College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 14 As it Should Be

College Football Top 10 Rankings

Welcome to the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 14 As it Should Be. Firstly, the SEC November cupcake scheduling is so ridiculous. In November, teams are competing for playoff spots and New Years Six Bowl games while SEC schools are playing East Tenn, Western Carolina, UT-Martin, Abilene Christian, New Mexico St., and Western Carolina. To make it even worse, their fans co-sign it which makes ZERO sense to me. Why do they want to waste their time or money watching that? When a team stacks a November cupcake on top of a poor schedule, there’s no way they should be in the CFB Playoff.

There is always a huge debate surrounding the CFB Playoffs. Should the four best teams be in or the four most deserving teams? I would argue those are one in the same. The best teams are the ones that jump through all the obstacles in their way. Teams should get what they earn. If you schedule poorly in the non-conference, don’t win your conference, and only have one ranked win then you should NOT be in the top four. The amount of talent on your team, who your coach is, and your playoff history should have no bearing the rankings.

Wouldn’t it just make more sense to have an 8-team playoff? The five Power 5 champions and highest-ranked Group of 5 team would get automatic bids. The two remaining spots would be at-large bids.

Rankings should be fair and unbiased, but that’s not the world we live in when preseason polls ultimately affect the final rankings.

I always talk about how big of an advantage playing eight conference games is for the ACC and SEC. In addition to the math that forces more losses within the conference, there is a grinding element to playing nine conference games. Injuries mount during the season and have a huge impact on a team’s record. Imagine if Alabama were playing Missouri, Miss St (again), or Florida this weekend instead of Western Carolina. All the injuries they have would affect the outcome. This is what happens in the Big Ten, Pac-12, and Big-12.

College Football Playoff

College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 14 As it Should Be

After two sets of CFB Playoff Committee rankings, we have more information to put playoff scenarios together. So here is how it should shake out at this point. Check back here on Tuesday for the Road to the Playoff series where we examine every team’s path to the top 4.

  1. SEC Champion- LSU and Georgia will play in the SEC championship. The conference could make a case for two teams if 1-loss UGA beats LSU.
  2. Undefeated or 1-loss Big Ten Winner– (Ohio State/Minnesota): The only thing that could mess up the Big Ten selection is if 2-loss Wisconsin wins the Big Ten Championship. But if Minnesota beats OSU in the Big Ten Championship they will have a case for two teams as well.
  3. Clemson– They have no competition in the ACC so they will finish undefeated with a string of blowout victories.
  4. Utah– Oregon hurt the Pac-12’s chances by messing up the battle of 1-loss top six teams in the Pac-12 championship. But Utah will get real consideration if they can beat Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship.
  5. Oklahoma– Everybody canceled Oklahoma when they lost to K-State but three weeks later they are right back in the playoff mix. Beat OKSt and Baylor in the Big-12 Championship and have Georgia and Utah lose and they may be in.

The Rules: No Bias, No Bull College Football Rankings

There is no more unbiased ranking out there than Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 6. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. These rankings are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. After the preseason rankings, only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games.

I re-rank the top 10 every Sunday from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information. So make sure to come back every Sunday. For reference, you can check College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 12.

College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 13:

Next Up: Baylor, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Auburn

10. Oregon Ducks (9-2)

Last Week: 28-31 (L) at Arizona State

College Football

Horrible loss for Oregon, but still not worse than the loss Georgia suffered against South Carolina. Arizona State is going to a bowl game. Justin Herbert played awful and for the first time all season, the Ducks defense gave up big plays. After being down 24-7 in the fourth quarter, Oregon fought back and showed why they are a top tier college football team. Justin Herbert has easily the worst two interceptions of his career.

Their dreams of the CFB Playoff are dead for 2019, but their Rose Bowl dreams are still alive. However, going through Utah will NOT be easy.

9. Penn State (9-2)

Last Week: 17-28 (L) at Ohio State

It wasn’t pretty against Ohio State, but the Nittany Lions did put up a good fight. It’s hard to knock Penn State for an 11-point road loss to the best team in college football. There was a point in the 3rd quarter game where they were down one score with the football. The team was largely ineffective on drop-back passes because Chase Young had set up a campsite in the PSU backfield. However, after QB Sean Clifford went down with an injury, Will Levis stepped in an played well. Some of the Penn State fans and media wonder if he should be the starter for the remainder of the season.

This is still a very good football team, just not one of the top four. However, if there were an 8 team playoff, PSU would warrant serious consideration.

8. Minnesota (10-1)

Last Week: 38-22 (W) at Northwestern

Good thing we have the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 14 As it Should Be. It is inexplicable how the committee ranked Penn State in front of Minnesota last week. Minnesota literally beat them two weeks before. It would be different if the game had been played in September and there was a lot more information in between.

The Golden Gophers still control their own playoff destiny. Wins against Wisconsin this weekend and Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship with absolutely land them in the top four.

7. Oklahoma Sooners (10-1)

Last Week: 28-24 (W) vs TCU

This week Oklahoma remembered how to play football in the first half. Jalen Hurts didn’t pass the ball particularly well (11-21, 145 yds), but his legs more than made up for it (173 yds 2 TD).

A lot of people thought Oklahoma and the Big 12 were completely out of the playoffs but chaos is striking. If the Sooners can beat ranked Oklahoma State and Baylor in the next two weeks, Alabama loses to Auburn, and Oregon beat Utah in the Pac-12 Championship the path is clear.

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6. Utah (10-1)

Last Week: 35-7 (W) vs Arizona

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 8

No team in the country is beating down opponents like Utah. This team is NASTY on defense. They are the boa constrictor that wraps around a team and just squeezes every bit of life out of them. It’s time to stop sleeping on Utah. No one is giving them the respect they deserve except the College Football Rankings Top 10 As It Should Be. They haven’t received 1/10 of the coverage as any team in the top 15. Whoever they play in the bowl game will be in for a rude awakening. Their defense has only allowed over 13 points three times this season and has held six opponents to single digits.

Tyler Huntley may be having the best season of any quarterback in the Pac-12. Some are even arguing they are better than the Oregon Ducks. If you haven’t watched Utah play, Florida would be a really good comparison except UF has more explosive wide receivers.

5. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1)

Last Week: 66-3 (W) vs Western Carolina

There was nothing to be learned about Alabama or gained from playing Western Carolina. It was a glorified bye week for the Crimson Tide. Nick Saban could have scheduled an intrasquad scrimmage that was more competitive. Mac Jones replaced Tua and averaged 27.5 yards per completion. Most of them were short passes that the army of 1st round receivers turned into big plays.

Good thing they schedule that “November Cupcake” game to get healthy before Iron Bowl. When will SEC fans grow tired of wasting their time and season ticket money on games like this?

4. Georgia Bulldogs (10-1)

Last Week: 19-13 (W) vs Texas A&M

Georgia Bulldogs College Football Rankings Top 10

The Bulldogs pulled out a close one against Texas A&M. It was not pretty but ultimately any win against a solid opponent in a good win. They are fully battle-tested and will give LSU a run for their money in the SEC Championship. At this point, there is no other team that could have an argument to be ahead of UGA. For their last trick, they must beat Georgia Tech this weekend.

