One thing we have learned from this season is that there are quite a few good teams but really no one stands out and can be considered a "great" group. Everyone except for (somehow) FSU and Marshall have at least one stain on the record and one gets the feeling that any team can be beaten on any given day by just about any opponent they schedule. What does this mean? Not much, although it does (or will directly) prove, right out of the gate, that the new "playoff" system for "big time" college ball is just as much garbage as the older system fans had to endure. Just too many squads that are perhaps deserving will be left out of the picture. Sound familiar?
Last week the Bartendercabbie group (me) inadvertently picked 11 games (blame it on a rare hangover?) and went 9-2. Let us throw out the Georgia/Chas Southern game and call it an even 8-2 for a total on the season thus far of 86-44.
On to the predictions........
1. TCU vs Texas: The Frogs are one of those teams that may find themselves on the outside looking in when all is said and done and this "playoff committee" finally has their say. Just not enough quality opponents the pundits are saying. Really? You are telling me that Ohio State (and FSU) face a quality schedule? Of course the one Frog loss came when they let the Bears come roaring back on them and the near loss to a lowly KU squad does not help their case. That being said, the Frogs have to take care of business here or the whole argument will become moot anyway.
This has the potential to be a good game. The Longhorns have improved somewhat and the Frogs are certainly beatable. Toss up perhaps and I will go with the speed of TCU to prevail.
2. LSU vs TAMU: A good game between underachievers in the SEC. Both are in somewhat of a rebuild (or reload) mode this season and the record proves it. Both are also pretty darn good football teams. Toss that coin and go with the Aggies at home.
3. Oregon vs Oregon State: The "Civil War" they call this one. Upset? Doubtful. Go with the Ducks. Don't count the Oregon out of being at the "big game at the end."
4. KSU vs KU: KSU is hands down the better team but their rivals may give them some problems. The Wildcats are far from great but seem to find a way to win consistently. Go with KSU.
5. Ohio State vs Michigan: This rivalry game could be interesting. OSU is much better of course but anything can happen here. Are the Buckeyes ripe for being on the wrong side in the W/L column here? Probably not. Go with Ohio State.
6. Ole Miss vs Mississippi State: This will be a fun one. The Rebs have imploded of late and the Bulldogs have only lost to the Tide. Go with MSU.
7. Auburn vs Alabama: The Tide are certainly beatable and Auburn does have the talent (and good coaching) to do so. This will be a good one and the winner will be a team from Alabama. Which one? Guess I will go with conventional wisdom here and pick the Tide.
8. Notre Dame vs USC: The Irish have imploded. What happened? Loads of talent up that way and a team that (finally) should have been in the top 10. USC is a pretty good PAC 12 team but certainly nothing special. Another toss up? Probably. Go with the Irish.
9. WKU vs Marshall: If the Herd prevail will they finally get some recognition from this newfangled "playoff" committee? At least enough to put them in the Top 25? At least in the ridiculous and now defunct BCS system there was a such thing occasionally as a "BCS buster." Oh the game? Go with the Herd.
10. Rice vs Louisiana Tech: The best of the rest in CUSA square off and both teams have something in common. They have each lost to a moving up from FCS into CUSA Old Dominion squad. This will be another good albeit under the radar game and I will go with the Owls for the win.
Double check the count. No hangover this time. Yep 10 games (and 10 games only). Have a good and safe Thanksgiving week and enjoy the games.