The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: Meet Your Maker
Yup, the week of reckoning in College Football is upon us. And yeah, it might be time for someone...or some team---to make a Stand.
A win for Penn State and you are looking at a likely College Football playoff team. Lose---and no, they don't have to go home---but the road become tougher. Much, much tougher.
And for Ohio State it provides an opportunity to say their early season loss to Oklahoma was a fluke. A total fluke. And for the Buckeyes--a chance to say they too should be in the playoff conversation.
And yeah, there's a few pretty damn good games out there too besides this one. TCU gets a BIG test vs. Iowa State in Ames and Notre Dame hosts a really tough North Carolina State team.
So pay attention this week my friends---the rest of the season will be shaped by what happens this week.
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Now that the formalities are out of the way---time to get to the important stuff:
We were 8-3 last week....sigh...this means we might be in a slump. But alas--don't cry Argentina, we shall persevere. 68-16 on the season is still pretty good. (No, we don't pick the spread because we suck at gambling--but that's another story)
THE DIRTY DOZEN
1) Alabama 8-0: They are Alabama. And you are not.
This Week: BYE
2) Penn State 7-0: Time for the reckoning. Outside Michigan the schedule has been cake. But then again you have Saquon Barkley and a Top 10 defense. With that combination you always have a chance. We should know this weekend if this is a dream---or not. This Week: at Ohio State; Our Pick: Ohio St. 37, Penn St. 24 UPSET!!!!!!!
3) Georgia 7-0: The Dawgs come off the bye rested and healthy. And for the 1st time in forever--heavily favored in the World's Largest Cocktail Party. Strange things usually happen in this game. Not this year. This Week: vs. Florida; Our Pick: UGA 34, Florida 10
4) TCU 7-0: In case you are wondering. Yes, the Horned Frogs are this good. They can play on both sides of the ball and are very, very dangerous. It won't be easy...staring with a dangerous road trip this week. This Week: at Iowa State; Our Pick: TCU 31, Iowa St. 21
5) Notre Dame 6-1: You are not seeing things. We have the Irish in the Top 5. Did you watch what they did to USC last week? If they'd beaten UGA, they could be #2. Some roadblocks lay ahead, but as Brandon Winbush grows into the QB role--they've improved each week. This Week: vs. NC State; Our Pick: Notre Dame 28, NC State 23
6) Ohio State 6-1: I know--they failed their only test (loss to Oklahoma). And yes, they've played an iffy schedule. But the Buckeyes have also averaged over 50 a game the past 4 weeks. And that is impressive against anyone. This Week: SEE #2
7) Clemson 6-1: The Tigers got a week off and they needed it. Badly. While they've performed pretty well--the offense seems to rely heavily on the health of QB Kelly Bryant--who's been dinged up. They need him healthy to have shot at the title. This Week: vs. Georgia Tech; Our Pick: Clemson 24, Ga.Tech 21
8) Miami 6-0: They haven't always been pretty, but have been money at the end of games. The Canes are back kids. Believe in it. A little shaky on offense--the defense though has been stellar. This Week: at North Carolina; Our Pick: Miami 43, North Carolina 20
9) Oklahoma 6-1: The Sooners remain dangerous thanks to Baker Mayfield and the emergence of RB Rodney Anderson. But they need to figure out this whole defense thing if they want to win the Big 12 and luck into a Playoff bid. This Week: vs. Texas Tech; Oklahoma 48, Texas Tech 33
10) Wisconsin 7-0: No respect. Sorry Badger fans, you are overrated. Look at who you've played. A who's who of jobber Big 10 and smaller conference teams. So what, you beat them. Congratulations. You may win the Big 10 West but aren't better than Penn St. or OSU. Period. This Week: at Illinois; Our Pick: Wisconsin 27, Illinois 10
11) NC State 6-1: Yup, the Wolfpack are back baby. No, I don't think they'll stay here. But what's a week of glory among friends? Right?? Dave Doeren has these guys heading in the right direction. But the schedule to end the season is a killer. This Week: SEE #5
12) UCF 6-0: And this is your Power 5/6 team. A pretty good one at that. We've raved about the job Scott Frost has done with these guys. And it's legit--they can score on anyone and the schedule is favorable. Very, very favorable. This Week: vs. Austin Peay; UCF 51, Austin Peay 3
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
Congratulations to UMass--you were voted off the island after a string of semi-impressive games and finally by breaking through and winning a game. Convincingly. Against my pitiful alma mater 55-20. Mazaltov Minutemen. You earned it.
5) Baylor 0-7: Oh, so close. Losers by 2 to West Virginia 38-36, we have little empathy to a school that so blatantly flaunted the rules the past oh, decade or so. Which is why we love Karma--she always comes, sometimes it takes awhile--but she does eventually arrive. This Week: vs. Texas; Our Pick: Texas 31, Baylor 30....
4) Kansas 1-6: Welcome back Kansas. We missed you! The 2-time defending champs are slowly returning to fight for their hard earned title of the FBS's worst college football team. Last week's 21 total yards of offense will certainly help in that respect. This Week: vs. Kansas St.; Our Pick: K-State 21, Kansas 10
3) Texas St. 1-6: So, the good news is the Bobcats haven't lost in 2 weeks. However it was because they didn't play. And with one of America's worst offense's, well, that may have been a good thing. Or not depending on your perspective. This Week: vs. Coastal Carolina; Our Pick: Coastal 21, Texas St. 3
2) Georgia Southern 0-6: Sigh....yes, this is my alma mater. And yes, I admit it. They suck. Bigly. No offense and no defense means you suck. No argument. No debate. At least they fired the Head Coach. So there's that.....This Week: at Troy; Our Pick: Ga.Southern 34, Troy 33 (required by law to pick alma mater--sorry)
1) UTEP 0-7: Thank god for the Miners. Truly the worst offense in College Football averaging a mere 219 yards a game. Though they did break 20 (actually 21) in a loss to Army. We still wonder how they talked Mike Price into coming back and finishing this season as coach. This Week: vs UT-San Antonio; Our Pick: UTSA 47, UTEP 0
And there you have it. The field should settle a bit this week and set up for one heck of a November home stretch. Buckle in my little buckaroos...it should be fun...