Hello folks, I hope you are enjoying some delicious Auburn tears with your morning coffee (or, as equally likely, you’re on your 17th whiskey and Coke and singing Rammer Jammer).
Yesterday was quite eventful, eh?
A question I had asked in the rivalry preview was definitively answered though: Ohio State has been feasting on weak secondaries. The Buckeyes played four Top 40 defenses, and went 2-2 against the slate, with a -4 point differential. More tellingly, even factoring in Oregon’s awful secondary performance, CJ Stroud had just an 8:3 TD:INT ratio, and led zero fourth-quarter comebacks.
It’s okay, CJ. Not everyone can be my quarterback and cap off a 97-yard, game-tying drive on the road against an archrival, with an over-the-shoulder dime as the clock was winding down to just 24 seconds...and then casually win in overtime.
Next week is Championship Week, when we dole out hardware and the Commander-in-Chief trophy, as well as a few meaningless strays — like USC. So, for all practical purposes, the 2021 regular season is over.
With that, here’s our regular season finale blog poll. Usual caveats apply: The criteria are nebulous, far-ranging, and capricious — strength of schedule, bad and good coaching, injuries, exigent circumstances, home/away results, defense or lack thereof, offense or lack thereof, line play, power poll-ishness, can you cover a spread (Vegas is pretty smart about how good a team is), head-to-head where possible or prudent, and my own lying eyeballs.
2021 Season Finale
|13||San Diego State||15|
|TOP 40ish||Kentucky, Utah State, Army, Kansas State|
|Air Force, Clemson, Western Kentucky|
|Purdue, Wisconsin, UTSA, Wash. State, ASU|
Where you come down on Michigan / Alabama / Oklahoma State is entirely arbitrary — and it will work itself out next week anyway. The real competition is between UM and Alabama for 2nd/3rd. I nudged Michigan ahead though for one reason: slightly better loss. The Wolverine’s best win is roughly on par with Alabama’s, and the Tide has a slightly better overall SOS. But UM has looked a lot better getting there and even looked better in its loss. My feelings won’t be hurt if you want to rearrange these three anyway you wish.
Underperformance did Notre Dame no favors whatsoever. What looked to be solid wins to the resume evaporated with Navy’s slow start and USC being awful. Nor did the Irish draw the top teams from the ACC. There’s practically no way this team can make the playoffs. You know what would have cured that what-if? Not getting demolished at home by Cincinnati.
Speaking of, the Bearcats are in a lovely catbird seat,right? But after the last 6 weeks, I’m not sure they belong there. I’d rather put 2-loss Baylor or 2-loss Ole Miss in at this point. Now those are dangerous teams.
If I’m Oklahoma State, I’m rooting like hell for absolutely no upsets whatsoever next week. Let Michigan, Cincinnati and UGA win, then handle my business against Baylor and I’m coasting into the playoffs over Notre Dame, MSU, etc.
OSU and Oklahoma were, at the end of the day, just merely very good teams whose offenses were erratic when they were needed the most, and who lacked toughness to punch-back when it counted.
UTSA tumbled out, because it was already a weak schedule that the Roadrunners were demolishing. UTSA could not afford a look-ahead loss, and that’s exactly what they got. It wasn’t a fluke either. North Texas lined up and whipped their ass. Want to know a secret? They’re not done losing either. Western Kentucky is going to work them over next week.
Defense is back en vogue, just ask Georgia, San Diego State, Michigan, Iowa, Houston, Notre Dame, Baylor, BYU, Appalachian State, ULL, Oklahoma State...and Alabama.
Georgia just completed a 12-0 regular season schedule, where the defense did not permit more than 17 points all year. I don’t care how crappy the schedule is (and it was hella’ weak), that’s impressive to do on PlayStation...which is why you should keep all sharp objects away from your Bulldog loved ones when Alabama wins a shootout next week.
I couldn’t even tell you who’s in the ACC Championship Game; it matters that little (actually, I can, but hyperbole is gonna’ hyperbole). And the PAC 12? An Oregon-Utah rematch? Now you see exactly why playoff creep was always the end goal. One of those damned frauds is going to be in a playoff game in 2025. Yuck.
Brady Hoke, Dana Holgorsen take a bow. Absolute gigachad seasons. In a just world, should Cincy get in the playoffs, match SDSU and Houston up in a New Year’s Six game.
That Baylor-Ole Miss Cotton Bowl is gonna be lit — assuming that Lane Kiffin and Dave Aranda are around to coach it.
Someone get Kilani Sitake a lifetime extension ASAP.
Sigh. Aggie gonna’ Aggie. Get destroyed by Arkansas, beat Alabama, throw in a few baffling losses, and Texas A&M is sitting at 8-4, with the potential for their Platonic 8-5 season just a few weeks away. See why I called this guy White Kevin Sumlin? (and, so too, is Kevin Sumlin the Black Jimbo Fisher). No one else in America has done so little with so much.
Whatever mediocrity from the ACC or Big 10 that draws Arkansas in a bowl game is going to take them lightly...and then get outhustled and smacked around. Wisconsin, come on down! Tampa is calling.
Iowa let a playoff berth slip between their fingers. By far the best team in the West, then decided to derp away two very winnable games, including the Ferentz-special: a no-show at home against one of the nerd schools.
The next big road game that Wisconsin wins under Chryst will be the first. This dude is starting to give Big Game James a run for their money.
Who’s No. 2?
This poll is closed