It’s the rule; live with it. I refer to the lack of reality that is the hope among Auburn fans that years like 2014-16 are the exception and 2010 and 2013 are the rule. No, it’s the other way around. At least under the current regime, Auburn is never going to be anything better than the 3rd– or 4th-best team in the SEC. Forget about beating the Evil Empire, they will never beat Georgia, never win at LSU, and there will probably be 1 other team besides those 3 that will beat them out as well (probably Texas A&M this year). If going 8-5, with a minimum of 3 conference losses, and a probable loss in a New Year’s bowl game is ok, then stick with what you have. If it’s not, then stop giving extra credit to the coach that helped you get to the national title game in 2010 and 2013 and find someone who can actually out-recruit and out-coach Nick Saban and sign him. It can be done, as coaches in Columbus OH and Greenville SC have shown.
And then there were 4. I think it was a universal thought that the Power 5 conferences were actually the Power 4, with the pretentious Big XII playing the role of wanna-be. Well, with Washington and Washington State losing to inferior teams over the weekend, the Pac 12 is now officially irrelevant for the next 10 months. The Pac 12 title game will have both teams with at least 2 losses. Too bad the Poinsettia Bowl is no longer in existence, as that would be the bowl the Pac 12 champ deserves.
Break up the Oklahoma Cats. Do the Sooners have 9 lives or what? With 4 teams ahead of them losing this week, OU is still alive for a playoff spot. Given up for dead after losing to a very inferior Iowa State team, they are now back in first place in the Big XII, and will have a very compelling case for I of the IV playoff spots, with a win over Ohio State and a better loss (Iowa State) than Clempson (Syracuse) does.
Watch out for REAL mayhem. OK, imagine this… NC State upsets Clempson while Miami loses to some bum team and drops 10 spots in the rankings. Then they Miami beats NC State in the ACC title game. Meanwhile, OU drubs TCU in the regular season then loses to them in the Big XII title game. Georgia loses to Georgia Tech, then beats ‘Bama in the SEC title game. Meanwhile, Ohio State gets revenge on Penn State, then loses to Michigan. The Big 14 East winner then upsets Wisconsin in the Big 14 title game. Now……….. WHO’S IN????????
1. Alabama – All clear to the SEC title game.
2. Georgia – See #1 above.
3. Penn State – The next 2 weeks will tell us everything about them.
4. TCU – With others falling down, they are in if they get past Oklahoma.
5. Wisconsin – All clear to the Big 14 title game.
6. Ohio State – If they beat Penn State, we know the Oklahoma game was the exception.
7. Miami – The best team absolutely no one is talking about.
8. Oklahoma – Must now be big Cyclone fans. Every game ISU wins makes their win over OU look better for both of them.
9. Clempson – Won’t be as easy to erase this one as the Pitt loss was last year.
10. Oklahoma State – The TCU loss keeps looking less and less bad.
11. USC – Now the top dog in the completely irrelevant Pac 12.
12. Washington – Last grasp at relevance is to win the Apple Cup and beat whoever wins the Pac 12 South.
13. Notre Dame – The second-best team nobody is talking about. Nobody’s talking about Notre Dame? How weird is that?
14. Virginia Tech – Just a little short of the top tier in the ACC.
15. South Florida – I’m willing to bet a billion dollars Charlie Strong doesn’t miss Texas one bit. Not with this squad.
16. NC State – They get Clempson at home. Could be a big season if they stay focused.
17. Michigan State – Will have to beat Penn State AND Ohio State to get a playoff spot.
18. Michigan – Escaped the Indiana Hosers. Will probably get clubbed by Ohio State.
19. Central Florida – Now first in line to crash the New Year’s 6 or possibly the playoffs.
20. Washington State – See #12 above.
21. LSU – With the last 2 wins, Coach O bought himself at least 1 more year, probably two.
22. Auburn – The School That Never Wins A Crucial Game.
23. Stanford – Making a run at a good bowl.
24. West Virginia – Still piling up points like a good Big XII team should.
25. San Diego State – Will now be inundated with Christmas cards from American Athletic Conference schools.
Not far away – Memphis, Texas A&M, Virginia, Utah, Kentucky
The Absolute Worst – Charlotte, Baylor, UTEP, UMass, Georgia Southern