Ultimately, Georgia’s undoing will be the same thing that has plagued them every year under Kirby Smart. They are too conservative. They won’t be able to run their way to an SEC championship or CFB Playoff Championship. Jake Fromm will have to show is elite and not just a game manager. The best teams won’t allow them to run the football at the level they are accustomed too. And the best opponents will score enough points to make the Bulldogs throw the ball more than 30 times.

3. Clemson Tigers (11-0)

Last Week: IDLE

Dabo Swinney had another week off to fine-tune his well-oiled machine. Everything I have seen this season tells me Clemson and Ohio State are in a class of their own. LSU is an elite team, but their defense is not up to the job of beating either one of them.

There is no way South Carolina, who beat Georgia, stays within three touchdowns of Clemson this weekend. This team just feels like a veteran NBA team that coasts throughout the regular season but starts getting prepared for a championship push late in the season.

As a college football fan, I’m hoping Clemson and Ohio State is not one of the semi-final matchups in the CFB Playoff. It would suck for the two teams I believe are the best to play each other first. Wouldn’t Ohio State vs Clemson be a helluva national championship game?

2. LSU (11-0)

Last Week: 56-20 (W) vs Arkansas

College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 3 As it Should Be

Not only did LSU beat Alabama, but they scheduled better too. No November cupcake for the Tigers. Even though Arkansas is awful, it was still an SEC opponent. Joe Burrow added another 300+ yard, three touchdown performance to his Heisman Trophy campaign. At this point, why would anyone else even be invited to the ceremony? Tua is hurt, Chase Young missed two games, Justin Herbert was awful last weekend. There is no one else who could possibly win.

Coach O has a very tough job in front of him now. It is national championship or bust for LSU now. So, he has to find a way to keep his team focused and away from reading their headlines. Any stumble from here on out will ruin their great season.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0)

Last Week: 28-17 (W) vs Penn State

The Buckeyes check all the boxes: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance.

The most complete team in college football is back the #1 team in college football. Ohio State actually helped Penn State stay in the ball game with three lost fumbles. Justin Fields only threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns but there were a couple throws he made that NFL scouts were salivating over. After watching this season Fields is clearly better than Jake Fromm at Georgia. Chase Young came back from his suspension against Penn State and was still the best player on the field.

No matter who you can a fan of, an honest man can’t tell you he’s seen a better team than O-H-I-O State in 2019?

They deserve the #1 spot of the College Football Top 10 Rankings As It Should Be.

Check back next Sunday morning for the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 14.

The Utah Utes will Finish Above of the Oregon Ducks. They are Better

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The Utah Utes are Heating Up

At 9 and 1, the Utah Utes are truly coming into their own. After moving from the Mountain West Conference to the Pac-12, they took a few seasons to get their feet under them. Now. ranked No. 7 in the nation (just one spot behind Oregon), the Utah Utes are making their name known. Just two more regular-season games and a pivotal clash against the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 Championship. If the Utes win all three, they earn College Football Playoffs or at least a Rose Bowl appearance.

Utah vs Oregon. Who gets playoffs?

The gap between the Utah Utes and Oregon Ducks is slight. Both programs sit at 9 and 1 in the Pac-12 and they are side by side in the AP rankings. Additionally, Oregon’s only loss this season came to Auburn (currently ranked 15th), while USC (currently ranked 23rd) beat Utah. ESPN’s Football Power Index gives Oregon a 48.1-percent chance of winning the Pac-12 Title and Utah a 38.1-percent chance. It’s ever so close.

Across the experts, analysts and fans, the debate is tight. SB Nation’s Fan Pulse ranked Utah at 7 and Oregon at 8. Even ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura and Mark Schlabach are split in their Oregon vs Utah projections. While both have LSU making the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Bonagura has Utah and Schlabach picked Oregon.

Ever so close to each other, here’s why the Utah Utes will reign supreme in the Pac-12.

The Utah Utes Defense is Elite

Through 10 games, they’ve allowed just 11.3 points-per-game to opponents. They are elite.

According to PFF grading, Utah’s defense is the third-best in the FBS. Breaking it down further, PFF ranked Utah top-five in both run-defense and coverage. Against Utah, runners average 2.3 yards-per-carry, while only scoring three rushing touchdowns against them all season. There’s no room to run with stars like Leki Fotu and John Penisini hovering.

In coverage, the Utah Utes are equally impressive. Terrell Burgess and Julian Blackmon are at the top of their game. Opposing quarterbacks average:

  • 56-percent Completion Percentage
  • 193 Passing Yards
  • 1 Passing Touchdown
  • 1.3 Interceptions

Their defense is stout against the run, can cover any receiver and is opportunistic. In addition to their 13 interceptions, the Utes also have 7 fumble recoveries. They capitalize on mistakes. And, they limit opposing big plays.

It’s Hell to go against the Utah defense.

An Offense to Match Oregon’s

Tyler Huntley

For anyone that watches Utah Utes games, Tyler Huntley is the Russell Wilson of college football. Efficient, accurate and deadly in limited opportunities. Remember that Tyler Huntley was the best quarterback in the Pac-12 and still is now. He’s the big reason why the Utah Utes are averaging 34.7 points-per-game and blowing out opponents.

Yes, Justin Herbert is still ranked as the better quarterback prospect by most. But, come on, we can’t keep ignoring Huntley. His efficiency is off the charts!

  • 78.6-percent Completion Percentage (No. 2)
  • 86.2-percent Adjusted Completion Percentage (No. 3)
  • 11.5 Yards-Per-Attempt (No. 2)
  • 12.5 Adjusted Yards-Per-Attempt (No. 3)
  • 190.1 Passing Efficiency Rating (No. 5)
  • 13 Touchdowns, 1 Interception
  • 221 Rushing Yards and 5 Rushing Touchdowns

In comparison, Justin Herbert only ranks higher than Huntley in passing yards and passing touchdowns. The rest goes to Huntley and proves he’s the better quarterback right now.

Zack Moss

In addition, Zack Moss continues to prove he’s a top running back prospect.

His stats this season are unbelievable:

  • 6.2 yards-per-carry
  • 16.9 yards-per-reception
  • 61 broken tackles on 154 carries
  • 955 rushing yards
  • 288 receiving yards
  • 14 total touchdowns

Moss is powerful, physical runner. He’s difficult to tackle and has the ability to take any carry to the house. Combining his rushing talent with Huntley’s elite passing created the best offense in the Pac-12.

Utah Utes and Oregon Ducks common opponents

So far this season, the Utes and Ducks had four common opponents. USC, Washington State, Cal and Washington. In those matchups, Oregon won all four. The Utah Utes, on the other hand, lost to USC. So, Oregon is 4-0 against common opponents, while Utah is 3-1. The edge goes to Oregon. Right?

Actually, it’s a bit more complicated. Oregon handily beat USC 56-24, while Utah lost 23-30. They also both let Washington keep it close. But, Utah beat Cal and Washington State by far better margins. Oregon won 17-7 against Cal. Meanwhile, Utah torched Cal 35-0. Additionally, Oregon barely beat Washington State 37-35. But, Utah won with ease 38-13.

