The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: No Rat Poison Here
Say it ain't so Oklahoma....the center of the Tornado universe downed by a team (Iowa St. Cyclones) named....yup, after tornado's....
But hey, that wasn't all that happened during what we...and most everyone else thought would be a "Down" week.
Ask Michigan...or Florida how "Down" the week actually was....
All that is missing here is the sound effect....
But hey, all is right with the word since Alabama and Clemson and Penn State and Georgia all won their games...convincingly.
Which at the half way point...means we've got some fun times and likely some serious upsets to go before we hit playoff time....
Okay kids---so we were 12-3 last week when it comes to picking games (not bad, right?).....which makes us 49-8 on the season. No, we don't pick the spread nor count off for not getting the score. Because you know what--at the end of the day......a win is a win no matter what the numbers in the scorebook look like.
Okay, I'll stop gloating now. We'll just cut straight to the chase. Much like a rat trying to avoid rat poison we don't want to report on our own success because then...well, we'd start believing it. And you know what that means???
Right Nick Saban??
THE DIRTY DOZEN
1) Alabama 6-0: So people are critical because the Tide didn't blow out Texas A&M? No, I don't get it. Maybe Nick Saban is right? Maybe we are all poisonous?? Maybe Alabama isn't the almighty who can summon touchdowns and defensive stops at the wave at a hand....oh, my, gawd Pawl...what are we gonna do??? Fear not says Ric Flair:
And that ain't happening. This Week: vs. Arkansas (yikes!); Our Pick: Alabama 41, Arkansas 3
2) Clemson 6-0: Yup, the Tigers are still cruising right along too. Beating Wake Forest was a bit of a struggle--but really not unexpected. The worrisome part is the injury to QB Kelly Bryant. Bryant has been nothing short of spectacular this season and while Dabo says Bryant is dinged up, he didn't believe it was too serious. Um, ok.....This Week: at Syracuse; Our Pick: Clemson 31, Syracuse 21
3) Penn State 6-0: So, if the Nittany Lions haven't been racking up points does that make them less good? Um, no. Yeah, so what, Northwestern stacked the box vs. RB Saquon Barkley and it almost but not quite worked. Barkley did bust off a 53 yard TD run among other things. 31-7 win is just fine. This Week: BYE
4) Georgia 6-0: Welp, 6-0 is pretty damn good. And the Bulldogs have not 1 but 4 RB's who likely would start for many teams. And the defense just keeps throwing incredible athletes out there. If they aren't "Alabama East" there never will be one. This Week: vs. Missouri; UGA 472 yards, Mizzou 10...
5) TCU 5-0: We thought about moving TCU to #4 but backed off after looking at the statistics. Yes, the defense is "Big 12 Good"...but would it hold up to any of the teams ranked higher?? We're not sure...yet. This Week: at Kansas State; Our Pick: TCU 43, K-State 31
6) Washington 6-0: Listen, we've been big Husky proponents and will continue to be. But let's be real, the schedule has been reeeelly soft. There are a couple of speed bumps ahead though. Statistically---this is the #2 defense in all the land. Which even though it's the Pac 12---counts for something. This Week: @Arizona State; Our Pick: Washington 31, Arizona State 17
7) Wisconsin 6-0: We're on the record as not buying Badgers stock for the long term and they've done nothing to change that belief. But....they are undefeated. And do play in the Big 10. They still resemble many Badger teams of the past big, physical and not fast enough to play in any other conference. But we could be wrong. This Week: vs. Purdue; Our Pick: Wisconsin 27, Purdue 23
8) Miami 4-0: Yup, the Hurricanes are back. For now anyway. Coach Mark Richt (CMR) has his team clicking on most cylinders. Though he...and everyone else likely wants to forget the 1st half of the FSU game and just remember the really cool game winning TD pass. Couple of good wins so far, but some tricky games lie ahead. This Week: vs. Ga.Tech; Our Pick: Miami 28, Ga. Tech 13
9) Washington State 6-0: Yes, we are on the Cougars bandwagon and so should you. A Mike Leach team with Luke Falk at the helm is just plain dangerous. Believe it or not---this is the #10 team statistically on defense in all the land. How often can anyone say that about a Leach team?? This Week: at Cal; Our Pick: Wash. St. 33, Cal 21
10) Ohio St. 5-1: The Buckeyes are finally living up to some of their potential. Here are the past 3 game totals--54, 56, 62. All were wins (duh!). They control their fate. Beat Penn State and Michigan St. at home, the Big 10 is likely theirs. This Week: at Nebraska; Our Pick: Ohio State 70, Nebraska 23
11) Auburn 5-1: Wait, what? How'd they get here? Oh, must be that learning how to play offense thing. Gus Malzhan stopped calling plays---and they got good. Hmmm.....and watch out for Kerryon Johnson, the best RB you may never have heard of. This Week: at LSU; Our Pick: Auburn 31, LSU 21
12) UCF 5-0: Yup, future Nebraska Coach Scott Frost (oh, wait--did we say that?) has completely turned the fortunes of UCF, a team that went winless only a couple seasons ago. The Knights can flat out score and play in the Aaaack...an infinitely winnable conference. This Week: vs. East Carolina; Our Pick: UCF 42, E.Carolina 10
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL:
Sadly, this very well may be the week we come to grips with the fact our beloved Alma Mater (Georgia Southern) finally finds their way to this list.....
Mazaltov you crazy Ohioans....you got off the island....
5) Baylor 0-5: Oh, wither the poor Bears. Victims of Karma, they've fallen off the lofty perch the cheated so mightily to attain. If not a game against Kansas, it's very possible Baylor could go "O" for the season. And nary a tear outside Waco will be shed. This Week: at Oklahoma St.; Our Pick: OSU 63, Baylor 10
4) Georgia Southern 0-4: Oh, this hurts me so...but I have come to the realization my once proud and powerful Eagles can fly no more. Somehow, despite the defense forcing 5 Turnovers vs. Arkansas State....we still lost. By 18 points. This Week: vs. New Mexico State; Our Pick: Ga.Southern 18, New Mexico State 0 (no, we still aren't allowed to pick the alma mater to lose)
3) San Jose St. 1-6: Yes, I know...the Spartans have won a game. But the still fight with all the softness of a pillow ranking 120th in the country in offense and 121st in defense. Double badness!! This Week: at Hawaii; Our Pick: Hawaii 20, San Jose State 7
2) Charlotte 0-5: The good news--the 49ers edge ever so close to actually winning. They only lost 14-3 to Marshall last week. Baby steps kids. There aren't a lot of winnable games left on the schedule but hey---Stranger Things have happened....This Week: at Western Kentucky; Our Pick: WKU 21, Charlotte 20
1) UTEP 0-6: Speaking of baby steps, the Miners only lost 15-14 last week to Western Ky.?? Hmmm..I'm sensing a theme here. It was the debut of new/old head coach Mike Price and it got the defense fired up. The offense, yeah, it's still 130th..out of 130 in the FBS. This Week: at Southern Mississippi; Our Pick: Southern Miss 27, UTEP 10
And so we come to a close with this weeks column. If you've read this far....don't forget THE OSG Sports Report podcast and the mid-week Hump Day show. You can find us on both I-Tunes and on Soundcloud.....