The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: I thought Turkey's could fly
It's again time for us to honor one of the truly great moments in television history, the segment that will never, EVER not be funny, the WKRP in Cincinnati Turkey Drop episode.
To be honest, if this doesn't make you laugh, there's, um, well, no hope for you.
It also is emblematic of what is considered the last "full" week of the College Football season, a time where we find out who is legitimately for real and who's, well, a turkey.
We found out a lot of things this past week, which really was a bit of a cupcake week. Michigan State was got destroyed like they were the last turkey leg on the table after Ohio State dropped 49 points---in the first half on the nation's worst pass defense.
To those of you who were mad the so-called experts put Michigan ahead of Sparty, no further explanation is needed.
This week is also rivalry week were a majority of the games pit either two teams from the same state against each other, or a traditional conference rivalry like Ohio State vs. Michigan takes place. Which, much like the holiday that celebrates eating and gluttony, makes for arguably the most entertaining week of the season.
Speaking of gluttony, I can't say enough how ACCURATE my predictions are and they should be a big reason why you should read my column.
You'll be much smarter for it. Really, what we do here is simple, uncomplicated and basic. Much like a turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce dinner.
Check it out: Last week, 14-2. Yes, 14-2. Overall, for the season, I'm 113-25. Try to find someone better, go ahead, I've got all week.
I'm going to stop praising myself here and cut to the chase; "Let's get on with the Countdown"....
THE DIRTY DOZEN:
Georgia 11-0: Talk about everything falling into place. The Bulldogs were a bit dinged up last week, but got what amounted to a practice game ahead of their Ga./Ga.Tech rivalry game. Plenty of time to rest up and get healthy before the SEC Championship game vs. Alabama. THIS WEEK: at Georgia Tech; MY PICK: Georgia 43, Ga. Tech 10
Ohio State 10-1: The Buckeyes have gotten better each week. Don't read too much into the Michigan St. game though. This week is going to be a battle. IF. If tOSU defense plays a rock-solid game, they should win. But that defense hasn't been pushed hard in several weeks. THIS WEEK: at Michigan; MY PICK: Michigan 28, Ohio St. 23 UPSET SPECIAL!!!!
Cincinnati 11-0: Yup. Why not? The Bearcats haven't always been pretty or destroying people like Georgia, but so what? They beat a really good Notre Dame team in South Bend and have taken care of the rest of their business. THIS WEEK: at East Carolina; MY PICK: Cincinnati 42, East Carolina 21
Alabama 10-1: Yes, much like Ohio St. QB C.J. Stroud, 'Bama QB Bryce Young has gotten better each week. However...I still think this is not a perfect Crimson Tide team. That just means they aren't totally dominant, just better than almost but not quite everyone else. THIS WEEK: at Auburn; MY PICK: Alabama 43, Auburn 24
Michigan 10-1: The Wolverines are here! They are another team that has steadily improved our the course of the season. Cade McNamara certainly isn't as dynamic as Stroud but has gotten better every week. Michigan isn't crazy good at anything but very good at everything. Playing at home, it may matter. THIS WEEK: vs. Ohio St.; MY PICK: See #2
Oklahoma State 10-1: I never thought a Mike Gundy team would get this far on the back of its defense, yet here we are. IN the defensively challenged Big 12, that matters. The hill to climb and get to the playoff is still steep, but is doable for the Cowboys, let's see if they can conquer it. THIS WEEK: vs. Oklahoma; MY PICK: Oklahoma St. 31, Oklahoma 27
Notre Dame 10-1: The Irish are another of the teams who struggled and got better as the season went. Statistically they aren't great, but they keep winning and that does matter. THIS WEEK: at Stanford; MY PICK: Notre Dame 27, Stanford 13
Ole Miss 9-2: Can someone please explain why Lane Kiffin would want to leave here for Miami? Or LSU? He's got a program wanting to be relevant playing like they are relevant. He's got resources and more and no, I don't think the specter of Alabama in the same conference matters. THIS WEEK: at Mississippi State; MY PICK: Ole Miss: 47, Mississippi St 42
