Tuesday, November 1, 2016

2016 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings (Week Nine!)

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

This Week's Episode:
"Anarchy Reigns Supreme"

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.

Alabama (8-0)
Next Opponent: vs. LSU (Nov. 5)

The Crimson Tide took a brief respite from kicking everybody's ass last weekend and now, they've got a HUGE SEC clash against LSU scheduled for this Saturday. No that you really need me to tell you this, but the team is doing pretty well, stats-wise. Averaging 498 yards per game, Alabama is the 16th ranked offense in the country - allowing just 275 yard per game, they are the nation's fourth best defense, numerically. 

Michigan (8-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Maryland (Nov. 5)

Despite the 32-23 score, I assure you the Wolverines' win over Michigan State was never really that close. While Wilton Speights' stats won't wow anybody (16 for 25 for 244 yards, no TDs and one INT), the Wolverines run game found ways to get 'er done when he couldn't - at the final horn, Michigan had collected 192 total rushing yards, complete with three touchdowns on the ground. 

Clemson (8-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Syracuse (Nov. 5)

It was a hella' close game, but the Tigers - as champions always do - nonetheless managed to find a way to win a super-duper tight contest against Florida State. In the thrilling 37-34 win over the Seminoles, Deshaun Watson went 27 for 43 for 378 yards and a 2-to-2 TD-to-INT ratio. If you're looking for an MVP, I'd cast my ballot for receiver Jordan Leggett, who concluded the game with 122 yards and a solo TD on just five catches. 

Washington (8-0)
Next Opponent: vs. California (Nov. 5)

The Huskies prevailed 31-24 in a game that very well could serve as a preview of the PAC-12 Championship Game. In the victory over Utah, it was Dante Pettis who played hero of the day for Washington; with just 3:25 left to play in the fourth, he took a punt 58 yards to the house to break the 24-24 deadlock and, ultimately, single-handedly (or is that single-footedly?) give his team the ball game.

Western Michigan (8-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Ball State (Nov. 1)

Odds are, the Western Michigan Broncos would get the living mule shit beat out of them if they played any of the other top 25 teams, but by proxy of being one of only five unbeatens left in college football, I reckon they are worthy of placement this high based on sheer entropy value alone. That said, you really can't scoff at their stats: putting up 501 yards per game, they have Division I ball's 14th ranked offense and their defense - averaging 353 yards allowed per game - ranks 26th. 

Louisville (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Boston College (Nov. 5)

The Cavaliers (the ones without Lebron) put up a hell of a fight, but the Cardinals nonetheless managed to put away Virginia 32-25 in a WAY closer contest than expected. Lamar Jackson's retard stats continue, with the Heisman lock collecting 361 passing yards and four touchdowns on 24 completions (with another 88 yards rushing on 17 carries.) 

Ohio State (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Nebraska (Nov. 5)

Just one week after an upset loss to Penn State, the Buckeyes almost got their asses bitten off by yet another underdog last Saturday. Alas, Ohio State did manage to outlast Northwestern 24-20, thanks in no small part to a stellar rushing attack that put up 208 yards and three touchdowns on the ground (with Mike Weber leading the herd with 87 yards and two scores on 14 carries.)

Florida (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Arkansas (Nov. 5)

The "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" wasn't much of a shindig this year. The Gators, as expected, chewed through Georgia like a wad of taffy, with Florida's defense propelling them to a 24-10 win. Although Florida only posted 100 rushing yards, they did manage to get two touchdowns on the ground - which is certainly more than you can say for the Bulldogs, who finished the game with just 21 yards on 19 carries. 

Texas A&M (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs.Mississippi State (Nov. 5)

Nope, there was not much drama in the Aggies' 52-10 win over New Mexico State. Quarterback Trevor Knight went 15 for 24 for 204 yards and two TD passes while A&M's running back corps chalked up 233 yards and two more end zone excursions on the ground. Hell, they even got an opportunity to show off their special teams skill when Christian Kirk returned a punt 73 yards to paydirt. 

Baylor (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. TCU (Nov. 5)

The Golden Bears fell from the ranks of the unbeaten thanks to a late field goal hooked by Texas' kicker Saturday, dropping a heartbreaker to the Longhorns 35-34. Up until then, it had been a virtually defense-less, back and forth affair, with Baylor accumulating almost 400 total rushing yards - with Seth Russell (who also thew the ball for 226 yards and two TDs on just 14 completions) running the ball for 138 yards and a solo end zone excursion. 

West Virginia (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Kansas (Nov. 5)

Well, looks like the wheels finally came off the Mountaineers' bandwagon, as West Virginia got bested by Oklahoma State 37-20. While the Mountaineers' run game more than doubled the Cowboys' rushing production, WVU just couldn't find a solution for Mason Rudolph, who wound up tossing three touchdowns for 273 yards.

Boise State (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. San Jose State (Nov. 4)

And with the weekend's loss to Wyoming, it's pretty much a given that whatever slim National Championship hopes Boise State had have all but vanished. The razor thin 30-28 loss is especially heartbreaking for Broncos QB Brett Rypien, who went 22 for 35 for 295 passing yards - some pretty solid numbers, indeed, even though none of those passes resulted to touchdowns. 

