Tuesday, October 15, 2013
By: Chris Dyer (Dirty)
I had a feeling we would see some movement in the rankings this week and we damn sure did. Lots of teams played down to their competition or lost. This coming Saturday we will see more jockeying as the postseason picture becomes clearer and clearer as late season big games are played. We have some heavyweight games being played this weekend and it is going to be an awesome day for college football fans. Let’s get into this week’s rankings.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0) – Alabama sputtered a little out of the gate last week against Kentucky but was very dominant in the game. It ended up 48-7 and could have been as bad as Bama wanted it. They play Arkansas at home this week and expect a beat down of epic proportions as Brett Bielema ran his mouth about the SEC and Saban at a fundraiser and Alumni dinner right after he got hired. Saban has a habit of shutting people’s mouths by ramming his foot so far up their asses they never do it again.
2. Clemson Tigers (6-0) – Clemson struggled with Boston College which was somewhat expected considering they had FSU this weekend. They showed the mettle of a quality team by winning by double digits even when they were not playing their best football. This weekend will tell the tale for this version of the Tigers as they play the Criminoles in “Death Valley”. This win could propel Taj Boyd near the top of the heap in the Heisman race if he shows out on national TV against the very talented FSU team.
3. LSU Tigers (5-1) – LSU proved they can still win with defense. In a huge rivalry game with the Florida Gators the defense stepped up and held the Gators in check. This was needed as starting QB Zach Mettenberger tweaked his knee early on and played hobbled all day and didn’t have the mobility he usually does. LSU travels to Ole Miss this weekend and should not have much trouble especially with their top defensive end, Robert Nkemdiche, out with a knee injury.
4. Oregon Ducks (6-0) – Oregon leapfrogs FSU this week by virtue of FSU not playing couple with them going into a volatile environment and winning by 20 points. The Ducks went into Washington and played a whale of a game. The game was closer to the score but Mariota and company answered every score that Washington made and broke it open late in the 4th quarter. They play a Washington State team at home this weekend and probably will name the score after Washington State got hammered by 30+ by a mediocre Oregon State ball club.
5. Florida State (5-0) – Florida State was off this past weekend so they have had two weeks to prepare for Taj Boyd and Sammy Watkins of the Clemson Tigers. This is going to be the biggest game in the ACC since the old FSU/Miami battles of the 80’s and 90’s. The winner of this game puts themselves in great position to play for a National Title if someone slips up. Bobby Bowden came out over the past couple of days and said Jameis Winston is as good a QB as FSU has ever had and I agree with him. Kid is very good as he is completing 73% of his passes and 1441 yards and 17 TDs and only 2 interceptions. Clemson will have their hands full with this kid.
6. Texas A&M Aggies (5-1 ) – I don’t know how long Johnny Manziel and the A&M offense can keep bailing that awful defense out but this team just keeps winning. No matter how many points it gives up they just are outscoring opponents. They went into Ole Miss and should have lost and pull out a 41-38 win. Can this team beat one of the top 5 teams in my list? Most likely not as those teams have good defenses and high powered offenses but they are the better of the 2nd tier at the moment. They play an undefeated Auburn team at home this weekend and should have little trouble winning even though the War Eagles cracked the top 25.
7. Stanford Cardinal (5-1) – The Cardinal ran into a buzz saw last week when they traveled to Utah to play the Utes and ended up getting beat 27-21. This was a good game against an underrated Utah team. I saw this game as a possible upset with UCLA on the Horizon with the winner playing Oregon to basically decide the PAC-12 Championship. Let’s see how they come out this week against the Bruins at home.
8. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) – The Buckeyes rose to 8 this week by default. They were off this past weekend and with UGA, Oklahoma and losing ahead of them and lackluster performances by Louisville they had nowhere to go but up. This team has yet to play anyone and will not until they play Michigan to end the season. They have had two weeks to prepare for Iowa at home. Let’s see if they slap the taste out of their mouth like they should.
9. South Carolina Gamecocks (5-1) – South Carolina would have cracked The Dirty Dozen last week if Conner Shaw were not hurt. He came back with a bang and after falling behind 7-0 to Arkansas early they responded with a 52-7 asskicking. Clowney is back and seems to have his head on right again and all this Shaw kid does is win. Gets no respect and that is one of the great things about it as they will come out of nowhere to bite you in the ass. They easily could be undefeated if it weren’t for a late costly turnover against UGA early in the season. This team is the best in the SEC East right now and they go to Knoxville to play the Tennessee Inbred Volunteers this Saturday at noon. Don’t be surprised to see another banner day from Shaw against the sponge the Vols call a defense.
