Well it finally happened. Week three saw the first big upsets of the season. While some of the upsets may not be so surprising for those in the know, they certainly made an impact in the NCAA fantasy league. Who did it hurt and who did it help?
Rager v AY
Credit to Rager as he picked up the first clean sheet of the year, hitting all ten games. While most of the games were rather small plays in the fantasy league, the marquee game in Rager’s evening was his Clemson Tigers storming into new ACC rival Louisville and showing why they could contend for back to back national championships. The win earned Rager nine points and capped off his twenty-eight point day. The other nice win of note, I thought, was Cal once again surprising some people and getting a big win over and SEC school. Drafted in the twelfth round of the league, Cal is now 3-0 and picked up wins over North Carolina and Ole Miss for Rager. This week should provide a true test of their competency as they go up against USC.
Unfortunately on the other side of the matchup, it was just a brutal day once again for AY. The day started off innocent enough with wins on the road from Wisconsin and Notre Dame, however, things just took a turn for the worse. UCLA kicked off the frustration in an absolute shootout with Memphis, with the Bruins falling a field goal short. Adding to the disappointment was Stanford going on the road and being stunned by San Diego State and a little less surprising was Ole Miss traveling west and dropping the above mentioned game against Cal. However, the icing on the cake came when Nevada cost AY five points and dropped to the FCS “powerhouse” Idaho State. State had gone a combined 4-18 the past two seasons before storming into this game at 1-1. A baffling result to say the least.
Rager – 28 v AY – 10
Next up, Rager will head into a tough week four matchup against Cimorelli as both will be looking to break their 2-1 standings tie. AY is off to try and put together the puzzle pieces of the frustrating early start and take on Ryan Smith.
Ryan Smith v Cimorelli
This one came down to the wire and had a couple of major disasters that almost altered things completely. Ryan Smith had a solid day and almost made it a great day but came up short. He notched very nice wins with Alabama, Washington State and Syracuse. Topped his positive day off with Kentucky, going into South Carolina and upsetting the Gamecocks. As all looked right, Kansas State went into Vanderbilt and gave Vanderbilt their first ranked, non-conference win since 1946. Kansas State could just not get anything going and dropped the game 14-7 and cost Ryan Smith a game changing five points.
While Smith was left to wallow in disappointment, Cimorelli had to be breathing a large sigh of relief. Cim picked up a great win with Memphis and complementary wins with Oklahoma State and North Carolina. With everything trending in the right direction, Butch Jones did everything in his power to cost Cim his week as Tennessee let the Gators connect on a 63-yard hail mary to win the game. Creating better storylines than the WWE.
Ryan Smith – 23 v Cimorelli – 25
As mentioned before, Ryan Smith and AY will look to kick some bad luck and Rager and Cimorelli will look to battle it out for a top spot.
T-Bone v Gross Sr
Sadly this matchup turned out to be the disappointing matchup of the week. T-Bone happened to be the benefactor to Cimorelli’s stress as the Florida hail mary had to be exciting to watch unfold and earn eight points for his team. However, past that there was not too much to get excited for as his lineup dropped five of the remaining nine matchups. Unfortunately for T-Bone he is still definitely feeling the impact of teams like Florida State and UCF having to postpone games for more important reasons.
Gross Sr. did not fare too better with his week, however he had two teams that scored 11 out of his 21 points and made the difference in the week. Previously mentioned Vanderbilt picked up a huge win upsetting Kansas State and picking up five points. Although the bigger surprise may have been Louisiana Tech going on the road and upsetting the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. WKU had been the cream of the crop the past two seasons under former coach Jeff Brohm, so for Louisiana Tech to come into the first conference game on the road and get a win had to be a bit of a surprise.
T-Bone – 16 v Gross Sr – 21
Scott v Gross Jr
The winning train that is Scott did not slow down in week three. Although the score was quite a lop-sided beat down, this week three matchup came down to two important games that made the difference. For both Scott and Gross Jr. the attention was turned to the day in the SEC. Scott pulled off a nice upset as the Mississippi State Bulldogs hosted LSU and showed the country why more people should be talking about the depth of the SEC and not just the top teams. While Scott earned a nice eight points in that victory, Gross Jr. was left scratching his head and questioning Will Muschamp after a team that had looked so good in weeks one and two, the South Carolina Gamecocks, could come out and lay an egg in their SEC home opener, costing Gross seven points. The surprising fifteen point swing was the difference in the matchup for the week.
Scott – 27 v Gross Jr. – 15
Scott will attempt to keep his winning tradition going as he goes up against T-Bone, who should come out stronger this week getting some of his top squads back into play. Gross Jr. will be off to take on the man who taught him his passion for sports, hopefully you don’t ruin it this week Dad!
Team to Watch
As every good commissioner and mediocre to sub-par writer should do is evolve. One part that will be evolving in the reviews will be an official team you should watch. Each week I will select a team you should at least spend a half watching at some point of the season. Not necessarily will the best teams always be selected but these are teams that I think have an interesting playing style, captivating player or just a unique story and they entertained me as I scrolled through the 60+ games taking place on Saturday. Here you go:
Week 1 – Indiana
Week 2 – Purdue
Week 3 – Memphis
Memphis comes in as our week three team to watch. Memphis hosted a ranked UCLA squad this past Saturday and absolutely did not disappoint. An afternoon shootout the entire game, Memphis quarterback Riley Ferguson hung toe to toe with all hype pretty boy Josh Rosen. As the game progressed my initial thought was “Josh Rosen is supposed to be good right? What am I missing that everyone else is claiming?” Three quarters of the game he proved my thinking correct until the fourth quarter when he transformed into a young Troy Aikman hitting every receiver he could right in the numbers while trying to stave off the Tigers. There were two problems that prevented that from happening. One, Josh Rosen has a bit of Brett Favre in him and made some less than stellar decisions in clutch time and two, Riley Ferguson looked every bit as good as Josh Rosen. Hence the reason Memphis is my week three pick. If you are unaware of Ferguson’s story, which you should be unaware, it is fascinating. Briefly, Ferguson was a high school All-American originally a Tennessee Volunteer. After questioning his love for football he left school and started detailing cars for a living. Finally realizing that football was his passion and not cleaning up cars he went to community college and eventually got his shot at Memphis. For the record, I think he will get his shot at the next level as well, and he may surprise some people there as well.
There you go, there is week three. Week four is upon us and let the fun begin. It is primo conference time!