Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2017 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings (Week 14 - We're Going Bowling!)

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 to 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?

Central Florida (12-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Auburn (Peach Bowl - Jan. 01)

No, we're not being facetious, nor are we high on crack cocaine. The fact of the matter is that out of the 120-or-something teams in division I-A college football, only the Knights were able to wrap up the year sans a single defeat, and that's a towering achievement even if they are relegated to AAC play (which, with teams like Memphis and South Florida in it, is way tougher than most analysts want to give it credit for.) Alas, we'll see if UCF is the real deal on New Year's Day, when they go toe-to-toe with a dejected Auburn team that has nothing to play for but pride; and if Central Florida comes out on top, expect plenty of chatter in the offseason about the inclusivity of non-power fivers come next year's championship playoffs.

Clemson (12-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Alabama (Sugar Bowl - Jan. 01)

After bitch slapping Miami 38-3 for the ACC crown, the Tigers secured the number one overall seed in the National Championship Playoffs, which means they get to lock elbows and assholes with Alabama yet again. This will be the third year in a row the two teams have met in the playoffs; alas, this time around it's not for the Championship trophy, but the honor and the privilege to play for said trophy in one more game. Needless to say - expect a lot of bruising hits and a lot of blood on the turf for that one.

Oklahoma (12-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Georgia (Rose Bowl - Jan. 01)

Steamrolling TCU 41-17 to scoop up the Big 12 crown, Baker Mayfield and pals locked up the number two seed in the playoffs, thus scoring them a date with the third ranked Georgia Bulldogs on New Year's Day. Before then, however, Mayfield is a virtual shoe-in to pick up the Heisman trophy in New York in a few weeks, and for good reason; with a 71 percent completion rate, he's the most accurate quarterback in college football - in addition to leading the nation in yards per pass attempt (11.8) and overall passing efficiency (at 203.8, about 20 points higher than the country's second highest rated QB.)

Georgia (12-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Oklahoma (Rose Bowl - Jan. 01)

The Bulldogs avenged a 40-14 ass whupping from Auburn three weeks back by returning the favor and kicking the War Eagle shit out of Gus Malzahn's boys 28-7 in last weekend's SEC Championship Game. That puts Georgia in the No. 3 slot for the National Championship Playoffs, thus setting up a New Year's semifinals clash with Oklahoma on Jan. 01. It's going to be an interesting matchup, for sure - especially seeing if the nation's best quarterback can hang with Georgia' vicious defense, which is ranked No. 2 in the country in fewest passing yards allowed per game.

Alabama (11-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Clemson (Sugar Bowl - Jan. 01)

No SEC Championship, no problem! With Georgia beating Auburn for the conference title and Ohio State defeating Wisconsin for the Big 10 Championship, fate smiled upon the Tide as they managed to creep their way into the fourth and final National Playoffs Championship spot. That puts Alabama on a collision course with a foe they know very, very well - fellow one-loss Clemson, who defeated 'Bama last year for the National Title.

Can you say you've really lived until an Alabama MILF assaults you at a football game?

Wisconsin (12-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Miami (Orange Bowl - Dec. 30)

After losing 27-21 to Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship Game Saturday, the Badgers not only saw their undefeated season fly out the window, but their national championship aspirations along with it. Alas, the Badgers do get a pretty nice consolation price - an all expense paid trip to sunny Miami, where they will go toe-to-toe with the Hurricanes on their home turf. Wait - that actually sounds like a pretty shitty consolation price, now that I think about it a bit.

Ohio State (11-2)
Next Opponent: vs. USC (Cotton Bowl - Dec. 29)

The good news is that, via a 27-21 win over Wisconsin, the Buckeyes won the Big 10 title over the weekend. The bad news is that because they lost to Oklahoma in week 2 and then got BTFO by Iowa by 30 points last month, the playoffs selection committee decided one-loss Alabama was a more deserving finalist. The question now is, will that ire from being left out be enough to fuel them to beat up on the Trojans at the Cotton Bowl, or are they so deflated they won't even give half a shit what happens on the field until next fall?

USC (11-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Ohio State (Cotton Bowl - Dec. 29)

The Trojans hung on to beat Stanford 31-28 Friday night, in the process securing themselves yet another PAC-12 Championship. While they won't be participating in the National Playoffs, they do get a chance to boost their 2018 preseason rankings with a victory over Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl - that is, if either team feels like turning in performances that could even remotely be described as enthusiastic.

