Monday, October 28, 2019

2019 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings (Week Nine)

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By: Jimbo X

Let’s face it — the Associated Press and USA Today don’t know what the hell they’re talking about when it comes to college football, which is why their Top 25 rankings are always such dogshit. Thankfully, we here at The Internet Is In America take our collegiate pigskin far more seriously, which is why we’re giving you our own unbiased, impartial, 100 percent objective NCAA Top 25 rankings each and every week this college ball season. Trust us, there’s no reason to scope out ESPN or Bleacher Report this fall … ‘cause when it comes to football on Saturday, ain’t nobody anywhere gonna’ give it to ‘ya as straight as TIIIA will, and that’s a guarantee.

#001
Clemson (8-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Wofford (Nov. 02)

Despite being the reigning, defending National Champions, it appears that the college football cosmos continues to sleep on Clemson — yes, even after putting a 59-7 beatdown on Boston College. Trevor Lawrence looked pretty good in the one-sided drubbing, going 16 for 19 for 275 yards and three TD passes, while Travis Etienne had three touchdowns of his own, wrapping up the win with 109 yards on 16 carries. Oh, and if you're wondering whether or not T.L. has a new go-to receiver this year, I reckon Diondre Overton's 119-yard, three TD day gives you all the data you need, don't it?

#002
Alabama (8-0)
Next Opponent: vs. LSU (Nov. 09)

Backup QB Mac Jones looked really good standing in for Tua Saturday, leading Alabama to a 48-7 win over the Razorbacks. Mac finished the game 18 for 22 for 235 yards and three TD passes, with top receiver Jerry Jeudy reeling in two of them and concluding the game with 103 yards on seven catches. Meanwhile, Najee Harris finished the outing with two touchdowns and 86 yards on 13 carries, and no, your eyes did not deceive you — that was indeed Tua's younger brother, Taulia Tagovailoa, showing up at the ass-end of the game to go six for eight for 45 passing yards.

#003
Ohio State (8-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Maryland (Nov. 09)

Ohio State ran roughshed over Wisconsin Saturday, besting the Badgers 38-7 in a game that pretty much dashed whatever slim playoffs hopes Wisconsin had following last week's get-the-fuck-out-of-here loss to Illinois. Anyhoo, Justin Fields went 12 for 22 for 167 yards and two passing scores (plus another rushing TD), while J.K. Dobbins kept the run game steady with two touchdowns and 163 yards on 20 carries. And defensively, OSU looks quite daunting: they held Jack Coan to just 108 yards lobbing the rock and kept Jonathan Taylor limited to only 52 rushing yards all game long.

#004
LSU (8-0)
Next Opponent: at Alabama (Nov. 09)

It was a close one, but LSU managed to hang on and beat a very, very good Auburn team 23-20 over the weekend. Joe Burow went 32 for 42 for 321 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT split in the winning effort, with top receiver Ja'Marr Chase concluding the contest with 123 yards on eight catches. And Clyde Edwards-Helaire continues to put up solid numbers, wrapping up Saturday's victory with 136 yards and one score on 26 touches.

#005
Penn State (8-0)
Next Opponent: at Minnesota (Nov. 09)

The Nittany Diddlers remain undefeated following Sunday’s 28-7 win over Michigan State, a contest that saw Sean Clifford go 18 for 32 for four TD passes and one INT. Hauling in three scores was receiver Pat Freiermuth, who wrapped up the outing with 60 yards on five catches, with KJ Hamler ending the outing with 57 yards and one score on five catches. Meanwhile, Penn State outpaced the Spartans on the ground in the one-sided win, outrunning Michigan State 114 to 83 yards.

#006
Baylor (7-0)
Next Opponent: vs. West Virginia (Oct. 31)

The Golden Bears have a Halloween hootenanny with the Mountaineers on All Hallows Eve, which by all empirical wisdom, they should win handedly. Things, however, should get a bit more interesting come Nov. 9, when Baylor takes on TCU on the road in a game that should be an unabashed scorefest so devoid of defensive play, you may accidentally think you’ve been transported back in time to 2014. And if that one somehow doesn’t wind up being can’t see TV, the team’s next two home games ought to be quite the intriguing matchups; they’re hosting Oklahoma and Texas back-to-back on Nov. 16 and Nov. 23, respectively.

