The Toilet Bowl Division
Yeah...these teams aren't making a bowl game
14. Virginia (2-8, LW: BYE): The good news? The Wahoos had a bye last week, which is just one letter away from BYU, conjuring up memories of Virginia's ever more confounding win in week one. This week they play Miami, who Mike London has somehow owned during his tenure (3-0). While this just seems like a random statistic, let's look just a little deeper shall we? As we all know, the NCAA just wrapped up an investigation of Miami. What if having a cop on the across sideline messed with the Canes' head just a little bit, adding a bit of paranoia to the game? What if London told them he was part of the investigation, and Miami just didn't know any better? Wouldn't it explain at least two of their last three matchups?
If Virginia had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: Uncle Tenuta has one too many glasses of wine, and causes a scene at the dinner table. This forces London to put him down, hard, while Tom O'Brien and Steve Fairchild sit in stunned silence.
13. NC State (3-7, LW: L 38-21 @ Boston College): NC State gave up 44 more yards to Andre Williams than New Mexico State did, even though the Aggies are the worst rushing defense in the country. I'm not even talking worst by a thin margin. New Mexico State gives up 50 more rushing yards than the next worst team. Sure BC gave Williams the ball a little more, but it's not like the Pack put up much of a fight. One of the most fascinating things to me about this NC State program struck me during a conversation with my friend Charlie, who's a Maryland grad. Apparently, many people in College Park are still rooting for Debbie Yow to fail in Raleigh. Sure, that's probably because most Maryland fans are guided by hatred for their opponents rather than an actual love for their team, but isn't it fascinating to watch someone so controversial (Yow) in a position in which she has full control? She has hired both the men's basketball coach (Mark Gottfried) and the football coach (Dave Doeren) during her tenure. Will it work out? Who knows, but if Gary Williams had had his way she would be covered in a pile of his sweaty dress shirts after every Wolfpack loss.
If NC State had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: Back in town for turkey day, but with life not going so well, the Wolfpack just roam the town looking for an ex to hook-up with. Sure it's probably unhealthy and relatively unsanitary, but they just need to relive the glory days one more time.
12. Wake Forest (4-6, LW: BYE): Let's break this down into a mini-power ranking. That's right, a power ranking within a power ranking:
Things I want from Wake Forest:
- A DNA test proving that Jim Grobe isn't secretly Al Groh in disguise.
- A mixtape featuring Grobe, Tanner Price and Michael Campanaro teaming up to provide family friendly rap.
That's the list.
Thing I don't want from Wake Forest:
- Any funny business that ruins Duke's dream season this weekend.
- Stealing a win from a potentially eight-win Vanderbilt team.
If Wake Forest had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: Deep fried turkey sounds like such a good idea. That is until you burn the house down and the only thing left in what used to be your house is the charred copy of Aaron Carter's album Aaron's Party that you're not really sure how it came to be in your possession to begin with. That's the definition of being left with literally nothing.
The Advocare V100 Bowl Division
Yes, any bowl game definitely counts, but the joke's on you because you have to go to Shreveport.
11. Syracuse (5-5, LW: L 59-3 @ Florida State): Someone wise once said that there is no Jerome Smith without Syracuse, and there is no Syracuse without Jerome Smith. Fine, I said it last week, but Smith had five carries for one yard in Tallahassee. That's not a recipe for success if you're the Orange. That being said, I think that Syracuse did a fantastic job replacing Doug Marrone. The cupboard may not have been Anthony Davis bare (look it up, this site is family friendly), but it certainly wasn't full. This was a team that went 10-37 in the four years before Marrone took over, and a bad hire would potentially kill the momentum in the program. Scott Shafer seems to be the opposite of a bad hire, and I really hope he keeps this program going in the right direction. That is, as long as it's a non-Greg Paulus direction, because there's nothing that can kill goodwill towards a program quite like bringing on a Dukie.
If Syracuse had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: Getting your whole dinner from Boston Market isn't necessarily considered a "disaster", right?
