Tuck: The Perfect 10

By Mike Tuck
Host, Tuck & O'Neill

Florida- Georgia (Jacksonville), Missouri, Louisiana, Jacksonville State, @ FSU, SEC Title Game

The Gators will be an underdog against the Noles, and perhaps again in Atlanta unless the Bulldogs are their opponent.

Alabama-Mississippi State, @ LSU, Texas A&M, Western Carolina, Auburn, SEC Title Game

The Tide have been favored in 35 straight games, the second longest streak in the BCS era (USC- 58), will likely be favored the rest of the way regardless of who they play unless there is an injury to QB AJ McCarron.

Mississippi State- @ Alabama, Texas A&M, @ LSU, Arkansas, @ Ole Miss, SEC Title Game

The Bulldogs will be an underdog this week, and maybe the next, and even with two wins, will likely be a dog again against the Tigers.  If they are unbeaten and play Florida, they’ll be a dog, but probably a slight favorite over Georgia or South Carolina if it gets that far.

Oregon- Colorado, @ USC, @ Cal, Stanford, @ Oregon State, Pac-12 Title Game

The Ducks could be a small underdog in LA in a couple weeks, but most likely favored in every other game.

Oregon State- @ Washington, Arizona State, @ Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Pac-12 Title Game

Only a 4-point favorite this week in Seattle, and will be a dog against the Cardinal, Ducks, and in the Pac-12 Title Game if their opponent is USC.

Notre Dame- @ Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, @ Boston College, Wake Forest, @ USC

A double digit dog this week, and will be an underdog to close the year in LA.

Kansas State- Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, @ TCU, @ Baylor, Texas

They’ve won twice already as road dogs in Norman and Morgantown, and probably will be favored, although maybe not be double digits, in any game the rest of the regular season.

Louisville- Cincinnati, Temple, @ Syracuse, UConn, @ Rutgers

Will most likely be favored the rest of the way, albeit a slight favorite in the season finale that could decide the Big East champ.  They would struggle to make any case to play for a National Title however because of their schedule strength.

Rutgers- Kent State, Army, @ Cincinnati, @ Pittsburgh, Louisville

The Scarlet Knights might be underdogs in their last three games, and like Louisville would have virtually no shot of playing for a National Title.

Ohio- @ Miami (OH), Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, @ Ball State, @ Kent State, MAC Title Game

The Bobcats season opening win in Happy Valley keeps looking better and better to help their chances as a BCS buster, but the end of the season is where they’ll be tested as a likely underdog against the Flashes and again in the MAC Title Game against Northern Illinois or Toledo.

If you are interested in the Buckeyes, who cannot play in the Big Ten Title Game, or any bowl game, they finish @ Penn State, Illinois, @ Wisconsin, Michigan.  They could potential knock the Wolverines out of the title game with a win that final weekend.

Unbeaten count: 11.  The most possible is 6 (including Ohio State) because of guaranteed future match-ups.

Winless count: 2. UMass and Southern Miss.  Eastern Michigan put one in the good column beating one-win Army.

My top 25, and yes, I felt guilty.  There is no reason I shouldn’t move Alabama and Oregon down in the polls.  Neither has accomplished what those in front of them have this season.  They’ll get their chance to move back up in the polls over the next month.  It really doesn’t matter who I think is better, the season (cross your fingers) will figure that out for us.

I always scoff at people who suggest what “they think” is the better team as a main reason for placing them higher in the polls.  With how often we all fail at gambling, I fail to see that as a “strong” argument.  Did “we think” West Virginia was a top 5 team two weeks ago?  And South Carolina was a title contender?  When all is even, then what you think would happen on a neutral field can be the final tiebreaker, but obviously that is purely subjective.  Alas, the problem with polls deciding anything.

1. Florida
2. Kansas State
3. Notre Dame
4. Alabama
5. Oregon State
6. Oregon
7. LSU
8. Ohio State
9. USC
10. Oklahoma
11. Texas Tech
12. FSU
13. Mississippi State
14. Clemson
15. Louisville
16. South Carolina
17. Georgia
18. Texas A&M
19. Louisiana Tech
20. Stanford
21. Ohio
22. Rutgers
23. West Virginia
24. Texas
25. Arizona

 

– FSU did everything they could to keep Miami in the game with turnovers, bad punts, penalties, and mistakes.  Unfortunately Miami really is that bad.  All four games remaining for the Canes are winnable, and all four are loseable too.  Crazy thing is if they beat Virginia Tech and Virginia, then they’ll play Duke in Durham for the Coastal division crown.

– MRI coming today on Noles RB Chris Thompson’s knee.  Fingers crossed for the kid as he made a fantastic comeback from a devastating neck injury a year ago.

– The Gators play a defacto SEC semi-final game this week against Georgia with the winning most likely advancing to Atlanta for the title game.

– Steve Spurrier, great coach, great recruiter, but it has been a miserable failure that he couldn’t get even an above average quarterback to Columbia to guide his Gamecocks football team.

– Urban Meyer has done something at Ohio State he never did at Florida.  Start 8-0.

– Oregon State is 6-0 for the first time since 1907.

– It is worth nothing that K-State and Oregon were scheduled to play a home and home last year and this year, but Bill Snyder cancelled the games back in 2010.  How nice would Oregon at Kansas State have been this year?

– Believe it or not, Navy notched its first win against a Big Ten team in 33 years with a 31-30 win over Indiana.  Clearly they haven’t been scheduling the Hoosiers enough.

– Baylor, without RG3, has scored 59, 48, 47, 63, 21, and 50 points in 6 games thus far.  They are sadly just 3-3.

– Why do I have 4-3 Arizona ranked?  Because they have beaten Toledo, Oklahoma State, and Washington, and their losses are to Oregon State, Stanford, and Oregon.  Tough sledding, probably more so than any team in America to this point.  No rest for the weary however as Rich Rod and the Wildcats get USC this week.

– Give it up for David Cutcliffe and Duke.  The Blue Devils rallied for a 33-30 win over North Carolina with a touchdown with 13 seconds left to improve to 6-2 and become bowl eligible for the first time since 1994.  Cutcliffe has won 6 games this year.  Ted Roof went 6-45 in his tenure and Carl Franks before him went 7-45.  And yes, don’t refresh your screen, the Devils actually lead the Coastal division of the ACC.

– Talk about a travelling fan base.  Northwestern, playing at home, had to use a silent count on offense because of the many noisy Husker fans in attendance.

STIFF-ARMING TROPHY RACE

This is looking like the most wide-open race we’ve seen in a long time.  There weren’t many obvious “favorites” coming into the season, and that is showing up now with individual or team question marks surrounding Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson, Marcus Lattimore, Montee Ball, Denard Robinson, Geno Smith, EJ Manuel, and Landry Jones.  Coming up with top ten next week that is anything but extremely debatable is looking liking a tall task.

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