Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings (Week Four!)

Tell the Associated Press to take a hike ... these are the only college pigskin rankings you ought to pay any attention to.


By: Jimbo X
@Jimbo__X

This Week's Episode:
"Separating the 'cream' from the 'crap'..."

The A.P.? 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
Louisville (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Clemson (Oct. 1)

Lamar Jackson's march to the Heisman Trophy continued over the weekend, as he lobbed the rock for five touchdown passes for 417 yards - plus another two rushing touchdowns, for 62 ground yards - in Louisville's commanding 59-28 win over Marshall. But that wasn't the only impressive aspect of the Cardinals during Saturday's one-sided drubbing - their defense also looked very good, holding the Thundering Herd to just 148 rushing yards and only 59 yards passing.

02
Alabama (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Kentucky (Oct. 1)

Boy, I haven't seen Kent State massacred like that since ... well, uh, never mind. Off-color jokes about hippies getting shot to death by the National Guard aside, you can't help but be impressed by Bama's 48-0 blowout of the Golden Flashes, even if Kent State is like, barely a step-above a really, really good high school football team in terms of overall quality. The Crimson Tide defense certainly shined in the mauling; not only did Nick Saban's boys keep their foes off the scoreboard, they also held both Kent State's passing and rushing offense to a meager 166 yards on the day.

03
Wisconsin (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Michigan (Oct. 1)

The Badgers' defense held up very, very well in their stellar 30-6 win over the formerly unbeaten Michigan State Spartans last Saturday. Not only did Wisconsin defenders pick off the opposing QB three times, they also held the potent Spartans' run game to only 75 yards. While Wisconsin's passing game and running game didn't exactly put up huge numbers (QB Alex Hornibrook finished the contest with just one TD pass and 195 yards as the entire Badgers' run game wrapped up the contest two scores and 122 cumulative yards), with a defense as solid as theirs, they don't really have to.

04
Michigan (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Wisconsin (Oct. 1)

Holy dog shit, did the Wolverines have a hell of a running game last Saturday; combined, Michigan racked up an astounding 326 yards and six touchdowns  on the ground en route to a blowout 49-10 win against the Penn State Pedophile Protectors. But don't sleep on the Wolverines' defense, neither; the same way Joe Paterno held information about 30-plus years of heinous child rape from officials, they managed to hold the Nittany Lions to a meager 121 passing yards and just 78 yards rushing.

05
Ohio State (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Rutgers (Oct.1)

The Buckeyes took week four off, with their "big" return game set for this weekend against that much feared, perennial national championship threat ... Rutgers? Eh, expect Ohio State to pretty much sleep their way through the next two weeks, with all eyes firmly focused on the downright HUGE showdown on Wisconsin's home turf Oct. 15. That is, unless Indiana is able to pull of the shocker of the season next weekend (spoiler: no, they most certainly will not.)


06
Houston (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Connecticut (Sept. 29)

As the final score would allude, Houston's 64-3 mauling of Texas State wasn't much of a football game. Greg Ward, Jr. went 20 for 26 for 289 yards and two touchdown passes (plus 39 rushing yards for another scrambling score) while the Cougars' rushing attack combined for 243 total yards and five touchdown saunters. Defense-wise, Houston absolutely shut down the helpless, hapless and hopeless Bobcats, limiting their foes to a paltry 109 aerial yards and an even paltrier 33 yards on the ground.

07
Clemson (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs Louisville (Oct.1)

The Tigers' defense absolutely stifled Georgia Tech last Thursday night, holding the Yellow Jackets to a measly 95 rushing yards and an almost Special Olympics caliber 29 passing yards in their 26-7 road win. DeShaun Watson (two touchdowns, one interception and 304 yards on 32 completions) now leads Clemson in their biggest game of the entire season: an ACC championship (and perhaps even National Championship)-determining home stand against the super-duper hot Louisville Cardinals on Saturday night.

