Most eyes were on some very important Top 10 games this week, and I mean that literally: LSU-Alabama was the highest rated college football game in 2018 on any network: one in 12 Americans watched it live, and that number spiked above 50% in BHM and nearly 40% in New Orleans.
But, while Alabama was taking LSU behind the woodshed, and Georgia was securing its place in the SEC Championship, Nos. 11-20 in the AP Poll were turning in some butt — and the Blogpoll wasn’t much better off: Seven teams in the AP 11-20 slots lost this weekend.
So, ummm, yeah...I guess we have to rank 25 teams?
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||1|
|2||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||2|
|6||Washington State Cougars||7|
|7||West Virginia Mountaineers||10|
|10||Fresno State Bulldogs||14|
|13||Ohio State Buckeyes||13|
|16||Utah State Aggies||24|
|17||Mississippi State Bulldogs||19|
|21||Iowa State Cyclones||23|
|23||Army Black Knights||--|
|24||Michigan State Spartans||--|
|Purdue Boilermakers (even with 4 losses)|
|Northwestern Wildcats (even with 4 losses)|
|Boise State Broncos|
With South Carolina improbably winning against Mizzou and Ole Miss, teams that were determined to out-dumb even Will Muschamp, the Gamecocks are deceptively-bad 6-3, so that helps Georgia’s SOS. A&M Aggied all over the place — which makes you really wonder about Clemson when they face a top flight defensive line again. Unfortunately, that won’t be until the playoffs. So, while Alabama and Notre Dame have the two best wins of the season, and remain undefeated, they’re staying above you Tigers. But, the Dawgs impressive effort in Lexington counts for a good bit, and they get a bump (I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence, BTW.)
Washington State and West Virginia are playing with fire this year. I suspect both have another loss in them, particularly WVU, which has a much harder path to the playoffs. But enjoy the ride while we’re here. Who knows? A few breaks and we could see some new faces in January instead of having to slog through another embarrassing defensive collapse by Oklahoma. Hell, given OU’s defense, they may have another loss in them too, for that matter.
Michigan’s not losing again this season until the playoffs. I kind of want to see a No. 2-3 UM-Clemson game. That would be a filthy defensive struggle with some outstanding defensive line depth between the two. Why is Michigan not losing again? Seen the Ohio State defense? Nebraska Freshman Adrian Martinez went on the road in the Horseshoe and nearly pulled the upset — he graded out above 90% against the Buckeyes secondary: it’s almost impossible to do that throwing against Air.
Throw some random numbers in a bag and then draw two: That would be more consistent than Texas, Florida, Michigan State, Texas A&M, and Washington games. This week, they were joined in serving up gross outings by the Houston Cougars and the Utah Utes. Seriously, the thing that makes college football so hard to project is the incredible inconsistency from week-to-week, even among very talented and usually well-coached teams: That Alabama has been this consistent for a decade is why Saban is the GOAT.
Parents: How do you talk to your teens about Syracuse and Boston College football being relevant? They’re a combined 14-4; Syracuse played a man’s game on the road in Clemson and the Eagles get their shot at home this week. Worse, how do you talk to your kids about the ACC Coastal — where 5-4 Pitt (who lost to UCF by 31) is the division leader?
Look at this screenshot of the ACC Coastal and laughpoopcry in despair: Ours is an indifferent universe with a cruel football god.
Modest Proposal: How about a Group of 5 Playoff? Take the winner of Cincinnati-UCF-Houston and the winner of Fresno State-Utah State and let them play for the G5 Crown. Winner gets to face UAB for the right to get murdered by Michigan or Notre Dame in a play-in CFP game. I mean, it can’t possibly be worse than bowl tie-ins. But as for you, Georgia Southern? Harumph. This is what I get for praising you publicly.
As for UAB: I regret to inform you, despite all our efforts to #oppressUAB, the Blazers are actually very good. There’s no way they hang on to Bill Clark. If Ole Miss were smart, they’d open the piggy bank for him to rebuild that hot mess in Oxford. Fortunately, Ole Miss has never been smart — a competent SEC opener is the last thing I want to have to worry about in early September.