The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: Crazy
So, um, if you followed College Football, you probably had the same thought I did---"What the hell?"
Yeah, I more or less had the same thought when I turned on the Clemson/Boston College game in the first. Half. Sure, the Tigers came back and won, but still.
Yet, that paled in comparison to this:
Yet, for all of the weirdness, really there weren't any huge upsets.
I know, right? Yeah, sure, there were teams like North Carolina and others who were ranked and then tanked. But really, how much truth is there to the rankings this season outside maybe the Top 5 teams?
I'm also comfortable saying it won't be the last weird week of this pandemic filled season. Just this week the Pac 12 starts up again. Then there's Wisconsin who has had to cancel their 2nd straight game.
Because of the Big 10's super tight scheduling window, it means the Badgers will play at most on 5 more games this season and won't have the benefit of a full season like their peers.
And no, they won't (a) finish undefeated or (b) make the Playoff.
But enough of that, here's the most important statistic from last week!! I was 11-3 picking games. Yes, 11-3. Which makes me 25-9 on the season. Not bad, right?!
And now that I've gotten the small talk out of the way---it's "On with the countdown"
THE DIRTY DOZEN:
Alabama 6-0: Yup, we have a new leader. And there's no reason they shouldn't be. Bama has dominated pretty much everyone so far. They don't look flawed. Barring something stupid, you can mark them "IN" the playoff. THIS WEEK: Bye
Ohio State 2-0: Nope, they weren't pushed very hard by Penn St. And it sure doesn't look like anyone in the "10" is beating them this year. THIS WEEK: vs. Rutgers; My Pick: Ohio St. 41, Rutgers 23
Clemson 7-0: Did not see the hiccup coming. There are questions now on defense. And Trevor...and his hair are out for a 2nd game. A big game at that. I'm not betting against them though. THIS WEEK: at Notre Dame; My Pick: Clemson 34, Notre Dame 27
Notre Dame 6-0: Put up or shut up time. The Irish have been good, but not great this season. If there's ever a chance to shake up the CFB world, this would be it. THIS WEEK: See #3
Cincinnati 5-0: Surprise! I've championed this team all season. They are good. Really, really good. They play great defense and don't sleep on the offense. They're not an "SEC" team, but this year it may not matter. THIS WEEK: vs. Houston; My Pick: Cincinnati 47, Houston 21
Georgia 4-1: Yes, the 'Dawgs drop too. The offense is pedestrian and in today's game, is a problem. Love the story of Stetson Bennett, but no, you aren't winning a title with him at QB. Period. THIS WEEK: vs. Florida; My Pick: UGA 27, Florida 23
BYU 7-0: Wait, BYU? Where did they come from? If you haven't heard of him, Zach Wilson can play some QB. And that matters. The Cougars have one big hurdle to get past and may run the table. THIS WEEK: at Boise St.; My Pick: BYU 45, Boise St. 37
Florida 3-1: Another team I'm not totally sold on, but hey, they look good win or not. Except when stupid things happen like getting in fights and losing 5 players for at least a half vs. UGA. They can score, which matters. Defense is a different issue. THIS WEEK: See #6'
Texas A&M 4-1: Another team I never thought I'd see this high. But it's still fairly early. Hey, they beat UF and a tough Arkansas team. Kudos for that. Consistency is the challenge here. Do they have it? THIS WEEK: at South Carolina; My Pick: Aggies 35, Gamecocks 31
Indiana 2-0: What? Hersey you say? Well, maybe. But it's my poll and they beat Penn St. and an ok Rutgers team. I'm not saying they'll be here at the end, but Tom Allen's bunch plays hard and will challenge. Which you can't say about a lot of Big 10 teams. THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan; My Pick: Indiana 27, Michigan 17
Oregon 0-0: Game on Ducks. Everyone thinks y'all should be good. Even with a limited schedule. Now prove it. Win big and you could steal a playoff berth. It's there if you can grab it. THIS WEEK: vs. Stanford; My Pick: Oregon 42, Stanford 23
Coastal Carolina: 6-0: Can you argue against this? No, I didn't think so. They killed Ga. State last week. The only real challenge left might be at the end vs. Liberty. And yes, the Chanticleers could easily run the table. Then what? THIS WEEK: vs. South Alabama; My Pick: Coastal 45, South Alabama 14
Those are my rankings/predictions, what about yours? Yup, there sure are differences from the "other polls" who's voters may or may not even care about watching or reading about any of these teams.
Next comes the opposite of this. The worst teams in College Football. And boy, there are some bad ones. Some are familiar faces (Kansas) some aren't. But none are particularly good and the outlook isn't getting better.
It's kind of harsh friends. But just trying to keep it real....
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
5. Syracuse 1-6: Still not sure how this bad team beat a not-so-good Ga. Tech team, but meh...The Orange are not good. Outside the win, they've been blown out every week by the most mediocre of ACC teams except the 26-point loss to Clemson. THIS WEEK: vs. Boston College; My Pick: BC 36, Syracuse 10.
4. Texas St. 1-7: No, I don't know how they have 8 games played already but I guess they are getting it over with as quick as possible. No, they haven't been blown out, but it's hard to overlook 7 losses and counting. THIS WEEK: vs. Applalachian St.; My Pick: App State 37, Texas St. 28
3. FIU 0-3: Well, they've had 2 games PPD/Covid (make that 3), which has kept them from being 0-6, so there's that. The Panthers pass for less that 100-yards a game, which these days usually means your team sucks. THIS WEEK: take COVID and the points....
2. Kansas 0-6: The constant in our seasonal polls, KU has been one of the country's worst teams for a decade now. "The decade of awfulness?" Yes, there's a really good chance they run the table this season (in reverse). THIS WEEK: at Oklahoma; My Pick: Oklahoma 54, Kansas 10
1. Lousiana-Monroe 0-7: Other polls don't rank them this low, but they underestimate the Warhawks. It's hard to ignore an 0-7 team whether you think they aren't that bad or not. I happen to think they are. THIS WEEK: at Ga. State; My Pick: Georgia State 40, La. Monroe 21
And so ends another week of fun, right? Yes, most games are being played, only a handful are not. Which is good. I'm still sticking with my statement that some combination of Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio St., Oregon will be your four playoff teams.
As much as I'd love Cincinnati to crash their party--they'll never have the cache' to get in there. Which is sad, but life in modern College Football.
Wish I could be more excited and funny this week, but with everything going on right now, it's a struggle. I'll try again to find a punch line and stick with it....