Tell Me if You Heard This Before…
This was supposed to be the year everything was different. Alabama was going to have stiff competition from all over the country. The Tide were rebuilding their defense and retooling their offense. USC and the Trojans were going to be led by Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and UCLA were supposed to be really good. Washington had Jake Browning and Chris Petersen. Florida State had Deondre Francois and Jimbo Fisher is a good coach. The best but not best QB Lamar Jackson was back at Louisville and then NC State was a dark horse. In the Big12, Oklahoma was going to dominate unless Oklahoma State dominated them? Ohio State was primed to make great strides on offense and become a juggernaut that even Bama’s Defense couldn’t handle. Mr. Khaki Pants had his own players at Michigan finally and they were ready to take down the big boys. Heck, even LSU had made moves that should shake up the SEC and Auburn brought in the best QB not to play in 16 months.
Well boys and girls, here we are. We are back to Alabama being at the top and alone. I don’t like it any more than any of you do. Now, you are probably sitting back and asking, why I am writing this article after a week without any upsets. TCU and Penn State remain undefeated. There are still three other undefeated teams in the country besides those two. So why write this article now?
Because…I’m not buying it!
So, I took a weekend to myself and cleared my head. Everything to this point in the season has been about how Alabama has been so great and mighty. It’s been about how the Tide have demolished people left and right. It’s been about record setting scoring and shutouts by the defense. Paul Finebaum has told us over and over again about how great the Tide are. Well, that is RUBBISH!
Is Alabama undefeated? Yes. Have they shutout Power 5 teams? Yes. Have they put up 50 or more points against Power 5 teams? Yes…. Their competition has sucked!
Show Me the Money!
Before all you Bamanites give me a hard time, check yourselves at the door and get real for a minute. Who the hell has Alabama beaten? I am going to diagnose this for you.
- FSU (Best win on their schedule) – Florida State couldn’t block a 5-year-old from getting the ice cream of the counter. The Seminoles rank 101st in Total Offense this year and only 33rd in Total Defense. While their defensive ranking isn’t terrible, they also held Bama in check most of the evening. The Seminoles only rank 44th in Scoring Defense and they give up an average of 22.5-points per contest. Alabama beat them 24-7. We know Nick Saban has no problem running up the score, so why didn’t Bama score more? They couldn’t and can’t against decent defenses.
- Fresno State – These guys lost to Washington and Alabama by a combined score of 89-26. Who scored the most on Fresno State? It wasn’t Bama. Granted, the Huskies did let the other FSU score 16 on them instead of 10. I would go on about Fresno but you can’t really compare their stats to other Power 5 programs because they don’t play anyone. Neither does Washington but don’t tell the head coach, he will cry.
- Colorado State – The Tide beat up on another school from a not Power 5 Conference in the Rams. So has everyone else. The Rams’ Defense is kind of like the girl in high school who could bolster your ego but you knew everyone else had already been there and done that. They rank 93rd in Total Defense and have given up 450 yards or more in all but two contests against FBS Opponents. Yes, the Rams are 6-2 but my Sunday School Class could run the table against their previous opponents (excluding Bama and Washington). Even in the Pac12, the Rams wouldn’t win a game (except for ORST, who they already beat). Again, so has everyone else.
- Vanderbilt – But the Commodores are in the SEC. Give it a rest Finebaum. Alabama took Vandy to the woodshed. Vanderbilt currently ranks 85th in Total Defense and 124th in Total Offense. Ole Miss scored 57 against them and Georgia scored 45 points with a first year QB. Heck, even Florida managed to score 38 points against Vandy. The Gators haven’t scored that many points in their last two games combined!
- Ole Miss – The Rebels have one win against a Power 5 team. Can you guess who that is? Yup Vandy. You guys are such good listeners. Ole Miss ranks 44th in Total Offense. That is largely due to their daunting schedule. The Rebels beat up on UTSA and USA (not the country, that would be mean) and even managed a huge offensive explosion against…VANDY! This SEC team is one the most talented…Wait, I forgot to mention their defense ranks 114th in the country too. But they play in the SEC…
- Texas A&M – The Aggies are 5-2. That’s pretty good for a coach who was on the hot seat at the start of the season. It’s not like they blew a 25+ point lead to UCLA or anything. They did beat South Carolina, Arkansas and Florida. Those are all SEC Teams, so that’s awesome. Those three wins were by a total of 16 points. Well that’s not so bad… The Aggies rank 62nd in Total Defense and 57th in Total Offense. See a pattern here?
- Arkansas – The Razorbacks have lost by more than 3 touchdowns to 4 of their 7 opponents. The good news for this SEC Team is that they do have two wins, albeit from New Mexico State and Florida A&M. How good are the Razorbacks? 99th in Total Offense and 84th in Total Defense.
- Tennessee – The Volunteers are dreadful. Granted they scored a touchdown against the Tide but they haven’t scored an offensive touchdown against anyone since the second quarter against UMASS. I’m not kidding. Tennessee has gone 14 quarters without an offensive touchdown. They are worse than the Cleveland Browns. Not even kidding. Butch Jones hasn’t been fired yet but it’s coming. Maybe Peyton Manning can coach and turn things around. God, I hope not. I’m sick of the Nationwide commercials as it is.
If you believe in the FPI
I have mixed emotions about the FPI. In some ways, it is quite accurate. In others, it’s as jumbled as the mind of my great grandpa who was caught walking to Walmart in a diaper (no seriously, that’s all he had on).
What the FPI tells us,
The Crimson Tide have played against just one team currently ranked in the Top 25 of the FPI. How different is the FPI from the rankings? That team (Florida State #16 FPI) is 2-4 with wins against Wake Forest and Duke. The FPI also has Texas A&M ranked #35 with a record of 5-2. The FPI ranks South Carolina (who lost to Texas A&M and is also 5-2) #33.
Regardless of how ridiculously over-ranked ESPN has some of these teams, Alabama still has an average opponent ranking (FPI) of 50.875. According to their own Power Index, Alabama would literally have been playing a team like Fresno State every game this year.
Give me ANY team in the top 10
Against that schedule and I guarantee you there wouldn’t be a loss. Did Clemson lose to Syracuse, yes. They also played a much tougher more physical schedule to date. Notre Dame lost to UGA but could have easily trampled the Tides schedule. Oklahoma lost to Iowa State but has proven it could beat a Top 10 team. Ohio State has obliterated people as of late and their loss to Oklahoma, not so bad.
These guys on the field are kids. When you throw tough crap at them week in and week out, something is bound to happen. When you give them a bunch of middle school teams, they are going to walk all over them.
There are still 11 teams that have a legitimate shot at beating Alabama this year. Alabama hasn’t looked great against decent competition and what’s going to happen when they face good competition? The same thing that happened last year except it isn’t going to happen in the National Championship Game.
Guide Through The Chaos (College Football)
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