10. Pittsburgh (5-5, LW: L 34-27 vs North Carolina): Has there been a fan base over the course of a season that has ridden a larger emotional roller coaster than Pitt fans? In individual games (all against FBS opponents) this year, the Panthers have scored between nine and 58 points and given up anywhere between three and 55. They beat a ranked Notre Dame team and a two-loss Duke team, but lost to Navy and played an uncomfortably close one against Old Dominion. How is it possible to figure out which Pitt team is showing up from game-to-game? This is where I would normally tell their fans to take solace in knowing that they at least have the Steelers, but yeah, I don't think I can do that this time around.
If Pittsburgh had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: In order to prove his toughness, Paul Chryst insists on slicing the turkey with his bare hands. I hope everyone likes chunks of white meat.
9. Maryland (6-4, LW: W 27-24 @ Virginia Tech): There's some sort of weird feeling when you know that your team just helped a man save his job. Randy Edsall needed that win more than Stefon Diggs needs a cast on his leg. Normally, if you know that a man kept his job by virtue of a win over your team, you have to have at least a semblance of happiness for that coach as a person. Unemployment is no fun, even for a coach making millions of dollars. Normally, I would think that. Normally, I would at least feel happy that person. Then I actually watched Edsall coach a game from the sidelines. The best way I can describe it is that he coaches like Pete Carroll with no personality, meaning that he's just annoying. Anything he did seemed like something that a cartoon would do on the sideline, be it jump up and down, run out to the hash to call a timeout, run out to the middle of the field and act like a twelfth man on the Terps' punt protection unit. I may have made that last one up, but you get my point. I haven't had this much irrational hatred for a coach since Jeff Jagodzinski roamed the Boston College sidelines.
If Maryland had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: Someone breaks a bone playing touch football and their Thanksgiving is spent in the ER.
The Belk Bowl Division
The Belk Bowl really just brings its own type of .500 magic
8. Boston College (6-4, LW: W 38-21 vs NC State): The one and only question that I think about when watching this Steve Addazio version of Boston College is this: if Addazio sticks around, will they be able to get almost any running back they want? Think about it, they run a system that gives their starting back gaudy numbers, and seems like it will work anywhere. If you were a running back, wouldn't you want to go to one of the very few schools left that actually features a running back first and foremost? Now, I don't think that they'd be able to land a huge 5-star guy from down south, but what about someone from Pennsylvania? Maryland? Virginia? Lest we all forget, Ryan Williams' decision came down to Virginia Tech and BC, if that happened again, the Hokies might not be as fortunate.
If Boston College had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: They wouldn't have a disaster so much as they would just do one thing really well. Sure the turkey may be dryer than Tom O'Brien, but they make the best green bean casserole you've ever eaten, so it all comes out about even.
7. North Carolina (5-5, LW: W 34-27 @ Pittsburgh): Just like that, the Tar Heels are a win over Old Dominion away from becoming bowl eligible and attempting to wipe away the memory of anyone who remembers that 1-5 start. I've always been very interested to see how good of a coach Larry Fedora actually is. I've joked about him hunting for different jobs multiple times, but if we're being honest Southern Miss did go from 12-2 to 0-12 after Fedora left. Sure, Ellis Johnson may not be equipped to run a winning team in the California State Penal League, but that still can't completely take away the fact that Fedora won 12 games. Right now I think he's a pretty good coach, but I haven't seen anything from him to change my opinion either way thus far.
If North Carolina had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: Butch Davis comes back and gets everyone. Whoopee cushions under seats, saltshaker caps unscrewed, you name it and Butch probably did it. I would say that he studied up on Thanksgiving Day pranks, but let's be honest, he probably had a student tutor study for him.
6. Georgia Tech (6-4, LW: L 55-31 @ Clemson): Every time I watch this Georgia Tech team, which unfortunately has been more than once this year, I always end up wondering, "Is this really the best that this team can be?" To me it just feels like the answer is no, but that there's no quick fix. Is this team really just destined to finish with anywhere between six and eight wins a year? That feels low to me, but since the Yellow Jackets went to the Orange Bowl after the 2009 season they are a combined 1-12 against Virginia Tech, Clemson, Miami and Florida State. That's not where you want to be if you're trying to be a top-four team in the conference.
If Georgia Tech had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: Paul Johnson overcooks the turkey. Why? BECAUSE HIS WAY IS THE BEST WAY AND THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO COOK IT THAN HIS WAY.
The Chick fil A Bowl Division
New Years in Atlanta? NEW YEARS IN ATLANTA!
