18S Top 20 Poll: Revenge Tour Cancelled

Another week of being slaughtered against the spread with my picks. But the faltering of Michigan on Saturday afternoon makes it so worth it. Let me never guess another pick correctly for the rest of eternity if we can witness a Michigan face-planting of epic proportions at least once a year.

Hey, it’s time for conference championship week! Free from Michigan participating, of course.

18 Stripes Top 20 Poll

1 Alabama 12-0 52-21 W vs. Auburn
2 Clemson 12-0 56-35 W vs. South Carolina
3 Notre Dame 12-0 24-17 W vs. USC
4 Georgia (+1) 11-1 45-21 W vs. Georgia Tech
5 Oklahoma (+1) 11-1 59-56 W vs. West Virginia
6 Ohio State (+3) 11-1 62-39 W vs. Michigan
7 UCF 11-0 38-10 W vs. South Florida
8 Michigan (-4) 10-2 62-39 L vs. Ohio State
9 Washington (+3) 9-3 28-15 W vs. Washington St.
10 Texas (+3) 9-3 24-17 W vs. Kansas
11 Washington St. (-3) 10-2 28-15 L vs. Washington
12 Florida (+4) 9-3 41-14 W vs. FSU
13 LSU (-3) 9-3 74-72 L vs. Texas A&M
14 West Virginia (-3) 9-3 59-56 L vs. Oklahoma
15 Penn State (-1) 9-3 38-3 W vs. Maryland
16 Kentucky (+1) 9-3 56-10 W vs. Louisville
17 Boise State (+1) 10-2 33-24 W vs. Utah State
18 Utah (+1) 9-3 35-27 W vs. BYU
19 Miss State (+1) 8-4 35-3 W vs. Ole Miss
20 Syracuse (NR) 9-3 42-21 W vs. Boston College

Out: Utah State

In: Syracuse

Five teams within our Top 20 from last week lost in this last round. However, only Utah State falls out of the rankings following a loss to Boise State. Each of Michigan, Washington State, LSU, and West Virginia lost in varying degrees of pain but each remain alive for post-season glory in the form of major bowl appearances.

Welcome back to the rankings, Syracuse! They took care of business against Boston College (somehow Eric Dungey played!??) and should line up against a very favorable opponent in a bowl game for the chance at 10 wins. The Dino Babers hype train is back!

The Year of Minimal 2-Loss Power 5 Teams continues to roll forward. Michigan and Washington State both lost to join the club, only to see LSU and West Virginia suffer their defeats to remove themselves from membership. It’s been a weird year.

Here are the bowl projections if all of the favorites win during conference title week:

Bowl Game Projections

Cotton: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
Orange: Clemson vs. Notre Dame
Sugar: Georgia vs. West Virginia
Rose: Ohio State vs. Washington
Peach: UCF vs. Florida
Fiesta: Michigan vs. Washington State

It’s my feeling Oklahoma is in the playoff if they win. If the Sooners lose and Ohio State wins, the Buckeyes are in the playoff. If both lose you could be looking at a mess between Georgia or Michigan (neither winning their conference, both coming off losses in their last game) or a Milton-less UCF for the 4th seed.

It’s possible LSU’s epic 7-overtime loss could screw them out of a major bowl. If Oklahoma makes it to the playoff another Big 12 team will be needed for the Sugar Bowl and that could essentially shut LSU out. Although, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the committee drop Washington State a lot further than I have which could open the door for the Bayou Bengals.

The G5 slot looks to be either UCF or Boise State and if both lose it’ll probably still be UCF anyway.

Week 14 Games to Watch

Pac-12 Championship
Santa Clara, California
Washington (-5) vs. Utah

Damn it, Pac-12 can you not do better than this? Witnessing Washington State win a league title would’ve been fun but of course the Cougars can’t have things quite that nice. This has the look of Washington basically backing into a Pac-12 title in the least inspirational way possible. As the President of the Chris Petersen Fan Club I do have to point out that a second conference title at Washington is a pretty big deal given where that program was before he arrived. Huskies win 22-13.

Big 12 Championship
Arlington, Texas
Texas (+7.5) vs. Oklahoma

I feel like this line is a bit too large with Oklahoma’s defensive struggles but the rematch factor is so heavily in favor of the Sooners, especially since Texas really hasn’t been that impressive this season. I’ll take OU in a close win that sees Kyler Murray picking up some Heisman votes along the way. Sooners win 38-34.