Yes, they lost to USC. But, it’s far closer than people think. Utah is proving to be a powerful adversary.

The 2019 Colorado Buffaloes Need a Miracle to Make a Bowl Game

Pac-12 football news

The 2019 Colorado Buffaloes season has been a roller coaster ride. Tough losses at home and blowout losses on the road have made this season tough, but there have been bright spots. The goal from the start was to make a bowl game. It may take a miracle for the Buffaloes to achieve that goal, but Mel Tucker has laid the foundation for a successful tenure in Boulder.

First Up: Washington

Image result for colorado buffaloes football vs washington

The Buffaloes host the Washington Huskies in College Football Week 13 next week on ESPN at 8 p.m. mountain time (7 p.m. pacific time). CU has never beat the Huskies since joining the Pac-12. In the 2016 Pac-12 Championship Game, the Huskies beat the Buffaloes 41-10, and the Buffaloes have never been the same since.

Washington has looked more vulnerable in 2019, as they sit at 6-4 (3-4 Pac-12 North). They are led by quarterback Jacob Eason, who will look to further expose the Buffaloes secondary. Eason, a transfer from Georgia, had high expectations from the Husky faithful. However, Washington ranks only sixth in offensive pass efficiency in the Pac-12. Eason is ready to have a breakout game against a Buffaloes defense who is second to last in defensive pass efficiency this season. For all the progress many believe the Buffaloes have made in Mel Tucker’s first year, the defense has been a weak spot.

However, the Buffaloes have a chance to win this game. That chance is larger than most may think. ESPN’s Football Power Index only gives the Buffaloes a 17.1% chance to win this game. Despite the Buffaloes being 4-6, the respect that they have been given nationally is nonexistent. The team has played hard in every game at home. With the emotions of it being senior day and the possible last home game for star receiver Laviska Shenault, one should expect the Buffaloes to show up and possibly win this game.

After Washington, Buffaloes head to Utah

Image result for colorado buffaloes football vs utah

With a win against Washington, the Buffaloes would sit at 5-6. In the last week of the College Football regular season game, they have to go to Rice-Eccles Stadium to play Utah. In the latest College Football Power Rankings As They Should Be, Utah was ranked 7th. They are on a collision course with Oregon, as they will most likely be the two teams playing for the Pac-12 title at Levi’s Stadium.

ESPN’s FPI gives the Buffaloes only a 4.3% chance to win this game. It may take a miracle for the Buffaloes to do just that. After beating CSU 52-31 in Denver and Arizona State 34-31 in Tempe, the Buffaloes have lost their past three road games by an average of 30 points. They lost to UCLA 31-14, and they just lost to Utah 49-3 in College Football Week 12.

Bowl Eligibility Longshot Due to Missed Opportunities

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My prediction for the Buffaloes is that they will have a 50-50 chance to beat Washington, but it will take a miracle for them to beat Utah and make themselves bowl eligible. The games that they will look back on as the main reasons for not making a bowl game are their home losses to Air Force, Arizona, and USC.

Against Air Force in College Football Week 3, the Buffaloes jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, but then they had to rally from down 23-10 to force overtime. The Falcons would score on the first play of overtime, and the Buffaloes would lose 30-23. One of Mel Tucker’s main goals as the Buffaloes’ head coach would be to show recruits in Colorado that CU was the best team in the state. Losing to Air Force was a bad look for the program, and Air Force also beat CSU in College Football Week 12.

Next, the Buffaloes lost a 35-30 heartbreaker to Arizona in College Football Week 6. They were unable to contain Khalil Tate through the air, as he threw for 404 yards and gashed the Buffaloes defense. Against USC in College Football Week 9, the Buffaloes relinquished a 31-21 fourth quarter lead. This loss was extremely frustrating because Montez got hurt, but then he came back into the game and was ineffective in the fourth quarter. The defense had chances to possibly end the game, but let USC get chunk plays and eventually score to take a 35-31 lead.

The Legacy of the 2019 Colorado Buffaloes

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The 2019 Colorado Buffaloes will have a complicated legacy when they are talked about in the future. They will be remembered most for their comeback at Folsom Field against Nebraska, but will also be remembered for having narrow losses to teams that, at least from their perspective, they should have beat.

People will remember Steven Montez as a quarterback who showed flashes at times, but sometimes left Buffaloes fans wanting more. Montez is first in CU history in touchdown-to-interception ratio. Still, CU being 11th in quarterback efficiency this season shows how Montez was never able to have legendary moments as the Buffaloes’ quarterback. Along with Laviska Shenault and Nate Landman, Montez was a key leader of this team. It is frustrating that the Buffaloes have not been able to make a bowl game the last two seasons with the talented leaders they had.

With the hype surrounding recruiting for the Buffaloes, the future does look bright for them. They can lay a foundation for future success by being able to win their last two games. However, this task is close to insurmountable, and there is no real expectation that the Buffaloes will win out. If they are somehow able to do the impossible, it could bring out a new wave of enthusiasm for the Buffaloes now and into the future.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 13: Time to Win the Beauty Pageant

Penei Sewell Oregon Pac-12 power rankings

Welcome to the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 13. These last three weeks, including the Pac-12 championship game are all about winning the beauty pageant for the CFB Playoff Committee. Utah and Oregon are both within striking distance to get a berth in the top four. They will need style points to fade the east coast bias and SEC media cycle pushing Alabama or a 2-loss SEC team. I do believe if Oregon and Utah meet with 1-loss in the Pac-12 Championship, the winner should land a spot in the College Football Playoff Top 4.

The rest of the conference still has a lot to play for as well. There are four bowl-eligible teams already plus four more who are sitting on five wins.

Check back on Unafraid Show this Friday to see all the internal and external threats to the Pac-12 conference and who will speak up to stop it.

For Reference Check out the Pac-12 Power Rankings from Week 12.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 13:

Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. Only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games. The Pac-12 Power Rankings will available on Unafraid Show every Monday morning. Make sure you send your comments and grievances to immad@unafraidshow.com.

Here are the Pac-12 Bowl Projections from Jerry Palm of CBS (many people expect Oregon or Utah to make the CFB Playoff):

12. Arizona Wildcats (4-6, 2-5)

Last Week: 6-34 (L) at Oregon

I cannot figure out why Kevin Sumlin is juggling quarterbacks. He finally started freshman Grant Gunnell but pulled him after a couple of unsuccessful series. Then he turned to senior Khalil Tate for two quarters only to go back to Grant Gunnell. It makes zero sense. This team looks like a disaster. There is no way they should be the worst team in the Pac-12.

If you are looking for a positive, the defense came into the game giving up 37ppg, but only surrendered 34. If would have been 38 if Oregon’s kicker could make a 20-yard field goal and an extra point.

