Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings (Week 4!)

USA Today and the A.P. can take a hike - these are the only college football rankings anybody ought to care about.

By: Jimbo X

Do you honestly respect the opinions of organizations like ESPN or USA Today to give it you straight about college football? Of course you don't, which is where The Internet In America's 2017 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings come into play. Every Wednesday throughout the '17 season we'll post our own selections for the best teams in college football, complete with hilariously un-P.C. (yet surprisingly thorough) recaps of their last games as well as a brief preview of their upcoming contests. Plus, we're throwing in a whole bunch of animated GIFs you can steal and post elsewhere on the 'net, because we're cool like that. Simply put, you won't get better NCAA football analysis anywhere on the Internet - and if anybody else dare claims their rankings are more authoritative, you proudly have my permission to go to their corporate offices and take a big fat stankin' shat right on their doorsteps. And with all of that out of the way, who's ready to revisit the week that was in the best kind of football there is - the one with unpaid black people without due process in rape accusations?

Alabama (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Ole Miss (Sept. 30)

Well, the Crimson Tide made sure Vanderbilt's undefeated streak was very short-lived. In Alabama's 59-0 rectal vivisection of the Commodores, 'Bama racked up 496 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, with top back Damien Harris concluding the contest with 151 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. Defensively, the Tide absolutely stifled their foes; at the end of the game, they allowed Vandy just 40 yards rushing and only 38 passing.

Clemson (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Virginia Tech (Sept. 30)

With 3:30 seconds left in the third, Clemson and Boston College were deadlocked 7-7 apiece. Considering how lethargic the Tigers' offense had been so far that day, some went as far as to put the reigning, defending National Champs on upset alert. So naturally, Clemson would go on to score four unanswered touchdowns in the fourth and win the whole she-bang 34-7. That said, should we be concerned that Kelly Bryant only had 140 yards on the day, no aerial scores and two interceptions?

TCU (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. West Virginia (Oct. 7)

And just like that, the Horned Frogs make themselves a legit playoffs contender. TCU's 44-31 win over Oklahoma State is further proof that it's much better to have an explosive run game in college football than an explosive passing game. While OSU outgunned TCU 398 yards to 228, the Horned Frogs managed to outrun the Cowboys 238 yards to 101, with leading rusher Darius Anderson recording 160 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. And the defense certainly did their part, forcing Oklahoma State to turn the ball over four times, including securing two extremely rare INTs off Mason Rudolph.

Washington (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Oregon State (Sept. 30)

The Huskies' run game and strong defense propelled them to a pivotal in-conference win over formerly unbeaten Colorado last Saturday. In the 37-10 win, Washington back Myles Gaskin recorded 202 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries, while Washington's D held Colorado to 120 total rushing yards, additionally intercepting Steven Montez three times.

Georgia (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Tennessee (Sept. 30)

In a Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs clash (actually, the second in a row for UGA), the jerseys in red absolutely throttled the jerseys in maroon. In the 31-3 win, Georgia QB Jake Fromm went 9 for 12 for 201 yards and two TD passes, while Nick Chubb ran the rock for 81 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. And don't sleep on wideout Terry Godwin; he led all receivers in the game with 80 yards on just two carries, including one 59-yard gallop into the end zone on a first quarter flea flicker.

Black man spits on Native American iconography, and nobody cares.

USC (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Washington State (Sept. 29)

I'm still not sure what to think of the Trojans' defense. In Saturday's 30-20 win over Cal, Southern Cal forced six turnovers, including four interceptions off Golden Bears' QB Ross Bowers. The problem is, the D also allowed Bowers to lob the pigskin for more than 300 yards, eclipsing the total aerial yardage of Sam Darnold by a good 70-something yards. And don't look at the team's rushing attack as an offset; their final tally of 133 ground yards was just 20 yards more than Cal.

Oklahoma (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Iowa State (Oct. 7)

Yeah, the same team that got beat by Liberty in week one almost managed to upset the Sooners. In a back-and-forth slugfest that felt more 2014 than 2017, Oklahoma barely managed to outgun Baylor 49-41 in a contest that saw Baker Mayfield go 13 for 19 for 283 yards and three touchdowns, with OU backs Adbul Adams and Trey Sermon combining for over 300 yards and three touchdowns on the ground (not bad, considering Baylor's total rushing production for the day was just 60 yards.) Still, the Sooners' defense ought to be flagellating itself all week for letting Zach Smith torch 'em for four touchdowns and 463 passing yards ... 

