The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: Elphants, Bulldogs and Bearcats, oh my!
This week in Dirty Dozen news features us yawning, the season continuing on cruise control and an occasional surprise.
We're nearly half-way through the season and we know a few things, but really, if you think about it--not a lot:
--Alabama and Georgia are the two best teams in College Football
--Cincinnati is good. Really, really good.
--The Pac 12 is its usual mediocre self, the ACC might be worse
--The AP, Coaches and whomever else that does publicized polls, don't know shit
I'm not proclaiming myself a "college football" expert, but one should consider the fact I don't buy into hype or name brands and take a pretty realistic view of who's good and who isn't.
And no, I can't really back that up. It's just me talking smack online to the handful of friends and family who read this. They already know I talk a lot of smack when it comes to my sports knowledge, so no self-bragging is not a surprise.
But hey, enough about me.
Oh, wait, this is the part where I talk about my track record with predictions....
So, 11-2 this past week. Stupid Oregon.
That would make me (does math)....34-6 predicting winners this season. Come on now. How many of you can say you can do that?
Now we can get on with things. I'll sleep pretty good tonight knowing I picked Kentucky to win last week and a few other against the grain choices. Yes, I'm very aware I don't pick the spread and all the gambling stuff.
Ding! There's a reason for that. If you know me, you know I absolutely suck at gambling. That's why I don't mess with it.
Now, to quote the great Mr. Casey Kasem, let's get "On with the countdown"!
THE DIRTY DOZEN
Alabama 5-0: Don't mess with the Saban. Ever. No, Lane Kiffin didn't have an answer for the Crimson Tide. Neither will anyone else in the regular season. They're just that good. I kinda feel bad for CBS for choosing this week as a "Prime Time" game, which will be great for 'Bama at least until the game is a blowout. THIS WEEK: at Texas A&M; MY PICK: Alabama 45, Texas A&M 13
Georgia 5-0: Well, Arkansas hung with the 'Dawgs for, um, about five minutes. Way too many weapons on this Georgia team. And that doesn't even touch on the frighteningly good defense. They'll get tested, eventually but I just don't see them hiccuping like they have in years past. THIS WEEK: at Auburn; My Pick: Georgia 37, Auburn 21
Cincinnati 5-0: Yup, I have them ranked ahead of Iowa. The Bearcats aren't losing this season. I just don't see it happening. In a season with very few dominant teams, they're ahead of the group chasing Alabama and Georgia. THIS WEEK: vs. Temple; MY PICK: Cincinnati 43, Temple 13
Penn State 5-0: We're about to find out how legit the Nittany Lions are this season. They've been good, extremely good on defense and done enough on offense. I'm still not sold on them winning the Big 10, but they could. THIS WEEK: at Iowa; MY PICK: Penn St. 17, Iowa 13
Iowa 5-0: Yup, we're looking at a potential 4 vs. 5 game this week. The Hawkeyes have been a nice surprise this season, the defense has been stellar. But they offense is a black hole which makes them a prototypical, old school Big 10 team. That's not going to cut it in 2021. THIS WEEK: SEE ABOVE
Michigan 5-0: Wait, what? Three Big 10 teams in a row? Yup, they're that deep this season. At least so far. No, I don't think any of them are Alabama/Georgia good, but certainly they're a step below. The Wolverines have been consistently good so far this year. Maybe they gag like usual, maybe they don't. THIS WEEK: at Nebraska; MY PICK: Michigan 23, Nebraska 17
Oklahoma 5-0: Yeah, this pick is a little shaky. But here we are. The Sooners have done enough to win each week, which matters. Winning at K-State is a better win than you give credit for. Trust me. Oklahoma will be here at the end. THIS WEEK: vs. Texas; MY PICK: Texas 41, Oklahoma 37 UPSET!!!
Oregon 4-1: Yeah, I know, they lost to a Tree. Stanford is not an easy place to win. I get it. But there's too much talent here and they can still ride the bonus points of beating Ohio State in Columbus. Don't think for a second that won't matter in the end. THIS WEEK: BYE
Michigan St. 5-0: Right? Where did these guys come from? Is Mel Tucker the coach of the year? At least in the Big 10? So many questions. But hey, they're winning. They're doing it on offense with enough from the D. It matters. THIS WEEK: at Rutgers; MY PICK: Michigan State 35, Rutgers 23
Ohio State 4-1: The Buckeyes are here because they lost to Oregon. Period. It matters in my poll. They don't get to be ranked ahead of the Beavers with the same record. End of story. Yes, C.J. Stroud and company are getting better each week but they have to play the Michigan's and Penn State before the season ends. THIS WEEK: vs. Maryland; MY PICK: Ohio State 41, Maryland 21
Oklahoma State 5-0: Surprise. No, I did not think the Cowboys would make it into our little poll this season. Yet here we are. Surprisingly, it's been mostly about the defense for Mike Gundy's team. Very un-Big 12 like. But hey, do what you've gotta do to get wins, right? THIS WEEK: BYE
BYU 5-0: Don't overlook the Cougars. This is a good team with a tougher schedule than you think. Maybe they don't run the table. But maybe they do. Right now, they're in good shape heading into the teeth of the season, let's see where we're at in a couple weeks. THIS WEEK: vs. Boise St.; MY PICK: BYU 38, Boise State 23
Others receiving consideration: Kentucky, Wake Forest, Coastal Carolina
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL:
Arguably, we had two teams in last week's list squaring off in one of the seasons better games. Vanderbilt gets their second win on a last second FG vs. UConn. It was a high scoring game with some good drama, much to all of our surprise.
Props to both teams for battling.
Outside that, the bad teams continued their run and a few new squads may soon be appearing here.
5. Arizona 0-4: If you are winless at this point of the season, you likely are going to make this list. The Judd Fisch's are really that bad. Just look at their season breakdown. It's enough to make a desert dweller cry. The could easily go "O for the season". THIS WEEK: at UCLA; MY PICK: UCLA 43, Arizona 10
4. UNLV 0-5: Wow, another team that could easily run the table. Yes, they almost won in week 1. Eastern Washington got them in double OT, it's been downhill from there. At least this week, we hit the halfway point. THIS WEEK: BYE
3. UConn 0-6: If it weren't for bad luck, yeeesh. One of College Football's worst programs over the past ten years just can't buy a break. But at least they showed a pulse in the loss to Vandy. We haven't been able to say that in a couple of years. (So--we're saying there's a chance). THIS WEEK: at UMass YIKES!!; MY PICK: UConn 13, UMass 12
2. Akron 1-5: A loss to a really, really bad Ohio team did two things. 1. It got Ohio out of the Barrel, 2. It reinforced that Akron deserves to be here. The win doesn't count if it comes against a team nobody outside the alumni of the school can identify them. THIS WEEK: at Bowling Green; MY PICK: Bowling Green 33, Akron 21
UMass 0-5: Ooof. Another program that makes a strong argument for relegation. The Minute-men are just not good. Somehow they scored 28 points in a game 2 loss and a game 3 loss. They've not made it to double figures since. Don't expect that to change. THIS WEEK: SEE #3
Also receiving consideration: Arkansas State, Kansas, Colorado and Ohio
For those who know me, I'm a huge REM fan and Jason Isbell does supreme justice to one of their better songs....Click on the link....