LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — This is the last day of the college football season when the most impactful voices belong to Finebaum, Herbstreit, Forde and Steele. They open the doors to the Big Room Tuesday night.
Around 9:30 p.m., on ESPN, between the telecasts of Duke-Kansas and Kentucky-Michigan State, the National Playoff committee will release its first Top 25 rankings for 2019.
Rankings that are not supposed to be swayed by what a team accomplished last season. Or where a team was ranked in August. Or by how many friends a coach has in the media.
Just an evaluation of what has happened on the field since late August.
But until then, I can squeeze in another Top 5/Bottom 5.
1. LSU (8-0) — The Tigers beat Texas. The Tigers beat Florida. They beat Auburn. And if they beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa Saturday, even Nick Saban will have to put LSU in the top slot.
2. Ohio State (8-0) — I don’t have any knocks against the Buckeyes — other than beating Michigan State, Wisconsin and Cincinnati isn't the same as beating Texas, Florida and Auburn.
3. Alabama (8-0) — Do a blind resume comparison with Ohio State and LSU. The Crimson Tide will finish third — or lower.
4. Penn State (8-0) — If you thought I was going to reward Clemson with this spot after the Tigers scheduled Wofford on the first Saturday in November, then you believe in Santa Claus.
5 Willie Taggart (0-0) — It stinks to get fired. Especially with three games remaining in the season. Especially in your second season. Especially at your dream job. But $17 million is headed to your bank account and Taggart will coach again. He'll be back.
5. Rice, New Mexico State, Akron (0-26) — Only three of the 130 FBS teams have failed to win a game this season. You don’t have to look them up. I just did.
4. Bobby Petrino (0-$14,000,000) — We're approaching the one-year anniversary of Vince Tyra's shrewd and impactful move to fix the University of Louisville football program.
On Sunday, there was another reminder that Tyra did the right thing — not that anybody needed a reminder. Buried in the details about Taggart’s dismissal at Florida State was this nugget:
His record in road games was a dismal 1-7.
I can't name all of the seven.
I can name the one — the last Saturday in September, 2018, when Bobby Petrino dialed up a fancy pass play and gave the Seminoles a 28-24 victory that they did not deserve.
At least Louisville doesn't have to pay Petrino ($14 million) more than FSU must pay Taggart ($17 million).
3. Syracuse (3-6) — I’ve made my share of bad predictions. I had Willie Taggart as a grand slam hire at Florida State. I thought Jim Harbaugh could topple Ohio State at Michigan at the speed of light.
But I was not one of the voters in the Associated Press college football poll that was gaga about the Orange before this season — because before this season the Orange were ranked 21st in the AP poll.
They're actually the worst team in the ACC.
2. Northwestern (1-7) — You won the Big Ten West last season. You have not won a game in nearly two months and have scored 16 points in your last 16 quarters. No wonder Mike Greenberg and Michael Wilbon aren’t blabbing about their alma mater all the time any more.
1. Arkansas (2-7) — Three straight losses by at least 30 points. Chad Morris gets a pass for losing like that to Auburn. Or Alabama. But not to Mississippi State. And if Morris loses by as much as 0.039 to Western Kentucky Saturday in Fayetteville, Arkansas might resume its search for the Next Frank Broyles.
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