11. Stanford Cardinal (4-6, 3-5)

Last Week: 22-49 (L) at Washington State

Pac-12 Power Rankings

Yikes. It is going to take a Herculean effort for the Cardinal to make a bowl game. They have Cal and Notre Dame left on the schedule. Between Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw coaching, Stanford hasn’t missed a bowl since 2008. In fact, they haven’t even won less than eight games during that time. I’m finding it hard to find any other solution for what is going on at Stanford other than a crisis. The last two seasons have looked nothing like the Stanford we are used to watching.

Things are tough for a team when they end up with three different quarterbacks starting games in one season. But the defense and special teams haven’t been much better or more healthy. The sole focus of these next two games should be about figuring out the new direction for the offense because “Intelectual Brutality” is dead.

10. Colorado Buffaloes (4-6, 2-5)

Last Week: IDLE

The good news is Colorado snapped their five-game losing streak before their off week. The bad news is they stand two wins away from a bowl game with Washington and Utah on the schedule. I said it would take a Herculean effort for Stanford to make a bowl game. It would take an act of God for Colorado to make a bowl game.

9. Washington State Cougars (5-5, 2-5)

Last Week: 49-22 (W) vs Stanford

Easop Winston WSU Houston 2019

Mike Leach to Arkansas and Florida State rumors are in full force. It feels like this relationship is at the end of its rope. Could he be coaching his last two games in Pullman? If so, he will want to go out like a pirate; with a bang. He will be going for broke against Oregon State and the Apple Cup vs Washington. Be prepared to see onside kicks, going for it on 4th and long, and trying to run up the score.

Wazzu hasn’t been any better on defense since Tracy Claeys left the program. They are giving up over 450 yards and nearly 30 points per game. Either WSU or OSU will get bowl eligible this weekend, while the other will have an uphill battle in their final game.

8. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-5, 2-5)

Last Week: 34-35 (L) at Oregon State

What a terrible loss for the Sun Devils. I realize Oregon State is much improved this season, but losses to them still look bad (OSU lost to Hawaii). Herm Edwards’ team continues to fall apart. The only freshman quarterback to even have a season close to Jayden Daniels was Rudy Carpenter. It’s unfortunate his record-setting performances aren’t being rewarded with more victories.

The Arizona State defense that was the strength of this team early in the season is now a liability. Over the past three games, they are giving up 36ppg. It is extremely difficult to win games like that. Oregon comes to town this with, so their bowl game hopes will lie squarely on the Arizona game.

7. Cal Golden Bears (5-5, 2-5)

Last Week: 17-41 (L) vs USC

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 6

What in the world happened to Cal’s pass defense? USC’s receiving corps is really good, but damn, they went crazy. The Takers allowed 405 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. Not only did the defense make USC look like a top 10 team, but the offense also helped too. The Golden Bears only accumulated 263 yards of total offense.

As bad as this season has been for Cal since Chase Garbers got hurt they still can win seven games. After missing five games he returned to face USC but was injured again and his status remains in doubt.

6. UCLA Bruins (4-6, 4-3)

Last Week: 3-49 (L) at Utah

Chip Kelly had UCLA headed in the right direction until they ran into Utah. It seemed like the Bruins were going to keep the game competitive until Dorian Thompson-Robinson gave up a Jameis Winston like fumble-six.

There is no team in the Pac-12 that is purely momentum-based like UCLA. If things are going well, they can beat anyone outside the top three. But when things go badly, they have no ability to overcome adversity. Their 32-point comeback victory against Wazzu is a perfect example. They were awful until momentum shifted, then everything went in their favor.

5. Oregon State Beavers (5-5, 3-4)

Last Week: 35-34 (W) vs Arizona State

I still cannot believe Oregon State has been consistently in the top half of the Pac-12 Power Rankings for the last few weeks. Jonathan Smith deserves a lot of praise for changing the culture in Corvallis. His team shows up to games expecting to win, and not just hoping to him. They are now ranked between 6th and 8th in most meaningful offensive and defensive statistical categories. That consistency is what may have them headed to a bowl game with a win over Washington State.

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4. USC Trojans (7-4, 6-2)

Last Week: 41-17 (W) at Cal

USC got a new athletic director and Clay Helton’s team found some fight. Mike Bohn said good football coaches finish strong and he would re-evaluate Helton after this season. If the Trojans finish 8-4 with all their injuries there is a distinct possibility there may not be a coaching change. USC fans would be fighting mad, but how do you fire a coach that won his five out of his last six games with a couple in impressive fashion?

Kedon Slovis has proven that he is that man and JT Daniels needs to get in the transfer portal as soon as he is healthy because there is no way he gets his job back. Slovis just had another 400-yard, four-touchdown performance. He is still a true freshman, just getting started.

3. Washington Huskies (6-4, 3-4)

Last Week: IDLE

Pac-12 Power Rankings

All Huskies fans want to do is finish strong. This is not the season they envisioned with Jacob Eason at quarterback, but 6-4 is where they are. A trip to Boulder to face the second-worst Pac-12 pass defense should spell success for the offense. While a trip to the Rose Bowl is off the table, there is still a lot to play for. At this moment the Huskies have the #1 recruiting class in the conference. So, they must keep up that momentum to ensure players don’t flip to other schools.

Washington is clearly the 3rd best team in the Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 13. However, it feels like a huge gap between UW and the top two teams.

2. Utah Utes (9-1, 6-1)

Last Week: 49-3 (W) vs UCLA

At this point, Utah is trying to embarrass every opponent they play. They have their foot on the gas and won’t let up. Their offense and defense are firing on all cylinders. Tyler Huntley is leading the way and may be having the best season of any Pac-12 quarterback. Kyle Whittingham’s defense doesn’t give anyone a chance to breathe. The defense has only given up 84 points in seven Pac-12 games.

Utah is the equivalent of Florida or Iowa, except they have a better offense.

Is Utah better than Oregon? I cannot wait to see the PAC-12 Championship game.

1. Oregon Ducks (9-1, 7-0)

Last Week: 34-6 (W) vs Arizona

The Ducks did not play their best football against Arizona but still did not allow a touchdown. Mario Cristobal has his team walking around like bullies. they just run through everyone and out physical them. Then Justin Herbert hits them over the head with big plays off play-action passes.

Both Utah and Oregon will need to remain dominant through the last two games is they hope to fend off Alabama for the final CFB playoff spot.

Check back every Monday for the next Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 13.

UW Football is set up to finish the 2019 season in spectacular fashion

It’s not the season we hoped for UW Football

Obviously, this season is a letdown for UW football fans everywhere. After starting the season with high hopes, the Huskies dropped four games. Even worse, the Dawgs have to watch Oregon rise the ranks each week. Oregon is now 9-1 (7-0 in Pac-12 games) and has a good chance to make the College Football Playoffs. Die-hard Huskies are quickly becoming Utah fans in hopes that Oregon gets knocked out of playoff contention.

Apple Cup Victory

While Oregon’s reign is particularly annoying to UW football fans, the Apple Cup is the ultimate save-face. Yes, the Washington-Oregon rivalry is certainly up there, but it doesn’t hold a candle to UW-WSU hatred.

