LOUISVILLE, Ky, (WDRB) — We’re eight days from the Big Reveal of the national college football playoff (and the start of the college basketball season).
The Meatgrinder Effect has delivered again. The field has been cut to five or six legitimate unbeaten candidates — and a mob of one-loss teams eager to make their cases about why they should not get snubbed.
And the Bottom Five?
The possibilities are always endless — and juicy.
On to the videotape.
1. Ohio State (8-0) — There have likely been other teams that have gone through a season winning every game by at least 24 points, but I can’t name them, can you?
The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents by 323 points. Ryan Day has made following Urban Meyer so easy you wonder if Brutus could do it.
2. Louisiana State (8-0) — Wins over Florida, Auburn and Texas, give the Tigers the best resume in the Southeastern Conference — and that will matter if they lose in Tuscaloosa Nov. 9 because they’ll be howling that they belong in the playoff before they leave the field.
3. Alabama (8-0) — What is Alabama’s best win? Texas A&M? Southern Miss? The Spring Game? Vacant? I’ll let you tell that to Nick Saban.
4. Penn State (8-0) — The Nittany Lions have already beaten two Top 20 teams but they’ll have to beat two more (Minnesota and Ohio State) on the road to get to the Big Ten title game. Plenty of time to confirm their credentials.
5. Tom Allen (6-2) — The week started with USA Today publishing its annual salary data base, which showed the Indiana coach was the lowest paid head coach among Power Five schools. It ended with Allen putting a noogie on Nebraska’s $5 million man (Scott Frost) and the Hoosiers putting their name in bold type in the bowl projections. Like Scott Satterfield of Louisville, Allen has put his name in discussion for conference coach of the year.
5. Brian Kelly (5-2) — This will be 10 seasons without a playoff (or BCS) win in South Bend for Mr. Kelly. That wouldn’t play at the other schools that sit at the Big Boy table where Notre Dame believes it belongs.
After a 45-14 loss at Michigan Saturday night that Kirk Herbstreit called, “embarrassing,” the gap between the Irish and the Big Boys is growing not shrinking.
4. Joe Moorhead (3-5) — I don’t know how his name got leaked into the conversation about becoming the next Rutgers’ head coach but Mississippi State will waive his buyout and express mail his belongings to New Jersey if his current losing streak grows beyond four.
3. Nebraska (4-4) — You started the season ranked in the AP Top 25. You have a coach making $5 million. You have facilities that make more than 100 FBS programs drool. You were supposed to come into the Big Ten and dominate the West Division. And you’ve lost to Colorado, Minnesota and Indiana.
2. Will Muschamp (3-5) — Back-to-back losses to Florida and Tennessee have positioned the Gamecocks to need three wins in their final four games to become bowl eligible — and the schedule includes No. 20 Appalachian State, Texas A&M and No. 4 Clemson. Uh-oh. Maybe your players should have kept their paws off the hedges at Georgia. Karma kills. You're not back.
1. The Big 12 — Over five seasons you’ve failed to win a game in the national playoffs. You’re the only Power Five league that can make that claim. And your streak is trending toward six seasons — unless Baylor saves you. Oklahoma blew a gasket at Kansas State. Texas, with three defeats, has tumbled all the way out of the Top 25. Iowa State is your third best team — and Matt Campbell is always a flight risk to a better job. And you’re waiting for Dollar Bill Self to represent you in college basketball.
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