The Real Top 16
We’re about to embark on a journey, my friends, through the final 5 weeks of a college football season which may produce three undefeated teams for just the second time in the BCS era…even more to the point, we may have four unbeaten teams when it is all said and done. It will be interesting to see where the dominoes fall and if Fresno State and Northern Illinois have the chance to be BCS Busters. It should be fun.
#16 Missouri, 7-1 (lost South Carolina 24-27): I feel like the more hyped I get about a team, the more likely they are to lose. I was excited about Mizzou’s prospects, after all, they had just muzzled Georgia and Florida. With Crocodile Dundee (respect) smiling down, the Tigers fell to earth themselves at the hands of the South Carolina Gamecocks. Now, no one can blame the kicker for the loss, it is irrational to ever blame defeat on one play, and Missouri’s defense muffed the game long before the ill-fated, wobbling kick was rejected Mutombo-style in the second OT. Blame whomever you want, but for now we can only point fingers at the worst coach in college sports, Frank Haith.
#15 UCLA. 5-2 (lost Oregon 14-42): The Bruins were in this game up until the beginning of the fourth quarter. Look, the 28 margin of victory seems large, but remember the Ducks were actually favored by 24, so they barely conquered the spread. UCLA was the first team to hold Marcus Mariota in check and further my argument that Mariota is in no way college football’s most valuable player (although jury still out as he has 0 interceptions). The biggest loser of the game might be Brett Hundley as the question of who should be the first quarterback taken in April became a little murkier once more thanks to an outing more resembling a grade school contest than anything. I’d have taken long graduated Mark Harmon over Hundley on Saturday…after all Mark Harmon is so damn cool.
#14 Oklahoma, 7-1 (def. Texas Tech 38-30): Texas Tech was never considered real by the brain trust here in Columbus, but we’ll give props to Oklahoma on beating the clearly AP overrated Red Raiders….so props. The Sooners aren’t dead in the Big 12 race, but are behind both Baylor and Texas. I’m sure after Texas did it’s finest “Get Mack fired” routine earlier this season you though the Longhorns worthless come bowl talk time…well…
#13 Texas, 5-2 (def. 30-7): Try as they might, Texas Christian was unable to have Jesus stop the impending beating, but our Lord and Savior managed to delay it 3 hours. I was so high on Texas at the beginning of this season, and then the Longhorns laid eggs against BYU and Ole Miss…and by laid eggs I mean gave up a comical 550 and 275 yards respectively. Since then the Longhorns have looked pretty damn impressive and hell might even sneak into the Fiesta Bowl. When one’s to-do list for a BCS Bowl says “Beat Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Baylor”, that team starts to feel a little giddy. Texas has been the emotional equivalent of a 18 year-old girl, but they might just be blossoming into a beautiful young women (it’s not weird because I said 18, right?))
#12 Central Florida, 7-1 (def. UConn 62-17): Any avid NCAA ’12 player might have been able to tell you the future of the Knights…well that person was my good friend Cenz who portended a team with quite a shitload of talent on the offensive side of the ball. Well, the Knights outscored Teddy Under The Bridgewater before smashing in UConn’s extremely fragile faces this week. The American Conference champion gets….ugh….an automatic bid to a BCS Bowl and that appears to be automatic for the Knights. We always fear disappointment here at the RT16, but Central Florida should probably not do that.
#11 Wisconsin, 5-2 (BYE): You’re going to criticize me, aren’t you? The Badgers have been steamrolling. I wonder how those tough SEC defenses would fair, but we may never find out. Wisconsin could be on the fast tack to an at-large this January, but it will need some help from the top. There’s no reason to expect anyone to slow down the Badgers offense from here on out, after all, they already suffered their inevitable defeat at the hands of the Buckeyes in Week 5. Expect total destruction of Iowa this Saturday.
#10 Auburn, 7-1 (def. FAU 45-10): Utter dominance? Well, eliminate the fourth quarter and you have a very similar outcome, so yeah I’d so say pretty well dominated. This might have been a Russell Crowe-Joaquin Phoenix type of mismatch, but you still have to hold serve. Auburn goes to play at the Piglets and Bielema’s wife this upcoming weekend. No reason to expect a letdown, but that’s what Va-Tech was so this weekend (#BOOM #ROASTED).
#9 Louisiana State, 6-2 (def. Furman 48-16): We’ll have to wait one more weekend for the return of College Gameday to the SEC (no doubt going to Tuscaloosa, right?) Any ideas for the CGDG this week are both encouraged and appreciated (but we here in C-Bus can try to make due without).