08
Tennessee (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Georgia (Oct. 1)

Well, give the Vols some credit. Down 21-3 at halftime, it looked like the route was on, but somehow, someway, Tennessee managed to make a huge comeback in the second half and bump off SEC East foes Florida 38-28. Joshua Dobbs - for two quarters, at least - played like Jesus himself, concluding the game with four passing touchdowns and 319 yards on 16 completions, plus another scrambling TD and another 80 rushing yards. Also looking good? Tennessee receivers Jauan Jennings and Josh Malone, who finished the contest with a combined 202 yards and two touchdowns.

09
Stanford (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Washington (Sept. 30)

Down 10-6 heading into the fourth, the always singular Cardinal quickly rebounded and put up 16 last quarter points en route to a come from behind 22-13 victory against UCLA. Ryan Burns was just sort of middling (he went 13 for 25 for 137 yards, with a 1:1 TD-to-INT ratio), but you can't say shit about the performance of Stanford's star running back Christian McCaffery, who finished the game with 138 yards on 26 carries.

10
Texas A&M (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. South Carolina (Oct. 01)

Sure, you could criticize the Aggies' defense for letting Arkansas put up 371 yards of aerial offense, but Texas A&M's rushing-oriented offense was more than enough to make amends for their poor play against the long-ball. In A&M's 45-24 win, QB Trevor Knight went 12 for 22 for 225 yards and two touchdown passes ... in addition to running like hell for another 157 yards and another two touchdowns. Running back Trayveon Williams also put in a good showing, collecting 153 yards and two end zone visitations on just 12 carries.

11
Washington (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Stanford (Sept. 30)

It may have taken overtime, but the Huskies nonetheless managed to knock off Arizona 35-28 last Saturday night. Jake Browning (14 for 21, 160 yards and a 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio) had a fairly lackluster day, but the Washington rushing attack (led by Lavon Coleman, with 181 yards and a TD on 11 carries) had a field day (get it?), collecting 352 total ground yards and three touchdowns. Of course, the Huskies also let Arizona run all over them - to the tune of 308 yards - so one can only imagine what Christian McCaffrey might be able to do against this horrible rushing defense.

12
Baylor (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Iowa State (Oct. 01)

Another week and another impressive offensive showing from America's favorite Baptist university/protectorate of rape enablers. Quarterback Seth Russell lobbed the rock for 387 yards and four touchdowns on 18 passes, with receivers Ishmael Zamora and Chris Platt each recording 100-yard-plus days and two receiving TDs apiece. That said, there were some signs of struggle in the Bears' 35-24 win over arch rivals Oklahoma State; primarily, the fact that Baylor's non-existent D allowed the Cowboys to rack up 213 yards of rushing offense and another 279 receiving.

13
Miami (3-0)
Next Opponent:vs. Georgia Tech (Oct. 01)

The Hurricanes took a breather in week 4, as they prepare to travel to Atlanta this weekend to do battle with Georgia Tech. In terms of total offense, Miami is slightly subpar, ranking 72nd out of the 128 division I schools. Defensively, however, they are pretty much the best damn team in college football, having allowed opponents thus far in the season to accumulate just 625 yards against them in three outings.

14
Nebraska (4-0)
Next Opponent:vs. Illinois (Oct.01)

Northwestern was no much for Nebraska, as the Cornhuskers held off the Wildcats 24-13 over the weekend. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong finished the game with 246 passing yards and one aerial touchdown, in addition to picking up another 132 yards with his feet. In total, Nebraska's rushing offense pulled in an impressive 310 yards on the day, which included touchdown ambles from Terrell Newby and Jordan Westerkamp.

15
Utah (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. California (Oct. 01)

It was a close one, but the Utes nonetheless managed to hold off the Trojans last weekend, as they beat freefalling USC 31-27. QB Troy Williams had a very good showing, lobbing the pigskin for 270 yards and two TD passes on 21 completions, with wideout Tim Patrick collecting 100 receiving yards on the day and a solo TD.