AAC Championship
Orlando, Florida
Memphis (+3.5) vs. UCF

I’m not sure what we will see out of UCF after McKenzie Milton got Willis McGahee’d but they did respond pretty well against South Florida. Is it possible they play with a ton of emotion without their leader? Or, will the potent Memphis ground game run away with it? Tigers win 32-30.

SEC Championship
Atlanta, Georgia
Alabama (-13) vs. Georgia

I mean, if we are going to criticize Alabama for their lack of strength in their schedule we also have to realize they have to beat 3 straight Top 5 teams to win a title. The playoffs are kind of awesome when you look at it that way. This game should be pretty close–Georgia has most definitely been waiting in the weeds as a really good team–it’s just you never know when Tua & Co. are going to drop 3 touchdowns on you within 7 minutes of game time. Crimson Tide win 34-21.

Mountain West Championship
Boise, Idaho
Fresno State (+2.5) vs. Boise State

This is a huge matchup for Boise State to try and sneak into a major bowl game. It may be unlikely with them sitting ~10 spots behind UCF before this weekend but you never know. We’ve seen Boise win these types of game so many times we’re kind of numb to it all. Broncos win 45-38.

ACC Championship
Charlotte, North Carolina
Clemson (-26.5) vs. Pittsburgh

Well, the ACC took a big dump this year. Miami hit the eject button early, Virginia Tech stumbled all over the place and here we are with mediocre Pitt in the league spotlight. I actually think the Panthers will play well and keep it respectable mostly because Clemson knows the margin matters not. Just win. Tigers win 34-17.

Big Ten Championship
Indianapolis, Indiana
Northwestern (+14) vs. Ohio State

Look ahead game for the Buckeyes!?? No, the Ohio State University football team needs to make a huge statement in this game and hope for the best with the playoff committee. I don’t think this means good things for Northwestern. Buckeyes win 37-10.

Last Week:

4-3 SU, 1-6 ATS


63-30 SU, 42-51 ATS

By |2018-11-26T14:08:47+00:00November 26th, 2018|Football|8 Comments

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Underthrown Shoelace
Underthrown Shoelace

You predicted a push in the Bama game? Trying to avoid losses by guaranteeing a tie? You’re like the new Michigan State.


Since we don’t play this week let me present something that likely doesn’t matter in the slightest, the case for ND #2 over Clemson:

Top wins (S&P rank):
Michigan (5) > Texas A&M (20)
Stanford (27) > NC State (33)
USC (40) < South Carolina (36)
Syracuse (40) = Syracuse (40)
Pittsburgh (63) = Pittsburgh (63)* assuming Clemson wins the ACCCG/Duke (67)

SOS: Irish 36, Clemson 49
SOR: Irish 2, Clemson 3

Common opponents, three so far with a fourth following Clemson vs Pittsburgh:
Wake Forest – both teams dominated.
Florida State – both teams dominated.
Syracuse – ND dominated, Clemson trailed in the 4th quarter.
Pittsburgh – ND trailed in the 4th quarter, Clemson *at best dominates Pitt*

So in conclusion, the Irish have clearly better wins, clearly stronger SOS and SOR, and currently hold a solid edge against common opponents, although Clemson could tie that up this weekend. This weekend does mean something, it provides a 12th data point for Clemson so that they're comparable to ND, but even a big win this weekend by Clemson and you still have a bit of a sticky argument for them over the Irish when comparing resume wins.


And this is exactly why conference championship games are a joke as an influencing factor for the playoff. There are 2 games with below a 10 pt spread, and one of those games is Washington vs Utah.


If Georgia, Oklahoma, and OSU were all to lose, while UCF comes out strong with their backup QB, the committee is going to have a hell of a decision to make. That’s a lot of “ifs” but none of them would be individually shocking. In order, I’d probably rank them:

1) Georgia loses (very likely, 80% chance)
2) UCF dominates (somewhat likely, 50% chance)
3) Oklahoma loses (somewhat unlikely, 40% chance)
4) Ohio state loses (very unlikely, 25% chance)

So basically I’ve got things at a 4% chance of getting really fun! I’d buy the argument that UCF doesn’t even need to dominate, just needs to win, which maybe bumps this up to a 6% chance of happening!


If OU is the 4 seed, I don’t see how that game is in Dallas. Sure, it’s incrementally closer than Miami, but Dallas is right in the heart of BXII and OU country. I can’t imagine the committee giving the Sooner a HFA in the playoff.