Baylor 9-2: The Bears have been one of the better stories of the season in year 2 under Dave Aranda. Unfortunately that now means Aranda is all over the coaching carousel rumor mill. The Bears have improved on both sides of the ball and while not likely a playoff team, they could make the pick 6 if they win out. THIS WEEK: vs. Texas Tech; MY PICK: Baylor 37, Texas Tech 21
Oklahoma 10-1: This is the part where choices are limited. The Sooners have not impressed anyone this season. Sure, they've won 10 games. But they've not been the Oklahoma of the past 5-7 years. The resume this year is not so impressive. Sure, they can salvage the season by winning out. But the hurdle for the CFP is way taller than that for this team. THIS WEEK: at Oklahoma State; MY PICK: See #6
Houston 10-1: Yup, you read this right. Houston. It's a Dana Holgersen team that is defensively pretty solid and does enough on offense. I'm rewarding them for making it through with only a loss, nobody else has earned that right. They lost in week 1, I'll say it again, week one is a bad measuring stick for any college football team. THIS WEEK: at UConn; MY PICK: (laughs) Houston 47, UConn 10
UTSA 11-0: Undefeated. That matters. Not enough to be ranked ahead of anyone else on this board, but more than the two loss teams behind them in my poll too. It doesn't mean the Roadrunners could beat Oregon or Michigan State or even Iowa. But that's ok. THIS WEEK: at North Texas; MY PICK: UTSA 34, North Texas 31
Others under consideration: Utah, Oregon, Texas A&M, Michigan State
And then we have the barrel. Record here matters and it just so happens there are exactly five teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision with one win. So that's your list. There are a few teams that could arguably be here but in this list, wins matter---yes, even if they are against FCS or Division II teams.
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL:
5. Arizona 1-10: The Floundering Jedd Fisch's have shown a couple of sparks, but not enough fire to win anything other than beating a COVID and injury depleted Cal. They've been blown out of every other game. Maybe Fisch will figure out how to rebuild the program, but it's going to take a decade to fix this mess. THIS WEEK: at Arizona State; MY PICK: Arizona State 40, Arizona 10
4. New Mexico State 1-10: Another traditionally bad program that somehow continues to exist. Maybe the Conference USA bid will make them competitive? Or not. I get it, it's hard to recruit players to the middle of New Mexico, which is why the Aggies should seriously consider being relegated to the FCS. THIS WEEK: vs. UMass (Yikes!); MY PICK: New Mexico St. 27, UMass 21
3. Florida International 1-10: Sabotage, a lame duck coach who quit early, accusations of financial mismanagement. And those are the off-field problems for a talent challenged program. The Panthers are another team that exists mostly as fodder for other programs. Yeah, I said it. THIS WEEK: at Southern Mississippi; MY PICK: Southern Miss 31, FIU 3
2. UMass 1-10: Hey, a new coach, Don Brown who used to coach the Minute-men. Brown went on to be a pretty decent defensive coordinator at a bunch of schools who had players with FBS talent. Alas, UMass does not. He'll clean up the rubble left by Walt Bell who was fired after going 2-23 in two seasons. Yeah, good luck Don Brown. THIS WEEK: at New Mexico State; MY PICK: See #4
ED NOTE: New Mexico State vs. UMass qualifies as are de facto Toilet Bowl game because UConn will lose again this week and someohow UMass beat UConn which unfortunately just means while the Minute-men are really bad, there's actually someone who is worse.
UCONN 1-10: Oh, I pity the fool who thinks UConn can compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision. There is and will not be any bowling, unless it's at a bowling alley for the Huskies any time in the next decade. Though I cannot wait for Jim Mora to take over this bumbling mess. The Huskies will WIN the Bottom of the Barrel Championship, again...unless they pull off one of the biggest upsets this College Football season. *Don't hold your breath here* THIS WEEK: at Houston; MY PICK: See #10 of the Dirty Dozen
Also under consideration: ARKANSAS STATE, AKRON, VANDERBILT, SOUTH FLORIDA
I leave you with some music to get through your holiday. A group I saw play live a few weeks ago after they fell off the side of the flat earth some 30-years ago. And let me tell you, if you like some good old fashioned hard-rock and roll. It's worth seeking these guys out (if they do a tour). They put on one hell of a great live show.