All the things on this list have something in common. See if you can guess what it is. “Forrest Gump.” Michael Jackson — “Thriller.” Sam Cooke — “A Change is Gonna Come.” Whataburger. Greensboro. Toyota Century. Clemson.
Yep, you got it. These are the 12th best (in order) Movie of All Time, Album of All Time, Song of All Time, Fast Food Restaurant, Vacation Spot in the Carolinas, 2020 Luxury Car, and (according to Ohio State coach Ryan Day) 2020 college football team.
We got most of this stuff off random internet ratings, so they are subjective. (I can honestly say I don’t know anyone who ever went to Greensboro for their vacation.) And I’m sure when Coach Day fills out his ballot this week, he won’t have Clemson at Number 12. Well, reasonably sure.
But who could blame him if he did? Coach Dabo made a big deal this week about ranking Ohio State 11th on his coaches’ ballot because he thought teams that played more games deserved to be ranked higher. What we learned in the bowl season is instead of using games played as a determining factor in any college football ratings, one should use ACC games played to determine where a team should be ranked.
The Atlantic Coast Conference proved its strength on a national level by going a sizzling 0-6 in bowls this year (0-5 if you don’t count Notre Dame). Only Conference USA was equally bad. Now, we know the games were close. Well, except for the playoff semifinals.
Carolina had the higher win probability in the Orange Bowl against Texas A&M late in the 4th quarter. That changed when Aggie RB Devin Achane went 76 yards for the go ahead score that basically put the game away. But that was with most of the Tarheel offense sitting out. N.C. State (playing without its three best defensive players) stayed close against Kentucky, but with three interceptions, two missed FGs and 50 yards rushing, there was never a threat the Pack might win.
Wake Forest was winning 21-14 against Wisconsin in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl until QB Sam Hartman threw interceptions on four consecutive possessions. Miami went down 21-0 to Oklahoma State and fought back to within a field goal, even after QB D’Eriq King went out with a knee injury.
While this season ended with a thud, expectations will be high next year. COVID will be a thing of the past (fingers crossed). Clemson and North Carolina (likely) will be Top 10 teams. The rest of the league should be more competitive. We can’t wait to start digging into it, after recruiting wraps up and the transfers/NFL decisions are made so we can start figuring out whose gonna win next year’s games.
Even though there are no ACC teams in this year’s game, let’s breakout the dartboard one last time to look at the college football national championship before we say so long/good riddance to 2020:
ALABAMA VS. OHIO STATE: All year long we thought the Tide was the team to beat. Nothing we saw on New Year’s Day changed our minds. We know QB Justin Fields had a game for the ages, throwing for 12 divided by two TD passes against Clemson to lead Ohio State to a 49-28 win. We just don’t think they can pull the same thing off twice. This was a revenge game for the Buckeyes, and they won’t have that same motivation here.
Alabama has the most talented team in the nation. The Tide has three Heisman trophy candidates, two finalists and the national player of the year on offense. They also have three players on Mel Kiper’s NFL draft positional rankings for the NFL draft on the defensive side of the ball and three offensive linemen in the same rankings. And they have victories over four of our top 12 teams.
Vegas has Bama as a seven-point favorite as of this writing. The Sharps will be all over the Buckeyes as an underdog. And they will be wrong. Roll Tide…Alabama 49, Ohio State 31.
TOFF TOP 12: 1. Alabama, 2. Ohio State, 3. Texas A & M, 4. Georgia, 5. Oklahoma, 6. Iowa State, 7. Clemson, 8. Notre Dame, 9. Cincinnati, 10. BYU, 11. Florida, 12. North Carolina.
(And for those wondering about the title of this week’s article, it’s the title of a Schoolhouse Rock Multiplication Video we watched as kids. For the number 12 of course. Happy New Year to all and thoughts and prayers to Fearless’ full recovery!)
Southeast Sports Syndicate, 2021.