#007
SMU (8-0)
Next Opponent: at Memphis (Nov. 02)

The Methodists won AGAIN over the weekend, triumphing over Houston 34-31 in a very exciting AAC showcase. Shane Buechele had another solid showing, going 20 for 38 for 203 yards, two TDs and one INT, with top receiver James Proche finishing up the game with 83 yards and one score on seven catches. And holy hell, did Xavier Jones look great running the ball; at the final horn, he had 133 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.

#008
Minnesota (8-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Penn State (Nov. 09)

The Golden Gophers' unbeaten season continued with Saturday's 52-10 ass whompin' of Maryland. Tanner Morgan went 12 for 21 for 138 yards and two TDs (plus on interception) in the win, with Minnesota's backfield outpacing the Terrapins on the ground 321 yards to 79. Leading the herd for Minnesota was Rodney Smith, who concluded the contest with 103 yards and one score on 17 carries, with Seth Green chalking up two touchdown visits on six carries.

#009
Appalachian State (7-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Georgia State (Oct. 31)

Of course, it would take nothing less than the combined work of Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha and Joe Pesci combined to get App State in the Final Four, but you have to give the Mountaineers some props, regardless of their playoffs fortune. That's especially true in the wake of App State's 30-3 win over South Alabama, which saw Zac Thomas go 16 for 28 for 132 yards and one TD pass (which was reeled in by Thomas Hennigan, who concluded the game with 58 yards on six receptions.) And give the run game some credit, too, especially the formidable tandem of Raykwon Anderson and Marcus Williams, Jr., who combined for 193 yards and two scores on just 15 carries

#010
Oklahoma (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Iowa State (Nov. 09)

The Sooners’ shocking 48-41 loss to Kansas State over the weekend doesn't quite put them out of National Championship contendership, but it certainly puts them behind the eight-ball in what should be a thrilling final stretch through the month of November. And even in defeat, Jalen Hurts still put up Heisman-caliber numbers; at the final horn, he had 395 passing yards on 19 completions, plus another 96 yards on 19 carries — combining, ultimately, for four touchdowns on the day.

#011
Oregon (7-1)
Next Opponent: at USC (Nov. 02)

Justin Herbert went 21 for 30 for 222 yards in Oregon’s 37-35 win over Washington State Saturday, ultimately lobbing no touchdowns or interceptions in the narrow victory. Of course, Herbert didn’t have to do much on offensive, considering CJ Verdell accumulated an astounding 257 yards on his 23 carries for the Ducks, and with them three end zone visit. Naturally, Oregon can’t be too pleased by its defensive showing, though, having allowed Anthony Gordon to torch ‘em for 406 passing yards.

#012
Utah (7-1)
Next Opponent: at Washington (Nov. 02)

The Utes shut out Cal over the weekend, besting the Golden Bears 35-0 at home. Tyler Huntely went 11 for 17 for 214 yards in the victory, with one 40-yard touchdown pass zipped to Bryan Thompson. Meanwhile running back Zack Moss had two touchdowns and 115 yards on 17 carries, plus he led the team receiving with 89 yards on three catches. And defensively, Utah looked downright superb, holding Cal to just 60 yards rushing and a mere 23 passing the pigskin.

#013
Florida (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Georgia (Nov. 02)

Let’s be real here; even WITH a win over Georgia this Saturday, it seems quite unlikely that Florida will make the Final Four. Of course, with Vanderbilt, Missouri and Florida State remaining on their schedule, there’s really no excuse for the team to finish the regular season with more than two losses; the rub there, of course, is that no matter who wins the SEC West, they’re almost guaranteed to get BTFO by either Alabama or LSU (or MAYBE Auburn, but that would take a lot of weird shit to even get that far.) That’s the intrinsic sorrow of being in the Southeastern Conference, I suppose — lord knows, this Florida team would probably run the table if it were in the PAC 12. 

