Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings (Week 9)


By: Jimbo X
@Jimbo__X


(Not a whole lot of) Ch-Ch-Changes...


The Associated Press? The USA Today's Coaches Poll? Whatever jibber-jabber is being puked out over at ESPN and Bleacher Report? Puh-leeze, we all know those alleged "Top 25" countdowns are pathetic jokes penned by homers, Power Five loyalists and Notre Dame nuthuggers. That's why I decided to release my own weekly rundown of the best FBS college football squads in the States, completely devoid of all the usual fanboyism and corporate malarkey that makes lists of the like elsewhere so unbelievably annoying. 

Throughout the regular season, a new installment will go up every Wednesday morning, so you may want to bookmark this sucker for future reference ... and to show to all of your fellow NCAA football lovin' chums, so they can know that -- at least somewhere out in the tangled, endlessly frustrating World Wide Web -- there's someone on the Internet with some goddamn horse sense when it comes to ranking college 'ball teams. 


01
Ohio State (8-0)
Next Opponent: Minnesota (Nov. 7)

Although the Buckeyes had the week off, it was nonetheless an eventful week for the defending National Champs, as star QB J.T. Barrett got popped for DUI. As a result, Ohio State will most likely use Cardale Jones as the starter against a much-more-dangerous-than-they-appear Golden Gophers squad this weekend. 


02
LSU (7-0)
Next Opponent: Alabama (Nov. 7)

Saying this Saturday's showdown against 'Bama is "important" is kind of like saying "AIDS is just a mild irritant." Quasi-offensive hyperbole outside, yeah, the annual Tigers/Tide hootenanny is just as significant this year as it was back in the year of our Lord 2011, with the winner of this bout likely winning the SEC West, going on to face Florida (who can clinch a spot in the championship game with a win over shit-tastic Vandy this weekend) and almost certainly locking up a playoff spot with a victory in Atlanta. Jake Coker versus Brandon Harris, Len Four versus D. Henry, Dural up against Ridley ... oh hell yes, this ought to be a good one. 

03
Baylor (7-0)
Next Opponent: Kansas State (Nov. 5)

With Seth Russell nursing an injury, the Bears needed a week off worse than ever. Even with their Heisman-caliber playmaker off the field, with offensive weapons like Linwood and Coleman on the field, this Baylor squad has no reason to fear a lackluster KSU Wildcats team this Thursday night. Alas, stranger things have happened this season, you know...


04
TCU (8-0)
Next Opponent: Oklahoma State (Nov. 7)

The Mountaineers posed hardly any threat to TCU over the weekend, as the Horned Frogs clobbered West Virginia 40-10. Trevone Boykin's extraordinary play continued, as he posted three passing touchdowns and one rushing TD for a combined 472 yards.


05
Clemson (8-0)
Next Opponent: Florida State (Nov. 7)

Although their 56-41 win was more hard-fought than expected, the outcome of Saturday's scrap against NC State was never in doubt. Deshaun Watson absolutely dominated, posting SIX touchdowns -- five in the air for 383 yards and one on the ground for 54. 


06
Michigan State (8-0)
Next Opponent: Nebraska (Nov. 7)

The Spartans took a breather this week, as they return to the field Saturday to take on a Nebraska team that's eyeing a HUGE, playoff-picture-shaking upset. While the QB and WR stats are fairly comparable, the run game could prove the decider here: as good as LJ Scott has been playing for Michigan State, the unsung Terrell Newby has actually outrushed him this season by 200 yards. 


07
Oklahoma State (8-0)
Next Opponent: TCU (Nov. 7)

Saturday's 70-53 win over Texas Tech did very little to settle the Cowboys' ongoing QB controversy. Mason Rudolph has an INT and two touchdowns for 285 yards, but second-stringer J.W. Walsh had the same number of TD passes for 167 yards on just five passing attempts. To give you an idea of how vulnerable Oklahoma State's secondary is: Red Raiders QB Patrick Mahornes threw for 480 yards yards -- a sum that eclipsed the total number of aerial yards posted by OK State utilizing four different quarterbacks. 


