The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: It's only Rock n' Roll and I like it
There's a line in the U.S. Constitution that goes something along the line of "We hold these truths to be self-evident". It's a line I've been thinking of here recently because there are certain things in College Football that we can pretty much guarantee will happen. This despite it being one of the more bizarre and sometimes unpredictable game of them all.
--We know a Jim Harbaugh coached team will likely lose at least one if not more games than it should because of his decisions The man is a prime example of thinking way, too much that he's the smartest person on the field. He isn't
---Harbaugh's problem is one that afflicts many coaches, see: Smart, Kirby, Swinney Dabo and others.
--Nobody is beating Alabama or Georgia in the SEC the next few seasons.
--So-called "Legacy" programs like USC, Nebraska and Texas will never achieve what the boosters or national writers over a certain age think they should be.
--UConn, UMass and at least one or two MAC teams every year will be mostly non-competitive and the worst in football. They don't nor ever will have the resources to be anything more than what they currently are.
--None of the teams in the Big 10 West will ever win the conference championship
--The PAC 12 will not win the College Football Playoff title as currently structured
--Bowl games are a stupid waste of time and money that mostly exist for ESPN and the bowl committee members to make a few extra bucks
I'm sure there's a much longer list of predictable things that happen every college football season. If you can think of some, please share them, I'd love to hear what you think.
But enough about that. We're here for polls and predictions, right??
IF we look back at last week's column, the tally comes in at 16-1 with predictions. YUP! That's right, 16-1. I picked Baylor to beat Oklahoma and Ole Miss to beat Texas A&M, did you?? That makes me 99-23 on the season. Uh, huh, yeah, that's right, way over 80%, (is that right? I suck at percentages and math)
Enough of that, it's time to get "On with the Countdown".....
THE DIRTY DOZEN:
Georgia 10-0: Nope, nobody is beating the Bulldogs during this regular season. Sure, they have two games left, but they're not losing--either one. There's really not much left to be said about the Bulldogs, I guess we'll find out if they can run the table come playoff time. THIS WEEK: vs. Charleston Southern; MY PICK: Georgia 47, Charleston Southern 6
Alabama 9-1; Again, it shouldn't be a surprise that these two teams are #1 and #2 When you have all the best recruits, you usually win. While the Tide struggled a bit mid season, they're quickly returning to monster form again. THIS WEEK: vs. Arkansas; MY PICK: Alabama 42, Arkansas 23
Cincinnati 10-0: The Bearcats continue grinding away. The College Football writers/experts all seem to think you have to win every game by 50 in order to be taken seriously. Why is that?? Maybe they aren't 'Bama or Georgia, but this year, they're the next best thing. THIS WEEK: vs. SMU; MY PICK: Cincinnati 37, SMU 31
Ohio St. 9-1: Could the Buckeyes be the best offense in College Football this season? Maybe. You could certainly make an argument. C.J. Stroud has 30 TD passes in 9 games this season, that's pretty impressive for a freshman. THIS WEEK: vs. Michigan State; MY PICK: Ohio State 53, Michigan St. 41
Oregon 9-1: Now the list of teams I'm not totally sold on. Sure, the Duckies keep on winning. Really, how many Pac 12 teams can even challenge them? The defense is pretty solid, but they've been erratic on offense. Speaking of Pac 12 competition, they are about to face the only real threat left. THIS WEEK: at Utah; MY PICK: Oregon 34, Utah 31
Michigan State 9-1: No, I should not have dropped the Spartans last week. It's not that I think they're some sort of juggernaut, they clearly are not. But they did beat Michigan. And that should count. They are a matchup problem for some teams this season, this week's game is not one of them. THIS WEEK: at Ohio St. MY PICK: SEE #4
Notre Dame 9-1: Lookie here, despite not being dominating in any real measurable statistic, they Irish keep winning. It's hard to argue against them right now, but they are clearly in that pack of teams the could be anywhere from #2 to #10 this season. THIS WEEK: vs. Georgia Tech; MY PICK: Notre Dame 35, Ga. Tech 20
