Arkansas
247Sports: Nebraska vs Arkansas

Citrus Bowl (Big Ten vs SEC)
USA Today: Michigan State vs Florida
Athlon Sports: Michigan State vs Florida
CBS Sports: Michigan State vs Kentucky
247Sports: Michigan State vs Arkansas

Gator Bowl (ACC vs SEC)
USA Today: Clemson vs Texas A&M
Athlon Sports: Clemson vs Texas A&M
CBS Sports: Pittsburgh vs Florida
247Sports: Florida vs Clemson

Duke’s Mayo (ACC vs SEC)
USA Today: Virginia vs Arkansas
Athlon Sports: North Carolina State vs Auburn
CBS Sports: Virginia Tech vs Auburn
247Sports: Virginia Tech vs Auburn

Music City Bowl (Big Ten vs SEC)
USA Today: Wisconsin vs Tennessee
Athlon Sports: Minnesota vs Tennessee
CBS Sports: Minnesota vs Ole Miss
247Sports: Minnesota vs Ole Miss

Cheez-It Bowl (ACC vs Big 12)
USA Today: Wake Forest vs Iowa State
Athlon Sports: Notre Dame vs Texas
CBS Sports: Clemson vs Kansas State
247Sports: Pittsburgh vs Kansas State

Alamo Bowl (Big 12 vs Pac-12)
USA Today: Oklahoma State vs Oregon
Athlon Sports: Oklahoma State vs Arizona State
CBS Sports: Oklahoma State vs Arizona State
247Sports: Oklahoma State vs Arizona State

Guaranteed Rate (Big 12 vs Big Ten)
USA Today: Texas Tech vs Purdue
Athlon Sports: Kansas State vs Purdue
CBS Sports: West Virginia vs Wisconsin
247Sports: Iowa State vs Wisconsin

Gasparilla Bowl (ACC/American/SEC)
USA Today: Georgia Tech vs Central Florida
Athlon Sports: Miami vs Air Force
CBS Sports: Miami vs Air Force
247Sports: Miami vs Air Force

CFB Insider

2021 Battle of the Piney Woods Preview

Sideline reporter Deepi Sidhu takes a deep dive into what to expect from this year's Match-up.

“I don’t know if you can get this game any more intense than it has been.” – K.C. Keeler

The 95th Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B, featuring the top-ranked Sam Houston Bearkats and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, is back at NRG Stadium on Saturday. Known as one of the oldest college football rivalries in Texas, this matchup again promises to be one of the top FCS games of the 2021 season. 

This is the first time in the series history that either team has entered the game ranked No. 1 in the nation (at any level). 

The defending national FCS champion Bearkats are ranked No.1 in the nation following a 3-0 start to their season. Head Coach K.C. Keeler’s team currently leads the WAC in scoring offense (46.3), total offense (533.0), rushing offense (259.0), rushing defense (77.33), third down conversions (.500) and sacks against (3). 

This spring, Sam Houston wrapped up its final season in the Southland Conference as FCS national champions. The 10-0 Kats won the program’s first FCS national title with a dramatic 23-21 win over top-seeded South Dakota State in the 2020 FCS Championship game in Frisco. All 11 starters on offense and defense, in addition to specialists, from the Bearkats championship roster are back for the 2021 season. 

Colby Carthel, now in his third season as head coach at SFA, has turned the Lumberjacks program around from a 3-9 finish in 2019 to a 6-4 record in 2020. This season, the Lumberjacks are 3-1 entering this matchup and have won eight straight games at Homer Bryce Stadium. The 2021 SFA team leads the league in a number of defensive and special teams categories, including total defense (266.5), scoring defense (16.0), defensive pass efficiency (86.2), passing offense (287.0), field goals made (9), net yards per punt (52.5), punt return average (22.1), punt return TDs (3), interceptions (8), turnover margin (+1.3), fourth-down conversions (.571), sacks by (14) and time of possession (31:42). 

Last week against a nationally-ranked Central Arkansas team, Sam Houston QB Eric Schmid was named Western Athletic Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. The redshirt junior quarterback from the Woodlands completed 19-of-37 passes for 283 yards and four touchdowns, all before halftime. He also rushed for 48 yards on 10 carries. Seth Morgan, a freshman from Houston, earns his second WAC Special Teams Player of the Week honor after going 3-for-3 on field goals and 4-for-4 on extra points in a 45-35 win over nationally-ranked Central Arkansas. Now a perfect 17-for-17 on extra points and 4-for-4 on field goals, his scores against UCA came from twice from 22 yards and once from 32 yards. 

