Wednesday, October 19, 2016

2016 NCAA Top 25 Football Rankings (Week 7!)

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:
"Does overtime equal overrated?"

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 (7-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Texas A&M (Oct. 22)

The Crimson Tide put a hurtin' on the Tennessee Vols, pummeling the presumptive SEC East champs 49-10. Jalen Hurts didn't really impress throwing the ball (he went 16 for 26 for 143 yards and one INT), but he certainly earned his paycheck ... I mean, tuition ... by scrambling for 132 yards and three rushing touchdowns. 

Ohio State (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Penn State (Oct. 22)

It may have took overtime, but the Buckeyes weathered the storm and surmounted the Badgers 30-23 in their home stadium. J.T. Barrett had another stellar showing in the win over Wisconsin - he wrapped up the affair with 226 aerial yards and a TD and 92 yards and another two end zone trips on the ground. 

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

Deshaun Watson certainly bolstered his Heisman chances last weekend, leading the Tigers to a thrilling 24-17 overtime win over a tenacious N.C. State squad that gave the defending A.C.C. champs everything they could muster and then some. At the final horn, Deshaun recorded 378 passing yards and two touchdowns (including the game-winning 10-yard zip to Artavis Scott) plus another 35 yards (and an additional score) with his feet. Clemson's unsung hero in the contest? Receiver Mike Williams, who registered 146 yards and a TD on 12 receptions. 

Michigan (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Illinois (Oct. 22)

The Wolverines sat out week seven action, with a return engagement against the Fighting Illlini slated for this Saturday. When it comes to total offense, Michigan is ranked 48 in the nation, averaging 470 yards per game. Defensively, they are the best team in the country, allowing opposing teams to record an average of 213 yards per game thus far in the season.

Washington (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Oregon State (Oct. 22)

The Huskies took a breather last weekend, with a PAC-12 showdown against the underperforming Beavers this Saturday. With an aggregated 481 yards per game, Washington's offense ranks 40th in the country; allowing only 218 yards per contest, their defense is ranked no. 13 nationally. 

Texas A&M (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Alabama (Oct. 22) 

The Aggies were yet another top 10, undefeated squad taking last weekend off. Ahead of their absolutely massive throwdown with Alabama this Saturday, the team is ranked 17th in the country with 533 yards of offense per game. Allowing 438 yards per contest, their defense ranks 78th overall. 

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

The Golden Bears more or less gave Kansas a golden shower in the form of a hellacious 49-7 beatdown over the weekend. While QB Seth Russell only managed to land nine out of 22 pass attempts, at least two of them landed in the arms of receivers in enemy end zone, and he also managed to Fred Flintstone another two scores with his feet. And hey, that on-the-field defense is almost as good as the legal defense that helped the school cover up its off-season rape allegations!

Nebraska (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Purdue (Oct. 22)

The Hoosiers made it close, but the Cornhuskers remain undefeated following last Saturday's 27-22 win against Indiana. Going 10 for 26 on pass attempts for 208 yards, one TD and two interceptions isn't exactly the best outing for QB Tommy Armstrong, Jr., but the Huskers' rushing attack was there to bail him out - specifically, back Terrell Newby, who recorded 102 yards and one TD waltz on 22 carries. 

West Virginia (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. TCU (Oct. 22)

The Mountaineers might just be the most surprising undefeated team in college football. West Virginia continued their winning ways Saturday with an impressive 48-17 win over Texas Tech, in which the Mountaineers run game outyarded the Red Raiders 332 to 34. Still, the team has some mighty big aerial defense deficiencies to deal with - after all, T.T. did manage to lob the rock for 340 yards, didn't they?

Boise State (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. BYU (Oct. 20)

If you missed last Saturday's Colorado State/Boise State hootenanny, you missed one of the craziest goddamn games of the entire season. At the 10 minute mark of the fourth quarter, the Broncos had a comfortable - if not seemingly insurmountable - 28-3 lead. Well, the Rams came rambling back, scoring three touchdowns over the course of one minute and 25 seconds. Alas, Boise State's defense managed to upend the late putsch - try as they may, the blue-turfers still managed to best their opponents by a final score of 28-23.

Western Michigan (7-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Eastern Michigan (Oct. 22)

Raise your hands if you had the Western Michigan Broncos emerging as this year's non-Power Five surprise party crasher? The super-obscure school continued their winning ways Saturday, blanking Akron 41-0. Keep an eye on running back Jarvion Franklin - the stellar rusher accumulated 281 yards and a score on 33 carries in last weekend's blowout.

Louisville (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. N.C. State (Oct. 22)

That 21-14 win over Duke was way closer than it probably ever should've been. Factor in Lamar Jackson's uninspiring showing - and yes, 181 yards passing and just one TD IS uninspiring, even if he did run for another 144 yards - and one has to wonder: has this high-powered offense finally run out of steam?

