The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: Rubber Duckie's and other weird things!
For the 5 or 10 of you that read our weekly college football column on the best and worst teams for the past however many seasons, well, it's back.
I can't promise you it will be any funnier than it has in the past, but I supposed if you've never read the column before, maybe you'll get a laugh and hopefully learn something. I'm not really a big fan of early season polls or polls in general because despite what you and I think, there's nothing really objective about them. It's just someone's opinion.
And yes, I'll predict games too. That, I'm actually pretty good at. Over the years, I'm right about 90% or so of the time. Though I confess, I don't pick the point spread or any of the betting numbers because to be perfectly honest--I suck at gambling and don't totally understand how or why those numbers are a "thing".
If you are wondering why I just posted a Sesame Street video, you likely did not watch football or social media on Saturday. You know, the one where Oregon went into the "Horseshoe" at Ohio State without their best defensive player and still beat the Buckeyes in a very clear statement game.
After the game and celebration on the field, someone did this:
Two other noteworthy things in Week #2. First, Florida State lost to an FCS team in the most Florida State way possible. A 59-yard touchdown pass at the buzzer. Somehow the FSU defensive players offered up what could be describe as passive resistance on the play.
Yeah, that really happened.
Lastly, before we get into the meat of what we are here for. USC finally pulled the trigger and put themselves out of Clay Helton's mediocrity. After the second game of the season.
I can't say that I can explain it other than saying maybe it was because the kicker got tossed out of the Trojans embarrassing loss to Stanford, on the opening kickoff.
If there was ever a sure sign it's not going to be your night, um, that would be it.
All that being said, Helton had been on the proverbial "hot seat" since he got the job in 2015. 46-24 isn't a horrible record in six seasons...but...
Okay, enough of last week. We try really hard to look forward in this column so I'll just say if you've read this far, trust me when I say you need to stick around. I'm about to list my Top 12 teams and the Bottom 5 teams in College Football and predict what they are going to do this coming week.
As the legendary DJ Casey Kasem once said, "It's on with the countdown".
THE DIRTY DOZEN:
Alabama: 2-0. Yeah, the Crimson Tide have to be here right now. They destroyed Miami in week #1, but I'm not sure that such a big deal. They destroyed Mercer in week #2, but they were suppose to. I suspect we'll find out soon if they are who we think they are. THIS WEEK: at Florida, Prediction: Alabama 37, Florida 23
Georgia: 2-0. The Dawgs are loaded. Seriously. They annihilated UAB last week and UAB is not bad. Really, the only question right now is what they've got on offense. We may not find out until much later this season. THIS WEEK: vs. South Carolina, Prediction: UGA 41, South Carolina 17
Oregon: 2-0. As we said earlier, the win over Ohio State was huge. Yuuge! A statement win if you will. Now the Duckies just have to follow it up. It doesn't appear anyone in the Pac 12 is a serious threat to them so just keep your head on straight and a CFP berth is yours. THIS WEEK: vs. Stonybrook (huh?), Prediction: Oregon 57, Stonybrook 10
Iowa 2-0: I'm not totally sold on the Hawkeyes staying here, rather this is a reward for a great win over Iowa State. Like most Big 10 teams, they'll likely hiccup somewhere this season, but for now, they've earned the recognition. THIS WEEK: vs. Kent State. Prediction: Iowa 41, Kent State 6
Oklahoma 2-0: Yes, they were a bit disappointing in their opener vs. a game Tulane squad, but they're still Oklahoma. Beating Western Carolina 76-0 proves absolutely nothing. That being said, don't expect the Sooners to lose any time soon. THIS WEEK: vs. Nebraska. Prediction: Oklahoma 51, Nebraska 21
Penn State 2-0: We tend to reward undefeated teams before ranking ones with losses. This is one of those times. An ugly but productive win over Wisconsin to start then a solid win vs. Ball State gets them here. We're about to find out how legit they are. THIS WEEK: vs. Auburn. Prediction: Penn St. 27, Auburn 24
