Real Top 16
So Oregon, Baylor, Stanford, and Oklahoma were on bye this past week which made life a little boring, but all four of those team are playing in the most legendary Thursday night of college football maybe in history. Stanford at Oregon and Oklahoma at Baylor sounds like back-to-back College Gameday locations; however, God’s cruelty has nothing on the NCAA’s and now we have to stay up late on a work day because fuck our lives, right? It’s not like I’m going to miss these games…Damn sith.
#16 Missouri, 8-1 (def. Tennessee 31-3): I’m not putting this down as a loss in my upset alerts, because I was in no way serious about it. Missouri was at home and coming off their first loss of the season, even Buzz Killington could’ve found a way to motivate a team following the South Carolina overtime debacle. Mizzou still has complete control of the SEC East, but with Texas A&M looming and South Carolina/Georgia nipping on the heels of the Tigers, my confidence has faltered. Having lost inexplicably up by three scores in the fourth, Mizzou might have doomed their chance at Buhmuh in the SEC Title game with the loss last weekend and the dreams of thousands…or well…hundreds.
#15 Oklahoma, 7-1 (BYE): The Sooners and Texas Longhorns fell behind UCLA upon further review by the brain trust. Oklahoma has a chance to leap frog a few teams if they can beat Baylor this Thursday…a win which will also help their big rival Texas climb possibly as well. Texas is still my pick to win the Big 12 this year, and Oklahoma beating Baylor actually could help the Longhorns achieve that without beating the Bears in Week 15. Oklahoma, on the same hand, shouldn’t be kept on the outside looking in. The Sooners have as realistic a shot as anyone, but I would think they need to beat Baylor Thursday. I have the Bears on upset alert.
#14 Texas, 6-2 (def. Kansas 35-13): Do the Longhorns have the best defense in the Big 12? The statement is extremely ironic as there isn’t really a good defense to be found (don’t ask me about Baylor’s 6th ranked defense in points against), but the Longhorns might have the proverbial “fastest dog with no legs” defense…or the best of the worst. Texas has looked relatively strong since the back-to-back BYU and Ole Miss embarrassments, and has three AP teams left on the schedule in Okie State, Texas Tech, and Baylor. Chances to improve one’s standing are inevitable.
#13 Central Florida, 6-1 (BYE): The Knights slide a spot too thanks to my sudden belief in UCLA (it was always there, UCLA…always (smiley face)). Central Florida beat Louisville and arguably outplayed South Carolina, so there is still reason to have faith in the Knights abilities to win their BCS Game come January. I don’t want to get the hopes of America’s second largest public university by undergraduate students too excited, but we’ll find out in January just how good this team really is when they likely will play either Florida State, Miami Florida, or Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
#12 UCLA, 6-2 (def. Colorado 45-23): UCLA’s fall to #20 in the AP is one of those things I’ll never quite understand about the NCAA and college sports, but I suppose I must deal with. The Bruins have lost to the teams currently ranked #3 and #5 in the BCS. They gave Oregon a phenomenal game (really the only challenge the Ducks have had all season) for the bulk of the contest and played Stanford close as well. Name me a team besides Buhmuh and Florida State you think could even have a chance of hanging around with both of those teams. UCLA might have one of the worst signature wins in the RT16, but they might get just what the doctor ordered and another shot at either Pac-12 North heavyweight come December.
#11 Wisconsin, 6-2 (def. Iowa 28-9): Kirk Herbstreit this week on America’s favorite drinking game show called Wisconsin the best team in the Big Ten before correcting himself to “Second best team in the Big Ten”. As an Ohio State alum, fully aware I share the honor with the disdain for and dishonored Herbstreit, I immediately thought of the 40 minutes of dominance the Buckeyes showed before Jared Abb…something torched us. Still, Wisconsin is way better than people have given them credit and finally got a defensive performance this past weekend. Now, Iowa is no Ohio State (much less an Oregon or Florida State), but still holding any team to 6 points is impressive. Wisconsin plays a pretty talented BYU team this week, but I’m leaving the Badgers off of this week’s upset alert.
#10 Miami Florida, 7-1 (lost Florida State 41-14): I’d say fallen on hard times, but in all honesty Miami simply played a team that was a shit load better on the road in primetime. Anyone who gave the Canes a chance was either in denial or thought this was a basketball game. The U was the first team to really rattle Jameis Winston a bit, forcing two picks, but FSU was too fast and talented on third down. Miami’s season is far from over. A rematch at a neutral site in the ACC Championship game might seem more even to the Canes, but they shouldn’t get their hopes up…a loss might make them this year’s Georgia and knock them from the BCS Bowl chase (for some reason).