Stephen F. Austin has outscored its opponents 119-26 in the past two weeks following a hard-fought 28-22 loss to Texas Tech. The Lumberjacks forced four turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles), including pick returned for a touchdown in their only loss of the season. In last week’s 61-13 win over Lincoln (California), Lenard Lemonds had a 67-yard punt return for a TD and 23 yards on kick returns. Rayshad Nichols recorded seven tackles, including three tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.

Individually, Bearkats RB Ramon Jefferson is the WAC’s leader in rushing yards per game (133.3) and has scored four touchdowns, while Schmid is the leader in total offense (288.0) and passing yards per game (267.0).  Sam Houston DB Jaylen Thomas and Stephen F. Austin CB Myles Brooks are tied for the lead in interceptions with three each.

The Texas rivalry dates back to 1923 with Sam Houston winning the last nine meetings and holding a 57-35-2 record over Stephen F. Austin. Nine of the past 11 BOTPW winners have gone on to advance to the NCAA postseason playoffs.

Kickoff for the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B takes place Saturday 4 p.m. CT from NRG Stadium. The game will be televised on Bally Sports Southwest and ESPN Plus.  

 

CFB Insider

CFB Insider: Undefeated Battles of Week 3

Undefeated Teams Going Head-to-Head in Week 3

Two weeks into the season and there aren’t many teams without a loss on their record. As the undefeated teams become scarce, so do those season-shaping games that can turn the tide of team from undefeated success stories to desperate for a win heading into more conference play.

Continue reading to get for the top undefeated battles to watch in Week 3 head to @TexasBowl Twitter to let us know who YOU think will keep that zero in the loss column another week. 

Being undefeated two weeks into the season isn’t some crazy feat that’s rarely achieved but playing against another undefeated team is not something football fans get to watch every week. We can’t wait to see these teams battle to keep their perfect record.

(1) Alabama vs (11) Florida
So far Alabama’s first two matchups haven’t even been a close. The defending champions have scored over 40 and held their opponents to under 20 points. While Florida has posted similar stats, they’ve played weaker opponents in closer games. Despite the Gators top 25 ranking, this matchup looks like an easy Alabama win. 

South Carolina vs (2) Georgia
Georgia started off the season with a defensive statement holding Clemson to only three points and then proceeded to obliterate UAB 56-7. Meanwhile, South Carolina barely edged out East Carolina in Week 2. Maybe Georgia doesn’t score 56 again but don’t expect this to be a close one. 

(22) Auburn vs (10) Penn State
The only other ranked matchup up of undefeated teams features an Auburn team that’s sleepwalked through its first two games winning them with a combined score of 122-10. Meanwhile Penn State took down a ranked Wisconsin team in a close matchup to start off the season with a bang. This game leans towards Penn State but don’t be surprised if Auburn comes out with a close win. 

(19) Arizona State vs BYU
Arizona State has cruised to wins in the first two weeks, but this week should be a little different as they face a BYU. Don’t sleep on the Cougs as they look to prove they belong in the big leagues after officially accepting an invite to the Big 12.   

Purdue vs (12) Notre Dame
Neither team boasts a very impressive resume so far with two games down. As the ranked team all the pressure is on Notre Dame to win and not join the list of ranked teams that have fallen out of the top 25. This should be a win for Notre Dame, maybe not a blowout, but a win is a win. 

New Mexico vs (7) Texas A&M
This won’t even be close. Texas A&M should have this one locked up by half time. Our bet is on New Mexico waving bye-bye to that undefeated record, but you never know, anything can happen in college football.

Mississippi State vs Memphis
This is one of those matchups that isn’t very interesting outside of fans of the teams. Mississippi State should come out with a win, but it wouldn’t be totally shocking if Memphis managed the upset. Either way, these fan bases are licking their chops at the thought of going 3-0.

Nevada vs Kansas State
Even though neither of these teams are ranked, it’s honestly one of the matchups we’re looking forward to most. You could honestly just flip a coin to try and predict this matchup, there’s no clear-cut favorite. This will be a battle to the end to keep the title of undefeated.

Utah State vs Air Force
The final undefeated matchup is also a little bit of a toss-up. While there is no clear winner in this faceoff, both Utah State and Air Force have historically been a little streaky. It will be fun to see which team will step up to the plate.

 

 

CFB Insider

College Football is BACK!

Top Games to Watch in Week One

It’s FINALLY Week One for the Big 12 and SEC! Per usual, there are a lot snooze fest matchups as teams boost their confidence (and attempt to avoid an upset) to start off the year. However, there are a few buzz-worthy games we will definitely be tuning into this weekend.

Keep reading for our top three Big 12 and SEC matchups to watch this weekend and respond to the CFB Insider post on @TexasBowl Twitter to share which games YOU will be watching and why.