UCLA 2-0: This is a bit of a surprise, but count me as impressed, at least to start the season. Beating Hawaii in the island isn't bad and the win over LSU was quite impressive. We'll see if they can hold on to the momentum, but for now, they've earned this spot. THIS WEEK: vs. Fresno St., Prediction: UCLA 37, Fresno St. 21
Clemson 1-1: Yes, the Tigers are likely to go 11-1 this season. Really there's nobody left on the schedule to push them like Georgia did. And they may get better as the season goes, but right now, D.J. Uiagalelei has not been impressive. At all. THIS WEEK: vs. Georgia Tech, Prediction: Clemson 41, Ga. Tech 24
Ohio State 1-1: Fix the defense. Fix the defense now. It's entirely possible the Buckeyes get left out of the CFP this year even after only 2 games. The defense is awful. Of course the OSU fans are freaking out because they lost but even with the defense, they'll likely finish 11-1. THIS WEEK: vs. Tulsa, Prediction: Ohio St. 47, Tulsa 27
Texas A&M 2-0: The Aggies are lucky they are still undefeated. Losing starting QB Haynes King will hurt, though he um, wasn't exactly impressive vs. Colorado either before he got hurt. I'm not as big on this team challenging Alabama as everyone else and I wouldn't be surprised if they lose to Arkansas in two weeks. THIS WEEK: vs. New Mexico, Prediction: A&M 37, New Mexico 10
Cincinnati 2-0: The Bearcats remain dangerous. They struggled in the first half vs. Murray State, the game was tied at 7-7 at the half. Cinci won 42-7. The next few weeks should be telling for the Bearcats. THIS WEEK: at Indiana. Prediction: Cincinnati 27, Indiana 17
Florida 2-0: The Gators have not yet been tested yet already have a QB battle on their hands. Emory Jones has been not so impressive, Anthony Richardson has been very impressive. But Richardson may not be ready to go this coming week where we'll find out if the Gators are for real. Or not. THIS WEEK: vs. Alabama, Prediction: SEE #1
This is the part where we rank the worst programs in major college football. The past few years that title has gone to Kansas with UConn pushing hard to compete. I suspect that might hold true for 2021.
5. New Mexico State 0-3: Yes, they've played three games already so at least the season will end a little faster for them. It amazes me how this program can stay afloat in the FBS. Yet here we are. This Week: vs. South Carolina State; Prediction SC State 23, New Mexico State 21
4. Kansas 1-1: Yes, I know they won a game. But it was vs. South Dakota State and they BARELY won. Barely. No real credits should be given for that even though the Jayhawks stormed the field like they won a Super Bowl or something. THIS WEEK: vs. Baylor, Prediction: Baylor 43, Kansas 23
3. UMass 0-2: Another team that lands here at least once every season. Weirdly, they are currently 0-2 on the season with losses to a pair of Big 10 teams. Which basically makes them the Big 10's version of an awards show seat filler? Every team in the Big 10 has at least one win thanks to the Minutemaidmen. This Week: vs. Eastern Michigan, Prediction: E. Michigan 40, UMass 21
2. Akron 0-2: Zip-ah-dee-do-da, zip-ah-dee-day. My oh my what a wonderfully bad team. Yeeesh! The Zips are giving up over 500-yards a game and over 50 points a game so far. But hey, it's still early. This Week: vs. Bryant (They play in the Northeast Conferece, um, ok). Prediction: Bryant 26, Akron 25
UConn 0-3: Somehow, despite him "retiring" from UConn, I suspect Randy Edsall will still get paid a bonus because I mentioned his name in a sports blog post. How he survived three seasons at UConn the world may never know but the Huskies may be the worst current team in the FBS and that may not change. For ever. This Week: at Army, Prediction: Army 37, UConn 3
If you've read this far, I cannot thank you enough. There will be times where I'm funny in this post, I promise, but much like Randy Edsall, there will be a lot of times the jokes will fall on their collective faces. But it won't be for lack of trying.
It's a long season and this list will likely change, but please bear with me. If you like predictions, go with what I say. I can pick winners. Scores not so much, but you can rest assured, if I pick your team to win, it means they probably will.