Miami (10-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Wisconsin (Orange Bowl - Dec. 30)

With Clemson drubbing 'em 38-3 in the ACC title game, Miami said "adios, National Playoffs" and sure as sugar, wound up playing de facto host at the Orange Bowl. The Hurricanes will tango with the Badgers on New Year's Eve eve in what should be a pretty decent little ball game - you know, assuming nobody treats it like a glorified exhibition game, which, let's face it, they probably will.

Penn State (10-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Washington (Fiesta Bowl - Dec. 30)

After getting snubbed out of the Big 10 Championship, the Nittany Lions will wrap up their 2017 season with a stay at the Fiesta Bowl, where they'll do battle with the Huskies. In fact, if you keep your eyes peeled, you might even see the Penn State team van rolling across the country en route to the contest. Here's the most recent file photo of the vehicle the Nittany Lions use to transport players and personnel to and fro, so you'll know when to alert the young 'uns the boys in blue are coming through your neck of the woods ...

Hell yeah, Penn State's in town!

Washington (10-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Penn State (Fiesta Bowl - Dec. 30)

The Huskies got screwed out of the PAC-12 Championship the final week of the regular season, but with a 10-2 record they're still one of the better overall football teams in I-A ball. It really don't account for much of nothin', but Washington nonetheless has an an opportunity to earn one more victory in '17 when they clash with Penn State at the Fiesta Bowl. And if getting the bitter taste of late season disappointment outta' their mouths isn't enough of an incentive for them to bring their A game, the opportunity to knock the shit out of a bunch of paedo protectors probably should.

Memphis (10-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Iowa State (Liberty Bowl - Dec. 30)

The Tigers came up on the short end of the stick Saturday, losing a thriller in overtime 62-55 to Central Florida. Alas, that high scoring Memphis offense (as well as their atrocious pass coverage) gets one last opportunity to shortwire the scoreboard, as they go cleat-to-cleat with Iowa State at the Liberty Bowl in what should be a pretty entertaining little affair. Note to gamblers: whatever the over/under is, DEFINITELY go over for that 'un.

South Florida (9-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Texas Tech (Birmingham Bowl -  Dec. 23)

As of press time, the Heisman finalists haven't been announced but in our eyes, USF gunslinger Quinton Flowers definitely deserves a nomination. The dude only has 2,600 yards on the season, with a passing TD-to-INT ratio of 21-to-6, plus almost 1,000 yards rushing with ten scrambling touchdowns. Expect the Bulls to pile the points on when they tangle with the Red Raiders the day before Christmas Eve at the Birmingham Bowl - and considering the porous aerial coverage of both teams' defenses, I wouldn't be surprised if the conservative over/under estimates were damn near 100 combined points.

Toledo (11-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Appalachian State (Dollar General Bowl - Dec. 23)

Yep, you motherfuckers thought I was joshing you all season long, but nope - the Dollar General Bowl is a real thing, and the fact that Toledo and Appalachian State are both playing in it is pretty much the most fitting thing in the history of humanity. All I can say is that if anybody made me skip Christmas with the fam to play a meaningless football game in Mobile, Alabama, they better give me one hell of a gift card, that's for damned sure

San Diego State (10-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Army (Armed Forces Bowl - Dec. 23)

The Aztecs have the best winning percentage in the Mountain West Conference, but they didn't play in the conference championship game (more on that in just a bit.) Which, for us, is kinda beneficial, since that means they'll now play Army in the Armed Forces Bowl, pitting two of the most run-heavy teams in college ball against one another in what's pretty much a de facto rugby game. If nothing else, it's probably worth going out of your way to see Rashaad Penny play his final collegiate game - who, yeah, will probably make for one hell of a running back in the pros next season.

Oh, we have to meme "overly excited Troy football player" into reality ...

Troy (10-2)
Next Opponent: vs. North Texas (New Orleans Bowl - Dec. 16)

The next time you think you've been giving a tough task, remind yourself "yeah, this is pretty hard, but at least I'm not being forced to say something about Troy's football team." And since I'm totally spent on everything I know about the squad (fun fact: they play in Troy, Alabama and their official logo has an oddly pronounced "J," for seemingly no apparent reason), I'll just say this about their upcoming tilt against North Texas in the New Orleans Bowl - absolutely fuckin' nothing.