Since childhood, kids know where they stand. Household banners and decorations let the neighbors know where they stand. Jeers and taunts abound throughout the year. Because, unlike the Washington-Oregon rivalry, Huskies and Cougars see each other all the time. Family, friends and coworkers have to hold back their loathing whenever they see the enemy’s logo.

Ironically, as I write this in a local cafe, another coffee-drinker across from me is wearing a WSU sweater. I, too, must remain calm and keep my detest to myself.

So, regardless of UW Football falling off the playoff rails, a win against Washington State is still pure satisfaction.

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Bowl Eligibility

Currently, there are Pac-12 teams that are bowl eligible: Oregon, Utah, USC and Washington. There are also four Pac-12 programs just one win away from eligibility: Arizona State, Cal, Oregon State and Washington State. Of note, it would be a delight if Washington State lost to Oregon State in Week 13. Then, in the Apple Cup, the Huskies could stomp out any bowl chances for the Cougars.

Back to UW, they look good in bowl eligibility. Last season, seven Pac-12 teams made bowls appearances. If they can get wins against both Colorado and Washington State, they solidify their bowl claim. And though it won’t be another Rose Bowl, fans will still appreciate any bowl victory.

UW Football is the best recruiting program in the Pac-12

According to 247 sports, UW ranks first in the Pac-12 in 2020 recruiting. This is a jump from their second-place rank in 2019 and their third-place rank in 2018. Additionally, the Huskies also rank 14th nationally.

Of their hard commits, UW Football nabbed eight 4-Star recruits and one 5-Star Recruit:

  • Sav’ell Smalls – OLB – 5-Star
  • Jalen McMillan – WR – 4-Star
  • Myles Murao – OC – 4-Star
  • Roger Rosengarten – OT – 4-Star
  • Sam Adams II – ATH – 4-Star
  • Geirean Hatchett – OG – 4-Star
  • Ethan Garbers – PRO – 4-Star
  • Rome Odunze – WR – 4-Star
  • Mark Redman – TE – 4-Star

Yes, it’s a off season for the Dawgs. But, their commitment to recruiting is impressive. UW Football’s coaches and staff never stop recruiting. They get young stars to buy-in to their program and it’s a great look for the Huskies. Continual recruiting is how top programs stay top programs.

They aren’t perfect, but the Huskies can end the year on a high note

At 6-and-4, there are still plenty of reasons to enjoy the Huskies. Even though they’ve struggled to finish games, UW Football knows how to finish a season. To fully please the fans, donors and future recruits, the Dawgs need to:

  • Beat Colorado
  • Win the Apple Cup
  • Claim a Bowl Victory
  • Recruit additional four and five-star 2020 recruits

College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 13 As it Should Be

College Football Top 10

Welcome to the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 13 As it Should Be. Every year there is always talk about the potential for chaos. This season looks like it might just happen. What happens if Georgia beats LSU in the SEC championship, Minnesota beats Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship, Oregon dominates Utah in the Pac-12 championship, Oklahoma finishes 12-1, and Alabama looks good with Mac Jones at QB? How can the committee possibly figure out who the four best/most deserving teams are?

Wouldn’t it just make more sense to have an 8-team playoff? The five Power 5 champions and highest-ranked Group of 5 team would get automatic bids. The two remaining spots would be at-large bids.

Rankings should be fair and unbiased, but that’s not the world we live in when preseason polls ultimately affect the final rankings.

I always talk about how big of an advantage playing eight conference games is for the ACC and SEC. In addition to the math that forces more losses within the conference, there is a grinding element to playing nine conference games. Injuries mount during the season and have a huge impact on a team’s record. Imagine if Alabama were playing Missouri, Miss St (again), or Florida this weekend instead of Western Carolina. All the injuries they have would affect the outcome. This is what happens in the Big Ten, Pac-12, and Big-12.

College Football Playoff

After two sets of CFB Playoff Committee rankings, we have more information to put playoff scenarios together. So here is how it should shake out at this point. Check back here on Tuesday for the Road to the Playoff series where we examine every team’s path to the top 4.

  1. SEC Champion- LSU and Georgia have the inside track to play in the SEC championship. The conference could make a case for two teams if 1-loss UGA beats LSU.
  2. Undefeated or 1-loss Big Ten Winner– (Ohio State/Minnesota/Penn State): The only thing that could mess up the Big Ten selection is if 2-loss Wisconsin wins the Big Ten Championship.
  3. Clemson– They have no competition in the ACC so they will finish undefeated with a string of blowout victories.
  4. Pac-12 Champion– (Oregon/Utah) If both teams finish the season 11-1 the conference championship game will feature a top 10 showdown. And both teams are playing exceptional football right now.

The Big 12 is in trouble. Oklahoma can’t play offense or defense in the first-half for the last three weeks and there are no signature wins possible to jump other teams.

The Rules: No Bias, No Bull College Football Rankings

There is no more unbiased ranking out there than Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 6. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. These rankings are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. After the preseason rankings, only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games.

I re-rank the top 10 every Sunday from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information. So make sure to come back every Sunday. For reference, you can check College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 12.

College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 13:

Next Up: Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Auburn

10. Penn State (9-1)

Last Week: 34-27 (W) vs Indiana

College Football Penn State

James Franklin’s team bounced back from the Minnesota loss with a win, but they got ZERO style points. Indiana is a good football team at 7-3, but Ohio State beat them 52-10. They received low marks for dominance but got a solid win. The Nittany Lions are just too limited offensively to compete for a national championship. Sean Clifford has only thrown for over 200 yards once in the last five games. That just won’t cut it against the elite teams.

Everything is on the line for Penn State this week at Ohio State. Might they shock the world?

It’s hard to move up the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 13 As it Should Be when you have a dog fight against an unranked team, everyone who was looked at as better dominated, and the team that beat you lost a close game against a ranked team.

9. Minnesota (9-1)

Last Week: 19-23 (L) at Iowa

Playing against Iowa’s defense will make any offense look like a shell of itself. The Golden Gophers found themselves down 20-3 before they could get their feet underneath them. This game felt like the complete opposite of their game against Penn State. Iowa jumped out big, Minnesota came roaring back but didn’t have enough in the tank to get it done.

Minnesota has games against Northwestern and Wisconsin left. Both have turned into must-wins if they are to keep their CFB Playoff hopes alive.

8. Oklahoma Sooners (9-1)

Last Week: 34-31 (W) vs Baylor

Top 5 College Football Playoff Storylines Heading Into Week 3

Oklahoma forgot how to start football games. The Sooners have nine lives. I wish Oklahoma had a difference mascot so I could call them the “cardiac cats”. For the second week in a row, the Sooners have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. There is a finite number of times you can successfully execute big second-half comebacks. Two Saturdays ago, they barely outlasted Iowa State. Last Saturday they broke Baylor fans’ hearts after coming back from a 31-3 hole.

If it weren’t for UCLA coming back from a 32-point late 3rd quarter deficit to win, OU’s comeback would have been by far the best of the year.

Lincoln Riley and Alex Grinch are playing with fire with their defense. Over the last three weeks, second-half Oklahoma looks like a playoff team. First-half Oklahoma shouldn’t even be a top 25 team.

