Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2016 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings (Week Eight!)

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:
"I'm not upset. Are you upset?"

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)

Despite Jalen Hurts lobbing two interceptions, the Crimson Tide were never in much distress en route to their 33-14 win over the formerly unbeaten Aggies. The dynamic 'Bama defense certainly did its part in the pummeling, limiting Texas A&M to just 164 passing yards and only 114 on the ground. 

Clemson (7-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Florida State (Oct. 29)

Deshaun Watson and pals took the week off and return this Saturday to slug it out with FSU in a game that should have major ACC title implications. At this point in the season, the Tigers possess the 42nd ranked offense in division one college ball, averaging 474 yards a game. Their defense is ranked no. 8 in the country, allowing opponents an average 299 yards per contest. 

Michigan (7-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Michigan State (Oct. 29)

The Wolverines continued their unbeaten campaign with a facile 44-8 win against the hapless, hopeless and helpless Fighting Illini. In the one-sided drubbing, Michigan outyarded Illinois 291 to 95 in the air and 270 to 77 running the ball.

Washington (7-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Utah (Oct. 29)

The Huskies continue to steamroll the PAC-12, with their latest conference victory a 41-17 manhandlin' of Oregon State. Jake Browning had another impressive outing, going 14 for 28 and racking up 291 yards and three touchdown strikes. In all, no less than three Washington players finished the contest with at least 100 yards - running back Myles Gaskin (128 yards and one TD) and receivers John Ross (115 yards) and Dante Pettis (112 yards and two TDs.)

Baylor (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Texas (Oct. 29)

The Golden Bears took a breather last weekend, with a potential trap game against the Longhorns scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Averaging 549 yards per game, Baylor is ranked no. 45 nationally in terms of total offense. Allowing opponents an average of 320 yards per game, they also have the nation's fourth best defense, statistically.

Nebraska (7-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Wisconsin (Oct. 29)

The Cornhuskers' run game DEFINITELY propelled them to victory over Purdue. In Nebraska's 27-14 win, the Boilermakers actually managed to outpass them 309 yards to 252. Then again, the Huskers also ran the ever-loving shit out of the ball, collecting two rushing touchdowns and 157 yards on the ground compared to their foes' paltry 24 rushing yard total. 

West Virginia (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Oklahoma State (Oct. 29)

Folks, it might be time to start considering the Mountaineers a real playoff contender, if nothing else, for the dynamic play of quarterback Skyler Howard. In West Virginia's 34-10 win over TCU, he collected 231 yards and four touchdowns on just 16 completions, with all four end zone strikes targeting separate receivers. 

Boise State (7-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Wyoming (Oct. 29)

The Broncos 28-27 win over BYU has to be one of the most insane games of the college football season thus far. Boise State Brett Rypien certainly had a game to remember - in his 442 yard passing day, he racked up three touchdowns (plus two pick sixes), averaging about 11 yards per toss on 23 completions. 

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

The other non-power five unbeaten Broncos also had a pretty good weekend. Besting arch rivals Eastern Michigan 45-31, Western Michigan QB had 398 passing yards and three touchdowns on 29 receptions, with receiver Carrington Thompson - rather fittingly - carrying the pigskin into enemy end zone twice in his 177-yard, eight-catch afternoon. 

Louisville (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Virginia (Oct. 29)

Lamar Jackson did what Lamar Jackson (usually) does in the Cardinals' 54-13 blowout of N.C. State. Jackson's final numbers? 355 yards and three touchdowns on 20 completions and 76 yards and one TD on 17 rushing attempts. 

Ohio State (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Northwestern (Oct. 29)

The Buckeyes' 24-21 loss to Penn State HAS to be the upset of the year in college football thus far. While it's a bit early to chalk up that one loss as a playoffs-breaker, you KNOW the Ohio State faithful are nonetheless going to be praying that the Spartans bump off the Wolverines this weekend...

