Acker Assessment: Week 13
By: Jon Acker
Assessing the playoff picture
The trend of having a top-four team lose ended this past weekend, but the trend of Florida State winning another close game to a bad team continued. The AP and Coaches polls look the same, except Alabama jumped Fisher’s felons to number one in the Coaches poll.
The selection committee top 10 from last week were (this week’s results):
- Alabama (Won)
- Oregon (Won)
- Florida State (Won)
- Mississippi State (Won)
- TCU (Bye)
- Ohio State (Won)
- Baylor (Won)
- Mississippi (Lost)
- UCLA (Won)
- Georgia (Won)
The playoff picture is coming into focus, barring any big upsets, although that potential remains. Alabama, Oregon and Florida State have spots in the top-four if they win-out. The fourth spot seems reserved for Mississippi State, TCU, Baylor or Ohio State.
So, what obstacles lie ahead for these teams?
Alabama has two big games, potentially, remaining. The always unpredictable Iron Bowl against the injury-faking disGUSting coach is this weekend, which if the Tide wins is followed by the SEC Championship against Missouri or Georgia. In the AP poll, Auburn is ranked 15th,, Georgia 8th and Missouri 17th. Those are quality games which if the Tide wins would cement them as the number one seed.
Oregon plays the Civil War at Oregon State this weekend and then the PAC-12 championship against either UCLA, Arizona, or Arizona State. The Beavers are not ranked but being at home this is a dangerous game for the Ducks. Two weeks prior, the Beavers beat then ranked number six Arizona State at home. The PAC-12 championship won’t be a gimme, either, for Oregon. Oregon lost at home to Arizona, already, and had a fairly close game against UCLA. Arizona State will win the PAC-12 South with a victory over Arizona this weekend. UCLA would win it with a win over Stanford and Arizona State loss. Arizona would win it with a win over Arizona State and a UCLA loss.
Felon State plays in-state rival Florida this weekend in Tallahassee and then Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship. It may be hard to believe, but based on the Sagarin Ratings, Florida is the toughest opponent Crab Legs U will have faced all season. Check out the table comparing Alabama and FSU schedules. The Tide has played six teams ranked higher than ANY FSU opponent. It speaks volumes about just how pathetic the ACC is this season, and how pathetic Forced Sex U is by barely beating such bad teams.
Again, those three teams are in if they win-out. These next four are vying for the last spot, unless there are any upsets in the top three.
The team that seems to need the most help, not because of anything they’ve done, is Mississippi State. The Ole Miss loss to Arkansas last weekend took a lot of weight out of the Egg Bowl this weekend. Ole Miss fell to 18th in the AP poll and if Alabama wins the Iron Bowl means State will be sitting out the SEC championship. Conference championship is an affirmative action criterion for the selection committee, sadly. So, unless one of the three top teams loses, I think State will get the shaft for the conference champion of the Big 12.
Speaking of the Big 12- TCU and Baylor are vying for a coveted spot from that league. Baylor seems to have a slight edge given they beat TCU earlier this year and they play 11th ranked Kansas State at home this weekend, while TCU goes on the road to Austin to play an increasingly dangerous Texas (yet unranked) team. Since losing to Kansas State, the Longhorns have won convincingly and surely would love to play spoiler to the Hornfrogs.
Last, and least, is Urban “the new Bear Bryant” Meyer’s team. Ohio State is another Florida State- winning lots of games, but against bad teams and often unconvincingly. According to the Sagarin Rating, the Suckeyes have played ONE top-30 team. Let me say that again, ONE top-30 team, that being Michigan State. By contrast, Alabama has played eight top-30 teams, Mississippi State five, TCU four, with Oregon and Baylor and Felon State three each. Of course, despite being a great analyst, Kirk Herbstreit will be clamoring how deserving the Suckeyes are, just as he did last year before losing their last two games. In any event, Urban’s legends, or is it leaders, need help to get into the playoff.
This is rivalry Saturday and a lot can and will happen. UPSET alert between Texas and TCU. UPSET alert between Oregon and Oregon State. I’ll say UPSET alert in the Egg Bowl, but I really think Ole Miss has given up on the season, but they could prove me wrong. I’ll even say UPSET alert in the Iron Bowl, but like with Ole Miss, I think Auburn is not playing with enthusiasm any longer and Coach Saban will surely be playing Kick-six video all week as a reminder of the “disaster on the pasture.” And, last but not least, UPSET alert for Free Shoes U against Florida. This is Will Muschamp’s last game with the Gators. I think he will have the team playing inspired and with abandon. How sweet would it be for a mid-to-low level SEC team to take down the ACC’s finest, Hit-and-run U (a.k.a., Shove-the-referee U)?
Lastly, I wanted to pass along what the Sagarin rankings, that shows the power rankings of teams. While this could be only a small thing that the playoff committee uses to determine any sort of ranking, it does show what at least one expert service feels are the most powerful teams in college football.