Oregon has played five then-ranked teams: It has beaten two of them (both P12 squads with 3+ losses), by a total of 10 points. In their three losses, half of them at home to other P12 teams, they were outscored by almost 60 points. Even adding powerhouse Georgia Bulldogs to the OOC slate, the Ducks’ schedule only reaches No. 25 in the country.
USC has had near misses against 5-7 Arizona and 4-8 Cal. Its 56th-ranked schedule is the worst among all playoff contenders. It has won three games against then-ranked teams by a total of 19 points: two of those were home games, two were P12 teams; one was an 8-4 Notre Dame squad with 4 losses, including a doozy to Marshall.
Washington quietly has 10 wins, with a schedule even worse than USC’s — 57th. All four then-ranked opponents UW has played have been P12 teams, and the Doogs went .500 against them — sprinkling in near misses against an awful Cal and Arizona State team.
Utah is 9-3, with its claim to fame being a home win over USC. Yet, along the way, the Utes managed to have a double digit road loss and dropped three of the five ranked teams they played — including to a one-dimensional, defensively-challenged .500 Florida team.
The erratic 9-3 Beavers are even more confounding: One minute, they look like world beaters. Then the next week, they’re scraping out 1-point wins over woeful Stanford and losing by four touchdowns. OSU played three-ranked teams on the road, and it lost every one of them — all P12 teams. Its SOS is 26th, bolstered by a rebound from Boise State and Fresno State, as well as Montana State being the No. 3 FCS team in the country.
We’re not even talking about you, UCLA — a team that damn near lost at home to a Sun Belt squad.
What I’m suggesting is this is not a conference of Big Kids; that we have an ACC scenario brewing, where the only wins of note in this entire conference are coming against one another. The conference’s highest profile OOC games have featured two kersplats against the SEC, some wins over 4-loss Group of 5 teams, and an 11-point home win over Notre Dame.
There’s just no there there. Yet, USC is positioned to make the playoffs because of that Cardinal and Gold jersey, and someone like Caleb Williams or Michael Penix will win the Heisman throwing against air.
But by the time this conference gets utterly exposed in Bowl season, it will be far, far too late.
Here’s our poll for Week 13:
The 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.
2022 Poll Week 13
|THIS WEEK||TEAM||LAST WEEK|
|THIS WEEK||TEAM||LAST WEEK|
|TOP 40ish||Ohio, AFA, Notre Dame, JMU, UTSA, Coastal, Purdue|
- How you feel about Michigan vs. TCU at 2 is largely a matter of how you feel about wins over the Big 10 vs. Big 12. Both of these teams undoubtedly have trash noncon schedules (and are very grateful for USC having such a weak SOS), but going by analytics, the data like the Big 10 a bit better here: Maryland, Illinois, Ohio State, Penn State are better than TCU’s slate of close calls against Texas, Okie Lite, and Kansas (among others). TCU has been a very shaky road team — but this week’s “trip” to Arlington is a 20-minute bus ride to reprise a true home win over the mansome Wildcats. UM is on full upset alert, however. They’re also a traditionally poor road team, and Purdue has a scary kind of offense to test them in ways that OSU did not...and a statistically better defense, for what that’s worth
- Alabama is No. 4 because not only do the analytics love the Tide (No. 4 overall, No. 3 offense; No. 7 defense), but also because they have two road losses to then-Top 10 teams by four total points on the last play of the game, with a hurt QB. Further, there’s not a single team below them that they’d be an underdog to — and Alabama would be favored H2H against everyone ahead of them except Georgia (but they would be a sizeable underdog to the Dawgs, about +11.33 points). And, yeah, Georgia is repeating this year. They’re going to kick the shit out of the field in January. I wouldn’t even play starters vs. LSU this week: Just rest up and start gameplanning. I’m going to puke watching that dude Clemson his way to another ring.
- Tennessee is this high because the work they’ve done on paper is remarkably impressive. That loss to USCe isn’t looking so awful now, Georgia is Georgia. Will they finish here? Of course not; esp. with Milton pulling the trigger on the offense. But this is not a pure power poll. We have a dozen games of data and they’ve earned their spot.
- It’s a shame USA and Troy can’t play for the SBC; they’re the two best teams by a mile. Just drive over the the Cramton Bowl and settle this like men.
- UTSA’s offense can move the ball on anyone; its defense can get smoked by anyone.
- Florida State and Sakerlina ended on a tear; the Noles especially. Replay the 2022 season with the November ‘Noles and they’re a CFP contender.
- Clemson is ass, they’ve been ass all year. They’ll win the ACCCG against pitiful UNC, then get blasted in the Orange Bowl by the first decent team that shows up. Should TCU lose, it would be hilarious to watch the Frogs go YOLO in Miami, for instance.
- A few weeks ago, I wrote: “Someone will hire Willie Fritz (and again, Auburn, if you were smart it would be you).” I stand by that. Willie Fritz is going to get picked up by someone this offseason and will have a longer career at his next stop than despicable Hugh Freeze will in Lee County. For now, it’s a matter of taking home the AACCG; they will.
Most surprising season?
This poll is closed
9-3 James Madison
10-2 Troy / 10-2 South Alabama
10-2 Alabama (I didn’t say they were all good surprises)