The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: Ain't No Rest for the Wicked
If we used a countdown clock in College Football, I'm pretty sure we'd be at two this week--mostly because, well, there are roughly two weeks left in the College Football regular season.
And yes, the injuries have piled up--the field has begun the process of sorting itself out but still....
BTW--If you've not heard of Cage the Elephant (above), I highly recommend them.
Several things are abundantly clear at this point in time:
1--LSU is going to remain #1 until we get to the SEC Championship game
2--Ohio State is about to find out if they really are good
3--Clemson will be in the College Football Playoff
4--Georgia and Oregon should be playing for the last spot
5--Alabama is done..
Yup, I said it. Alabama is done. Between Tua's injury, Raekwon Davis's injury and a game left with Auburn--they're done.
Still--there are some things to be settled before we end this column in a couple weeks for another year...
9-3 this week in the prediction category, I started to take Iowa to beat Minnesota...and then I had second thoughts. But hey, no excuses, a miss is a miss. (Unless it's Ole Miss)....
The record for the season: 120-23, still better than most mere mortals I must say....
But hey, enough about me, let's get on with the Countdown.....
THE DIRTY DOZEN
1. LSU 10-0: Ok, let's be honest. In no way did anyone think the Tigers would become the new Oklahoma. They have lit up everyone they've played this season but defense is becoming a noticeable problem they may have to fix.
This Week: vs. Arkansas (yikes!); My Pick LSU 53, Arkansas 13
2. Ohio State 10-0: So here's where we find out if the Buckeyes are legit. The schedule up to now has hardly been enough for them to break a sweat. Dominating mediocre Big 10 and Group of 5 teams proves very little.
This Week: vs. Penn State; My Pick: Ohio State 47, Penn St. 27
3. Clemson 11-0: I know we just can't skip them ahead but does anyone really think the Tigers are going to lose before the Playoffs? Well, they only have one game left, then the formality of the ACC Title game.
This Week: BYE
4. Georgia 9-1: Another team currently earning the pick, but they need to get better on offense. They are really big and physical and a heck of a good defense and done just enough to keep winning. But if you are an SEC team that's all you really need to do.
This Week: vs. Texas A&M; My Pick: Bulldogs 31, Aggies 17
5. Oregon 9-1: The Duckies really have gotten better every week which is a good way to sneak into the Top 4. Sure, you can say the Pac 12 is mediocre..but so is the ACC, Big 10 and Big 12. IMO, this is your next in....
This Week: at Arizona State; My Pick: Oregon 37, Arizona St. 23
6. Oklahoma 9-1: Yup, the 2nd half of the 1st game against Baylor saved the season for the Sooners. Down 31-10 at the half, somehow they came back and won. It doesn't get easier with some tough games to finish the season.
This Week: vs. TCU; My Pick: Oklahoma 41, TCU 27
7. Alabama 9-1: They drop. The injuries have taken a toll. Please stop with the playoff narrative. They should not be in it at this point. Weak scheduling and other good, more deserving teams sit in front of them. Just stop College Football so-called "Experts".
This Week: vs. Western Carolina?? (to my point); My Pick: 'Bama 53, W. Carolina 10
8. Utah 9-1: That's right, a second Pac 12 team. Though I should add they have a similar scheduling problem as Alabama. It is awfully hard to overlook a good defensive team in the Pac 12, they tend to stand out.
This Week: at Arizona; My Pick: Utah 35, Arizona 21
9. Baylor 9-1: The Bears may regret not putting away Oklahoma this past week--but they may get a chance at redemption should both teams win out. Charlie Brewer, won't make the same mistakes a second time--will he? This Week: vs. Texas; My Pick: Baylor 43, Texas 33
10. Minnesota 9-1: Tough loss for the Gophers who nearly came all the way back vs. Iowa, a really, really tough place to play. I still like this team who I think can play with most anybody.
This Week: at Northwestern; My Pick: Minnesota 34, Northwestern 13
11. Florida 9-2: Hey, listen, this has been a very good season for the Gators. They have a good chance at getting 10-wins which is a success by most measuring sticks. Props to Kyle Trask and a very good defense for their growth this year.
This Week: BYE
12. Penn State 9-1: I don't by the Nittany Lions as much as everyone else seems to. They are good--not great with a very shaky pass defense, a good D-Line and a decent offense. But they are not "Elite", they just have a good brand name.
This Week: at Ohio State; My Pick: SEE #3
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
(Breaking News)! Rice won a game. I repeat, Rice....won a game!!
I don't really need to go in to a long diatribe here about bad College Football teams because...well, Rice won a game!!
Oh, New Mexico State won too. I'm pretty sure it we now live in an alternate universe....
5. Arkansas 2-8: I do have to confess I have the Razorbacks here because it's rare I can drop an SEC this far, this late in the season. If you've seen them play---they belong, oh, yes....they belong.
This Week: at LSU (yikes!); My Pick: LSU 53, Arkansas 13
4. New Mexico State 1-9: Sorry Aggie fans, you don't get off the hook for beating Incarnate Word..whom I had to look up to see who the heck they were. And hey, lookie here, NM State plays UTEP in the prelude to the Barrel Bowl or the Barrel Semi-finals...
This Week: vs. UTEP; My Pick: UTEP 17, New Mexico St 13
3. UTEP 1-9: There seems to be no escape for the Miners a perennial Barrel team who had a brief respite from our list only to slide right back down to join everyone in the basement. I guess if they actually win this week--I might move them out of the Top 5...or maybe not.
This Week: SEE ABOVE
2. UMess 1-10: So, the Minute Maid Men are almost out of everyone's misery. They put up a fight...for at least a minute or two against a really bad Northwestern team. And then....you know the rest.
This Week: vs. BYU; My Pick: 38, UMess 6
1. Akron 0-10: The Zip-ah-dee-doo-dah's are back and well, worse than ever. They didn't lose last week, which is a good thing. But they were playing the BYE week...so that's not quite so good.
This Week: at Miami (OH); My Pick: Miami (OH) 27, Akron Zip......
Also receiving votes: Old Dominion 1-9, South Alabama 1-9, Vanderbilt 2-8, Rutgers 2-8 and Rice 1-9.....
Your music of the week (HAIR METAL!):