Auburn (10-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Central Florida (Peach Bowl - Jan. 01)

So Auburn beat Georgia and Alabama - both of whom were ranked No. 1 in the country at the time - and over the weekend, they get their asses kicked by the Bulldogs in a game that eliminated them from National Playoffs contention. You know, there's really only one thing worse than losing the SEC Championship, losing a shot at the National Championship and facilitating your arch rival's sudden boost into what would've been your playoffs seed - and that's doing all of that and then losing to an AAC team at the very same building a month later. Which, uh, couldn't possibly happen, right?

Boise State (10-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Oregon (Las Vegas Bowl - Dec. 16)

Two weeks ago, Boise State got shellacked by Fresno State in their regular season finale. So, naturally, the two teams met again in the MWC Championship Game Saturday, and - of course - this time the Broncos ended up winning the whole kit and caboodle 17-14. That puts the Blue Turfers in line for a trip to Vegas to duke it out with Oregon - which means both teams will probably be too busy trying to spot potential snipers in the vicinity's hotels to actually play a decent ball game. Hey, don't get mad at me for simply saying what we're all thinking here ...

TCU (10-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Stanford (Alamo Bowl - Dec. 28)

The Horned Frogs got gigged by the Sooners Saturday, losing the Big 12 title game 41-17. Alas, Texas Christian University has a chance to make their lord and savior (and much more importantly, their team boosters) happy with a victory over the always singular Cardinal at the Alamo Bowl on December 28. And let's don't pretend both teams are more excited about visiting the Alamo gift shop than actually playing a football game in this scenario.

Oklahoma State (9-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Virginia Tech (Camping World Bowl - Dec. 28)

While everybody's gushing over that other Oklahoma quarterback, the fact of the matter is that Mason Rudolph hasn't done too bad for himself this year. As a matter of fact, it's he and not Baker What's-His-Name who leads Division I-A in aerial yards. And something tells me he's gonna' have plenty of opportunities to add to his seasonal stockpile when the Cowboys meet the Hokies at the Camping World Bowl on December 28 - I'm guessing an extra 400, at the absolute minimum.

So yeah, 60 minutes of this was pretty much what the Big 12 Championship Game was like.

LSU (9-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Notre Dame (Citrus Bowl - Jan. 01)

It wasn't exactly a stellar season for the Tigers, but they can end the season on a high note by defeating the Irish at the Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day. By the way, did you know the Citrus Bowl is sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings, which was recently bought out by Arby's? Well, they did - and I'd appreciate it very much if you helped me grasp at those fuckin' straws here.

Notre Dame (9-3)
Next Opponent: vs. LSU (Citrus Bowl - Jan. 01)

The Irish, having suffered crushing losses to Miami and Stanford, respectively, at the end of the regular season, have one more chance to redeem themselves when they challenge the LSU Tigers at the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1. Hey, did you know the Citrus Bowl is in Orlando, which by some estimates, is expected to have a population larger than Los Angeles by 2100? Now that's a mighty fine straw, I tell you what.

Northwestern (9-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Kentucky (Music City Bowl - Dec. 29)

The Wildcats head into the Music City Bowl with a seven-game win streak. And oddly enough, the team they're playing in that game, Kentucky, is also nicknamed the Wildcats. And that was also the name of a movie starring Goldie Hawn, who - much like everybody reading this - doesn't give one inkling of a shit who wins that particular ball game. 

Washington State (9-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Michigan State (Holiday Bowl - Dec. 28)

It'll be the Cougars against the Spartans in the Holiday Bowl in a battle of 9-3 also-rans. Hey, did you know that the Holiday Bowl is sponsored by the San Diego Credit Union? Just bringing that up, because San Diego sure as hell hasn't been seeing a whole lot of football in that stadium this year, if you catch my drift ...

Florida Atlantic (10-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Akron (Boca Raton Bowl - Dec. 19)

And for the first time this season, the Florida Atlantic Owls make an appearance in the top 25 rankings. That can largely be attributed to their strong showing in the Conference USA Championship Game, in which they defeated North Texas 41-17. Strangely enough, the streaking Owls (who've won their last ten games) started off the season 0-3. Which once again reminds us all - if at first, you don't succeed, only compete against people who are far less talented than you and then act like you've actually accomplished something by defeating inferior opponents.


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