08
Iowa (8-0)
Next Opponent: Indiana (Nov. 7)

The Hawkeyes' 31-15 win over Maryland indicated just how strong Iowa's defense is. They allotted just 74 yards in the air and just 167-scoreless yards on the ground. Meanwhile, Iowa's stacked running back committee managed to do more with less, racking up three scores on a combined 110 rushing yards. 


09
Memphis (8-0)
Next Opponent: Navy (Nov. 7)

The AAC darlings continued to impress Saturday, beating Tulane 41-13 in a non-contest. The Tigers defense held the Golden Wave to less than 300 total offensive yards, while Memphis' running back crew posted three scores for 223 yards. Meanwhile, QB Paxton Lynch, despite only having one TD throw, accumulated an impressive 343 yards on 42 passing attempts.


10
Houston (8-0)
Next Opponent: Cincinnati (Nov. 7)

The other AAC undefeated looked pretty good, too, shutting out Vanderbilt 34-0 on Saturday. As the score would suggest, the Cougars' D really proved their mettle in this contest, limiting the Commodores to 141 rushing yards and an astonishingly low 44 passing yards. 


11
Toledo (7-0)
Next Opponent: Northern Illinois (Nov. 3)

The undefeated Rockets have a rare Tuesday night tilt this week, as they go toe-to-toe with an unpredictable Northern Illinois squad. The upset potential here is high: Huskies QB Drew Hare is outpassing Toledo's Phillip Ely with fewer INTs, and in the rushing game? Joel Bouganon has nearly three times as many touchdown receptions (for almost 300 more yards) than Terry Swanson. The Huskies' top receiver is also outyarding the most productive Rockets player, 673 to 490.


12
Alabama (7-1)
Next Opponent: LSU (Nov. 7)

Long story short? This weekend is the SEC Championship. Offensively, the two teams are evenly matched (the Tigers are posting 466 yards per game while 'Bama is posting 422) but the defensive numbers strongly favors Alabama: they are allowing just 276 yards per game, while LSU is allowing 316.


13
Stanford (7-1)
Next Opponent: Colorado (Nov. 7)

Washington State made Saturday's late night skirmish WAY closer than it should have been. Still, the (singular) Cardinal came out on top in a hard-fought 30-28 victory. The rushing game was the key variable: while the Cougars could only muster 88 yards on the ground with no TDs, Stanford was able to chew up the lawn for 226 yards and three endzone visits -- two coming from halfback Kevin Hogan, who finished the game with about 25 more yards than the entire Washington State bench. 


14
Notre Dame (7-1)
Next Opponent: Pittsburgh (Nov. 7)

It wasn't easy, but the Irish managed to outlast the formerly-unbeaten Temple Owls 24-20. Give QB DeShone Kizer all the credit in the world: although he lobbed two costly interceptions, he still accumulated almost 300 yards in the air, pretty much winning the game for Notre Dame on his 143 rushing yards, which resulted in two touchdowns. 


15
Utah (7-1)
Next Opponent: Washington (Nov. 7)

Stats-wise, the Utes and the Beavers looked pretty similar in Saturday's scrap. The difference maker, however, was in the run game: while Oregon State posted just 108 yards on the ground with no scores, Utah managed to chew up the field for 174 yards on 44 carries and two touchdowns. Give props to Devontae Booker, whose 121-yard day went a long way in giving the Utes the 27-12 victory. 

16
Florida State (7-1)
Next Opponent: Clemson (Nov. 7)

After a fluky last-second loss to Georgia Tech two weeks ago, the Seminoles fired back with an impressive 45-21 win over Syracuse on Saturday. Sean MacGuire had three touchdown passes for 348 yards, while talented halfback Jacques Patrick had 162 yards and punched it into the endzone three times.