10. Miami (Fla) (5-0) – The Hurricanes have their best team in over a decade after probation decimated them. Al Golden has done a great job building this team thru adversity and they sit undefeated with a week off before they travel to play UNC this Thursday night on ESPN. This is a great showcase for Miami to show the nation they are almost back to elite status. Expect them to kick ass and take names in primetime.
11. UCLA Bruins (5-0) – The UCLA Bruins fell from the rankings last week but are back with a vengeance this week as all Jim Mora’s team does is keep on winning. They went into Utah and win 34-27, go to Nebraska and kick the Huskers ass from pillar to post 41-21 and then they do what you’re supposed to against a bad team and annihilated Cal 37-10 last week when they could have been looking ahead to Stanford this weekend on the road. This may be the 2nd best team in the PAC-12 behind Oregon and this Saturday we will have that answer.
12. Louisville Cardinals (6-0) – The luster just keeps on wearing off of the Cardinals. They are like the fake diamond ring a dumbass gives his fiancée and then 3 months later it turns her finger green. They started off like gangbusters but Charlie Strong’s Club just doesn’t look as good after watching them play for a couple of months. They are still a very good football team but not in that upper echelon. They have a habit of playing down to their competition which was evident last Thursday when they played Rutgers and won 24-10. That is a respectable score on the road, but not at home. They should have beaten Rutgers handily and put up at least 40+ points against that bad defense. If they come out flat again Central Florida may take a bite out of that Cardinal ass this coming Friday night in primetime on ESPN.
Baylor almost made the rankings again after they pulled away from a pesky Kansas State team this past weekend but their week schedule keeps them off of it for now. We will find out what they are made of in November and early December when they play Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Okie State, TCU and Texas all in a row. Their Schedule maker needs fired. Let’s hear some feedback ladies and gents and get ready for another week of awesome college football.
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“The Dirty Dozen” College Football Rankings Week 3
Thursday, October 10, 2013
By Chris Dyer (Dirty)
Sorry for the late rollout of the article this week I have been sick and had some family issues to deal with midweek and just finished those. Last week was a wild one in college football and shed some more light on who the best teams in the nation are. So let us get right into it.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0) – Sure they only played Georgia State but could have scored 100 if they wanted to. Backups came out at the half and held serve. Don’t expect much of a game in Kentucky this weekend either. UK will stay close through the first quarter then it is over.
2. Clemson Tigers (4-0) – Clemson promptly goes into Syracuse and pulls out a can of whoopass to win 49-14 and the game wasn’t that close. They play Boston College this week and expect another name your score affair even with FSU on deck.
3. LSU Tigers (5-1) – LSU moves ahead of UGA in the poll because they are healthy. They promptly go into Starkville and destroy Mississippi State turning a close game in the middle of the 3rd quarter into a 59-26 shellacking. We will find out more about how strong this team is when the Florida Gators invade “Death Valley” Saturday night.
4. Stanford Cardinal (5-0) – They held of a very good Washington team this past weekend 31-28 but showed the grit I wanted to see when they got slapped in the mouth. We will see what they are made of this week if they have a letdown traveling to Utah in a letdown situation with UCLA the following week.
5. Florida State Seminoles (5-0) – I learned a lot about this team this past weekend thrashing the 25th ranked Maryland Terrapins 63-0. This team seems to be the real deal and they have an off week before traveling to Clemson to face the #2 Tigers on October 19th.
6. Oregon Ducks (5-0) – Oregon did what you expect quality teams to do. They go into Colorado and thrash the terrible Buffalos 57-16. It is hard to deny the talent but like I said last week the tell will be told when they play in a close game against a quality opponent and that could easily be this week when they travel to play the Washington Huskies in one of the most hostile environments in college football.
7. Georgia Bulldogs (4-1) – Georgia goes into Knoxville and plays without 3 starters as well as getting 4 more hurt against one of their most hated rivalries and comes out with a 34-31 win. Aaron Murray should be considered more for the Heisman as he is carrying this team right now with two starting receivers out and his top two running backs. UGA shows grit and is still a top 10 team but how guys step up with all these injuries will be the big question. They are a gritty team that shows the fire and attitude of their QB. If they can scrape out a win against a decent Mizzou team this weekend with all those guys hurt they may have a shot.
8. Texas A&M (4-1) – They were off last week and travel to play a dangerous Ole Miss team this weekend. With their sorry ass defense anything could happen. We know they will score points but the question remains can they stop anyone? Usually when that happens all it takes is a couple of turnovers on offense to cost you a game or two.
