Tuesday, November 12, 2013

“The Dirty Dozen” College Football Rankings Week 4

By: Chris Dyer (Dirty)

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.

Sorry for the almost month delay. I have had some things come up in my personal life (unexpectedly) and was having to be gone a good bit the last 3 to 4 weeks. I have gotten most of the legwork done of that and things will settle down until the first of the year except for normal family holiday stuff that most of us all go thru. We have had some great football over the last few weeks and the rankings are about where I thought they would be for most teams.

Let’s get into the rankings and I will explain my thought process as we go as usual.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0) – This team just keeps on rolling. Teams can play with them for a while but their talent, depth, and coaching just wears them down. No need to mention any other team they have played but LSU. LSU had a chance to put them on the ropes early and had a fumble at the Bama 1 yard line and had an INT as well and they still jumped out to the early lead. The Tide just wore them down and pulled away in the 4 th quarter. Bama should have no trouble with Mississippi State and Chattanooga to set up a possible showdown with a one loss Auburn team in the “Iron” Bowl on November 30th.
2. Florida State Seminoles (9-0) – FSU systematically destroyed Miami and my #2 at the time Clemson and didn’t even blink. The games were not even close. FSU legend Mickey Andrews, the longtime defensive coordinator, said this may be the best team FSU has ever had. They finish the year with Syracuse, Idaho and in state rival Florida. UF is depleted and can’t stop them unless FSU turns it over. They will play either Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia Tech or Duke in the ACC Championship game and none of those teams can beat them unless they beat themselves.
3. Baylor Bears (8-0) – This team just keeps on trucking. They score at will and play good defense. They have only given up more than 25 points one time and that was early on the West Virginia and many of those were trash touchdowns after Baylor had the game in hand. They have played a weak schedule but they can’t help the normal strong teams in the Big-12 are not as good. They do what very good teams do. They annihilate their opponent. They railed the Sooners last week and have Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas coming up in 4 consecutive weeks to end the season. If they win those games easily they could easily jump Ohio State in the BCS if Florida State slips up.
4. Stanford Cardinal (8-1) – I think this team and Ohio State are about equal. This spot goes to Stanford just because of Strength of Schedule. The Pac-12 and ACC are running a close race for 2nd best conference in the nation right now while the Big-11 is as weak as it gets. Stanford plays a more physical game of football and would be #2 or #3 without the look ahead loss to Utah. They have a tough game this weekend at USC who is playing like gangbusters since they firing of Lane Kiffin. If they get out of LA with a win they should have trouble with the Cal Bears and the overrated Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0) – As I explained in the Stanford commentary this team could be #4 as well. This is a talented team but have played a weak schedule like Baylor. The Big-11 is awful and they are just playing too many close games against mediocre teams. Giving up 20 to Buffalo, 34 to Cal, and struggling with mediocre Wisky, Penn State and Iowa. The Only team (other than the patsies FAU and SDSU) they really hammered has been a decent Penn State team. Now you got their players running their mouths about FSU. They should beat Illinois and Indiana. Up until a week ago I would say they should easily handle Michigan, but after the Nebraska loss at home the Wolverines will be fighting for Brady Hoke’s job. You never want to play a wounded animal backed into a corner.
6. Clemson Tigers (9-1) – Clemson has rebounded nicely after the ass kicking FSU put on them. They struggled with Maryland the first half and ended up pulling away in the 4th and drilled UVA last week. They play a dangerous Georgia Tech team who has won 5 in a row after struggling early in the year this week but should come out with a win at home. Then they have The Citadel and end the season with “The Ole Ball Coach” and the Gamecocks on the road. If FSU and a few other teams slip up they could sneak back into things if they win the rest of the games convincingly.
7. Missouri Tigers (9-1) – All this team does is win and win easily most Saturdays. After James Franklin went down I thought they were toast. Man was I wrong. They go into Athens and beat UGA like a Dawg, hammer Florida and blew a late lead to lose to South Carolina. They then come back the next two weeks and hammer Tennessee and Kentucky. This team can score and plays very good defense in the best conference in the nation. They end the season with at Ole Miss and at Home against Texas A&M. Both are games they should win but could easily lose. That is life in the SEC. I look for them to split those games.
8. Oregon Ducks (8-1) – I called the loss to Stanford. Stanford was the first quality team they had played all season. Before that game the Ducks had played the 105th ranked schedule in the nation. They went in and got smacked in the mouth and didn’t know how to react. They are talented and when you play weak schedules (like Baylor and OSU above) you just don’t know how good you are. They found out quickly and they play 3 games to end the season they could easily lose if they play inconsistent. They play at home against Utah and Oregon State and on the road at Arizona. I think they win 2 of the 3.
9. Auburn Tigers (9-1) – This Auburn team has gotten back to its roots and Gus Malzahn has them back in the game quicker than anyone thought. They run the ball well and play good defense. They also don’t turn it over much. That is a good recipe for success. Their only blemish is a loss on the road to LSU. Not many go into “Death Valley” and come away with a win. They have a huge win over Texas A&M as well. They host the Georgia Bulldogs in “The South’s Oldest Rivalry” this weekend in a series that many times has the home team losing. But I will say this in this rivalry the games are always close and decided by turnovers in the 2nd half. Most games are a TD or under. If they come away with a win they will most likely play Bama at home in the “Iron” Bowl for the SEC West Championship. If they beat UGA and Bama that will give Bama 1 loss in the Conference and the War Eagles win the Tiebreaker.
10. Texas A&M Aggies (7-2) – This team plays no defense but can play with anyone in the nation because of Football Johnny and that offense. They have lost to a very good Auburn team and Alabama so they don’t have a bad two loss resume. Hard to have faith in teams that can’t stop anyone, but this team is just too good. They likely fall from the rankings this week as they go into LSU and the Tigers will be looking for revenge as they believe they have the best team in the SEC and mistakes cost them both games they lost. It will be another shootout. Then they end the season at Mizzou. If they can’t find a way to play D they may lose their last two games.
11. Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-1) – This team is 11th just because of the weakness of the Big-12. They lost to a good West Virginia team but have had close games with everyone else in that depleted conference. They can show me how good they are if they run the gamut to end the season by going to Texas and winning then beating Baylor and the Sooners at home.
12. South Carolina Gamecocks (7-2) – All Connor Shaw does is win. He had a hurt knee and wasn’t supposed to play but came off the bench and led a 17 point comeback in the 4th quarter against Mizzou to eek out a win. Shaw got hurt and they slipped up and lost to Tennessee and lost to a top 5 team in UGA as they were healthy at the time. They should not have any trouble with Spurrier’s old team the Gators at home, then they have Coastal Carolina to get ready with a top 10 showdown between them and Clemson.
That is it guys. Let’s debate these for the next week and I will be back then with my next edition. Good luck with your wagers and get ready for Bowl Season!!!!

Past Weeks

“The Dirty Dozen” College Football Rankings Week 1

“The Dirty Dozen” College Football Rankings Week 2

“The Dirty Dozen” College Football Rankings Week 3

“The Dirty Dozen” College Football Rankings Week 4