The 2012 college football season is “just past mid-season,” so I thought that I would categorize a few teams according to how they have performed so far. I’m sure these placements will change as the season progresses, but it’s fun to take a look at how things are going at the present.
Biggest Train Wreck—-OK, let me get this one out of the way quickly. Auburn is undoubtedly the biggest train wreck of the 2012 season. The Tigers are lost, especially on offense, and show no signs of finding themselves. Blame who you want (everyone deserves a share) but let me simply say that no team with this much talent should fall so far, so dramatically, so quick. Auburn fans can only hope for as quick a turnaround in the opposite direction.
Biggest Negative Surprise—-Of course Auburn could go here too but I’ll go with Virginia Tech. After beating Georgia Tech in the opener it looked like the Hokies were off to their normal double-figure win season but they’ve been getting kicked around regularly since. This is not a typical Virginia Tech season.
Biggest Positive Surprise—-I’m gonna go with Duke here. Yep, I said Duke and this is not basketball season. The Blue Devils are 6-2 and lead the Coastal Division of the ACC. That statement hasn’t been written in decades. They just finished beating their arch-rival, North Carolina, and face their greatest challenge on Saturday when the play Florida State, but they are bowl-eligible and are surely the biggest surprise that I know of.
Biggest Disappointment—-I’m going with Arkansas here. I know about all of the Bobby Petrino stuff but this team was supposed to be talented enough to win no matter who the coach is. Well, they’ve played better lately but their overall performance is certainly a disappointment to most football observers.
Most Frustrating—-I’ll take Florida State here. Sorry Seminole fans but even though FSU is sitting at 7-1 they seem to play just above the level of their competition in many games. They have the talent to put teams away early but often allow them to hang around. A perfect example is the NC State game, which they should have never lost. This is not a real criticism, but just a feeling I get when I watch Florida State.
Most Fun To Watch—-A few weeks ago I would have said West Virginia but now I’ll take Oregon. They take very little time in establishing their dominance and do it with speed and quickness. It just looks easy to them. Now their uniforms are another subject!
From Out of Nowhere—-I have a tie here! Kansas State and Oregon State are both undefeated and seem to have appeared from nowhere. I don’t think they will finish the year with no losses, but it has been fun to watch as they weekly overcome another foe to further frustrate those who doubt them.
Can’t Keep It Up—-Mississippi State! What a great start for the Starkville Bulldogs. They sit at 7-0, but the toughest part of their schedule is in front of them. They play Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and arch-rival Ole Miss to close out the year. They could lose them all! I don’t think they will, but they will take on a few losses to end the undefeated dream.
They’re Back—-the Florida Gators have returned to take their place among the nation’s best teams. They still need some help on offense, but they can score enough to win in most instances. With the talent available in Florida, it won’t take Will Muschamp much longer to get this bunch fully back to their glory days.
Can’t Figure Them Out—-OK Georgia fans, here you are. After the Missouri win I thought that this may be the best team in the SEC. But then comes South Carolina and Kentucky. Living in Georgia, I get to hear all of the media and alumni praise and criticism of the Bulldogs and it seems to be equally divided these days. A win in Jacksonville would surely set the ship sailing towards the SEC championship game, while a loss would put Coach Mark Richt squarely on the hot seat. I just can’t figure this bunch out!
So This Is What They Meant—-Missouri has quickly found out what it’s like to be a member of the SEC. They are 0-4 and it looks like Kentucky is about their only hope for an SEC win this year, and that’s no guarantee. It’s just a learning and building process.
Best Team—-It hurts me to say that Alabama is probably the best team in college football right now. It would hurt any Auburn fan to say that. The Tide seems to just plug in quality players when graduation robs them of some of their top performers. Their second team could compete in the SEC. Will they win the National Championship? Can’t say yet! LSU will have something to say about that, as could injuries, especially if quarterback A.J. McCarron should go down. Only time and some tough games will tell!
Well, that’s it for now. We’ll check things out again when the season is over.
I’ve never made a real political statement in this column before but please let me encourage you to vote NO on amendment 1 on the ballot. Passing this amendment could be devastating to locally controlled school systems. Educate yourself before making any vote!