Penn State (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Indiana  (Sept. 30)

With 1:42 on the clock, Akrum Wadley broke off a 35-yard run to put Iowa up 19-15 over Penn State. And then, with literally zero seconds left on the clock, Trace McSorely hit Juwan Johnson for a seven-yard walk-off touchdown that gave the Nittany Lyings-About-All-Those-Children-They-Molested the last second 21-19 victory. Oh, and if you're wondering how Saquon Barkley did? Eh, not bad - just 211 yards and one end zone waltz on 28 carries.

Michigan (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Michigan State (Oct. 7)

Despite starting QB Wilton Speight getting carted off the field, the Wolverines still managed to prevail over Purdue 28-10. Fifth-year senior John O'Korn did pretty well as the backup pigskin tosser, though, racking up 270 yards and a 1-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio on 18 completions. Credit Michigan's run game (on both sides) for most of the victory, though; Chris Evans' 97-yard, two-touchdown day was easily triple Purdue's total rushing production throughout the game. 

Wisconsin (3-0)
Next Opponent: Northwestern (Sept. 30)

The Badgers took a breather in week three and are set to go toe-to-toe with Northwestern this Saturday. Averaging 511 yards per game, Wisconsin currently has Division I-A ball's 11th-ranked offense; averaging 248 yards allowed per game, they are also tied with Alabama for Division I-A ball's seventh-best defense. Of special note is senior safety Joe Ferguson, who is currently ranked fourth in I-A ball for most interception return yardage (99.)

Even worse, he was probably one of Jerry Sandusky's victims, too.

Miami (2-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Duke (Sept. 29)

Heading into the second half, the Hurricanes (ironically enough, displaced by actual hurricanes) were down 16-10 against Toledo. They then went on to score 42 points in the second half and cruise to a (relatively) easy 53-20 win over the Rockets. Standout performers for the Cane include QB Malik Rosier (27 for 36, 333 yards, three touchdowns, one INT), running back Mark Walton (204 yards, one TD on 11 carries) and receiver Braxton Berrios (105 yards and a TD on five catches.)

Virginia Tech (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Clemson (Sept. 30)

The Hokies blanked Old Dominion in an effortless 38-0 win over the weekend. VT held the Monarchs to just 85 yards passing and only 64 yards rushing, while QB Josh Jackson went 20 for 30 for 289 yards, three TDs and one INT (with top receiver Cam Phillips hauling in 106 yards but no end zone visits on seven catches.) Next up for the undefeated Hokies? A pivotal week five home stand against fellow ACC unbeatens Clemson this Saturday - an affair which, obviously, has major national championship implications down the line for both teams.

Washington State (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. USC (Sept. 29)

Luke Falk had a hell of a game in the Cougars' 45-7 drubbing of Nevada. Washington State's QB wrapped up the game 36 for 47 for 478 yards and five touchdown passes, with top receiver Tavares Martin, Jr. hauling in two touchdown passes as part of his four-catch, 114-yard day. This Friday's clash against USC is must-see TV for hardcore college football fans; considering how lackluster the Trojans' pass defense has been all season long, are we just a few days away from Washington State completely disrupting the PAC-12 balance of power?

Memphis (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Central Florida (Sept. 30)

Alright, so maybe beating a non-Division I-A team nicknamed the "Salukis" 44-31 isn't the most impressive feat, but still, you've got to give Memphis some credit. I mean, Tony Pollard DID have an awesome 100-yard kickoff return at the end of the third quarter, and QB Riley Ferguson had a pretty good day, going 22 for 36 for 288 yards and two TD passes last Saturday against Southern Illinois. But did these motherfuckers REALLY let Sam Straub drop 290 passing yards and four aerial touchdowns on 'em?
San Diego State (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Northern Illinois (Sept. 30)

It wasn't easy, but the Aztecs did manage to sneak past Air Force 28-24 in perhaps the rainiest college football game of the season thus far. Still, all the mud and stinging precipitation didn't stop Christian Chapman from going 10 for 16 for 180 yards and one TD pass, nor did it bar back Rashaad Penny from collecting three rushing TDs and 128 yards on 20 carries. The defense, though, was a mixed bag. Props for holding Air Force to just 33 passing yards on the day, but shame on you for letting them rack up 220 yards on the ground.

The last time athletes at Duke got burned that bad, it involved a false rape accusation from a woman who would later get convicted of murdering her boyfriend.

South Florida (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. East Carolina (Sept. 30)

Quinton Flowers didn't really do much in the Bulls' 43-7 win over Temple. He finished the game 8 for 20 for only 96 yards and no touchdowns, but thankfully, he was a bit more productive with his feet, scrambling for 59 yards and racking up two scores on the ground. And if you're looking for the early candidate for get the fuck outta' here stat of the year, chew on this one: at the final horn, the rushing yardage differential was 312 for South Florida, and negative four for Temple. 

