The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: Championship-ish week?
It's all about the Benjamin's...or that big-ass trophy, right? The 2020 regular season of college football is finally, painfully, limping across the finish line as we hit championship week.
The good news (sort of): We pretty much know who is in the College Football Playoff. It would take some really strange (stranger than normal) happenings to change anything at this point.
Yeah, there are some weird things this week, like the Pac 12 Championship game not having the two top teams in it (thanks COVID), not that they had anything other than pride to play for anyway.
The bad news: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Ohio State are your playoff teams. It's predetermined. They all have games this week. Clemson plays Notre Dame in the ACC title game, but its already more or less been proclaimed that both the winner and the loser will make the playoff.
Yeah. It kinda makes our poll irrelevant and the picks somewhat meaningless, but I said at the beginning we'd play out the string--so that's what I'm gonna do.
Picks: Last week, 6-1, with COVID claiming 5 games. That puts the season total at 79-22. Which is pretty good, but somehow, I just don't feel complete.
THE DIRTY DOZEN:
Alabama 10-0: WR Devonta Smith is the best player in College Football this season. Period. And he won't win the Heisman because he's not a QB. Which is stupid, but so are a frightening amount of things the game has become. This Week: SEC Championship; Alabama 41, Florida 27
Notre Dame 10-0: They get the nod over Clemson because of the win earlier this season. The Irish are as complete a team as anyone not named 'Bama this season. This Week: ACC Championship; Clemson 34, Notre Dame 31
Clemson 9-1: The Tigers are healthy and playing better. Much better. They line up with more talent than anyone its just been execution. As much as I'd love to see them not win and not make the playoff, what I think doesn't matter. This Week: SEE ABOVE
Cincinnati 8-0: I know, what I think doesn't matter, but this year, the Bearcats should get the Group of 5 playoff berth. Alas, they do not have the brand cache' and at the end of the day, it's all the committee cares about. This Week: AAC Championship; Cincinnati 35, Tulsa 24
Ohio St. 5-0: Yeah, I know, I'm penalizing the Buckeyes for not playing enough games even though it isn't their fault. And yes, they're easily the Big 10's best team. But I don't know that the Big 10 is really that good this year. This Week: Big 10 Championship; Ohio St. 27, Northwestern 13
Texas A&M 7-1: I'm not sure the Aggies are that great either, but here we are. They took care of business and sort of game 'Bama a game. This year it matters. This Week: at Tennessee; My Pick: Aggies 31, Volunteers 23
Coastal Carolina 11-0: What? Yeah, why not. They have two top 20 wins and have run the table in a competitive Sun Belt. No, they aren't as deep as some others but this is a reward for a great season. This Week: SunBelt Championship; Coastal 35, Louisiana 27
Georgia 8-2: It took awhile, but UGA is finally playing to their potential. JT Daniels makes them much more dangerous. It also helps that they're getting healthy again. Too little too late. This Week: vs. Vandy (Cancelled COVID)
Florida 8-2: Geez, the LSU loss was ugly. There's no sugarcoating it. If you want to be considered elite, you win games like that. Easily. They don't deserve the CFP love they're getting. At all. This Week: SEC Championship game; SEE ABOVE
USC 5-0: Uh-huh. The Pac 12 is here. The Trojans have quietly taken care of business winning some crazy games. They won't get rewarded for it, but I like what they've done. This Week: Pac12 Championship-ish..; USC 43, Oregon 31
Indiana 6-1: The Hoosiers? Yes, the Hoosiers. They've had to become a traditional ground-it-out Big 10 team due to injuries. The defense is legit though. This Week: no game scheduled
Iowa St. 8-2: I like the Cyclones, but don't love them as much as some others do. They're a very, very good team though and exceptionally well coached. Hopefully they'll stay together. This Week: Big 12 Championship; Oklahoma 47, Iowa St. 37
I'm still not betting on a bowl season and we may not get a Rose Bowl semi-final either. I'm not upset about this, I hope it causes a re-examination of the whole stupid and corrupt bowl system. But that's another story for another day.
Below is our FINAL list of College Football's worst teams. There are a few of the usual suspects here if you've read this column before and we have a repeat champion. In fact--this years champ has won the highly coveted toilet bowl trophy for most of the past five years.
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL:
Yup, there were some unmitigated disasters in 2020. We're just going to highlight those which happened on the football field.
Most of these teams are done for the year which is probably good for them, but it doesn't eliminate how badly they either underachieved or underperformed in 2020 (yes, I know they are basically the same thing)...
5. Vanderbilt 0-9: Even the Sarah Fuller story couldn't save the Commode-dores from one of the worst seasons in recent College Football memory. Everything about this team was just um, not good. This Week: vs. UGA (Cancelled COVID)
4. Bowling Green 0-5: The Big MAC attack. Right? Another team that just didn't have anything good happen in 2020. They should consider themselves lucky they only ended up with five games or they'd be ranked even lower. This Week: Cancelled
3. Louisiana-Monroe 0-10: Pity the poor Warhawks, it's been a tough year. A rough summer for the state with hurricanes, combined with a lack of practice means well, a bad season for a team that probably wasn't going to be very good anyway. This Week: Cancelled
2. UMass 0-4: At least they played, right? Playing only four games isn't a fair assessment, so I can't give them yet another title. It's usually a battle between the Minute-men and Kansas, this year is no different.
1. Kansas 0-9: By virtue of playing close to a full season, we nearby award yet another Bottom of the Barrel trophy to the Kansas Jayhawks. They truly are America's worst football team over the past decade. Just look up the statistics. And no, the future is not brighter for them either. Good luck Les Miles and Jeff Long, you're going to need it.
Merry Christmas damnit!