9. Louisville Cardinals (5-0) – They played a decent Temple team on the road last week and won 30-7. This team is just not ready to compete with the upper echelon as they should have waxed Temple and put up 50+ like the top teams in these ranking would have. They play Thursday night at home against Rutgers and they better play some D or they could be trouble if Bridgewater struggles in the least.
10. Miami (Fla) Hurricanes (5-0) – Miami defeated a good Georgia Tech team 45-30 on Saturday and the game was not as close as the score. I watched it all and this is a good football team. They have an explosive offense and a good defense. They are off this week and travel to North Carolina on the 17th on Thursday night football.
11. Oklahoma Sooners (5-0) – Oklahoma beat a good TCU team at home 20-17 this past weekend. This team scares me and is a borderline top 12 team. The “Red River Rivalry” is this weekend against the Texas Longhorns and if they win this game decisively I will be sold they are better than they show.
12. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) – They barely hold off the Baylor Bears for the 12th spot this week. They go into Northwestern and barely escape with a win. They were up by 3 and got a pick 6 with time running out to seal this game. This team is in trouble once they play a team with a good offense. This may be the last week they are ranked in these rankings as I can’t be bought off like the media and coach’s poll voters can as they just want higher ranked teams playing each other for TV Dollars and ticket sales. They are off this week before playing Iowa at home on the 19th.
I expect lots to change over the next two weeks of this poll. Thanks guys and good luck with your wagers this weekend!!! Be back early next week with the 3rd edition.
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“The Dirty Dozen” College Football Rankings Week 2
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
By Chris Dyer (Dirty)
Alright guys it is time for “The Dirty Dozen” college football rankings to start back up. Unlike the media and the coach’s polls I like to wait until after the last weekend of September to try to even try to start ranking college football teams. There are so many things that can happen during the offseason and early season, with injuries, to even think about saying who the best football team in the country is. Some teams play tough schedules and some play sisters of the blind the first few weeks of the season. At least by the 4th or 5th week all teams have played at least 1-2 quality opponents.
I limit it to the top 12 as that realistically is all that have a chance to play in BCS bowls and have a shot at the BCS Championship at any time in the season for the most part. The top 25 is just the media’s way of pumping mediocre football teams and keep the money train going. They have to say we have the 23rd Ranked “Jacklegs” against the 17th ranked “Hobnobbers” live from “Who Cares University” so they can make fan bases happy and sell television ads. Bottom line is teams outside the top 12 most likely will not play in a BCS Bowl or even New Year’s Day games unless they are in a weak conference with a tie-in. Those teams are most likely to by playing on the “Smurf Turf” in Boise or many other cities that have inconsequential bowl games are were created by ESPN just for the revenue TV brings. It is a good thing for us gamblers though as we have more football to watch and bet on.
Well let’s not waste any more time and lets delve into who I think are the top 12 teams in the nation.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0) – They are 4-0 and coming off of back to back national titles. The game against Texas A&M, who some considered the 2nd best team in the SEC, was not as close as the score. Alabama made stupid defensive mistakes every time they got up by a couple of TD’s to keep A&M drives going. Until they are beaten they will sit atop of the perch. In the SEC it is hard to play quality football every quarter of every game. That is a sign of a great team when you can win easily when not playing your best football.
2. Clemson Tigers (4-0) – Taj Boyd and Sammy Watkins have Clemson poised to play for their first national championship since Danny Ford won one in 1981. They beat the SEC’s 2nd best team, UGA, 38-35 in the opening game of the season at home and Florida State and South Carolina are their only games left that should be in the top 12 when they play them. They have FSU at home and travel to Columbia to play “The Ole Ball Coach’s” Gamecocks. They have a good enough defense to hold teams at bay and if Boyd and Watkins stay healthy they will be playing for the BCS Title. The only team that could throw a monkey wrench in these plans is FSU at home on October 19th.
3. Georgia Bulldogs (3-1) – They would be #1 on the list if they had beaten Clemson. No team in the nation can lay claim to playing a tougher schedule than UGA as they have opened the season by playing 3 teams ranked in the top 10 and to come out of it 3-1 is impressive. They could have beaten Clemson if not for a couple of costly plays and I think those teams are pretty equal. They have a great running game with Gurley leading the way and a Heisman Candidate in Aaron Murray who is less than 200 yards from being the SEC’s all-time passing leader. Playing in the SEC always has landmines but the toughest part of the schedule is over and Florida is the only team that should give them a scare the rest of the way.
