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Week 11 Rooting Guide and non-TCU Open Thread

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With the Frogs through their biggest tests of the season, it's scoreboard watching time in earnest. Who do you want to do the Australian dirty for this week?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

So last week we had the first ever Frogs O' War Rooting Guide wherein I explained the Australian definition of rooting and how it was a great amusement for my girlfriend.  Of course, she happened to glance over while the guide was on the front page of the blog and ended up in a giggling fit again, leading to another bit of conversation.

"All right, what about saying who to pull for?"

*snerk*

"What?"

"That's masturbation."

". . . Damn it."

So it turns out that any American phrase for supporting a team ends up being dirty in Australia, so we're going to stick with "The Rooting Guide" because I find it the funniest.   So let's get into picking the rootfests that will end up benefiting TCU in their playoff chase the most- after a quick look at how we did last week, and tweaking a few rules.

1.) If a team is ranked above TCU in the playoff poll, they need to lose.

No longer absolutely necessary now that the Frogs have hopped into a playoff spot, but as we don't have a huge margin of error at this point, we'll stick with this one- after all, a #1 seed in our old stomping grounds of Pasadena sounds pretty good, doesn't it?  TCU wants to be assured of a spot, the best way to make sure that we don't have to worry about being passed from behind is if we're moving up in the world.  Last week we had one team ahead of us lose and another struggle to move us into the #4 spot, hopefully we can have similar results again, especially since...

2.) Maybe the SEC doesn't automatically get a team in?

Last week's rule was pretty clear that the SEC was going to get a team in, but after watching Alabama fall and Auburn plummet last week (good job rooting in the Auburn game, folks!) there is a realistic scenario out there that could see the SEC entirely shut out of the inaugural playoff.  I'm still not sure I buy it, but as I'm curious as hell to find out, we're rooting for continued chaos in the SEC and a whole mess of teams at 10-2- it's going to be a ton of fun.  It's still not the worst thing in the world if Alabama or Mississippi State wins out, but... we are the ones who dare to dream.

3.) Baylor needs to lose

Damn it, Oklahoma.  All right, Baylor isn't going to lose this week (they're on a bye) so save your rooting energy for more worthy causes- no more than the necessary amount of scorn to keep you going should go to Waco this week, especially since we're not the sort of group to be rooting for injuries.  On the plus side, we can happily root for Baylor to lose any and all of their remaining games, as at this point I think the only way we're passed is if the Bears are the ones doing the passing.  Quality loss bedamned, Baylor Delenda Est every week after this one at full power.

4.) If a state school (Ohio State/Florida State) plays someone down the line, root against them.

This one stays pretty much intact, we've just removed Michigan State from the conversation.  The logic is the same- the worse the schedule looks for our remaining playoff hopefuls, the less of a chance they'll have to catch us.  The committee has shown that they will move a team down for playing a weak slate (Florida State down to #3), so the weaker the remaining slate is for the Seminoles and Buckeyes, the better it is- with one exception, of course.

5.) Minnesota- Still Best Buds forever

The Gophers not only did us a huge solid by steamrolling Iowa and continuing to solidify their position as a solid bowl team in the B1G, but some of their commentators took more joy in Baylor being ranked below us than they did in their own playoff ranking spot.  That's true blog bromance right there, and not only do you get to continue to support Minnesota for being awesome this week, you get to follow rule #4 and cheer against the Big Sisters of the Poor (Ohio State) all in one fell swoop.  The better Minnesota looks, the better we look- so direct as much rooting energy as you can spare to our buddies up North.

Rule 1 Game

#3 Florida State @ Miami

I've never been a Hurricane fan, so this feels a bit dirty to me, but it's all about the future of the Frogs- so this week it's all about Da U.  Florida State has already fallen to a precarious position in the poll while being undefeated this week, so if Miami can pull off the win it all but assures that the ACC will not have a team in the playoff (or at the least, that they won't be in ahead of us).  On paper this is actually a matchup that Miami shouldn't be too bad at either, so get a good root on in this one.

Rule 1/2 Game

#1 Mississippi State @ #5 Alabama- How lucky do you feel?

The biggest game of the week, and one that is sure to result in conflicting feelings based on any team that I pick to root for.  Alabama is the current dynasty in college football, their coach is reviled and the fact that they're the beloved lapdogs of ESPN and get any misstep instantly forgiven makes them fairly universally loathed in college football.  And of course, if Mississippi State wins that means for certain that only one team from the SEC will be in playoff contention at the end of the game.  There's a definite chance for mischief here if Alabama wins though- the committee has shown that they'll punish soft scheduling teams in the OOC and the Bulldogs haven't looked good the past few weeks- a loss will likely drop the Bulldogs out of the top 4 and leave us in a similar state to now... just with a more interesting proposition come the week of the regular season finale.  There's a definite chance for chaos and the SEC missing the playoff completely if there are a ton of two loss teams tying for the SEC west title, so if you want to root that way, you're surely welcome to it- the official stance is that we want to make sure Alabama's chances are finished before we move on to pleasant anti-SEC fantasies.  We know they'll get the benefit of the doubt anyway.

Rule 4 games

19 Clemson @ 22 Georgia Tech

Florida State doesn't have Tech on the schedule unless the Jackets work their way into the ACC championship game, and in that case I like their chances better than Duke's against the Seminoles.  Go Tech!