5. Miami (7-3, LW: L 48-30 @ Duke): You know who Miami is? Miami is the guy at my apartment complex's gym who always walks around with his shirt off and hits on girls. People don't like him, and he ends up creeping out most of the girls he uses a treadmill next to, but hey, he's trying hard. Three weeks ago the Canes were in the top-10, seemingly destined for their first ACC Championship Game, now they're out of the top-25 while having lost their last three games by an average of 21 points. Sure that's the bad news. The good news? Actually I'm not really sure there is any. Not with London the Ibis Poacher on deck.
If Miami had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: The NFL games get a little too competitive. The compulsive gamblers in the family starting the day by laying a little money on the afternoon game, but ending the night with their shirts off saying, "YOU WANNA GO?!?"
4. Virginia Tech (7-4, LW: L 27-24 vs Maryland): Does it say more about this team that they've beaten numbers five, six and seven on this list, or that they lost to numbers eight and nine? I don't know, but I do know that if you asked any Tech fan at the beginning of the season if they'd take guaranteed wins over Georgia Tech, UNC and Miami and roll the dice on every other game they would have gobbled it up (pun not intended). Also, many of us thought that this was an 8-4 team through and through. While this is probably not the three conference losses we had in mind, isn't this team meeting preseason expectations in a way?
If Virginia Tech had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: Tech would do all of the hard stuff well. They'd have a delicious turkey, the pies would be cooked to perfection, and everyone is set to have a great time. Then they get to the table and realize they don't have enough chairs. Or they forgot to get out the butter. Or they forgot to invite everyone. It's the easy stuff that sets them back.
3. Duke (8-2, LW: W 48-30 vs Miami): Every week I expect the Fighting Cutcliffes to drop in these rankings, and they surprise me each time. I think we all just have to accept that Duke is the team of destiny, will go 10-2, lose by 40 to Florida State and unfairly end up going to the Belk Bowl again. In fact, they don't even have to play the rest of their games, this is just going to happen.
If Duke had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: The cousin envy. One cousin has been way more successful than all the others, and gets an inordinate amount of attention from everyone else. In this scenario, David Cutcliffe is the successful one. Ted Roof, Carl Franks, Fred Goldsmith and Barry Wilson are the jealous ones dissing Cutcliffe behind his back.
The Orange Bowl Division
Just not quite good enough to be the best
2. Clemson (9-1, LW: W 55-31 vs Georgia Tech): Another ho-hum blowout win for Clemson. In two weeks, fans of any team hoping to go to the Chick-fil-A Bowl will be watching their game against South Carolina intensely. On another note, isn't Dabo Swinney's success as Clemson's head coach the best case that Ed Orgeron could make to stay on as Southern Cal's head man? A guy who the players like and is a fantastic recruiter can succeed, as long as he's surrounded by a coaching staff built to support him. USC has the money to throw at the best possible coordinators, why not keep Coach O on? And if he's hired, how fast will TLC reach out to him to start a reality show tentatively titled The Cajun in LA County. Such episodes would include Coach O's venture to a hybrid car dealership and his decision on which chicken and waffles joint to sponsor. PURE GOLD I TELL YOU.
If Clemson had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: The family all bow their heads for grace. Dabo and Chad start talking at the same time. Awkwardness ensues for everyone.
The BCS National Championship Division
Bama would DEFINITELY lose at hangman
1. Florida State (10-0, LW: W 59-3 vs Syracuse): There's only one thing that we can talk about in the wake of that Syracuse game. No, it's not the four offensive touchdowns scored in the first quarter. No, it's not the fact that the Seminoles only had the ball for 18:18 in the entire game and still hung 59 on the Orange in three quarters. What we have to talk about is Hangman-gate. This is awesome, and fills my brain with question after question. What was the word? Who was winning? Were both the coaches and players playing hangman? Does playing games like this happen a lot in blowouts? When does it get to the point that Ed Orgeron just has board games on the sideline in Los Angeles? HE'S THE FUN COACH, REMEMBER GUYS?
If Florida State had a Thanksgiving Day disaster, it would be: Everything would be well and good until Uncle Bobby woke up and started bothering everyone at the table with stories about trying to talk "Commie Europe" with Sebastian Janikowski.