It’s futchin’ halftime. Time to relax, sit back, and talk about how funny it was that my Tweeter account for the blog was replied to by some idiotic Cardinals fan last night. Moments after Berry of the Red Sox, he is no even important enough for me to know his first name….I think he’s like a poor man’s Billy Hamilton, stole second, I twittered about how Yadier Molina was overrated having a 100% stolen against rating in the 2013 World Series (this was the Sox first attempt at theft, see). My main man Jeremy Tucker (@jstknxvol) replies, quoth the blogger, “@Yadamblog Sox have stolen ZERO bases while Cards have stolen 3 #knowthestory”. Now, being polite and always encouraging of criticism and correction replied pretty mildly to the man’s blatant stupidity, but hey it’s tough knowing your a fan of Satan’s team (St. Louis Cardinals). It just goes to show that sometimes you just shouldn’t be on Twitter, even if you’re only embarrassing yourself to 4 followers who are probably the same people who only talked to you in high school because you were the 1980’s equivalent of Steven Glansberg. It’s refreshing to know that while I may have incorrectly predicted the upset of Stanford on Saturday, I am yet to try and call out a world renowned blogger on a sarcastic tweet while simultaneously being wrong about a game my team is playing in which is for the world championship of the team’s sport. So long as my boy Jeremy is out parading around the streets of Knoxville, fighting the good fight, I know that I am not the absolute worst sports fan in this great country.
#8 Miami Florida, 7-0 (def. Wake Forest 24-21): Taking Wake against the spread this week was a fundamental call. I would expect nothing less of Miami than to make this game uncomfortably close just like UNC a week ago. The Hurricanes are limping into Tallahassee at a pace slower than Allen Craig’s jaunt to first last night on a ball off the fence…and they don’t even have a bloody sprained ankle.
#7 Stanford, 7-1 (def. Oregon State 20-12): Stanford did not just slow down the Oregon State passing offense, they…well no that’s about all they did. Stanford “held” Sean Mannion and the bunch to just 271 yards passing, but it was the 8 sacks that caused the bulk of the damage…and 4 Beaver fourth down failures inside the Stanford 35 yard line. The Cardinal and Oregon Ducks will play in the annual “Can Stanford knock Oregon out of the BCS Title Game” rivalry game on a bloody Thursday next week, November 7th. It’s the only reason I feel confident in saying College Gameday will be in Tuscaloosa. Thursday night game…what is this, The American? C’mon man.
#6 Clemson, 7-1 (def. Maryland 40-27): Clemson’s BCS Title hopes seem so far gone, but it doesn’t need loads of help to climb back into the REAL race. Clemson is mere percentage points ahead of Stanford, but is nipping on the heels of the five unbeatens ahead of them. Only Florida State has reason to be ahead of Clemson after suffering a loss…since the Noles were the equivalent of a suave handsome man at a date party with Clemson playing the role of drunken sorority slut just a few days back.
#5 Baylor, 7-0 (def. Kansas 59-14): My scheduling in advance of Baylor’s rise in the AP has appeared to have come to an end. The Bears might not be able to leapfrog anyone else, yes even the schedule-ly challenged Buckeyes. “Help Wanted” is being posted outside the big ‘ol cave in Waco as Baylor sees one of the few National Championship opportunities the program has ever seen blockaded by four prestigious schools with unblemished marks. Baylor has no reason to fear the upcoming stretch, but the trickiest games are the first and last with Big 12 stalwarts Oklahoma and Texas looming in those spots respectively. I am portending a Bear victory against the Sooners this weekend, but I’m sure many lesser analysts will have the Bears on upset alert.
#4 Ohio State, 8-0 (obliterated Penn State): This type of domination has been a long time coming for the Buckeyes this season. The defense was finally serviceable. I think Braxton has finally hushed any Kenny Guiton talk, after all, he was an absolute juggernaut against what many would agree was Ohio State’s last difficult test before The Game. If the Bucks could produce such a prestigious effort on a cold January night, many critics of the OSU schedule would be quieted. Ohio State is still the least respectable of the Big 4 and just inches ahead of the ferocious Baylor passing game, but Ohio State can only beat the teams on the schedule, unlike Stanford, Clemson, Missouri, and Georgia this season, and prove itself come January.
#3 Alabuhmuh, 8-0 (mauled Tennessee 45-10): Buhmuh was one of the members 3 top 5 maulings this weekend and had perhaps the second most impressive (behind Ohio State). Buhmuh appears dead set on making my life painful once more and winning a National Championship…REAL Title pending.
#2 Oregon, 8-0 (def. UCLA 42-14): Two things keep Oregon at #2: 1) We cannot be sure how talented UCLA really is. The two big games UCLA has played this year are Stanford and Oregon…and have scored a mere 24 points in those two contests. The win at Nebraska remains a bright spot…but Nebraska lost to Minnesota this weekend in one of the most disappointing moments in RT16 history. 2) Oregon wasn’t quite as dominant as you might expect in a 28 point win, and the offense will have to be better against Stanford. Ben Hogan will be very consistent and the Stanford offense won’t make the mistakes we saw UCLA make late in the game. Oregon can’t expect favors on that goddamn Thursday night.
#1 Florida State, (shivved NC State 49-17): The Seminoles are still the REALest team at there at this juncture. That destruction of Clemson is still fresh in the minds of the brain trust and even costing us a win against the spread wasn’t enough to drop Florida State from the top spot.