Florida (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Georgia (Oct. 29)

The "World's Largest Cocktail Party" doesn't really mean much of anything this year. After sitting out play last weekend, the Gators travel to Jacksonville Saturday for what should be a fairly facile win over a wounded UGA squad. Like I said, though ... the operative term here is should

Texas A&M (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. New Mexico State (Oct. 29)

Although the 33-14 loss to Alabama over the weekend is a demoralizing one, the Aggies still have an outside shot at capturing the SEC West if the Crimson Tide stumble late in the season. That is, if the Aggies themselves, you know, don't fuck up along the way, too

Utah (7-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Washington (Oct. 29)

The Utes/Bruins game was pretty much the score-fest we all expected it to be. Alas, Utah came out on top in the contest, 52-45, thanks in no small part to the fancy footwork of back Joe Williams, who posted 332 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries. 

Navy (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. South Florida (Oct. 28)

If anybody ever asks you whether an explosive aerial attack is worth more than an explosive ground attack, just show them the final tally of last Saturday's Navy/Memphis score-fest. While the Tigers managed to outyard the Midshipmen 333 to 82 by air, Navy conversely stomped Memphis running the ball, outyarding them 447 to 98. Needless to say, those four running touchdowns definitely made up the difference in Navy's 42-28 victory. 

San Diego State (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Utah State (Oct. 28)

San Jose State didn't have a prayer against SDSU, who bested the Spartans 42-3 last weekend. The Aztecs' rushing attack played a large role in the one-sided victory; the team collected 293 total rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground, with backs Donnel Pumphrey (two TDs and 135 yards on 23 carries) and Rashaad Penny (three TDs and 105 yards on just nine carries) leading the herd. 

Toledo (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Ohio (Oct. 27)

The Rockets easily dispatched Central Michigan 31-17 over the weekend. Toledo QB Logan Woodside finished the contest with 264 yards and four touchdown passes ... all of which landed in the open arms of receiver Cody Thompson, who concluded the game with 122 yards in addition to his four TD hauls. 

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

The Trojans just barely snuck by South Alabama, escaping with a narrow 28-21 win. In the contest, Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers lobbed the rock for 395 yards and one TD, while running back Jordan Chunn wrapped up the contest with 134 yards and two TDs on 23 carries.

Florida State (5-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Clemson (Oct. 29)

Following a bye last weekend, the Seminoles have a chance to resuscitate their extremely slim playoffs chances with a win over the unbeaten Clemson Tigers this Saturday. Putting up 485 yards per game, Florida State possesses the 30th most potent offense in college ball; allowing opponents an average of 389 yards per contest, their overall defense is ranked 50th. 

Penn State (5-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Purdue (Oct. 29)

Yes, the Nittany Lions did indeed find a way to knock off Ohio State over the weekend. With only two losses thus far and the hardest part of their schedule behind them, just the right amount of Big 10 anarchy over the next few weeks could bode well for Penn State's unlikely - but certainly not impossible - conference championship aspirations.

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

Quarterback Mitch Trubisky certainly had a hell of a game against Virginia. In the Tar Heels' 35-14 win, he lobbed the pigskin for 310 yards and three touchdowns on 24 completions, with top receiver Bug Howard reeling in seven catches for 109 yards and one trip to the end zone.

Wisconsin (5-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Nebraska (Oct. 29)

The Badgers' 17-9 victory over Iowa may not have been the most exhilarating game of the weekend, but hey, a "W" is still a "W," ain't it? Wisconsin's defense looked especially solid, holding the Hawkeyes to just 153 yards passing and 83 rushing - with no touchdowns, obviously, recorded against them.

Auburn (5-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Ole Miss (Oct. 29)

Don't look now, but the Tigers are slowly but surely heating up into the formidable SEC West competitor they used to be. Their 56-3 throttling of Arkansas surely has to have Alabama wondering about the prospects of a heavy upset at this year's Iron Bowl, no? 

Tennessee (5-2)
Next Opponent: vs. South Carolina (Oct. 29)

The Vols were sidelined last weekend, but they re-enter the wacky SEC East fray this Saturday against a fairly ho-hum Gamecocks squad. Putting up 395 yards per game, the Vols rank No. 87 in division I ball. Allowing an average of 472 yards a contest, their overall defense ranks No. 73.

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

After being declared D.O.A. just a few weeks ago, the Tigers have won three in a row and have at least a puncher's chance of upsetting the Tide when they march into Death Valley two weeks from now. And in case you forgot about that Leonard Fournette kid? Yeah, he's still pretty awesome, as apparent by his 284 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers' 38-21 win over Ole Miss. 


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