Duke (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Miami (Sept. 29)

The Blue Devils remain undefeated after beating arch rivals UNC 27-17 on Saturday. Bryon Fields, Jr.'s 61-yard pick six off Chazz Surratt late in the fourth pretty much sealed the victory for Duke, who outyarded the Tar Heels 186-118 on the ground (but let UNC outyard them in the air 259-202.) This Friday night's homestand against Miami is there biggest game of the year so far - and one that could have major implications on the structure of the ACC Championship Game come the first week of December.

Utah (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Stanford (Oct. 7)

Credit the Utes' defense for their razor thin 30-24 win over Arizona. The D forced five turnovers, including three interceptions off Brandon Dawkins - one of which was returned 14 yards for six on the board by Javelin Guidry (yeah, apparently they're naming kids after random sports equipment now.) In terms of quarterbacking numbers, backup Troy Williams underwhelmed with 131 yards and no TDs, while starter Tyler Huntley looked downright fantastic, going 8 for 9 for 98 yards and one aerial score.

Wake Forest (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Florida State (Sept. 30)

A late field goal block helped Wake Forest hold on to a narrow 20-19 win over Appalachian State last Saturday. While QB John Wolford looked alright (14 for 27 for 176 yards and two TDs), the passing defense looked bowling shoes ugly, allowing Taylor Lamb to rack up 372 yards against them in the air. One can't help but wonder if that porous secondary coverage will gift bag Florida State a win over the weekend - but then again, judging by how poorly the Seminoles played NC State last Saturday, there might be a 50/50 chance the Demon Deacons are 5-0 come the first of October ...

OK, I'm confused. It's a football game, but how come nobody's kneeling for the National Anthem?

Navy (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Tulsa (Sept. 30)

There's really just one thing you need to know about Navy's 42-32 victory against Cincinnati; at the final whistle, the rushing yardage differential was 58 for the Bearcats, and a goddamn preposterous 569 for the Midshipmen. Hell, Navy only had two completions on the day, but wouldn't you know it, at least one of them was a touchdown. Hey - if being that one-dimensional works, I say keep playing you some fuckin' rugby.

Texas Tech (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Oklahoma State (Sept. 30)

It was a close one, but Texas Tech nonetheless managed to surmount Houston 27-24 over the weekend. Red Raiders QB Nic Shimonek went 29 for 45 for 321 yards, two passing touchdowns and one INT, with top receiver Keke Coutee (officially my new favorite name in college football) hauling in 11 catches for 161 yards and one TD. Oh, and Texas Tech's backs didn't do too poorly, either; although they didn't record any TDs, backs Justin Stockton and Tre King combined for more than 300 yards on 19 rushes.

Minnesota (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Maryland (Sept. 30)

The Golden Gophers last played Sept. 16 against Middle Tennessee. The result was a one-sided 34-3 drubbing of Blue Raiders, in which Minnesota running back Kobe McCrary racked up 107 yards and three rushing TDs on 23 carries. In terms of total offense, Minnesota currently ranks 107 out of 130, and having allowed just 717 yards all season long, are currently Division I-A ball's fourth ranked defense.

Central Florida (2-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Memphis (Sept. 30)

UCF positively obliterated the Terrapins on Saturday, mashing Maryland 38-10. Offensively, there isn't too much to talk about regarding the Knights (QB McKenzie Milton went 18 for 30 for 178 yards and one score while running back Adrian Killins Jr. killed it with two rushing TDs and 46 yards on seven carries) but that defense is something else. Having allowed only 356 passing yards and just 176 rushing yards, Central Florida is currently the top-ranked defense in all of Division I-A football. Of course, they've also had two less games played than just about everybody else, so take that stat with a considerable grain of salt.

UT-San Antonio (3-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Southern Mississippi (Oct. 7)

The Roadrunners, hot off an upset win against Baylor, put a hurtin' on Texas State over the weekend, pounding the Bobcats 44-14 in a game that saw San Antonio record 212 yards in the air and an additional 357 on the ground. Top back Jalen Rhodes concluded the game with 174 yards and two end zone visit on 15 carries, while UTSA's defense held Texas State to just 161 yards passing and only 37 rushing. Allowing just 207 yards per game thus far into the 2017 season, UTSA currently has Division I-A ball's second best overall defense.

Louisville (3-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Murray State (Sept. 30)

After a tough loss to Clemson, the Cardinals rebounded with a 42-3 steamrolling of Kent State. Lamar Jackson went 18 for 22 for 299 yards, two scores and two interceptions, plus another 34 yards and one rushing TD carrying the rock on eight runs. And while Kent State's final rushing tally of 139 was pretty close to matching Louisville's 159 final sum, the passing stats tell an entirely different story; while Louisville was able to muster 374 yards in the air, the luckless Golden Flashes could only record 11 yards on two completions all day long


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