Woof, woof! The SEC east is Georgia and everybody else. The Dawgs will be undefeated when they roll into Jordan-Hare on November 11 to face Auburn. If they win that one – which they have done 8 of the last 10 years – they set up shop in their backyard for the SEC title game as an undefeated team. For what it’s worth, CBS Sports projection guru Jerry Palm is predicting Auburn to only lose to ‘Bama the rest of the way, and will thus face Miami in the Orange Bowl. Personally, I’m scared of UGA. They have the best running game in the world, and Auburn’s defense, while outstanding overall, can be prone to allowing big runs.
Speaking of bowls… We are down from 40 to 39 this year. I wasn’t aware of this. There is no Poinsettia Bowl this year. Or, as it has been known in recent years, the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. This is a fabulous development. For one, there should NEVER be a game played by men called the Poinsettia Bowl. Second, there should never be a corporate sponsor with more than 3 words in its name. Palm predicts 5 SEC teams in NYD bowls. Beyond ‘Bama (Sugar/semifinal) & Auburn, he says Georgia (Cotton), Misipi State (Citrus) and LSU (Outback) play on 1/1. Kentucky (Liberty), Tennessee (TaxSlayer), Florida (Music City), South Carolina (Belk), Texas A&M (Houston), and Vandy (Birmingham) are also going bowling. This would only leave Mizzou, Ar-Kansas and Misipi staying home for the holidays.
Be careful what you ask for. Some loud-mouth Vandy players thought a 3-0 start that included wins over Middle Tennessee State and Kansas State thought they had suddenly become national title contenders. One player even had the stones to look into a camera and say, “’Bama, you’re next!” Since that time, Vandy has lost 3 in a row, including to ‘Bama and UGA by a combined score of 104-14. They will be paying for their arrogance for the rest of the year. I disagree with Palm, and think they will be only winning one more game, against hapless Misipi. Well, maybe they beat Mizzou, but that’s a toss-up. If they do make a bowl, Derek Mason will keep his job, which would be a bad thing for the 7 Vandy fans out there.
1. ‘Bama – Not their best effort, but fought for the win in a tough environment.
2. Clempson – Question on the health of the QB drops them to #2.
3. Penn State – The game in The Horseshoe will be epic. Barkley leads for the Heisman.
4. Georgia – Starting QB got injured in game 1. Next time we see him is garbage time this week, and he threw a pick-6.
5. Washington – Coach rightfully complains that conference suits are deaf to real concerns about starting times.
6. TCU – Now the Big XII front-runner. Might end up getting in a New Year’s VI game instead of the playoff.
7. Wisconsin – Quietly winning games they should while bonehead losses ahead of them keep them moving up.
8. Ohio State – Back among the living. Beat Penn State and they’re back in the playoff.
9. Washington State – Apple Cup game shaping up to be one for the ages.
10. Auburn – Need to tighten up the run defense if they hope to beat UGA and/or ‘Bama.
11. Miami – Big road win against the rival. Probably the best in the ACC Coastal.
12. Oklahoma State – A little shine just got rubbed off the Bedlam game. Need to win out to have hope of a playoff spot.
13. USC – Maybe the Washington State loss wasn’t so awful after all.
14. Virginia Tech – Hanging around. The Miami game will be the season for them.
15. South Florida – A real chance at crashing the party of the elite.
16. San Diego State – See #15 above.
17. Notre Dame – See #7 above.
18. Michigan – Don’t let the close score fool you. They got dominated by “little brother.”
19. Oklahoma – An inexcusable home loss knocks them way down here.
20. Central Florida – Making life complicated in Group of 5.
21. NC State – Now the real question is, what happened in game 1?
22. Michigan State – I hate to rank the school of the ESPN Racist Jamele Hill, but that was a big-time win in Ann Arbor.
23. West Virginia – Noble road effort. Definitely a good team.
24. Georgia Tech – Will be interesting to see what happens when they play Clempson.
25. Navy – Still the scoring machine they have always been.
Not far away – Stanford, Kansas State, Kentucky, West Virginia, Utah
The Absolute Worst – Charlotte, UTEP, UMass, Baylor, Georgia Southern