The 2018 regular season ends with a competitive slate and high stakes this holiday weekend
Week 12 Recap
As expected, Week 12 was a clunker. The only exciting moment of the week was negated by a technicality penalty. Colorado State completed a Hail Mary in the final moments and appeared to knock Utah State off its MWC perch. However, the receiver’s stride in sprinting to the end zone took him out of bounds early in the route. It was the correct call by the officials and a terrible concentration lapse by the receiver, but it’s sad for such an impressive impact play to get erased by such a silly penalty.
The only other result with any impact on the Tournament race was WVU taking the fall, as Tylan Wallace dragged the Mountaineer defender into the end zone to take the lead with under a minute to play. WVU still has a chance to get to the conference championship, but will now require a win against OU or an unlikely Longhorn loss in Lawrence.
The bland cupcake menu of Week 12 has given way to a compelling regular season finale, at least for those on the brink of elimination. Five of the 12 remaining teams are staring down the executioner this week – all but one are underdogs or small favorites. Central Florida is the exception, as the much anticipated showdown with South Florida has lost some luster as the Bulls have struggled down the stretch, losing their last 4 games. West Virginia’s showdown with the Sooners is also not quite at the same hype level as we thought it might be, but last week’s loss makes this match up a do-or-die for the Mountaineers.
The Apple Cup will have an impact, but not for the team pre-season prognosticators predicted. Wazzu has been a pleasant surprise and has a great chance to pick up its first win in the rivalry since 2012. The Cougars have been a nice story, but they have a steep hill to climb to jump other Contenders in the Playoff race even if they end up as a one-loss Pac 12 Champion. A down Pac 12 paired with an abysmal non-conference schedule puts Wazzu at the bottom of the pecking order, needing much more chaos to jump into the Committee’s good graces. According to Bill Connelly’s numbers, Wazzu has the #81 strength of schedule – just behind teams like UNLV and UMass, and just ahead of teams like WMU, Georgia State, and Clemson (!)
LSU and Utah State are both underdogs in hostile environments. The Tigers travel to Kyle Field to take on Kellen Mond and the cadets and the 12th Man for the honor of holding 2nd place in the SEC West. LSU has already been boxed out of the SEC Championship, and thus the Playoff this season, but a win here would likely guarantee a NY6 bid. The good Aggies team will make the trip to the Smurf Turf after surviving the scare in Fort Collins last week. Utah State faces its toughest test of the season since falling short opening week in East Lansing and the stakes are the highest Utah State has ever experienced. A loss here would eliminate the Aggies from the Tournament, from NY6 consideration, and from the Mountain West conference championship game.
Do you think any teams will be eliminated before the Conference Championships next week?
All said, even in a season that has been a disappointment for our Frogs and a Playoff race that has felt inevitable from the start, we have plenty to be thankful for. As the regular season comes to a close, enjoy your food, your family, and the football. Happy Thanksgiving
Source: Frogs of War