#014
Georgia (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Florida (Nov. 02)

If Georgia — still reeling from that inexplicable loss to South Carolina two weeks ago — wants to make it into the National Playoffs, they pretty much HAVE to beat Florida this weekend, which, of course, is a VERY tall order. And from there, UGA has a real murderer’s row down the final stretch, with matchups against Auburn and Texas A&M and what very well could be trap games against Missouri and Georgia Tech. And even then, they’re still not out of the woods yet, with their playoffs hopes hinging on somehow winning the SEC against Alabama, LSU or (very remotely) Auburn. The Bulldogs are undoubtedly a good time, but with a hypothetical six game stretch like that staring them in the face, I’m not sure how anybody outside of the dyed-in-the-wool Athens faithful can like their chances for bowl-time play that actually matters.

#015
Boise State (6-1)
Next Opponent: at San Jose State (Nov. 02)

The Blue Turfers pretty much saw their already far-fetched National Championship dreams go out the window when they lost to BYU two weeks back, and their next five games down the stretch don’t exactly look like gimmes, either. This weekend’s contest at SJSU has “trap game” written all over, and their final four games — which includes tussles with Wyoming, Utah State and Colorado State — are all potential L’s. Still, there’s no denying that Boise State isn’t a fun team to watch; even if they don’t make the MAC Championship Game this year, here’s hoping we get at least one or two nail-biters for the Broncos (you know, just so us East Coasters have something to entertain us at 1 a.m. on Sunday mornings.)

#016
Cincinnati (6-1)
Next Opponent: at East Carolina (Nov. 02)

The Bearcats had a bye over the weekend and return to action this Saturday for a road game against East Carolina which, yeah, they should win pretty easily. From there, common sense dictates they’d have no problem surmounting UConn or the ghost of South Florida’s football program, either, but those final two games of the year look imposing as a mofo; indeed, with Temple and Memphis on the docket, there’s a very strong chance Cincy could close out the year with back-to-back losses, which, naturally, would boot them out of anything even remotely resembling conference championship contendership. 

#017
Navy (6-1)
Next Opponent: at UConn (Nov. 01)

The Midshipmen prevailed over the surprisingly-not-all-that-terrible-this-year Tulane Green Wave 41-38 over the weekend, in a game that saw Malcom Perry going two for seven for 68 aerial yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio. Of course, by now we know that passing the ball isn’t exactly Navy’s forte; as expected, Navy stomped all over Tulane Saturday, outpacing ‘em on the ground 395 yards to 187. Leading the herd for Navy? Jamale Carothers, who finished the narrow win with three touchdowns and 154 yards on 14 carries. Oh, and Perry looked way better scrambling than passing here, concluding the affair with 142 yards on 22 keepers.

#018
Memphis (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. SMU (Nov. 02)

The Tigers just barely got by a shitty 2-6 Tulsa squad Saturday, besting the singular Golden Hurricane 42-21 in an inexplicable one-point win. Still, a W is a still a W, and the Tigers, if nothing else, certainly looked good running the rock. The team combined for four rushing scores, with top back Kenneth Gainwell ending the contest with 149 yards and three end zone visits on 24 carries. Of course, Memphis’ defense also let Tulsa chalk up 275 rushing yards and four touchdowns against them, and holy hell, I have no earthly clue how the Tigers’ D let a dude like Zach Smith light up their secondary for 309 passing yards.

#019
Wake Forest (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. NC State (Nov. 02)

The Demon Deacons, who had a bye over the weekend, SHOULD have no trouble getting past NC State this Saturday. Furthermore, one simply assumes they should squeak by Virginia Tech on Nov. 9, which puts them on the national radar Nov. 16 when they travel to Clemson for what seems to be the toughest contest remaining on the docket for the Tigers. Hell, if North Carolina can ALMOST stop the Trevor Lawrence juggernaut, one has to think WF has just as much of a chance to play spoiler — whatever you’ve got going on that afternoon, old Jimbo advises you to clear out your itinerary; the Demons may very well be on the verge of giving us one of the most shocking upsets in recent NCAA Division I ball history is just a few weeks’ time.