Big 12 Games to Watch in Week One

1.      (23) Louisiana vs (21) Texas: The Ragin’ Cajuns have proven that they are not to be underestimated with a Big 12 upset over Iowa State in 2020. Their performance earned them top 25 honors in the preseason polls and they have Texas in their sites with a chip on their shoulder as the little guys with a lot to prove. We’re excited to watch running back Chris Smith and quarterback Levi Lewis as they team up to see what they can do against Texas in Week One. The Ragin’ Cajuns aren’t the only ones with a lot to prove. This will be the first true test of the Steve Sarkisian era. How will the Longhorns fair with a top 25 match-up to start the season?

2.      Kansas State vs Stanford: The Wildcats face off against the Cardinal for the first time since 2016 to start off the 2021. While this isn’t quite the top 25 match-up you were necessarily looking for in Week One, this game could do a lot to set the tone for the Big 12 in 2021. K-State looks to prove they deserve to be in the mix at the top of the Big 12 with a returning senior quarter back in Skylar Thompson and running back Deuce Vaughn after a breakout year. They will have to fight past Standford who is coming off of four consecutive wins to close out the 2020 season with a star running back of their own in sophomore Austin Jones.

3.      Texas Tech vs Houston: Once again, while this matchup might not have top AP Poll rankings, this will be a fun one as two Texas teams face off in what could potentially be a season defining start for both programs in the Good Sam Texas Kickoff in Houston. The Texas Tech coaching staff has not received raving reviews after their past few seasons, but the Red Raiders did some major work in the transfer portal and look to make a statement with a new QB1 in Oregon transfer Tyler Shough. Houston’s squad is poised for a breakout season under coach Dana Holgersen’s attack as he returns eight key starters along with a few transfers—including Texas Tech transfer and Ta’Zawn Henry. Who doesn’t love a good revenge game against old teammates?

SEC Games to Watch in Week One

1.      (5) Georgia vs (3) Clemson:

2.      (14) Miami vs (1) Alabama:

3.      LSU vs UCLA:

CFB Insider

It's Time to Judge that AP Poll!

Who are the most underrated and overrated teams so far?

This week the first poll of the season dropped and to the surprise of absolutely no one, it features the defending champs (1) Alabama, (2) Oklahoma, (3) Clemson and (4) Ohio State in the top four spots. 

Continue reading to get our opinion on the latest AP Poll and don’t forget to comment on the @TexasBowl Twitter post with you YOU think are the most overrated or underrated teams of the season…so far.

Looking at the poll from top to bottom, there honestly aren’t a ton of surprises. A few Group of Five schools (only three to be exact) inched their way into the top 25 this year to represent the ‘underdog’ category to start the 2021 season. After three strong years Cincinnati rolls on and keeps their final rank from last season a #8. Other than Cincinnati, the next closest team from the AAC to be ranked is the Houston Cougars who received 5 votes as they prepare for their Texas Kickoff matchup vs Texas Tech at NRG Stadium to start off the season Saturday, September 4. 

Other G5 schools that appear in the top 25 are Coastal Carolina at #22 and Louisiana-Lafayette at #23 who are both coming off stellar seasons with many returning starters. 

Here’s a look at the full AP Poll:

1. Alabama (47) - The defending champs earned the most first place votes by far.

2. Oklahoma (6) - The Sooners are one of the only top teams to have a returning starting QB. 

3. Clemson (6) – The Tigers open up the season in a clash of top 10 team against Georgia. 

4. Ohio State (1) – New QB but still the same contender, as always.

5. Georgia (3) - Received two more first place votes than Ohio State but still ended up one spot lower than them. Suspect?

6. Texas A&M

7. Iowa State – Can they keep the hype train rolling along?

8. Cincinnati – Is there an AAC challenger capable of taking out the Bearcats? 

9. Notre Dame – Highly ranked once again, can they deliver?

10. North Carolina – Mack Brown has the Tar Heels soaring as they look to contend in the ACC.

11. Oregon

12. Wisconsin

13. Florida – A once promising season ended with three straight loses in 2020, can they bounce back?

14. Miami – Big Week One test coming up for the Hurricanes as they face the defending champions. 

15. USC

16. LSU – The undefeated 2019 champs fall from grace was more of a plummet and last season was a forgettable one. 

17. Indiana

18. Iowa

19. Penn State

20. Washington

21. Texas – With a move to the SEC coming up, Texas gets a just few more shots at a BIG 12 title. 

22. Coastal Carolina - The Chanticleers are coming off a historic season and now they look to prove they belong in the FBS. 

23. Louisiana-Lafayette – The Cajuns get tested to start their season at #21 Texas. 

24. Utah

25. Arizona State

Who do you think got burned in this preseason, probably way too early to predict anything poll? Tell us who you think the most underrated or overrated teams are so far this season by dropping a comment on our @TexasBowl Twitter post!