The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: Turkey's can fly?
By gawd, it's a Thanksgiving tradition...based on arguably the funniest TV sitcom episode in broadcast TV history.
It's also arguably the most apt description of the 2020 football season that I can think of.
Think about it, we're in a world where COVID-19 canceled a football game three hours before kickoff. The day after it, one of those coaches goes on record stating the far inferior opponent was "ducking" his powerhouse squad because of fear.
That was my reaction too....
Dabo Swinney probably should have just kept his thoughts among friend, but who am I to advise him.
Anyway, back-to-back weeks of 15-games PPD is not a good sign and let's hope it doesn't happen yet again. At the moment, none of the games should impact the College Football Playoff, but that could easily change.
Just so you know, last week limited the amount of games in my list of predictions. Yes, I still went 9-2, which is pretty solid. That puts me at 52-15 on the season. I'll take it.
So, with all that being said, I'll move on to the countdown with the understanding that the poll is legit and the picks may or may not actually be for games that happen.
(*ED NOTE*--Nick Saban has been ruled out for the Iron Bowl. It isn't going to change the outcome)
THE DIRTY DOZEN:
Alabama 7-0: I love how people were questioning 'Bama only being up 7-3 in 1st qtr vs. Kentucky. They won 63-3 BTW. This folks is your best team in the country even if they aren't flawless. It's pretty clear by now. This Week: vs. Auburn; My Pick: Alabama 37, Auburn 21
Notre Dame 8-0: The Irish have seemingly gotten better each week while everyone else flails away. One real roadblock lies in the way of a perfect season outside the mandatory rematch w/Clemson. This Week: @North Carolina; My Pick: Notre Dame 41, North Carolina 31
Ohio St. 4-0: A small demerit for letting a really good Indiana team nearly come back and steal last weeks game. There are some defensive flags here but I don't know that anyone in the Big 10 can exploit them. This Week: @Illinois; My Pick: Ohio St. 47, Illinois 17
Cincinnati 8-0: What you ask? Why not the Bearcats. A great win in Orlando against a tough UCF team last week. They've done everything asked and may run the table. Will it be enough? This Week: at Temple; My Pick: Cincinnati 38, Temple 13 (*ED Note-Game Cancelled due to COVID)
Clemson 7-1: No, they didn't lose artistic points for not pounding FSU in the PPD game. They'll be in the playoff if they win out. No questions asked by the committee. So there's that. This Week: at Pitt; My Pick: Clemson 31, Pitt 27
Florida 6-1: Has there been a better team on offense this season? You still have to play D though and they let Vandy stay in the game because the Gators couldn't stop the nation's 111th ranked offense. Not good. This Week: vs. Kentucky; My Pick: Florida 51, Kentucky 10
Texas A&M 5-1: The Aggies haven't played in two weeks now. Not good. The schedule is helpful though, if the games get played. If. We'll see if Kellen Mond and company took advantage of the layoff. This Week: vs. LSU; My Pick: Aggies 35, LSU 31
BYU 9-0: They've been good. Really, really good most all season. But there's only one last chance to make an impression this season which will count against them come playoff time. This Week: BYE
Northwestern 5-0: No, I'm not sure the Wildcats will stay here, but they deserve discussion after downing Wisconsin. A top 15 defense with a 100-plus ranked offense is not built for longevity. This Week: at Michigan St.; My Pick: Northwestern 23, Michigan St. 10
Indiana 4-1: Props for showing some conjones and nearly stealing a win at the horseshoe. Tom Lewis will get coach of the year votes and rightfully so. This Week: vs. Maryland; My Pick: Indiana 37, Maryland 33
Oregon 3-0: The are the "trendy" outsider pick for the playoff this season. I don't see it. Never mind the lack of games, the ones they've played haven't been that level impressive. That may not change. This Week: at Oregon St.; My Pick: Oregon 34, Oregon St. 27
Coastal Carolina 8-0: Because I always latch on to an outsider. The Chanticleers have been the best story in the Sun Belt and one of the best teams in the nation you may not have heard of but should. This Week: at Texas St.; My Pick: Coastal 31, Texas St. 23
No, this likely will not match up with the College Football Playoff poll released this week, but I don't care. I'm more accurate and don't pick based on brand recognition.
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL:
The Barrel giveth and the barrel taketh away. Though for some reason, there's been a pretty good amount of teams rolling in and rolling out.
In case you haven't noticed, it is a bit weighted towards "Power 5" programs on the skids and well, this year, there are quite a few of those.
5. Penn State 0-5: Welcome to the jungle kids. If a Penn St. level team goes 0-5, they have every right in the world to be here. Sure, they've been hit hard by injuries and players opting out, but you can't cheat the record. This Week: at Michigan; My Pick: Michigan 34, Penn St. 31
4. Vanderbilt 0-7: A better showing vs. Florida doesn't get the Commodedores out of the commode. They are still a not good team. It's very, very possible that Vandy goes 'o-fer' yet doesn't win the Barrel title. This Week: at Missouri; My Pick: Missouri 43; Vanderbilt 21
3. Louisiana-Monroe 0-8: The Warhawks, yeah, they probably would've lost last week had the game not been ppd. If you are ranked in the bottom 100 of offense and defense, you probably aren't good. This Week: vs. Louisiana; My Pick: Louisiana 43, Monroe 10
2. UMass 0-3: Welcome back Min-ute-men...Another perennial Barrel contender who's won the beloved trophy a couple times, UMess only has a 4-game schedule. They've played three of them, scoring a grand total of 12 points. Yikes! This Week: at Liberty; My Pick: Liberty 51; UMass 12
1. Kansas 0-7: Another perennial title holder, the Jayhawks are only exceptional in their ability to suck. The only reason things haven't been worse. No games the past two weeks. But alas, their season of misery has not concluded. This Week: vs. TCU; My Pick: TCU 37, Kansas 3
And that concludes this week's announcements. If you've read this far, I'm totally thankful for you. I do this mostly to humor a few friends and just kind of get some thoughts out of my head on College Football.
I'm apparently one of the few who hate rankings because it is completely a subjective topic. In College Football, it's based a lot o reputation and TV draw, a little on field production.
Anyway, I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and are as thankful for your family and friend as I am.