#020
San Diego State (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Nevada (Nov. 09)

Surprisingly, the 7-1 Aztecs just barely got passed UNLV on Saturday, defeating the Rebels 20-17 in a tough contest on the road. Ryan Agnew (no relation to Spiro, I think) went 14 for 23 for 185 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT split in the narrow victory, with Ethan Dedeaux hailing in a 49-yard TD for his sole grab of the game. Oddly enough, the difference-maker in this one was Caden McDonald’s blocked punt, which gave SDSU six easy points on the scoreboard — which, remarkably, they desperately, direly needed to surmount the 2-6 Rebs.

#021
Louisiana Tech (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. North Texas (Nov. 09)

The Bulldogs topped the UTEP Miners 42-21 over the weekend, in a game that saw J’Mar Smith go 29 for 35 passing for 338 yards and three TD zips. Meanwhile, top LT back Justin Henderson wrapped up the game with two touchdowns and 65 yards on 17 carries, while top receiver Cee Jay Powell closed out the game with 85 yards on six catches. The defense, though, was a mixed bag; despite holding UTEP to just 98 yards not he ground, though also let Kai Locksley, who will probably be selling insurance door-to-door this time next year, sandpaper their secondary for 227 aerial yards.

#022
UAB (6-1)
Next Opponent: at Tennessee (Nov. 02)

After a bye over the weekend, the Blazers return to the gridiron Saturday for a road clash with Tennessee, which — obviously — UAB has more than a fair chance of actually winning. From there the Blazers have what seems to be a gimme against UTEP on Nov. 16, and on Nov. 23, mark your calendars, ‘cause then it’s time for some hot C-USA on C-USA action, as UAB locks horse with Louisiana Tech in a contest that should determine who will represent the Western representative in this year’s Conference USA Championship contest. And hell, who knows? Pending UAB is able to run the table (and a whole hell of a lot of other teams hunch the proverbial pooch), the Blazers MIGHT find themselves playing in a bowl game that actually matters. Maybe.

#023
Auburn (6-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Ole Miss (Nov. 02)

Auburn put up a valiant fight, but the Tigers just couldn't surmount LSU, falling 23-20 in Death Valley over the weekend. Bo Nix concluded the contest 15 for 35 for 157 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT split, with Seth Williams leading the team in receiving with 65 yards and one end zone visit on four receptions. And D.J. Williams definitely put in a great showing on the ground, wrapping up the contest with 130 yards on 13 carries, complete with a spectacular 70-yard jaunt.

#024
Michigan (6-2)
Next Opponent: at Maryland (Nov. 02)

The Irish had no luck against the Wolverines over the weekend, as Michigan clobbered Notre Dame 45-14 at home. Shea Patterson concluded the game six for 12 for 100 yards and two TD passes, while top Michigan back Hassan Haskins finished the outing with 149 yards and 20 carries. Alas, it was another running back, Zach Charbonnet, who had the two rushing scores on 15 carries (plus 74 yards on the ground), with True Wilson chalking up one more rushing score on his 45-yard, six-carry day. The Wolverines’ D, by the way, looked fantastic, limiting ND to just 133 yards passing and only 47 yards on the ground.

#025
Kansas State (5-2)
Next Opponent: at Kansas (Nov. 02)

The Wildcats pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the college football season so far this year when they topped the formerly unbeaten Sooners 48-41 at home. Despite the combined 99 points, Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson had no touchdown passes, going 18 for 28 for 213 yards passing. Of course, he made up for that by collecting FOUR rushing touchdowns on the day, as a potent Wildcats rushing attack (led by James Gilbert, who had 105 yards and one TD on 13 carries) outpaced Oklahoma on the ground 213 yards to 102.

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