4. LSU Tigers (4-1) – LSU’s only blemish was the instant classic that was played this past Saturday to the Georgia Bulldogs. They lost 44-41 and could have won this game. They have beaten a good TCU team on the road and a mediocre Auburn team at home. They have an offense now that is wide open with Zach Mettenberger at the helm and a new offensive coordinator. Gone are the days of LSU winning 9-6 and dominating teams by defense. The defense is still there against most opponents (the talent against top tier teams now on offense great D’s are going to give up points) and will shut them down. They still have Florida and Texas A&M on the docket both at home and will need a lot of help to play for the BCS Championship as they will been the Tide to lose twice to make it to Atlanta and the SEC Championship. Bright spot is they Could sneak into the National Title game in place of the loser of the SEC Championship game if they are ranked ahead of other contenders and either UGA or Alabama.
5. Stanford Cardinal (4-0) – They are this low on the list at this time because they have played zero strong teams and some average teams this early in the season. We don’t really know how strong they are. They have dominated each and every week and play a physical type of football but the key is how are they going to react when they are challenged and get punched in the mouth? We know they handled it in years past but each year is totally different. I think the first 4 teams on the list all could play each other 10 times and you could easily have 5-5 records in each match up as they are that close. Stanford could be that good but I can’t realistically say that right now. They just aren’t beating teams as bad as they should. Beating Army 34-20 and San Jose State 34-13 is not what you would expect. Arizona State and Stanford have always played each other tough. What will tell the tale on this version of the Cardinal will be how they handle Washington
UCLA and Oregon when they play? All games are at home and the Washington game is this Saturday.
6. Oregon Ducks (4-0) - Oregon sure does look impressive beating terrible teams like Nichols State, Virginia, California and Colorado and a Mediocre Tennessee team. That is the problem. They have played no one. Top teams are expected to win those game by 40+ points. They have the talent, but the main question for me is how will losing Chip Kelly matter when they finally play in a close game. That will happen in two weeks when they travel to Washington then maybe they will move up in the rankings.
7. Texas A&M (4-1) - This team is the 4th best team in the SEC just because they can’t stop anyone. They have one of the top offenses in the nation (so do Bama, UGA and LSU) but their defense doesn’t stack up to the rest. This past weekend I watched as they let the depleted Arkansas Razorbacks run roughshod over them and it was a 3 point game until midway thru the 4th quarter. Arkansas just made crucial unforced mistakes that turned the tide. Their D gave up 31 to Rice, 28 to Sam Houston State, and 33 to Arkansas and those teams have far from explosive offenses. They still have to go to Ole Miss then play Vandy at home and travel to LSU and Mizzou. Unless the defense improves a ton they may lose 2-3 of those games. They get 7 by default because their offense is so good and their schedule has been stronger than the others on the list.
8. Oklahoma Sooners (4-0) - Bob Stoops has his team back in the top 10 again and undefeated this year. They have played a decent schedule and they have beaten a good West Virginia team at home 16-7 and went on the road and beat a good Notre Dame team easily for the first time since 1956. They also manhandled La-Monroe and Tulsa. We will find more about the Sooners the next two weeks as they play TCU and Texas at home but the real test will come November 7th when the travel to Baylor. Will Stoops lose a game this year he is supposed to win like almost every year? Most likely and that will be the one.
9. Ohio State (5-0) - Urban Meyer has his team poised to go Undefeated again this year but the problem is the Big 11 is so weak and their out of conference schedule is god awful. Buffalo, San Diego State and Florida A&M. Are you kidding me? They struggled to beat the worst Wisconsin team in 20 years this past weekend and play a good Northwestern team on the road this weekend so we will find more out about them. If they make past the Wildcats then they shouldn’t be tested again until they play Michigan in “The Big House” to end the season. Braxton Miller and company can run up great stats against bad teams so let’s see what they do when they play someone.
10. Louisville Cardinals (4-0) - Teddy Bridgewater is a Heisman candidate and is putting up some gaudy stats but so far it is against terrible opponents except Kentucky. Charlie Strong has this team in a great position and they have the potential be undefeated at the end of the season. They should be when they play Cincinnati on the road to end the season. Can they crash the BCS party the year before they jump to the ACC?
11. Florida State Seminoles (4-0) - Jimbo Fisher has FSU looking like they did in their heyday under the coaching legend Bobby Bowden. They have been on the verge the last couple of years but injuries have derailed them. This is a very good team, the best team they have had in a decade at least. They have a great defense as usual and quality players at all key positions. The problem is they haven’t played anyone yet so we don’t know how strong they really are. They slapped Pitt around to open the season but Pitt is a bad football team and the schedule hasn’t gotten any better. October 19th at Clemson will let us know all we need to know about his edition of the Seminoles.