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7. Utah (9-1)

Last Week: 49-3 (W) vs UCLA

Every college football analyst in the country is sleeping on Utah. No one is giving them the respect they deserve except the College Football Rankings Top 10 As It Should Be. They haven’t received 1/10 of the coverage as even Minnesota who doesn’t get a lot. Whoever they play in the bowl game will be in for a rude awakening. Their defense has only allowed over 13 points three times this season and has held five opponents to single digits.

Tyler Huntley may be having the best season of any quarterback in the Pac-12. Some are even arguing they are better than the Oregon Ducks. If you haven’t watched Utah play, Florida would be a really good comparison except UF has more explosive wide receivers.

6. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1)

Last Week: 38-7 (W) at Mississippi State

I believe Bama is better than UGA and maybe Oregon, but how would I know? They have only played one good team, LSU, and they lost to them. Don’t even start with that “close game” nonsense. North Carolina played a close game with Clemon. Those two teams aren’t even in the same stratosphere.

Alabama won the game but it feels like they lost the war. Went Tua Tagovailoa was laying on the ground it was evident that this injury was not like his ankle injury. This was extremely serious. It turns out he has a dislocated hip. The injury is similar to the one that ended Bo Jackson’s career.

There were at least three other Alabama players who were injured in the game and didn’t return. Good thing they schedule that “November Cupcake” game to get healthy before Iron Bowl.

It will be interesting to see how Bama plays with Mac Jones at quarterback. Can they keep up the momentum to be in the final top four?

5. Georgia Bulldogs (9-1)

Last Week: 21-14 (W) at Auburn

Ultimately, Georgia’s undoing will be the same thing that has plagued them every year under Kirby Smart. They are too conservative. They won’t be able to run their way to an SEC championship or CFB Playoff Championship. Jake Fromm will have to show is elite and not just a game manager. The best teams won’t allow them to run the football at the level they are accustomed too. And the best opponents will score enough points to make the Bulldogs throw the ball more than 30 times.

It is difficult to look past UGA’s loss to South Carolina. It is inexplicable. And the committee has a president for holding a top team out of the top four with an awful loss (see Ohio State 2018). I know this is a new committee, which clearly believes that two quality wins is greater than an ugly loss at home.

4. Oregon Ducks (9-1)

Last Week: 34-6 (W) vs Arizona

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 5

The bar for Oregon is set extremely high. They didn’t allow a touchdown and under 300 yards of total offense to a team averaging over 32 ppg and 400+ yards. When a team covers a 27.5 point spread without allowing a TD against a conference opponent and fans say you played “just ok” the team has arrived. The Ducks are still as physical and nasty as they were at the beginning of the season.

This team dominated Auburn only to have conservative play-calling keep the game within striking range which ultimately got them beat.

Oregon fans, players, and coaching staff know they are playing for style points even more than they are playing for wins. They need to be able to pass the media’s “eye test” to generate enough momentum to power through the SEC Alabama, or two-loss team to the playoff hype train.

3. Clemson Tigers (10-0)

Last Week: 52-3 (W) vs Wake Forest

Maybe Clemson is like Roy Jones. Remember he said, “They say I don’t fight nobody, I just make them look like nobody, y’all must have forgot”. Wake Forest was the #19 ranked team a week ago and Dabo’s crew blew the doors off them.

This season feels a lot like last year for Clemson. They started out the season slow, had a scare, then demolished everyone in their wake including Alabama. I’m hoping Clemson and Ohio State is not one of the semi-final matchups in the CFB Playoff. It would suck for the two teams I believe are the best to play each other first. Wouldn’t Ohio State vs Clemson be a helluva national championship game?

This game was over after Clemson scored 28 points int he first quarter. How is the ACC so bad?

Clemson doesn’t have any obvious opportunities for quality wins on the schedule, so it is crucial they finish the season undefeated.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0)

Last Week: 56-21 (W) at Rutgers

The Buckeyes look like the most complete team in college football. But, there was nothing to be learned in a game the 2nd string could have won. If they put together dominating performances against Penn State and Michigan over the next two weeks, they may creep back into the #1 spot. SEC fans will say no way, but sometimes fans won’t let common sense get in the way of their argument.

No matter who you can a fan of, can you honestly say you have seen a better team than O-H-I-O State? And they get Chase Young back from his suspension this week. If OSU puts together a dominating performance against Penn State, they may move back into the #1 spot of the College Football Top 10 Rankings As It Should Be.

1. LSU (10-0)

Last Week: 58-37 (W) at Ole Miss

College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 3 As it Should Be

Joe Burrow and company were like a hot knife through butter. A lot of people will tell you they aren’t concerned about their defense but I am. They aren’t Oklahoma bad, but they do give up a lot of points. I don’t want to hear about “garbage time” points. Those are the same players that have to go in when injuries happen or players get tired.

LSU has earned the #1 spot in the College Football Top 10 As It Should Be, but I don’t think they are the best team in the country. Ohio State is. It is impossible to deny the Tigers’ body of work up to this point.

Check back next Sunday morning for the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 13.

Unafraidshow Bold Prediction: Call football beats USC

California Golden Bears win debut against UC Davis

What the odds say about Cal Football’s chances

Per Vegas sports-books, Cal Football opened as 6.5-point underdogs. ESPN’s Football Power Index gave USC a 63.1-percent chance of winning, while numberFire’s Win Probability gave USC a 59.2-percent chance. Adding to that, USC is ranked fifth in Unafraidshow’s Pac-12 Power Rankings, while Cal is seventh. Almost everyone has USC claiming the victory.

Why USC Should Win

It’s for good reason, too. Don’t get me wrong. USC is a good team. They are 6-and-4, bowl eligible and have a breakout quarterback.

USC’s Offense

Currently, USC’s offense averages:

  • 30.5 points-per-game
  • 444 yards-per-game (311 passing, 133 rushing)
  • 45-percent success rate on third down (59 of 131)
  • 56-percent success rate on fourth down (5 of 9)

In nine games this season, Kedon Slovis looks like a future-star.

His 156.1 Passing Efficiency Rating and 20-9 touchdown-interception ratio are both good. In the seven games he’s started and finished, Slovis has four wins, three losses. His wins came against Stanford, Arizona, Colorado and Arizona State. When he started, USC lost to BYU, Notre Dame and Oregon. All in all, he’s played well for a rookie.

Star Wide Receivers

With all the praise given to Slovis, it’s important to remember that USC’s wide receivers are the stars of the show. In the Pac-12 conference, USC’s top-three wide outs are each top-ten in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

  • Michael Pittman Jr.
    • 71 (No. 1) receptions
    • 938 (No. 1) receiving yards
    • 8 (No. 3) receiving touchdowns
  • Tyler Vaughns
    • 62 (No. 3) receptions
    • 752 (No. 4) receiving yards
    • 5 (No. 8) receiving touchdowns
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown
    • 55 (No. 5) receptions
    • 666 (No. 7) receiving yards
    • 5 (No. 8) receiving touchdowns

USC’s Defense

On defense, they’re holding teams to 28.1 points-per-game and 418 yards-per-game. That’s not ideal, considering they’re only averaging 30.5 points-per-game. But, it highlights why they are 6-and-4 and not 8-2.