Nebraska (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Ohio State (Nov. 5)

With a 23-17 overtime loss to Wisconsin, the Cornhuskers are officially removed from the ranks of the Division I unbeaten. All in all, it was a pretty lackluster showing from Nebraska, with QB Tommy Armstrong lobbing two interceptions and finishing the game with just 153 passing yards, while Wisconsin's run game outyarded their own 223 rushing yards to 152.

San Diego State (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Hawaii (Nov. 5)

The Aztecs walloped Utah State good, pounding the Aggies 40-13 in a game that wasn't even close to being, well ... close. Despite SDSU only passing the ball for 14 yards (no, that isn't a typo), their run game certainly moved the ball when their pass-resistant offense couldn't. At the final horn, the Aztecs had wrapped up 400 total rushing yards, with back overall NCAA rushing leader Donnel Pumphrey leading the charge with 223 yards on 32 carries.

Troy (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. UMass (Nov. 5)

The other Trojans are playing a lot better than the more famous Trojans in Southern Cal these days, for sure. One-loss Troy, averaging 472 yards per game, has Division I ball's 28th best offense, with their defense, allowing 377 yards per game, ranked 43rd overall.

Wisconsin (6-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Northwestern (Nov. 5)

The Badgers got a big win over the weekend, bumping off the formerly undefeated Cornhuskers 23-17 in overtime play. While Wisconsin's passing numbers weren't too much to crow about, their run game did look quite impressive, registering 223 total yards and two touchdowns, with back Dare Ogunbowale posting 120 yards and a solo TD on only 11 carries.

Auburn (6-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Vanderbilt (Nov. 5)

The red hot Tigers pretty much steamrolled the Rebels, as Auburn knocked off Ole Miss 40-29. Sure, Chad Kelly may have thrown the ball for 459 yards and three touchdowns, but the Tigers' potent rushing attack neutralized their aerial defense deficiencies, outyarding the Rebs 307 to 105 on the ground. A name you may want to remember? Auburn back Kamryn Pettway, who racked up an astounding 236 yards on 30 carries. 

LSU (5-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Alabama (Nov. 5)

To say that this Saturday's home stand in Death Valley against Alabama is a big 'un is kinda like calling the Ebola virus just another cold. Indeed, with an upset win here, the Tigers wouldn't just turn the national playoffs picture into pure anarchy over the course of an afternoon, they very well could find themselves - with a LOT of luck - somehow sneaking their way into the SEC championship. 

Utah (7-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Arizona State (Nov. 10)

The Utes put up a valiant fight, but they still came up short in a 31-24 loss to Washington. Still, the dynamic tandem of Troy and Joe Williams played quite well in the losing effort. Troy (he's the QB) wrapped up the contest with 163 yards and two touchdowns on 14 completions while Joe (he's the halfback) collected 172 yards plus a solo TD on 35 carries.

Penn State (6-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Iowa (Nov. 5)

Penn State blew out Purdue 62-24 Saturday, in a game that saw the Nittany Lions rushing attack chalk up 257 yards and five touchdowns, with back Saquon Barkley leading the charge with 207 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. And QB Trace McSorely didn't have a bad day neither, as he finished the contest with 228 passing yards and three TD strikes. 

Oklahoma (6-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Iowa State (Nov. 3)

The Sooners positively demolished Kansas, murder-death-killing the Jayhawks 56-3. In the gloriously one-sided drubbing, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield lobbed the pigskin for 236 yards and four touchdowns on just 16 completions, while the Sooners run game outproduced Kansas 267 yards to 49. And with a couple of more flukey losses for Baylor and WVU, is Bob Stoops and company on the verge of stealing away the Big 12? 

Virginia Tech (6-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Duke (Nov. 5)

The Hokies just barely got past the Panthers last Saturday, but hey, a win is still a win, ain't it? In Virginia Tech's 39-36 victory over Pittsburgh, Jerod Evans lobbed the rock for 406 yards and two touchdowns, with no less than three different receivers collecting in excess of 100 yards on the day. 

North Carolina (6-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Georgia Tech (Nov. 5)

The Powder Blue has looked really, really good at times this season and really, really bad at others. Regardless, the team has been quite competitive in all of their match-ups; they probably won't be in ACC Championship contention, but a few more quality wins might set them up nicely for a slightly bigger than average bowl game later this year - maybe even one in 2017, pending enough things go right for 'em 

Colorado (6-2)
Next Opponent: vs. UCLA (Nov. 3)

There are fugly-assed games, and then there is Colorado's 10-5 win over Stanford. No, that isn't in a baseball game, it was the final fucking tally from last weekend's PAC-12 showdown. And with that win over the singular Cardinal, the Buffaloes find themselves sitting atop their division - meaning, yes, if it was title time tomorrow, it would be Washington and Colorado duking it out for the conference championship. Yep, this year, folks. This year

Wyoming (6-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Utah State (Nov. 5)

And with an upset win over the formerly undefeated Boise State Broncos, the Wyoming Cowboys find themselves charting on our countdown for the very first time this season. Quarterback Josh Allen certainly had a hell of a game against the Blue Turfers - he wound up dropping 274 yards of aerial offense on Boise State, hooking up for three touchdowns on 18 completions, with receiver Jacob Hollister doing his part to officially kill the Broncos unrealistic expectations via 144 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions. 


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