Michigan 9-1: Yup, the fighting Harbaugh's are still here. They nearly stayed in character by almost losing to Penn State. But thanks to Cade McNamara and company they didn't. Maybe this is their breakthrough year as nobody else seems to be running away with anything either. THIS WEEK: at Maryland; MY PICK: Michigan 33, Maryland 27
Ole Miss 8-2: The fighting Kiffin's put their most complete game together in the win over A&M. Offense has never been the issue, it's been playing "D". If they start stopping people, then look the heck out. THIS WEEK: vs. Vanderbilt; MY PICK: Ole Miss 44, Vanderbilt 17
Oklahoma State 9-1: While not totally in the Big 12 drivers seat, they are as close as anyone. The Cowboys are actually a pretty good defensive team that is getting better on offense. They still have to get past Oklahoma, likely twice. THIS WEEK: at Texas Tech; My Pick: Oklahoma St. 31, Texas Tech 16
Baylor 8-2: Why not Baylor? Dave Aranda is underrated as a coach--at least as of right now until the Carousel hits full speed in a couple weeks and his name gets attached to jobs. The Bears play some serious defense and score thought. This year that matters. THIS WEEK: at Kansas State; MY PICK: Baylor 27, Kansas State 23
Wake Forest 9-1:Ok, I confess, I'm grasping here. The Demon Deacons deserve all the kudos they get for this season, arguably their best ever. And its a year where the rest of the ACC is super mediocre, so why not? They're in the drivers seat heading towards the title game so, good on 'em. THIS WEEK: at Clemson; MY PICK: Clemson 35, Wake Forest 34--UPSET!!
Yes, I know, you can pretty much shuffle the deck with these teams and you wouldn't be wrong. They're all pretty good but I'm thinking outside Georgia, none are great. I guess I could be wrong.
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL:
And then there is the Barrel. Special shout out to Kansas who ended their 13-year road losing streak by somehow holding on and beating Texas in Austin. In overtime. On a broken 2-point conversion play.
5. Tulane 1-9: Everyone (me included), thought the Green Wave would be solid this season after nearly beating Oklahoma in their opener. Now we know it was more about Oklahoma not being good. The Wave play an almost as bad USF team. THIS WEEK: vs. South Florida; MY PICK: Tulane 25, South Florida 21
4. FIU 1-9: Hmmm, where do I start? FIU was already in chaos and then coach Butch Davis retired early and said the school was sabotaging the program. Um, how exactly can that be? They were already crappy. I'm pretty sure nothing the administration could do that would make it better...or worse. THIS WEEK: vs. North Texas; MY PICK: North Texas 34, FIU 19
3. New Mexico St. 1-9: Who does their scheduling? Oh, wait, their an independent. Until they move to Conference USA. I'm not sure how that improves anything, but hey, what do I know. THIS WEEK: at Kentucky; MY PICK: Kentucky 49, New Mexico State 13
2. UConn 1-9: Yes, the Huskies led Clemson 7-0. For about a minute. But that wasn't the highlight of the week. That highlight was the hiring of old friend Jim Mora Jr. to be the head coach. There are more ironic jokes here than I could put into one column so I won't. But let's just say I'm so ready to start laughing about this. THIS WEEK: at UCF; MY PICK: UCF 43, UConn 19
UMass 1-9: Nope, no new coach for UMass, I really don't know who would take it. Somehow I knew the Minute-men wouldn't be beating Maine and I'm not sure how many FCS teams they could beat. Which to be honest, its the level they should be competing at. THIS WEEK: at Army; MY PICK: Army 35, UMass 10
OTHERS RECEIVING CONSIDERATION: Kansas (sorry, still 2-8), Akron 2-8, Vanderbilt 2-8
Next week is the annual TURKEY DROP week column as we near the end of the season. I'd be willing to be most of these teams will be roughly in the same exact place then as they are now....
But I could be wrong....
Your music of the week. I got to see the Rolling Stones some 28-years AFTER the first time I saw them live. Still great. Still an awesome show. The only disappointment was them not playing this (My Favorite)