Virginia Tech @ #21 Duke

In this one you're hurting one State team and helping another no matter who you pick, so I'm taking Tech to help Georgia Tech have a shot at the ACC title game.  Nobody really wants to pin their hopes on Duke, do they?

#12 Michigan State @ Maryland

We're hoping for a hangover in a big way here, as a lot of Ohio State's love is coming from the win over what's considered to be a very good MSU team.  If the Spartans don't look so good, a lot of luster drops from that win- and Maryland is my dad's alma mater as well, if that helps.  Go Terps!

#6 Arizona State @ Oregon State

The most troubling jump of the week (apart from Baylor's) was the sudden rise of the Sun Devils to #6 thanks to a beatdown of an overrated Notre Dame team.  The way things currently stand, a win over the Ducks in the Pac-12 title game could move the Devils over us as well, leaving us with one less option for getting a playoff spot (if ASU and Oregon both win out until the title game, the winner will get a spot- we want the spots as fluid as possible).  Corvalis is a tough place to play, so let's hope the Beavers can come up with a winner in this one.

Rule 5 Games

Two games in the Minnesota section this week, as one involves the Gophers and the other involves who the Gophers play next.

#8 Ohio State @ #25 Minnesota

This one is the biggest gimmie of the week.  A win for the Gophers would give them buckets of credibility the rest of the way, meaning that even if they struggle with their next two games, they'll still have a marquee win to hang their hats on- which of course means that we will as well.  Ski-U-Mah!

#16 Nebraska @ #20 Wisconsin

I know generally we want the higher ranked team to go down, but a higher ranked Nebraska team would give the Gophers a second shot at a major win should things not go as desired in the game against Ohio State.  A Nebraska win gives the Gophers the next biggest possible scalp to attain and Minnesota may even catch the Huskers feeling too good about themselves after a big road win.

And there you have it, another weeks' worth of games that you now have a vested interest in, rather than just being able to enjoy the games without caring who wins or loses.  This will also serve as the open thread for y'all to discuss any game other than the one the Frogs are in, so you can keep track of this week's goals.  It's a bit more pressure than just watching and enjoying football, but in situations like this you all know what you have to do...

Root hard.

Go Frogs.

Here's the full schedule for today:
Thu, Nov 13, 2014
7:00 PM ET
ESPN2
East Carolina at Cincinnati
8:00 PM ET
CBSS
Southern Miss at Texas-San Antonio
9:00 PM ET
ESPN
Cal at USC
Fri, Nov 14, 2014
8:00 PM ET
ESPN2
Tulsa at UCF
Sat, Nov 15, 2014
12:00 PM ET
ESPNU
Virginia Tech at (21) Duke
12:00 PM ET
SECN
South Carolina at Florida
12:00 PM ET
ESPN
(19) Clemson at (22) Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET
ESPN2
Temple at Penn State
12:00 PM ET
BTN/BTN2
Iowa at Illinois
12:00 PM ET
ABC/ESPN3
(8) Ohio State at (25) Minnesota
12:00 PM ET
CBSS
Army at Western Kentucky
12:30 PM ET
ESPN3/ESGP
Pittsburgh at North Carolina
1:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Miami (OH) at Central Michigan
2:00 PM ET
ROOT
Nevada at Air Force
2:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan
2:30 PM ET
FSN
Rice at Marshall
3:00 PM ET
ESPN3/ESGP
Wake Forest at NC State
3:00 PM ET
FS1
(4) TCU at Kansas
3:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Appalachian State at Arkansas State
3:30 PM ET
CBSS
Georgia Southern at Navy
3:30 PM ET
NBC
Northwestern at (18) Notre Dame
3:30 PM ET
BTN/BTN2
Indiana at Rutgers
3:30 PM ET
CBS
(1) Mississippi State at (5) Alabama
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
Oklahoma at Texas Tech
3:30 PM ET
ABC/ESPN3
(16) Nebraska at (20) Wisconsin
3:30 PM ET
FOX
Washington at (14) Arizona
3:30 PM ET
AMSN
Middle Tennessee at FIU
3:30 PM ET
ESPNU
Memphis at Tulane
4:00 PM ET
SECN
Kentucky at Tennessee
4:00 PM ET
ESPNN
New Mexico at Utah State
4:30 PM ET
OCPV
Hawaii at San Jose State
5:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Troy at Idaho
6:00 PM ET
PAC12
(23) Utah at Stanford
7:00 PM ET
ESPNU
UNLV at BYU
7:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Louisiana-Lafayette at Louisiana-Monroe
7:15 PM ET
ESPN
(9) Auburn at (15) Georgia
7:30 PM ET
FOX
Texas at Oklahoma State
7:30 PM ET
SECN
Missouri at (24) Texas A&M
7:30 PM ET
ESPN3
Texas State at South Alabama
8:00 PM ET
BTN/BTN2
(12) Michigan State at Maryland
8:00 PM ET
ABC/ESPN3
(3) Florida State at Miami (FL)
8:00 PM ET
ESPN2
(17) LSU at Arkansas
8:00 PM ET
CBSS
South Florida at SMU
10:00 PM ET
FS1
North Texas at UTEP
10:15 PM ET
ESPNU
San Diego State at Boise State
10:45 PM ET
ESPN
(6) Arizona State at Oregon State