The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: Can Turkey's Really Fly??
We've come to the part of our show where we discuss both the metaphorical and physical remains of the College Football season.
Officially it is the last "Full" week of games with the following week functioning as "Championship Saturday"---the day/week we see a full slate of Conference Title games.
The Dirty Dozen generally concludes or at the very least goes into limited production after this week---which is why we finish with our traditional homage to the single greatest episode in Sitcom Television history---bar.....NONE.....
There are generations who may not have heard of or seen this (young'ins)....it is truly worth your time to watch the entire episode, the buildup to the final joke as absolutely a masterclass in story/joke telling.
But enough about comedy--we're here for football, right?
We're about to find out who are best and worst teams are--there shall be debate though strangely, the disputes have a way of sorting themselves out. We clearly have three teams who will be in the College Football Playoff, the only question is who will be #4.
You'll have to continue to reading to find out.
I'd be derelict in my duty if I didn't remind you all about the prediction part of this column--mostly because I'm pretty damn good at picking games kids.
10-2 last week, which again--is pretty impressive in the grand scheme of things. More importantly...it makes my overall record: 130-25 which is a lot better than most people say.
Now that I'm finished bragging about my alleged expertise---it's time to get "On with the Countdown".....
THE DIRTY DOZEN
1. Ohio State 11-0: Yup, the Buckeye's get a boost for dominating Penn St. despite a few mistakes in their first real test of the season. Chase Young makes this a scary good defensive team to match the explosive offense. Yes, they're that good.
This Week: at Michigan; My Pick: Ohio State 35, Michigan 23
2. LSU 11-0: Yeah, I know, I violated my "To be the man, you gotta beat the man" oath. But I think the Tigers are vulnerable on defense. The offense somehow may be the best in College Football, but they're not going to be in a shootout every week.
This Week: vs. Texas A&M; My Pick: LSU 45, Texas A&M 27
3. Clemson 11-0: The suck factor of ACC Football is hurting the otherwise quietly dominant Tigers who outside the one game they fell asleep on vs. North Carolina, have dominated EVERYONE. There's no weakness, but nobody knows how they'll perform against a good team either.
This Week: at South Carolina; My Pick: Clemson 47, S.Carolina 10
4. Georgia 10-1: No, I'm not sold on UGA either, the offense is a huge mystery. Jake Fromm should be much better than he's been but the defense is stout folks. They held a good Texas A&M team to -1 yds running. I give them this spot by default right now.
This Week: at Ga. Tech; My Pick: UGA 31, Ga. Tech 10
5. Utah 10-1: The survivor of Pac 12 football is arguably the best team you've not heard of. And yes, they play really well on both sides of the ball. The only question is much like Clemson--they've not really been tested outside a loss to a now Top 25 USC.
This Week: vs. Colorado; My Pick:Utah 37, Colorado 16
6. Alabama 10-1: NO, the Tide are not the 4th best team. They'll get voted by the biased committee there, but they aren't that good. They are banged up, have flaws on defense and Mac Jones is a game manager. Plus the schedule has been the lamest in all the land.
This Week: at Auburn; My Pick: Auburn 27, Bama 25 UPSET!!! Yes, I Picked it!!!!
7. Baylor 10-1: This is our list of teams also barely in contention. The Bears will have another shot at winning the Big 12, which could get them to a Pick 6 game. Was the choke vs. Oklahoma a fluke? We'll find out in another week.
This Week: at Kansas; My Pick: Baylor 37, Kansas 31
8. Oklahoma 10-1: Yeah, I know the Sooners beat Baylor, but after losing to K-State, they've BARELY won each of the last 3-games. Barely. And this week is bedlam. Will their luck finally run out?? This Week: at Oklahoma State; My Pick: Okie State 47, Oklahoma 46 UPSET!!!!!
9. Minnesota 10-1: It's been a great season for the fighting Fleck's no matter how it finishes. And don't underestimate the Gophers, they've got some game folks. 10 wins is amazing for them, 11 plus a Conference Title game would be a life-changer.
This Week: vs. Wisconsin; My Pick: Minnesota 31, Wisconsin 23
10. Florida 9-2: Another team that's exceeded expectations, the Gators have been good--though inconsistent this season. The defense is excellent, the offense a work in progress. And they are in reality the 4th best team in the SEC.
This Week: vs. FSU; My Pick: Florida 31, Florida State 21
11. Oregon 9-2: That was embarrassing. The Ducks flat out gagged under a pressure game last week. Beat Arizona State, we're talking about the #4 team in the playoff poll. Now, they're barely on our list and may miss the Pick 6 games. Sad....
This Week: vs. Oregon State; My Pick: Oregon 43, Oregon St. 37
12. Rice 2-9: NO, Rice isn't a Top 12 team. But I need to do something to honor them for jumping out of the Barrel with 2-straight convincing, solid wins. I also don't care that much for the rest of the so-called "Ranked Teams". So the Owls get some love after all the hate this season. There---I said it!!
This Week: at UTEP; My Pick: Rice 31, UTEP 13
Also receiving votes: Penn State, Michigan, Auburn and Cincinnati
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
We had a ton of movement this week in the Barrel standings as some teams got up off the mat, dusted themselves off and played some winning football.
What makes me happy though is seeing teams I though would fall down to the vast wasteland of College Football obscurity---have returned to their former lack of glory.....
5. Rutgers 2-9: I makes me so, so happy to put a Power 5 team on this list and the Scarlet Letters are truly deserving of this honor. Sure, they're looking for a new coach, but really, why would anyone try coaching here?? They are like Vanderbilt in the SEC only much, much worse.
This Week: at Penn State; My Pick: Penn St. 47, Rutgers 10
4. Old Doberman 1-10: Well, I guess if I don't have anything good to say about you---you probably are a bad football team. The Monarchs have a tall order trying to compete at the FBS level and it shows. You can't win if you can't score and they haven't gotten more the 24 points in a single game this season.
This Week: vs. Charlotte; My Pick: Charlotte 34, Old Dominion 23
3. UMess 1-11: Possibly the best outcome for the Minute-women is being able to say the season is over and it's possible two teams are worse than them. This is another program that should seriously think about relegating themselves to the FCS....just sayin'....
2. UTEP 1-11: Welcome back Miners, glad to see you are making a late run at the "Worst Team in America" title you've claimed oh, so many times. I'm not sure you can overtake Akron--but then again, you play this week in the single worst game on the board.
This Week: vs. Rice; My Pick: Rice 31, UTEP 13
1. Akron 0-11: What can I--or anyone else say? This is the one "Winless" team in the entire Football Bowl Subdivision. They average 48-yards a game running the ball. They went 4-games without a touchdown. Barring an absolute stunning turnaround, they will lay claim to the Barrel title...(ed. note-Written/picked on 11/26 @1:56pm)
This Week: vs. Ohio; My Pick: Ohio 34, Akron ZIP!!!!
Also in consideration: Arkansas, South Alabama, UConn, New Mexico State and New Mexico
Your end of the regular season music: