Dr. Football told you things were about to get interesting.
Shoot, we had the upset of the year last week, a highly-respected athletic director fined for being honest (Kirby Hocutt, Texas Tech, transparency is frowned upon in college football) and the SEC turn into the Big 12 (no defense required).
Buckle up and hang on. If you are a one-loss team know you still have a shot at the College Football Playoffs. Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain unless he’s on the committee.
Of course, all one-loss teams are not created equally. You have to have the chance to pull off wins over ranked teams down the road.
And as overvalued as Notre Dame is (I already apologized on my podcast for ranking the Irish too high, but I did submit my poll at 3 a.m. Sunday) there is only one game left on the schedule against a ranked team and no conference championship game.
So forget the Irish. Not happening. Among the Power Five teams with one loss (there’s no point worrying about the Group of Five teams with a loss), I can’t see a way for Wake Forest to sneak in even if it runs the table (the ACC just isn’t good enough) and Missouri would be a long, longshot (I think it may actually be a CFP rule that you can’t get in if you lose to Wyoming).
The other three teams in the SEC have a shot, including your Florida Gators. But a lot would have to break right, including not another loss and a win over an unbeaten team in the SEC title game.
I’m not sure any of the three one-loss teams in the Pac-12 can be considered seriously. Michigan, as pedestrian as the Wolverines have been, can still make it with a special finish.
But let’s face it. We pretty much expect four of the current unbeatens to make up the playoff field. Even Baylor has a shot with back-to-back games against Oklahoma and Texas in November.
This is going to be fun. What is not fun is that I am playing hurt after my maniac dog, Archie, sliced up my pitching arm because he got too excited.
That brings us to the weekly quote from “Tombstone” because I swear I could tell what my dog was thinking as I tended to the injury.
“You gonna do somethin’ or just stand there and bleed?”
I gotta get this dog trained. I also need to do better on The Picks. Another 7-3 week left me at 55-20. By the way, if I had picked against the spreads, which I most certainly did not, I would have been 4-6. Do you see now why I don’t?
FLORIDA AT SOUTH CAROLINA: We have been through a lot in the last two years under Dan Mullen. From the cowbells to the way-too-loud PA systems to Rocky Top from a band that outnumbered its fans, I think I am losing my hearing. But the most annoyed I get every other year is when they play that rooster crowing in Columbia. It makes me think it’s time to wake up. Florida, 28-17.
MICHIGAN AT PENN STATE: All week I keep hearing people say, “Don’t sleep on Penn State.” How can you with that danged rooster? (Seriously, it’s already in my head.) Penn State, 23-20.
LSU AT MISS. STATE: Everybody loves the Tigers right now. Everybody loves Ed Orgeron. Everybody loves Joe Burrow. And by everybody, I mean the national media. That swooning will not end Saturday, no matter how loud they ring those cowbells. LSU, 38-10.
OREGON AT WASHINGTON: Alabama and LSU can’t play defense, Oregon is all about great defense. What parallel universe did I fall into? Oregon, 20-17.
ARIZONA STATE AT UTAH: This is an elimination game. I’m just not sure what the loser is being eliminated from. (Is that the rooster?) Utah, 30-23.
KENTUCKY AT GEORGIA: We all are definitely looking at Georgia differently now, but I have a feeling the Doggies are going to play angry the rest of the way. Either that, or their fan base is going to get angry. Welcome to the world of lofty expectations, Kirby Smart. Georgia, 28-16.
AUBURN AT ARKANSAS: Auburn could be looking ahead to next week’s game against LSU? I said they could be. I didn’t say they will be. Auburn, 28-14.
MISSOURI AT VANDERBILT: Hey, you just don’t walk into Vanderbilt Stadium and win. You walk into Vanderbilt Stadium with more fans than the home team and win. Mizzou, 34-12.
TEXAS A&M AT OLE MISS: I have felt all year that Ole Miss is going to surprise somebody. But would it even be a surprise if the Rebs knock off a 3-3 team? A&M, 35-28.
TENNESSEE AT ALABAMA: I was trying to describe the old radio show Leonard’s Losers to a millennial the other day. But he looked at me like I had six eyes. Still, I try to bring Leonard Postero back to life once a year. “Jeremy Pruitt leads his Rifleman into the Tuscaloosa Zoo for a shooting match with Nick Saban’s Pachyderms. The Volunteer Army is coming off a win against the Toothless Hounds of Starkville, but won’t have enough to stem the flow of the Red Tide. Leonard’s Loser? Tennessee.” Alabama, 38-10.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.