12. UCLA Bruins (3-0) – Jim Mora is doing at UCLA what no one has been able to do since Terry Donahue 20+ years ago. He is recruiting and he is winning. They have drilled a mediocre Nevada team and a good Nebraska team on the road. Their biggest test of the year though and will be the measuring stick of how far this team has come is at Stanford on October 19th and Oregon on October 26th. If they can split those games this team could crash the BCS party.
I will be back Next Monday with week 2 of “The Dirty Dozen”. Let me know what you think and let’s get some good discussion going on this.
“The Dirty Dozen” College Football Rankings Week 1
We are entering Week 6 of the College Football season. The featured game of the week is in the Big Ten, as No. 4 Ohio State visits No. 16 Northwestern on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET on ABC. According to the oddsmakers at America's Bookie, Ohio State is a 5-point favorite and the total has not been set. Ohio State is 5-0 this season, including 1-0 on the road and 3-1-1 ATS. Northwestern is 4-0 overall, including 3-0 at home and 2-2 ATS. Ohio State has won and covered the spread in their last four meetings with Northwestern.
The other featured game of the week has No. 15 Washington visiting No. 5 Stanford next Saturday at 10:30 PM ET on ESPN. According to the oddsmakers at America's Bookie, Stanford is a 6½-point favorite and the total has not been set. Washington is 4-0 overall, 1-0 on the road and 3-1 ATS. Stanford comes into the game with a 4-0 record, including 2-0 at home and 2-2 ATS. Stanford has won and covered the spread in four of their last five meetings with Washington.
Here are the NCAA Football Lines at America's Bookie.
Thursday, October 3
Western Kentucky -5½
Friday, October 4
San Diego State
Saturday, October 5
Air Force N/A
Michigan State +1½
Western Michigan +20
Eastern Michigan +13½
Central Michigan -3
Ball State +5½
Georgia Tech N/A
North Carolina State -9
Texas San Antonio +14
North Texas -2½
North Carolina +7½
Kansas State +14½
Central Florida -10½
Fresno State -25
Texas State +10
South Alabama +3
New Mexico State +8½
Washington State N/A
Northern Illinois -9
Florida Atlantic +3½
Texas Tech N/A
East Carolina -7½
Arizona State -5½
West Virginia +27
Louisiana Tech -1
Ohio State -5
Penn State -3½
San Jose State -4½
NCAA Football Week 6 Odds
The Pirates will play in their first postseason game in 21 years when they host the Reds in the National League Wild Card game. The Pirates secured home field advantage by sweeping a three-game series in Cincinnati and the winner of this game meets the Cardinals in the divisional round. The Reds are in the playoffs for the third time in four seasons, but struggled down the stretch with five consecutive losses to match a season-worst skid.
The Reds planned to start Mat Latos but scratched him due to elbow soreness and will instead go with Johnny Cueto, who is 8-2 with a 1.91 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 13 career starts at PNC Park. The Pirates opted for Francisco Liriano, who struggled against the Reds this season with an 0-3 record and a 3.70 ERA in four starts. Andrew McCutchen (.317 batting average, 21 home runs, 84 RBIs and 27 stolen bases) had an MVP-caliber season while Joey Votto (.306 batting average, 24 home runs, 73 RBIs) set a franchise record by reaching base 316 times.
The Pirates won the season series 11-8, including a 5-4 record at home.
According to the oddsmakers at BetAnySports, the Reds are at +120, the Pirates are at -130 and the total is set at 6½.
Johnny Cueto (5-2, 2.82 ERA) vs. Francisco Liriano (16-8, 3.02 ERA)
Johnny Cueto has been outstanding in two starts since returning from an injury and has allowed one earned run and eight hits in 12 innings. Cueto blanked the Pirates on one hit over eight innings on May 31 and then went on the disabled list for the second of three times this season. He is 13-4 with a 2.37 ERA in 21 career starts against the Pirates. Andrew McCutchen is batting .231 with three home runs in 39 career at-bats against Cueto.
Francisco Liriano has been dominant at home, going 8-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 11 outings. Though Liriano set a career best for victories, he struggled in September with a 1-2 record and a 5.14 ERA in five starts. The left-hander had a sharp outing against the Reds on September 20 when he gave up two runs and three hits in eight innings while receiving a no-decision. Joey Votto is 2-for-10 against Liriano.
8:07 PM ET, October 1
81° F/ 27° C
NL Wild Card Game: Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Preview