Why Cal Football will win

Injuries to USC

Unfortunately, USC’s recent health hasn’t been good. Running backs Stephen Carr, Merkese Stepp and Vavae Malepeai were all out. Hopefully Carr and Malepeai can play against Cal. But if not, USC plays without three, key running backs.

More importantly, USC’s Brett Neilon left last week’s game with a calf strain. That calf strain sidelines him for multiple weeks, while Justin Dedich takes over. Adding to that is the health of Kedon Slovis. Again, during the same game against WSU, Slovis dealt with cramps that briefly sidelined him. While he sat out two series, they had to use an IV pump.

After starting out the game 15 of 17 for 297 yards and 4 touchdowns (on the first four drives), USC slumped. They only scored three points the rest of the game. Following the four touchdowns, their drives ended:

  • 5 punts
  • One fumble
  • One interception
  • One turnover on downs
  • One field goal

If USC isn’t in better health, Cal football takes the W.

Cal Football’s Defensive Strength

While not elite anymore, the Cal football defense is still good. They rank 30th in DFEI, according to footballoutsiders. Their .38 DFEI best USC’s .25 DFEI. Additionally, the strength of Cal’s defense directly challenges the strength of USC’s offense. Cal’s secondary is their best feature, while USC’s talent is in their receiving corps. They’ll have their work cut out for them guarding Michael Pittman Jr., but if anyone can do it, Cal can.

Chase Garbers is back

Remember Chase Garbers?

Back when the Cal football program was winning and ranked, Garbers was their guy. Before his Week 5 injury, Garbers led Cal to four straight wins. In five games (one partial), Garbers showcased a 148.1 Passing Efficiency Rating, alongside an 8-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. After years of poor play, Cal actually had an offense. Following his injury, they lost four straight games.

But now, finally throwing without limitations, Chase Garbers is good to go. Even if Justin Wilcox won’t name him as the starter yet, he should be. Garbers played well enough at the start of the season to earn the job. Moreover, Garbers brings a running dimension. Oh, and let’s not forget that Garbers led Cal football to a victory last season against USC.

Recap of the Pac-12 Referee Debacle during WSU vs Cal

Pac-12 Referees at it Again

Wow. That was the worst call of the season. Every Washington State fan should be infuriated. It is despicable what the Pac-12 referees and officials did to their team. While mistakes happen every game, this was without a doubt a horrible penalty. But, even worse, this poor call and what ensued after uncovered pure incompetency by the Pac-12 conference.

For those that missed it, here’s what happened:

Saturday (An Egregious Mistake)

  • Down 20-11 in the third quarter, WSU’s Travell Harris returns kickoff to the 50-yard line.
  • WSU penalized for illegal hands to the face. Football placed at WSU 8-yard line.
  • Referee realizes he made an error. Because the penalty was against WSU, it should have been placed at Cal’s 35-yard line. The drive results in a field goal.
  • WSU loses to Cal 20-33

Sunday (Incorrect Apology)

Pac-12 Statement
  • First, the Pac-12 releases the above statement acknowledging “mechanics error”.
  • In that statement, they claim that WSU was informed of the mistake “After the next play was run”.
  • In punishment, the Pac-12 suspends referee for one game and crew is “downgraded”.

Tuesday (Where is No. 15???)

Wednesday (6:38 of Game Clock)

  • In review, the Pac-12 corrects its statement that they informed Washington State “after the next play was run.”
  • After realizing his mistake, Matt Richards (referee) decided to wait until the next media break to inform Washington State. Their drive took up 6 minutes and 38 seconds of the game clock…

What this all means for Pac-12 refereeing

Among college football, the Pac-12 is not respected. It’s the ugly duckling of the Power Five. Because of mistakes like this, and other failures of Larry Scott, Pac-12 football is taunted.

For Pac-12 fans, it’s clear that Pac-12 referees are inconsistent and consistently make poor judgment calls. But, it’s one thing to make a mistake as an official. It’s an entirely other issue to have no measures to correct it.

Is this not 2019? Don’t we have booths, staff and video replay? The Pac-12 should utilize on-site and off-site video assistants to make sure that errors like this don’t happen. Honestly, it’s pathetic. Absolutely depressing. Football programs shouldn’t endure Pac-12 referee mistakes that ruin a game. We are better than this.

It’s about time that the Pac-12 owns up to its faults, corrects its mistakes and takes action for the future. Apologies aren’t enough.

What are the Worst Pac-12 Referee Mistakes?

If you remember an official error that is bigger than this one, comment below or Tweet at us!

Top 5 College Football Playoff Storylines Heading Into Week 12

The “Game of the Year” lived up to the hype and then some. When the dust settled in Tuscaloosa, Joe Burrow and the top-ranked* LSU Tigers ended their 8-game losing streak against Alabama in an eye-opening 46-41 victory. The win secured the top spot for the Tigers in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. Do you think Coach O was happy with the win? If you’re an Alabama fan, can you earmuff it for me?

*Rankings used in this article are from the latest College Football Playoff Rankings.

Because of this win, LSU was rewarded with the top spot in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. The final three spots went to No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Clemson, and No. 4 Georgia. If you’re a fan of No. 5 Alabama, No. 6 Oregon, No. 7 Utah, or No. 8 Minnesota fan, you’re furious with the rankings. Don’t worry, these rankings will change. Chaos always happens. My playoff heading into Week 12 includes:

  1. LSU
  2. Ohio State
  3. Clemson
  4. Oregon

I really wanted to put Minnesota at 4, but I rewarded Oregon for the tougher strength of schedule. To be honest, Minnesota should be in the fourth spot because they have the second-best win out of anyone in the top 10, but the committee seems to change their rules and qualifications on the fly so they’re only at 8 for now.

This weekend is highlighted by Georgia traveling to play the most important team in the country right now, Auburn. Plus, No. 10 Oklahoma and No. 13 Baylor battle for Big 12 supremacy. Here are the Top 5 CFP storylines heading into Week 12.

Auburn, The Most Important Team In The Country

The key to the College Football Playoff is Auburn. Without a doubt, they are the most important team in the country right now. For argument’s sake, let’s say LSU, Ohio State, and Clemson all win out and make the CFP. That leaves one spot left. Who gets it? Georgia, Alabama, and Oregon should be in the running for the fourth and final spot.^ Auburn controls the destiny for all three of those teams. Auburn plays Georgia this weekend. If Auburn beats Georgia, the Bulldogs will be eliminated from playoff contention and Oregon’s loss to Auburn will look a lot better on paper. If Auburn defeats Alabama in the Iron Bowl, Alabama will be eliminated from playoff contention and Oregon will be in the driver’s seat for the final spot. However, if Auburn loses one or both of those games, Oregon’s only loss will be to an 8-4 SEC team. There’s so much riding on the playoff and it all comes down to an Auburn team that probably can’t make it.

^I’m not counting a 12-1 Utah, 12-1 Oklahoma, or 13-0/12-1 Baylor team in this hypothetical because their chances of making the playoff are slim.