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

Even with QB Luke Del Rio lobbing three interceptions, Florida was never really in trouble in their commanding 40-14 win over Missouri. A lot of that has to do with the Gators' stellar defense, which recorded two pick sixes in the second quarter, and the talented footwork of special teams expert Antonio Callaway, who recorded a 44-yard kick return for a score late in the fourth quarter. 

Utah (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. UCLA (Oct. 22)

It wasn't pretty, but the Utes nonetheless managed to outlast Oregon State in a low-scoring 19-14 affair. When I say Utah's run game saved the day, I fucking mean it: while back Joe Williams ran like crazy for 179 yards on 34 carries, quarterback Troy Williams finished the outing with an abysmal four for 13, no touchdown 42-passing-yard grand total. 

San Diego State (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. San Jose State (Oct. 21)

It was all rushing attack in the Aztecs' 17-3 win over Fresno State. While quarterback Christian Chapman didn't do much at all (he finished the game seven for 12 for only 72 yards and no scores), running back Donnel Pumphrey absolutely turned the field into mulch, registering two touchdowns and 220 rushing yards on 38 carries. 

Navy (4-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Memphis (Oct. 22)

Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, the Midshipmen never got to play East Carolina over the weekend. Heading into their big ACC showdown with Memphis this Saturday, Navy currently holds the nation's 123rd ranked offense (averaging 392 yards per game) and the country's 17th best defense (which is allowing an average of 399 yards per contest.) 

Houston (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Southern Methodist (Oct. 22)

Just one week after getting upset by Navy, the Cougars almost found themselves upset again against Tulsa. Still, Houston managed to hold on to the 38-31 victory, thanks in no small part to the tremendous footwork of back Dillon Birden, who finished the contest with 82 yards on 14 carries - and oh yeah, three rushing touchdowns

Memphis (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Navy (Oct. 22)

Admittedly, there's not much to talk about regarding Memphis' 24-14 victory over Tulane. I mean, QB Riley Ferguson did have impressive stats (236 yards on 21 completions), but seeing as how only one of those completions resulted in a score, it's a bit difficult to toot his proverbial horn too much. The Tigers' defense did look very solid though, holding the Green Wave to just 169 rushing yards and only 144 passing. 

South Florida (6-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Temple (Oct. 21)

Don't look now, but that other, other, OTHER school in Florida ain't doing too shabby right now. The Bulls - whose only loss so far this year has come against FSU - easily dispatched UConn 42-27 over the weekend, in a game that saw QB Quinton Flowers go two-for-two on touchdowns to interceptions thrown for 213 yards ... plus another three touchdowns and 157 yards running the ball his damn self. 

Troy (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. South Alabama (Oct. 20)

The Trojans beat Georgia State last weekend, but they sure as hell didn't do it by stopping the pass. In Troy's 31-21 victory, they let their opponent collect 381 aerial yards and three touchdowns; thankfully, quarterback Brandon Silvers managed to hit end zone twice late in the fourth quarter to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Toledo (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Central Michigan (Oct. 22)

The Rockets took down Bowling Green last Saturday, 42-35. You might want to keep an eye on their quarterback, Logan Woodside - and no, it's not just because he has the most porn-tastic name in all of college football. In Toledo's latest victory, he lobbed the pigskin 322 yards on 23 completions - with four of those passes resulting in aerial scores. 

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

It's going to take a LOT of help, but you can't totally eliminate the Seminoles from playoffs contention just yet. FSU demonstrated their worthiness over the weekend in their 17-6 victory over the much-better-than-you-probably-think Wake Forest Demon Deacons, with receiver Travis Rudolph posting an incredible 238 yards on 13 catches. Then there's the defense, which held Wake Forest to just 184 receiving yards and only 68 rushing. 

North Carolina (5-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Virginia (Oct. 22)

Tar Heels QB Mitch Trubisky had a hell of a game in North Carolina's 20-13 win over Miami. He finished the game with 299 yards and two passing touchdowns on 33 completions, but he wasn't the only player in powder blue posting stellar figures: the peculiarly named Bug Howard led all receivers on the day, collecting 156 yards on 10 catches. 

Wisconsin (4-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Iowa (Oct. 22)

The Badgers gave it everything they had, but they still ended up with the short end of the stick in Saturday's 30-23 overtime loss to the Buckeyes. Still, quarterback Alex Hornibrook (16 for 28 on passing attempts, with 214 yards, one TD and one INT) played pretty well and running back Corey Clement (164 rushing yards on 25 carries) played even better.

Arkansas (5-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Auburn (Oct. 22)

The Razorbacks just barely outlasted a tough Ole Miss squad 34-30 last Saturday. With 253 yards on 16 completions, Chad Kelly did a lot to raise his stock as an NFL prospect, but what was really surprising about the game? Just how much he got done with his legs - at the final horn, he had recorded 89 yards - and two touchdowns - on 14 rushing attempts.


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