The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: Life is a Highway
((ed. note: This column now exists in Podcast form--Here's the LINK...or download the OSG Sports phone app (it's free) to get all of our College Football content))
Tis a long and winding road we travel during the College Football season. Believe it or not, we've hit the half way point even if it seems like we just got started.
Yet really---we don't know much. Okay, we know a little bit. We know the same teams I said a few weeks ago will compete for a title are still competing. Everyone else is playing essentially for 5th place.
Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, LSU, Oklahoma and....well, am I missing anyone??
So, about last week. If you read this column regularly (anybody??), you might have noticed I included a couple games that are being played this week.
It doesn't matter.
Why? Because I got the other 13 games I picked last week right. That's right, 13-0. It puts me at 58-10 in the prediction category which is pretty impressive.
Thanks, I agree...
But alas---enough about me. Let's get on with the poll/predictions....
THE DIRTY DOZEN
1. Ohio State 6-0: I don't know, maybe the aren't the best team in the land, but they sure have been impressive. Michigan State never had a chance last week. So far, the Buckeyes are doing everything right though a couple of possible roadblocks do still remain.
This Week: BYE
2. Alabama 5-0: The Tide are still here. For once, they're scary good on Offense--the D is this years question mark. Easy games so far just means this week will be a good test to see if or what they are.
This Week: at Texas A&M; My Pick: Alabama 41, A&M 37
3. Georgia 5-0: The Dawgs have cruised so far--but the persnickety fan base is still complaining it hasn't been enough. They'd be wrong, not that fans overreacting would be a surprise or anything.
This Week: at South Carolina; My Pick: UGA 33, S.Carolina 21
4. Clemson 5-0: Yikes! Clemson was one bad North Carolina play call from losing their 1st game in a long, long time. The Tar Heels exposed them in ways few have and showed that as good as Trevor Lawrence is, he's still got some work to do.
This Week: vs. Florida State; My Pick: Clemson 47, FSU 21
5. Oklahoma 5-0: Geez, they gave up 20 to Kansas? How'd that happen? Oh, wait--Big 12 Football. We're about to find out if Oklahoma is the real deal or not.
This Week: vs. Texas; My Pick: Oklahoma 53, Texas 47
6. LSU 5-0: Uh boy....LSU is now the official darlings of the 2019 season--so far. And they get a banged up Florida team, in Baton Rouge. The defense hasn't been stellar--but they've been awfully good.
This Week: vs. Florida; My Pick: LSU 37, Florida 23
7. Wisconsin 5-0: I struggle with this team. They always looks so good in September and October. And then they seem to lose to someone they shouldn't in November. This isn't a playoff team--but they may have some say as to whether Ohio State is too..
This Week: vs. Michigan St.; My Pick: Wisconsin 34, Michigan St. 21
8. Florida 5-0: The Gators are a bit lucky after Auburn statistically beat them this past week--but if you win, stats are irrelevant. The only real question for me is if the Offense is going to be able to compete at the highest level.
This Week: SEE #6
9. Penn State 5-0: Outside a surprising struggle with Pitt, the Nittany Lions have dominated. But the schedule has been soft. Really, really soft. Next 3 weeks will determine if they are for real...or not.
This Week: at Iowa; My Pick: Penn State 27, Iowa 10
10. Notre Dame 5-0: The Irish have been pretty good. They got a chance to catch their breath with an easy win over Bowling Green. And then the schedule returns to keep them honest.
This Week: vs. USC; My Pick: Notre Dame 31, USC 13
11. Auburn 5-0: So, Bo Nix may have gotten exposed a bit vs. Florida. Like the defense, question the offense. Three huge roadblocks remain, this week is NOT one of them.
This Week: at Arkansas; My Pick: Auburn 34, Arkansas 23
12. SMU 6-0: So the Mustangs got lucky last week. So what? Does it matter? They're undefeated and fun to watch. So they get a spot in my poll---mostly because it's my poll.
This Week: BYE
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL:
Things are always in flux here at the bottom of the barrel. Teams come and go quickly as a win is usually enough to elevate you out of the basement---at least for awhile.
This is where I warn you Kansas is on a track to return and reclaim or at least challenge for their highly coveted title. Les Miles fire his offensive coordinator last week after a shellacking by Oklahoma.....still, there a week or two away from returning.
5. Tennessee 1-4: Okay, I have to confess something. This really makes me smile. The Vowels are paying a heavy, heavy price with Karma and still haven't escaped. I'm not sure they will any time soon.
This Week: vs. Mississippi State; My Pick: Miss. State 33, Tennessee 21
4. UCLA 1-4: Chip Kelly, you are so fired dude. You got smoked by Oregon State? And your team muffed an onside drop kick? C'mon man! 124th ranked defense means this team will suck, for a long time.
This Week: BYE
3. Georgia Tech 1-4: Uh boy. What can you say?? We knew Geoff Collins had a big rebuild ahead of him but man, this team is really, really bad. Statistically they really belong here. So here we are.
This Week: at Duke; My Pick: Duke 41, Ga. Tech 14
2. New Mexico State 0-6: There is a really good chance this team won't win this season. They are exceedingly bad in every category and the schedule is tough enough that I don't think they're breaking through. Unfortunate---but then again, life....
This Week: at Central Michigan; This Week: Central Michigan 31, New Mexico St. 21
1. Akron 0-5: If you lose a pillow fight with UMass, you deserve to keep the lead in the Barrel standings. I suppose they could win a game before the season ends--mostly because the MAC is pretty bad this season.
This Week: vs. Kent State; My Pick: Kent State 19, Akron 12
Also receiving votes: Rice, UTEP, Bowling Green Rutgers....