LSU Needs Two More Wins To Make The Playoff

(Two) Win(s) and in. That’s the scenario LSU faces to close their season. If they defeat Ole Miss and Arkansas to end the season undefeated, LSU will make the College Football Playoff regardless of what happens in the SEC Championship Game. The Tigers have the strongest resume in the country and no team will surpass it in the regular season if LSU is undefeated going into Atlanta in early December.

Row The Damn Boat

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

PJ Fleck could motivate me to jump out of an airplane without a parachute. In just his third season, Fleck has Minnesota at 9-0 after a monumental win against No. 9 Penn State. Minnesota jumped nine spots in the rankings from No. 17 to No. 8. Minnesota has no time to celebrate as the Golden Gophers travel to No. 20 Iowa in what will almost certainly be a close game. At this point in the season, Minnesota does not need any style points. Survive and advance is the motto as games against Wisconsin and potentially Ohio State loom in the distance.

Can The Big 12 Still Make The Playoff?

The good news is both Oklahoma and Baylor will have the chance to impress the committee on Saturday night when the play each other in Waco. The bad news is it may not matter towards the playoff. Oklahoma truly screwed themselves by losing to Kansas State. Even if they finish the season as the Big 12 champion at 12-1, I don’t think it will be enough to surpass other potential one-loss teams such as Oregon, Utah, or Alabama. The same rules apply to Baylor if they finish 12-1. However, Baylor has a not-so-secret playoff advantage over Oklahoma; they’re undefeated. Baylor may be outside the top 20 in the Football Power Index, but they’re 9-0. The Bears may win a lot of close games, but a win is a win. If Baylor runs the table, wins the Big 12 championship, and finishes the season 13-0, mark my words, they will make the College Football Playoff. There is “no chance in hell” that the committee will pass over an undefeated Power 5 champion for the playoff.

Penn State Is Still Alive For The Playoff

Penn State suffered a hiccup at Minnesota, but it’s not the end of the world. Unless complete chaos happens, a Big Ten team will make the playoff. If Ohio State or Minnesota goes undefeated, they will make the playoff. However, if Penn State wins the Big Ten with only one loss, they should make the playoff. The Nittany Lions have to get passed Indiana, who is having a tremendous year at 6-2, but if they win Saturday, Penn State will have a chance to take over the Big Ten East if they defeat Ohio State in Columbus. A win over Ohio State would allow the Nittany Lions to control their own destiny to the playoff. Beat Indiana first, and then worry about Ohio State.

What are your top College Football Playoff storylines for Week 12? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow, or email us at immad@unafraidshow.com.

Chase Young, James Wiseman NCAA Inconsistent Rule Enforcement

Chase Young James Wiseman

If anyone is still wondering why lawmakers are so interested in college athletes’ rights, they got their answer last weekend. The NCAA once again demonstrated how unfair their rules are and how they are inconsistently enforced when they declared college football’s and men’s basketball top players ineligible. Ohio State University’s (OSU) defensive end and Heisman Trophy contender, Chase Young, was declared ineligible just ahead of OSU’s game against Maryland. Similarly, the University of Memphis (Memphis) men’s basketball center, James Wiseman, was declared ineligible prior to their game against Illinois-Chicago.  

A reasonable fan may wonder why the NCAA would declare their top performers in their major revenue-producing sports ineligible? Did they get caught cheating on a test? Did they engage in illegal activity? Most would agree that if the answer to those questions is yes, the players deserve their punishment. However, that is not the case for Young nor Wiseman. Neither of them did anything clearly wrong. They were both declared ineligible for receiving financial assistance. Why would the NCAA  declare a “student-athlete” ineligible for receiving needed financial assistance?

The answer is simple. The NCAA’s primary motive is to protect the farce of amateurism. For the NCAA, that means making sure athletes are not given any benefit that is not NCAA approved. No matter how dire an athletes’ need is. Chase Young’s and James Wiseman’s cases are textbook examples of the NCAA’s commitment to their rules; even when it defies all logic.

Chase Young’s Case 

Young was suspended for accepting a loan from a family friend. He reportedly accepted the loan to pay for his girlfriend’s trip to watch him play in the Rose Bowl last season.  That is right, Young was declared ineligible for getting a loan from a family friend so that someone he cares for could be there to support him. Here is the real kicker: Young repaid the loan in April. The person who gave Young the loan is not a booster nor an agent.

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Despite those facts, the NCAA still suspended him. The NCAA felt it right to disrupted Young’s potentially Heisman Trophy-winning and record-breaking season to reaffirm their position on unapproved financial assistance. All Chase Young wanted was for his girlfriend to be there to support him while he gave his body to make millions of dollars for others. Young will serve a two-game suspension for taking a loan from a family friend and paying it back. Somehow, the NCAA believes that this is fair and is the right thing to do. It is precisely these type of decisions by the NCAA that makes lawmakers feel the need to get involved.

james wiseman

James Wiseman’s Case

James Wiseman’s eligibility issue stems from a rather complicated story. Here is the crux of his eligibility issue. Wiseman’s eligibility is in jeopardy due to an $11,500 payment that the current Memphis coach, Penny Hardaway, gave to Wiseman’s mother in 2017. At the time, Wiseman did not know about money. The money was intended to cover moving expenses when Wiseman’s family moved to Memphis.

However, this is not why the NCAA declared Wiseman ineligible. The NCAA declared him ineligible because they determined that Penny Hardaway was a booster due to a 1 million dollar donation he made to Memphis in 2008. The donation was made to fund the school’s Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame. Since the NCAA determined that Hardaway was a booster, the $11,500 that he gave to Wiseman’s mom is impermissible under NCAA rules.

According to NCAA rules, this would make Wiseman ineligible. However, the problem here is that the NCAA knew about the $11,500 payment. With that knowledge, the NCAA declared Wiseman eligible. For some reason, the NCAA has gone back on that decision and declared him ineligible. How is this fair? The answer is that it is not fair. James Wiseman’s case reaffirms how inconsistent the NCAA is in its rule enforcement. It is for this reason, that lawmakers have begun advocating for college athlete rights.

Wiseman’s Case is not Over Yet as he has Sued the NCAA

Wiseman has sued the NCAA and Memphis. He also obtained a temporary injunction on his suspension that has allowed him to continue to play. On Monday, the case will resume where Wiseman will as for an injunction to continue playing. If Wiseman is successful in this suit it could dire ramifications for the NCAA and their ability to enforce their eligibility rules.

The NCAA Continues to Prove that Legislative Action is Necessary

What point does the NCAA really think it is making by declaring Young and Wiseman ineligible? All the NCAA has done is further make themselves bad an unable to consistently enforce their rules. They have inadvertently strengthened the case for college athlete name, image, and likeness (NIL) compensation legislation. After all if Young had able to profit from his NIL he may not have needed the loan. As coaches’ salaries and television revenue continues to soar,  the NCAA cannot continue to justify its actions in cases like Young’s and Wiseman’s. The NCAA’s unfairness and inconsistency in its rule enforcement are precisely why lawmakers have gotten involved. Their involvement appears to be necessary.