Let’s talk about schedules, and specifically, how they’ve made rankings functionally meaningless.
FUN FACT: Georgia has by far the worst SOS of any team in the AP Top 25: 81st. It’s actually the weakest in the entire SEC too! Their schedule is far closer to Troy (83rd) or James Madison (85) than it is Alabama (3) or their opponent this week, Missouri (16). How do you assess an 8-0 team with that record versus one that is 7-1 and has a Top 10 schedule?
And what to make then, this late in the season, of teams who have managed to play 75% of a schedule and still remain unknown?
Well, we decide some this week...but not nearly enough.
The Dawgs get to play the first functional offense they’ve seen all season. Alabama gets yet another test...ditto for LSU, even as both teams are surging. Reborn Oklahoma State hosts the Sooners in Bedlam. Notre Dame — the actual school founded on a religion — travels to Clemson, where Dabo just thinks his school is a religious institution. Washington, after being gifted a few home wins by weird coaching or P12 officiating, takes one of the worst defenses you’ll ever see to Los Angeles, to meet one of the few PAC 12 squads with a defense perhaps as bad: USC. Texas, down their steady game manager, hosts beastly Kansas State Wildcats, who are playing as well as anyone at the moment.
And what to do with Michigan? A team that may very well have ridden a 33-3 record of late on the back of a nationwide videography scheme so extensive that it makes the Astros blush?
So, all in all, we still don’t have many teams fully nailed down. Michigan is off, needing that spare down week to figure out how to cheat more efficiently. Penn State and Ohio State and Wisconsin all have easy games this week. The ACC may as well be sleepwalking after a week of upsets. There are only two big games in the SEC. The P12 is in full-tilt cannibalization mode.
It’s a quiet week, in short, outside of a few biggish games. But, because of some truly awful scheduling, there have been a lot more quiet weeks this year than previously.
Call it cowardice, but outside of USC, Alabama, Notre Dame, LSU, FSU, Texas, and Ohio State, there’s just not much bravery on the schedule this year stepping outside of conference play. And, having seen TCU and Clemson and Georgia and Washington ride some limpdick schedules into the playoffs, what incentive is there to ever change?
We’ll see more of this stuff, frankly. Not less. There’s just too much money at stake for coaches and ADs to ever want to get 9-10 competitive games a season. And we’re the losers for that.
Without further ado, here is the Week 10 Blog Poll; a few very brief remarks follow. Usual caveats: 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.
Chime in below. Who’s too high? Too low? Surprises?
Given how suspect all of Michigan’s wins are from 2021 to the present, should we continue ranking them?
This poll is closed
Yes. They still had to play the games
No. Cheaters ought not prosper.
GOTTA HEAR BOTH SIDES!