17
Florida (7-1)
Next Opponent: Vanderbilt (Nov. 7)

The Gators expended little energy throttling the hapless Bulldogs on Saturday, as Florida ran roughshod over a Georgia squad commandeered by a third-string QB to the tune of 27-3. Kelvin Taylor was the offensive highlight for Florida, racking up 121 yards and two touchdowns on the day. Meanwhile, Florida's D terrorized the Dawgs all afternoon, allowing their SEC rivals barely 250 total offensive yards during the contest.


18
Temple (7-1)
Next Opponent: Southern Methodist (Nov. 6)

The Owls gave Notre Dame all they could handle, but Temple still came up short, 24-20, to "earn" their first loss of the season. Although the Owls' D did pick Off DeShone twice, they did little else to stop the Irish offensive attack; their secondary gave up 299 yards in the air and 168 yards on the ground.


19
Oklahoma (7-1)
Next Opponent: Iowa State (Nov. 7)

The Sooners absolutely pulverized the still win-less Jayhawks over the weekend, 62-7. Baker Mayfield finished the game with four touchdowns and 383 yards, while Samaje Perine had two rushing touchdowns and 90 yards (not to neglect fellow back Alex Ross, who despite no endzone appearances, still lead Oklahoma in ground yardage with 100.) OU's defense shine, especially when it came to stopping the run: the Jayhawks could only put up 36 yards all day. 


20
North Carolina (7-1)
Next Opponent: Duke (Nov. 7)

With their 26-19 win over Pittsburgh, UNC moves into pole position in that other ACC division. Marquise Williams looked great with two touchdowns and 270 yards, with receiver Ryan Switzer posting 126 yards and one TD haul. That said, going four for four on field goals, the big playmaker in this one had to be Tar Heels kicker Nick Weiler. 


21
Marshall (8-1)
Next Opponent: Middle Tennessee (Nov. 7)

Why shouldn't the Thundering Herd get some love, too? With 396 yards per game, Marshall is ranked 42nd in offense, and allowing 352 all purpose yards per game, they are the 63rd best team defensively. Of special note is QB Chase Litton, who currently has 14 touchdown passes, 4 interceptions and has a 59.7 completion percentage.


22
Appalachian State (7-1)
Next Opponent: Arkansas State (Nov. 5)

While no one thinks this team could beat Ohio State or LSU, they are still a dynamic young team doing some impressive things in a fairly-stacked non-Power Five conference. With 456 yards per game, they possess Division I's 25th best offense, and defensively, they are the tenth best squad in college ball, allowing just 299 yards per game. 


23
Navy (6-1)
Next Opponent: Memphis (Nov. 7)

The other, other, OTHER surprisingly great AAC team has played incredibly well throughout the season, having dropped just one game all year to Notre Dame. While the team is virtually sans an aerial offense (they have just 461 passing yards ALL season), they are running like crazy, racking up 2,238 total ground yards thus far. Keenan Reynolds is one of the best college ball players you've never heard of -- he has 13 touchdowns and 753 yards on 151 carries heading into Saturday's huge contest against the undefeated Memphis Tigers. 



24
UCLA (6-2)
Next Opponent: Oregon State (Nov. 7)

The Bruins barely got past Colorado this weekend, 35-31. If it wasn't for Ishmael Adams' pick six score, UCLA likely would've dropped the contest; the Buffaloes outpassed them by 50 yards and outrushed them by nearly 100. 


25
Michigan (6-2)
Next Opponent: Rutgers (Nov. 7)

In a tight contest, the Wolverines just barely squeaked their way past Minnesota, 29-26. While the Golden Gophers nearly doubled Michigan's passing yards and outran them on the ground, Harbaugh's boys managed to convert their lesser yardage into more endzone trips; Jehu Chesson, despite only posting 33 total yards, was probably the game's MVP, posting two touchdown waltzes on three receptions.

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