The Fraud Five
By Mike Kern for PhillyCollegeSports.com
October 14, 2018 Edition
Mike Kern’s Fraud Five
Just when a lot of folks are starting to think they had all those playoff possibilities all figured out, well, maybe you don’t. Just saying. There’s a reason there’s a fraud five. Never lose sight of that.
1. Georgia — Obviously no sin in going down at LSU, which now has five Top 10 wins but was coming off a loss at Florida, even if this one wasn’t at night in Death Valley. But the final was 36-16, which seems excessive. And just like that, the SEC won’t be having a battle of unbeatens in its title game. Maybe it won’t even have one unbeaten. Alabama has to go to LSU in two weeks too. Still, it is Bama, though history tells us that the Tide usually find a way to somehow lose once even in seasons that end up with a national-championship trophy.
2. West Virginia — When you’re ranked sixth you probably shouldn’t be losing 30-14 at Iowa State, even if the Cyclones have made a habit of doing this kind of stuff in the last two seasons. And you thought I wasn’t paying attention as much just because I’m no longer on a payroll. Please.
3. Miami — Stuff happens. It’s the nature of the landscape. But when you’re ranked 16th you probably shouldn’t be losing at Virginia. Not if you want to be taken seriously.
4. Auburn — Speaking of which, wasn’t this like a top whatever team not that long ago. Well, look again. The No. 21 Tigers lost at home to Tennessee, which had dropped its previous 11 in the conference. Good thing the coach just signed that huge contract, since the schedule indicates that this could get worse. You think anybody in Tuscaloosa is upset about that?
5. Wisconsin — It’s OK to lose at Michigan, even if Jim Harbaugh didn’t exactly have a good record against good opponents. And the Wolves were ranked a little higher. But 38-13 was a little much.
California — I know the Bears aren’t much, but they were 3-2. UCLA was 0-for-Chip Kelly. OK, you knew he had to beat somebody sometime. But did it have to be 37-7, in Palo Alto? That’s a big Yo
Illinois — It’s OK for a 3-2 team that’s mostly trying to just be a viable program again in its third season under former NFL head coach Lovie Smith to lose at 2-3 Purdue. But maybe not by 46-7.
Penn State — Not necessarily for losing at home to Michigan State, in a revenge situation, coming off a bye. It’s more the how part. Once again. And the fact that they’ve now lost two in a row in Happy Valley, where they’d been almost unbeatable. This is one more close loss, and another one in which they led in the fourth quarter. This time they led real late, on a day when the offense didn’t do much. So now they can’t be that one-loss team that could still talk playoffs. One more loss and they won’t be talking New Year’s bowl game either. And why does it seem so long ago that they were leading Ohio State by double digits with like eight minutes to go? That’s how fast this stuff can change.