I’m on the road this week, blessed to be writing this from beautiful Bend, Oregon. In light of getting to Bend, and my host’s love of the Dallas Cowboys driving us to a sports bar this afternoon, I will be brief. (Okay, please hold down the cheering … It’s a volunteer gig and I’m still slightly over hung from Friday night’s celebration bleeding into Saturday.)
Of course, you have your AP and Coaches Polls. Both remain a smorgasbord of, “Hey, don’t tell me my preseason prognostications were wrong,” hype, potential, eye tests, conference prestige (Vandy, blown out by UNLV? SEC, SEC, SEC!) and a smattering of what the teams have actually accomplished to date.
In other words, the polls are a bunch of guys’ and gals’ best guesses, along with those of sports information directors voting on behalf of their respective head coaches. (I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Nick Saban probably didn’t stay up Saturday night to watch UW play at Arizona.)
Then, you have the always on the mark, completely objective, randomly released, Jon Joseph Poll — a Poll that’s always spot on, and of course, error free. (I never make mistakes. I thought I did once, but I was wrong.)
The envelope please:
The Real CFB Top 10
1. LSU — Coach O’s new O continues to roll and the Bayou Bengals have the best two wins to date: at Texas and against Florida. The LSU at Alabama game is setting up to be the game of the year … and a possible shoot out. Who knew?
2. Oklahoma — It wasn’t the Sooners’ best effort, but Oklahoma still put the Hurts on Texas and made the Longhorns’ offensive line look like short-horn sieves. I believe OU’s nine sacks may have broken the record held by the Visigoths. Looks like The Grinch stole any semblance of decent defensive play away from Pullman and via Columbus, brought it to Norman.
3. Ohio State — Okay, this is a bit on the “eye-test” side, but the Buckeyes have appeared to be flawless to date. It hurt tOSU’s out-of-conference slate when TCU canceled out, but any Ducks fan should understand the consequences of a quality Power 5 out-of-conference opponent giving you the middle digit.
4. Alabama — Also a bit “eye-testy.” And unlike the Buckeyes, the Tide have no excuses for a joke of an out-of-conference slate. But that offense? With Tua Tagovailoa under the tutelage of Steve Sarkisian, throwing to those wide receivers? As a side note, even though they do play in the SEC, will a 3-3 Texas A&M finally drop out of the AP and Coaches Polls?
5. Wisconsin — Based on the Sparty spankings, Bucky has a case for being ranked above Brutus. But tripping to Columbus and getting a win is a big ask.
6. Penn State — Many the Nittany Lion miscreant being in the state pen has not stopped this team from going undefeated to this point. Winning on the road at Iowa is no easy task. Coach Khaki visits this Saturday and I see the Harbaughs, yet again, losing their shorts on the road against a top 25 team.
7. Clemson — Is it possible to play 12 games and not play, before the playoff semi-final, a team that will finish better than 7-5? And people say the Pac-12 is a bad conference! A 12-0 Clemson in the Final Four is just further evidence of this being the BCS 2.0 and not a playoff.
8. Florida — The Gators have a win over Auburn and the best loss to date, at LSU. With UGA playing half-cocked and losing at home, Florida is now the presumptive favorite to win the SEC East. Gators fans are definitely delighted that the “didn’t you use to be the Oregon coach” guy went west.
9. Auburn — Do I think the Ducks are better than these Tigers? Yes! But that darned scoreboard …
10. Oregon — It’s on now! After watching Puddles rout Ralphie, I did stay up the next night to watch Jekyell and Hyde from Seattle play like the Good Doctor and not the Monster that showed up on The Farm. Based on the location and the Pac-12 North implications, this will be the Ducks’ toughest test to date, against a wounded and desperate UW team.
Man, I love that this game is being played in the daylight. I see the Oregon run game keeping on like it did against CU, with the Ducks getting a Cardinal-like win in Seattle.
If I am correct, start making those Pasadena travel plans.
(Dropped out: UGA. Notre Dame, because the UGA loss doesn’t look all that great, and it was pressed by USC. The Utes may well be running toward the top 10.)
Boise State (Group of 5 Representative) at LSU (SEC Champion).
Wisconsin (at large) at Alabama (at large).
Oregon (Pac-12 Champion) at Oklahoma (Big 12 Champion).
(I’d love to see the Ducks D go against the OU O.)
Penn State (at large) at Ohio State (B1G Champion).
Please, do not take the above to the bank! Peace out; let’s fry the fuskies!
Georgetown, TexasTop Photo by Eugene Johnson
Chris Brouilette, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a current student at the University of Oregon from Sterling, Illinois.
Jon Joseph grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but has been blessed to have lived long enough in the west to have exorcised all east coast bias. He played football in college and has passionately followed the game for seven decades. A retired corporate attorney Jon has lectured across the country and published numerous articles on banking and gaming law. Now a resident of Aiken South Carolina, Jon follows college football across the nation with a focus on the Conference of Champions and the Ducks.
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