The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: Your Team is Really Good or They Aren't
Welcome back to my sort of weekly during the College Football season look at the best and worst of College Football along with MY picks for the upcoming week, The Dirty Dozen...and The Bottom of the Barrel.
There is a reason The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel never debuts in Week #0 or Week #1 because rankings are completely USELESS for the first couple weeks of the season.
Unless of course you're a fan of a over-hyped and underperforming team.
Notice there I said fan. Alumni and students tend to not buy into hype, fans do. And there's a difference--at least in the Power 5. There are millions upon millions of "Fans" who never actually attended a lot of these schools. Particularly the ones who've been winning a lot lately (see: Alabama, University of and State, Ohio among many).
We all know only a few teams will have a shot at winning a "Mythical National Title". Well, okay, I guess the College Football Playoff technically is THE National Title.
Unless you went to UCF....
Anyway, I could go on and on and on about this (and often do)...but I have only a limited amount of time to produce this column---and anything else I do for free or fun, so I'll get to the point here....
With all that prefacing and lead in being said, here's our INITIAL list of College Football's Best and Worst teams and some predictions thrown in for good measure...
THE DIRTY DOZEN:
1) Alabama 3-0: Can any of you give me a compelling reason why the Tide aren't the best team in all the land? Anyone?
This Week: vs. Texas A&M, Our Pick: Alabama 41, Aggies 21
2) Ohio St. 3-0: As much as I hate promoting this team, they're good. Really good. They should be penalized for spineless, gutless Urban Meyer, the rare human being outside Donald Trump with zero self-awareness skills. Oh, and Dwayne Haskins is really, really good at QB, watch out for him.
This Week: vs. Tulane (huh?), Our Pick: Ohio State 48, Tulane 10
3) Georgia 3-0: Don't get me wrong, the Bulldogs are really, really good. And scary fast. But there are a few defensive questions which may not be answered for awhile. A softball schedule isn't helping things either.
This Week: at Missouri, Our Pick: UGA 47, Missouri 28
4) Oklahoma 3-0: Kyler Murray can play football. Even if it is only for this season. He's Baker Mayfield with better speed. Although it might have something to do with Lincoln Riley's offensive system too. This year the Sooners are trying some defense too.
This Week: vs. Army, Our Pick: Oklahoma 51, Army 10
5) Clemson 3-0: I don't like the Tigers right now as much as everyone else. They struggled with Texas A&M and Ga. Southern gave them a game until late. The defense has been as advertised, but the offense has struggled a bit. It may not matter--but for now they sit here.
This Week: at Georgia Tech, Our Pick: Clemson 31, Ga.Tech 21
6) Stanford 3-0: Even without Bryce Love, the Cardinal haven't struggled too much this season. K.J. Costello has been solid at QB but the story has been the Defense. At least so far.
This Week: at Oregon, Our Pick: Stanford 28, Oregon 23
7) Penn St. 3-0: The Nittany Lions struggled in week 1, but have barely broken a sweat since. As long as Trace McSorley stays upright, they'll be a danger to win every game they play this season. Or at least until the play tOSU in two weeks.
This Week: at Illinois, Our Pick: Penn State 35, Illinois 17
8) LSU 3-0: Are the Tigers for real? Nobody seems to think Ed Orgeron can coach, but hey, wins over Miami and Auburn ain't bad. A deep dive at the stats though shows a team with BIG offensive problems as they are 112th in the country statistically right now.
This Week: vs. Louisiana Tech, Our Pick: LSU 27, La. Tech 10
9) West Virginia 2-0: Yes, the Mountaineers. They've only played two games as a trip to NC State got cancelled last week. If you haven't looked, QB Will Grier is putting up video game numbers already. Watching him shred Tennessee in Week 1, was a work of art. And this year they might have a defense.
This Week: vs. Kansas State, Our Pick: W. Virginia 37, K-State 17
10) Washington 2-1: You read this right. Washington. The Huskies lost a close, close game to Auburn on the other side of the country and beat a pretty good Utah team in Utah. The Huskies don't have an "Easy" schedule but every game left is winnable.
This Week: vs. Arizona State, Our Pick: Washington 34, Arizona St. 27
11) Auburn 2-1: Another team you're probably questioning. Yeah, sure, Gus Malzhan sometimes can't get out of his own way, but the Tigers are very, very good. They won't melt down like they did vs. LSU again. Which isn't to say they'll win out, but I like them better than other middling undefeated teams.
This Week: vs. Arkansas (yikes), Our Pick: Auburn 42, Arkansas 17
12) Oklahoma State 3-0: So, yeah, the Cowboys are back thanks to College Football's greatest mullet wearing coach.
This Week: vs. Texas Tech, Our Pick: Oklahoma State 51, Texas Tech 43
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL:
These are your worst teams in the game today---or at least this week. Kansas has won this title the past 2-years running...but starting 2018 with two wins, gets them a pass---for now....
5) North Carolina 0-2: Losing to California in the opener was bad. Getting smoked by East Carolina the next week was worse. Way worse. It may be time for Larry "The Hat" Fedora to start sweating a bit as a bad season could find him riding December's Coaching Carousel
This Week: vs. Pitt, Our Pick: Pittsburgh 23, North Carolina 21
4) UCLA 0-3: Chip Kelly has a pretty bare cupboard to work with. That being said, the Bruins should not be 0-3 out of the block. Getting smoked by Oklahoma happens, but losing to Cincinnati and getting crushed by Fresno State should NEVER happen.
This Week: BYE
3) San Jose State 0-3: Don't lose to Cal-Davis. Ever. With an offense ranked #121 and defense ranked #125, the 2018 season could be painfully long in San Jose...
This Week: BYE
2) Arkansas 1-2: So, a win vs. Eastern Illinois does not count. Losing to Colorado State---a mediocre Mountain West team and getting your ass kicked by a pretty good North Texas team from Conference USA should NEVER happen if you want to be considered an SEC Franchise.
This Week: at Auburn (yikes!), Our Pick: Auburn 43, Arkansas 21
1) New Mexico State 0-4: Congratulations, our Week #1 leader in the Clubhouse features arguably the nation's WORST offense and only a marginally better defense. Sure, the Aggies could actually win a game this season (they play Alcorn St) but I wouldn't wager on that. The game vs. UTEP may be the ugliest game in recent College Football memory.
This Week: at UTEP, Our Pick: UTEP 17, New Mexico St 13
This concludes your weekly cheat sheet for the College Football week ahead. Don't trust the other polls, they are Fake Polls. And I can say that because I have the biggest mind (my head really is big, if you've seen my photo) and the best words.
I know this week was kind of semi-serious with some dry-humor jokes thrown in. These columns will get better the weeks ahead. Really they will.....