The University of Alabama has now played four teams on the road who are / were in the Top 15. A fifth one looms on Saturday. They are 2-2 in those games, and have drawn exactly zero tough games at home.
The University of Georgia has played two teams in the Top 15, both at home. And they romped.
Road teams are now 0-11 in Top 10 matchups this season, 1-14 overall in Top 15 matchups. Road teams have averaged almost 5 more flags a contest, and almost 3 more than their road average. Sensing a trend here? Want to beat an elite team? You need to both beat your man and play 11-on-15 on the field. This is the single strongest year for home field performance effect since 2013; the strongest one for “home cooking” since 2017; and home teams are now overshooting performance expectancy values by 4 full points per game — a lot of that is of course propitious flags on opponents, and non-flags...like game-winning scores with a block in the back committed in front of the head referee, for instance.
Not that I’m salty or anything. Alabama didn’t deserve to win that game...so they didn’t. Ball don’t lie.
Anyway. Here’s Week 10 with a few followup notes in what has become a year where elite defense has mattered to some teams as much as elite offense has to others — and so far, very few teams have put it all together against quality foes. Though, we must concede that if anyone has, then it has been Georgia. Twice.
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|
- Taking the “elite wins” over a bunch of solid ones, we give UGA the nod at No. 1, and it’s hard to argue with that. And, speaking of UGA, as flaky as they’ve been on the road under Kirby, one of two things is going to happen this week: Good Georgia destroys CLANGA on the road, or they muddle around for 60 minutes in a game that is very loseable in the battle of the Bulldogs.
- Alabama is ahead of Ole Miss because the Rebels still haven’t played much of anyone (it’s a backloaded schedule), they’ve been even worse than Alabama on the road, and as frustrating as Road Bryce is that’s every week with Jaxson Dart.
- TCU ought to receive the respect it is owed. It was at least a 4-seed last week. If you switch the jerseys with Clemson or Ohio State, they are in the Top 4, no question. As a whole, the B12 has a lot of solid teams with no clear separation. Lotta’ folks in the Meth Belt are going bowling this year.
- The P12 is interesting, in that you have teams winning with elite defense (UCLA, Utah) and offense (Oregon, Washington, USC). But there’s not one single team that has both. Oregon is maybe the closest? I’d like to see a rematch of the UGA game now on a neutral field. And because the conference as a whole has vastly improved over the usual dreck our friends in the Antifa-Belt normally field, it may just happen too. (FTR: I think UGA whips their ass, but maybe not by 6 or 7 scores).
- The SBC is again strong, with South and Troy’s nasty defenses; Coastal’s nasty offense; and tons of teams that can scare you — App. State, ULL, directional Georgias, etc. This is basically the SEC writ small. I’d be stunned if Joey Jones (USA) or Jamie Chadwell (CCU) are still there next season.
- The AAC has disappointed this year, but Tulane has not. Cincy may not be anything great, and UH/Memphis/SMU have structural problems (cough defense), but ECU is rebounding nicely and UCF looks like a solid bowl team.
- Clemson and UNC have the best records in the ACC, but I’m not sold that they’re the best teams. Depending on health and home field, etc I think NC State, Florida State can hang with anyone. Wake Forest has two losses, but they were dearly purchased. That’s actually a pretty good group that has just come up short in the elite W category. Speaking of Clemson, I told you the first team that could field some decent corners, and line up with a will to run the ball would get these paper tigers. Hat tip to the Domers (yuck).
- Oh, look! Michigan and Ohio State — shielded by the conference with some joke scheduling — are predictably undefeated. Michigan has looked better, but OSU has had the “tougher” schedule, such as it is. What do you hang your hat on? A Penn State team that is about 34th overall in efficiency rankings? A 6-3 Notre Dame team that lost to Marshall? 6-3 Maryland? Where’s the beef? And yet, it’s still better than Michigan. That’s basically TCU’s schedule...but with a lot fewer quality wins.
- Bert lost a tough one this week, but Illinois is still a good team. Hang in there, my big portly dreamboat.
- Someone will hire Willie Fritz (and again, Auburn, if you were smart it would be you), and someone with cash leverage will hire Hugh Freeze. I think Arizona State makes sense there: Conservative state, great tax situation, tons of megachurches for him, winnable conference, wide open style of play, tons of talent nearby, and they can afford him. It really will come down to that. Liberty will be owed $40 million dollars before you even give Hugh one penny. So it’s going to take someone who’s not already leveraged out the butt (Colorado, ASU, GT, etc.).
- Texas is the most baffling over-talented team in the country. I think they get TCU at home this week too, throwing everything in disarray.
Who’s No. 2?
This poll is closed
A two-loss (answer below)