#9 Auburn, 8-1 (def. arKANASAS 35-17): Welcome to the new era of Auburn football. Aside from the most embarrassing fake injury in sports history, Auburn was probably well pleased with the effort against Bret Bielema, his weight, and his wife. It hasn’t gotten the other Tigers from the SEC into the latter half of the RT16, but being right of the heels of LSU is never a bad place in this world. Tennessee has proven more than once that winning in Neyland Stadium is no easy task this year. Am I putting Auburn on upset alert? I don’t want to be a soft ass again this week, so yeah I’ll put the Tigers on upset alert this weekend.
It’s halftime…I don’t really have a talking point this year, so we’ll just go with HAPPY BIRTHDAY E and ZAC! You know who you are.
#8 Louisiana State, 7-2 (BYE): Buhmuh plays LSU this weekend…Oregon plays Stanford on Thursday…and Oklahoma plays Baylor on Thursday…one of the finest weeks of college football has all of these teams coming off of a bye week. LSU might be the team which would most need the BYE and will undoubtedly be the biggest underdog of all of the teams which will be dogs this week…Think of them as the bull mastiff of underdogs. Ironically, LSU might also be the most talented of all the dogs as well…it just doesn’t seem to have the personal to take down Buhmuh.
#7 Baylor, 7-0 (BYE): After some fact digging the past week, I decided I needed to drop Baylor down a little bit…in fact I need to drop them a lot further down. The highest ranked team in the BCS standings Baylor has played is Kansas State (65th last week), winning by only 10 points. The only other team in the FBS which has a .500 or better record is Buffalo (6-2) as West Virginia (4-5), Kansas (2-6), and Iowa State (1-7) are all complete garbage. Now, I don’t want to get too crazy, because Baylor has looked dominant against these terrible teams. Losing this Thursday, however, will do more than knock Baylor down the list…it’ll prove they aren’t REAL.
#6 Stanford, 7-1 (BYE): Stanford knocked Oregon from the BCS Title game last year, and the Cardinal are looking to prove again they deserve looks for a REAL National Championship with a win this week. I’d reckon a win catapults the Cardinal to where the Ducks are currently sitting (2nd)…although I might have some difficulties if Buhmuh beats LSU. Stanford is going to have to grind more than it did last year, as Oregon’s offense has looked more unstoppable than ever. We’ll see…you want a pick? I’m sticking to my rankings this week and taking Oregon.
#5 Clemson, 8-1 (def. Virginia 59-10): The Tiger’s offense has fully recovered from the Florida State whomping of 2013. Clemson won’t be winning any REAL National Titles as long as Florida State is undefeated, but we must keep in mind, losing to Florida State is better than losing to pretty much any team and Clemson does have wins over Georgia, Maryland (but who fucking cares about Maryland?), and South Carolina looming. Thankfully for the Tigers, REAL rankings take into account that Georgia was not the neutered, hobbled Georgia which lost to Mizzou and Vandy, but the superpower which held Top 5 rank in the RT16.
#4 Ohio State, 9-0 (def. Purdue 56-0): I’d argue Ohio State’s offense is as unstoppable as any in the country, and while I’m probably wrong, the Buckeyes without a doubt have a top 5 offensive unit and COULD score with any team on a given night. Braxton Miller is putting up Marcus Mariota numbers on the same competition Mariota put up those video game stats earlier this year (Nickel State, Colorado, Virginia…remember these teams, Oregon?). I’m not one of those naive OSU fans who thinks we’re never going to lose again; however, there is no reason to believe the Bucks will be anything but 13-0 when they play their bowl game this year. With Stanford playing Oregon, Buhmuh playing LSU, and Baylor playing Oklahoma, Ohio State could be #2 in the AP after this week…but certainly not in the RT16.
#3 Buhmuh, 8-0 (BYE): Va-Tech’s near defeat of the Tide keeps looking more and more ominous for Buhmuh. The Tide might have shed the defensive worries of the Texas A&M game, but to be fair Ole Miss’s 48th ranked scoring offense is the best they’ve played since…the scoring woes also appear gone…but Ole Miss has had the best defense the Tide have played since Va-Tech and Buhmuh put up only 25 on the Rebels. I’m not 100% sold on Buhmuh’s all-around abilities going into the rivalry game with LSU, certainly not as sold as Paul Finebaum’s ears are….you want a pick? Simply because I want Buhmuh to lose, I’m putting the Tide on upset alert and taking LSU to win this game by a single point, 24-23.
#2 Oregon, 8-0 (BYE): They have beaten UCLA and Washington…they have demolished every other team in it’s way…but finally Oregon faces a team which has given the Ducks nightmares. I’m not putting Oregon on upset alert, but if the Cardinal lose to a 10.5 spread I’d be surprised. Spread spoiler, Oregon gets the win, Stanford gets the check.
#1 Florida State, 8-0 (def. The U 41-14): A nice palindromic victory for the Noles leave them still atop the RT16. Florida State has looked nearly unbeatable…even more than Oregon if anyone thought that possible. Boston College giving Florida State it’s only real scare is absolutely laughable to me, but Florida State needs to not get caught up in its current success, because usually the Wake Forests of the world are the ones which end National Championship hopes.