- Independents — Outstanding ball played by Liberty, BYU, and Army this year. All told, they combined for four total losses. They’ll have a great bowl season.
- Big 12 — Few leagues evolved over the course of the season quite like the Big 12. If Oklahoma had their first two weeks backs, this team would be heading to the playoffs. And, for all we know, the Committee still might do exactly that.
- SEC — Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: SEC East loses in Atlanta...again. To Alabama...again. Georgia underachieves...again. SEC East is a trash fire outside of UGA/UF...again. SEC West can’t get out of their own way...again. And some folks are getting fired. Texas A&M has played great football down the stretch; ugly but fundamentally sound. Since losing to the Tide, the Aggies beat Florida, then won their next 6 straight by double-digits. Clemson has their moments, but this kind of consistency is what you want to see in a playoff contender.
- ACC — Once again, we were asked to take Notre Dame and Miami and UNC seriously. And, once again, all the alleged contenders failed their biggest tests: for reasons of coaching, as is the case in Chapel Hill; lack of speed, as in South Bend; or lack of substance, as is the case in Coral Gables. Clemson will dominate this conference as long as they have more talent than everyone else. This is “FSU and the 11 Dwarves” all over again — but we’ve discussed the predictive, recursive mediocrity of this league before.
- PAC 12 — Bet Oregon and Standord wish they had their first few weeks back again, too. CU was the revelation, playing better than anyone week-in and -out. UCLA is sooooo close to turning the corner. Washington needs to modern-up or slide into irrelevance. And, man, Clay Helton is entrenched for reasons that I still don’t understand. If you get outcoached by Mario Cristobal, you gotta go.
- Midmajors — Coastal, ULL, and others are going to hurt a lot of feelings this bowl season. This was the best I’ve seen the Sun Belt ever look. And not just at the top with those two: Directional Georgias and Troy are dangerous. App. State still has a hellacious defense to contend with. In the AAC Cincinnati tried to choke away their moment last night. Red zone issues and unforced errors were problems all night. And while I would give them a spot, because frankly OSU doesn’t deserve one, they’ve lost ground every week and will likely do so again this week. And, finally, San Jose State should be getting a lot more love than they are. We’ve been SJSU ‘Stans since week one; there’s not a team this thing doesn’t do well. They’re the Cali version of Coastal Carolina. It would be nice to see a changing of the guard and some shakeup. With Nevada and SJSU’s rise, it could happen sooner rather than later. And, in the MAC, Buffalo and Ball State are going to be tough outs in their bowl games as well.
- Big 10 — There are some quality teams in the Big 10...against each other...and like four, total. You can’t parachute in, play half a season, protect your leader, look like shit against the two teams you played with a winning record and then demand a spot at the table. I’d rather give it to Oklahoma, or Coastal, or Cincy, or A&M...all of whom actually earned some consideration. But that won’t happen. The fix is in. I’m calling it now: There’s a winless bowl season facing these sorry teams.
Here follows the penultimate Blog Poll for the 2020 season.
2020 Blog Poll: Season Finale
|12||San Jose State||15|
|CONSIDERED||Buffalo, USC, Oregon|
- Texas A&M
- Ohio State
They’re going to try and avoid an early CU-Alabama rematch, and the OSU-Clemson and Alabama-A&M rematches. This is the only way you get there. Alabama-Ohio State is a ratings bonanza, and CU-A&M played an absolute barn-burner two years ago.
As for Notre Dame, the Irish played themselves out of contention last night. Absolutely no one wants to see this slow-ass team, with the worst SOS of any of the contenders, get wrecked again and give one finalist a de facto bye. You at least have to prepare for Aggie and the Buckeyes.