The Dirty Dozen and Bottom of the Barrel: When COVID changes your preview column...
True Confession: I wrote most of this on a Tuesday with the intent of posting on Wednesday. Somehow in the 12-hour or so gap between the two gestures, a bunch of game got ppd/COVID and the narrative for the week, um, well, it changed.
((ORIGINAL RANT/INTRO FROM TUESDAY--which was going to highlight Notre Dame who wasn't getting much credit for beating Clemson))
It's good to have a little magic sometimes, right? Here at OSG Sports HQ, we don't buy into name brands in College Football, which is why we don't normally buy into Notre Dame as being a contender, for just about anything.
And even after beating Clemson in what admittedly was a pretty good game this past week, they further exposed the Tigers so-to-speak achilles heel, pass defense.
Same can be said for the Florida Gators who made Georgia look like they were playing in cement shoes.
I'm not sure either win makes those two national champs, but it makes them closer to it than the teams they beat.
Which brings us to this weird and wacky season of the pandemic.
I could be wrong, but at this point, it's Alabama and Ohio State's world and the rest of us are just living in it.
I could make a pretty good case for BYU or Cincinnati crashing the College Football playoff, at least on paper. But at the end of the day, those four slots only go to Power 5 programs.
So yeah, maybe I'm on my soapbox and Clemson will probably beat Notre Dame in round 2 a.k.a the ACC Playoffs, which makes this past weekend largely irrelevant.
10-2 last week was pretty good. Better than I thought. 35-11 makes me pretty impressive with predictions if I must say...
So I guess I should get "On with the countdown" which I'll preface (remember I'm smart), by saying the games this week are not particularly exciting. Which of course is usually when the crazy stuff happens.
THE DIRTY DOZEN:
Alabama 6-0: Hard to argue against this. 'Bama's lowest point total in a game this year? 38. They've given up a few, but if you can score almost at will, what does it matter? This Week: at LSU (Breaking: PPD COVID)
Notre Dame 5-0: An impressive performance against Clemson w/out Trevor Lawrence and a suspect defense. Really, they played well. But I have questions. And I don't know honestly if they'll beat the Tigers again. This Week: Boston College 31, Notre Dame 28.
Ohio St. 3-0: Yup. The Buckeyes are good. They're really good. Justin Field has been out of his mind passing the ball and the Buckeyes do just enough of everything else. I don't think there's anyone in the Big 10 who'll push them. This Week: at Maryland; My Pick: Ohio St. 47, Maryland 34 (Update---PPD COVID))
Florida 4-1: So...the Gators looked really, really impressive beating UGA. Kyle Trask looked like a 1st rd pick. But is he? And he doesn't play defense. Which might be a problem. The schedule is in their favor though. This Week: vs. Arkansas; My Pick: Florida 34, Arkansas 16
Cincinnati 6-0: This is MY pick for surprise CFP team. Of course I know they won't get picked because I don't have a vote. But I could argue on paper they might be better than Florida. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, we'll never find out. This Week: vs. E. Carolina; My Pick: Cincinnati 42, East Carolina 13.
BYU 8-0: Our one and only 8-0 team this week. Raise your hand if you've heard of Tyler Wilson? Well, look him up then because he's one of several really, really good QB's who don't play for brand names and have serious game. This Week: BYE
Texas A&M 5-1: Yes, I think the Aggies are good. Outside the big loss to 'Bama, they've performed pretty well. But I don't believe they are Top 5 material. I really don't. This Week: at Tennessee; My Pick: COVID-19 for the win (game PPD)
Indiana 3-0: Hoosier mania sweeps the world! Well, maybe not but right now they are "en fuego" And yes, they may very well be the 2nd best team in the Big 10. This Week: at Michigan St; My Pick: Indiana 31, Mich. State 21
Oregon 1-0: This is where we struggle. How many teams are really worthy here? I'm not putting name brand here just because. Though they may be next. This Week: at Washington St.; My Pick: Oregon 35; Wash. State 17
Coastal Carolina 7-0: The Chanticleers keep rolling. Yes, you read this right. Undefeated. Leading the SunBelt. Pick 6 worthy? This year, maybe. Though I'm not betting the farm on it. This Week: at Troy; My Pick: Coastal 31, Troy 14
Liberty 7-0: This is against everything I stand for but, I have to acknowledge what Hugh Freeze has done. It's hard to argue against results even if you question the method. Their last game vs. Coastal should be a doozy. This Week: vs. W. Carolina; My Pick: Liberty 37, Western Carolina 26
Miami 6-1: Ok. I'll go with a name brand here. The 'Canes haven't been great, but they've done enough to win 6 so far. And yes, the schedule lends itself to a strong finish. This Week: at Va. Tech; My Pick: Miami 36, Virginia Tech 34.
Let's see how that all works out...I'm still reluctant to commit to most teams because very little has played out like it has supposed to this year (except 'Bama).
THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL: As for this group of teams, some things change and some things stay exactly the same. It does make me awfully happy to be able to include some "Brand Name" teams who don't normally make it to our list.
5. Penn State 0-3: In theory the OT loss in Week #1 to Indiana is forgiveable and Wk #2 losing to Ohio St. happens. But getting trucked by Maryland isn't good if you think you have an elite program. Not this year. Kids. This Week: @Nebraska; My Pick: Penn St. 31, Nebraska 26
4. Nebraska 0-2: Yup, another Big 10 team. The Huskers talked really big this offseason when COVID came around and have done ZERO to back it up. Maybe they're better than this, but I'm not betting on it. This Week: SEE #5
3. Vanderbilt 0-5: Return of the Commode Doors. Vandy is never going to dominate, but under Derek Mason they've regressed to being a MAC team at this point. Which is not good if you play in the SEC. With no out-of-conference games. This Week: at Kentucky; My Pick: Kentucky 23, Vandy 10
2. Lousiana-Monroe 0-8: Our only non-Power 5 team on the board, it's hard to ignore an 0-8 record from anyone. They run for only 66 yds a game. Not good. And they've given up at least 31 to everyone they've played. Nope, not gonna cut it. This Week: at Arkansas St.; My Pick: Ark. St. 43, La. Monroe 21. ((PPD/COVID))
1. Kansas 0-7: Congratulations, the 3-time champs have returned to claim their rightful throne. Folks, this is the single worst College Football program in the past decade. They showed flashes of improving last season only to return to their previous awfulness. Embrace the suck Jayhawks, this is what you do best. This Week: BYE