16
Arizona State (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. USC (Oct. 01)

The overachieving Sun Devils remain unbeaten with their 51-41 shootout win over Cal. While Arizona State's pass defense absolutely sucked (they let Davis Webb throw five aerial touchdowns and pick up 478 throwing yards in the contest), their run game saved the day, with quarterback Manny Wilkins scrambling like crazy en route to a 72-yard-rushing, three walk-in touchdown performance.

17
West Virginia (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Kansas State (Oct. 01)

Don't look now, but the Mountaineers are actually playing like a team that don't suck. West Virginia showed plenty of moxie, spunk and pluck in their 35-32 win over the Stormin' Mormons of Brigham Young (fun fact: Mormons still think black people are black because God hates them) with QB Skyler Howard lobbing the rock for 332 yards and a solo TD strike, while talented receiver Shelton Gibson finished the wild and woolly contest with an impressive 144 yards on just four receptions.

18
Boise State (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Utah State (Oct. 01)

The blue-fielders pounded the Beavers this past weekend like angry porn stars, as Boise State rolled to a fairly facile 38-24 victory over Oregon State (i.e., the team from Oregon that doesn't cosplay as Donald Duck during regular season games.) The star of the show definitely had to be Broncos running back Jeremy McNichols, who concluded the contest with 208 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries.

19
San Diego State (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. South Alabama (Oct. 01)

Following a week four bye, the Aztecs do battle with the Jaguars of South Alabama (really, are jaguars even indigenous to that part of the country?) Offensively, SDSU is one of the weaker teams in the nation (they rank 104 out of 128) but their defense - tied for 27, alongside Louisville - is actually fairly underrated.

20
Navy (3-0)
Next Opponent: Air Force (Oct. 01)

Taking a knee (the good kind, not the one meant to symbolize hating America), the Midshipmen spent week four watching college ball instead of playing it. Expect a very run-oriented affair when Navy clashes with fellow unbeaten Air Force this weekend, seeing as how the two teams, respectively, are ranked 18th and 5th in the nation in terms of total running yards collected.

21
Air Force (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Navy (Oct. 01)

The Falcons squeezed past Utah State over the weekend, besting the Aggies 27-20. The stats from the game give you a pretty good idea of where the team excels and where they absolutely, utterly suck as a college football program. The total rushing yards posted by Air Force? A stellar 213. And the total passing yards they allowed? A downright laughable 372.

22
Wake Forest (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. N.C. State (Oct. 01)

Yes, perennial ACC bottom dwellers Wake freakin' Forest officially have a better football record than Florida State. Granted, we here at The Internet Is In America don't exactly believe that the Demon Deacons would be competitive up against Clemson, Louisville or Miami, but still ... Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas, Oklahoma and even good old FSU have got digits on the "L" side of the win-loss column, while Wake Forest - for another week, at least - features nothing but goose egg.

23
Minnesota (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Penn State (Oct. 01)

There are a lot of still unbeaten teams in the Big 10, and surprisingly, quite a few of them aren't in the same division alongside Ohio State and Michigan. The Golden Gophers are almost a lock to be a favorite against the Penn State Child Rapist Defenders this weekend, but one has to wonder just how well the team is suited for upcoming games against Iowa and Maryland. And hey, speaking of Maryland...

24
Maryland (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Purdue (Oct. 01)

Yeah, that's right, the Terrapins are another unexpectedly unbeaten team heading into week five. Currently, Maryland ranks 98 out of 128 in terms of total offense, but their defense - currently ranked 24th in the nation - is technically better than the D's of Wisconsin or Alabama. Yeah, let that shit sink in for a moment.

25
Memphis (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Ole Miss (Oct. 01)

Much like Dr. Dre circa 1999, everybody has seemingly forgotten about Memphis. Remember last season, when everyone was sucking their proverbial dicks and touting them as the next major SEC powerhouse? Well, much to Memphis' chagrin, all of that non-Power Five adulation and adoration has instead been hoisted upon their AAC rivals Houston, and needless to say, the still loss-less Tigers are mighty miffed about such. Then again, if Memphis can knock off Ole Miss this Saturday, something tells me the Tigers bandwagon may need to reinforce its axle...

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