Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2016 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings (Week 13!)

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:
"That championship-kind-of feeling..."

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 (12-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Florida (Dec. 03)

Well, as expected, Bama put a hurtin' on Auburn in the Iron Bowl. At this point, even a fluke loss to Florida in the SEC title game is unlikely to keep Alabama out of the playoffs - just as long as they don't get beat 56-0 by the Gators (a scenario about as likely as Rob Schneider winning next year's Best Actor Oscar), the Tide is essentially a lock for at least one playoff appearance. 

Western Michigan (12-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Ohio (Dec. 02)

The only thing standing between the Broncos and an undefeated (regular) season is Ohio (no, not that one, the one nobody cares about.) Pending WMU wins this weekend's tilt, one has to wonder which "big six" bowl game they will be slotted into ... and of course, which Power Five regular they will eventually end up battling. 

Ohio State (11-1)
Next Opponent: T.B.A.

The Buckeyes find themselves in a very weird predicament. Following their double O.T. thriller of a victory over arch rivals Michigan, they actually wound up losing their spot in the Big Ten Championship on account of Penn State winning later that evening ... this, despite the fact the Buckeyes have a better overall record than the Nittany Lions. Anyway, not that any of that shit matters; regardless, the Buckeyes will be competing in the National Championship playoffs later this year, no matter who fucking wins the Big 10. 

Clemson (11-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Virginia Tech  (Dec. 03)

After besting South Carolina, all the Tigers have to do is get past Virginia Tech and they have to be considered playoffs locks. Then again, if they lose, that opens the floodgates for about five or six different two-loss teams to enter the fray - stay tuned, folks ... the Hokies might just fuck things up real good for us this Saturday.

Washington (11-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Colorado (Dec. 02)

The Huskies are in pretty much the same spot as Clemson. Win, and they're in, but if they lose to Colorado this Friday? Then it's time to say a lot of prayers. I mean a lot

Penn State (10-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Wisconsin (Dec. 03)

By virtue of defeating OSU earlier in the season, the Big 10 math allowed Penn State to leap over the Buckeyes and represent the East in the championship shindig - even though Ohio State's 11-1 record is, you know, better than the Nittany Lions' 10-2 record. Even if Penn State does manage to knock off Wisconsin this weekend, it seems like their chances of making the four-team playoffs is slim to none - while Ohio State, who isn't even playing in its own conference's championship game, is practically a lock. Yeah, it don't make no damn sense to me, neither.  

Wisconsin (10-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Penn State (Dec. 03)

Even if the Badgers bump off Penn State Saturday, they probably aren't going to make it into the four-team playoffs. Will, that is, unless Clemson and Washington both lose in their respective championship games. At that point? Yeah, I'd consider it more or less a jump ball

Oklahoma (9-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Oklahoma State (Dec. 03)

Pretty much whoever wins the Oklahoma/Oklahoma State donnybrook this weekend will become the de facto champion of the Big 12. Alas, it seems unlikely that whoever comes out on top will get invited to the big dance ... unless of course, we see a slate of monumental upsets on Championship Saturday (and Friday.)

Oklahoma State (9-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Oklahoma (Dec. 03)

Even if the Cowboys do manage to triumph over Oklahoma this Saturday, there's no telling, really, where they will wind up in the big bowl stampede. A playoffs berth is extraordinarily unlikely, but I guess there is an outside shot they get into one of the other New Year's Eve or New Year's Day biggies.

Michigan (10-2)
Next Opponent: vs.  T.B.A.

Although participating in one of the most exciting college games of the season isn't much of a consolation prize, the Wolverines can at least take pride in giving Ohio State everything they could handle in the double O.T. thriller last Saturday. As for Michigan's next step, it seems like a major New Year's bowl is pretty much a given - although, at this point, there's no telling who their ideal opponent would be. 

Colorado (10-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Washington (Dec. 02)

If Colorado beats Washington, it would be a monumental upset. But would it be enough to get the Buffaloes into the National Championship playoffs mix? Eh, you really don't need a Magic Eight-Ball to tell you "don't count on it."

Navy (9-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Temple (Dec. 03)

The Midshipmen have an opportunity to claim the ACC crown this weekend, in what should be a no-defense-allowed, entertaining as hell score-fest against Temple. The bigger question, however, is where, who and when will they be playing next ... and will it be against a legitimate Power-Five challenger?

West Virginia (9-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Baylor (Dec. 03)

Since the Big 12 don't technically have a championship game, the Mountaineers couldn't win it no how. That said, I'm pretty sure there's some sort of fluky arithmetic that would give WVU the best overall record in the conference this Sunday - like, they beat Baylor, Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, or some other nonsense. TL;DR - these guys ain't going anywhere near the playoffs. 

South Florida (10-2)
Next Opponent: T.B.A.

The Bulls put in a pretty solid showing in the 2016 season. Really, the entire AAC has been balling - six teams in the conference wrapped up their regular season campaigns with at least eight victories.

Boise State (10-2)
Next Opponent: T.B.A.

And a shock upset to Air Force pretty much wipes out any big time bowl bids for the blue turfers. Furthermore, it bumps them out of the MWC Championship Game, which has to add extra salty insult to injury. 

Troy (9-2)
Next Opponent: vs. Georgia Southern (Dec. 03)

Yep, the Trojans are heavy favorites heading into their Sun Belt Championship clash with Georgia Southern. For bonus points, can you name a.) the nickname of Georgia Southern and b.) which city the university is in? If you replied "don't nobody give a shit and never will," congratulations!

USC (9-3)
Next Opponent: T.B.A.

The Trojans are the best three loss team in the country and anybody who argues to the contrary is a damned fool. Which, naturally, begs the question - how comes these kids couldn't have played as excellently as they did down the stretch at the very beginning of the season?

Stanford (9-3)
Next Opponent: T.B.A.

With Christian McCaffrey pretty much a lock for the NFL draft next spring, the always singular Cardinal are going to have to do a lot of retooling to their offense in the offseason. While they probably won't get a back as talented as their outgoing rusher, they at least have a pretty solid aerial attack in tact as a starting point for '17. 

Temple (9-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Navy (Dec. 03)

The AAC title decider against Navy this weekend is going to be a ton of fun. Of course, if Temple can pull off the upset, it seems unlikely they will get a shot at a big name Power Five opponent during bowl season ... but there are a few other non-Fivers out there that could make for some interesting opponents.

Florida State (9-3)
Next Opponent: T.B.A.

Jimbo Fisher will probably hang on as the head coach at FSU next year. With DeShaun Watson headed to the draft, that bodes pretty well for the Seminoles. Unfortunately, Lamar Jackson isn't pro-bound quite yet, either. 

Virginia Tech (9-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Clemson (Dec. 03)

If the Hokies can knock off the Tigers this Saturday, it would send shockwaves throughout the college football landscape. While it may keep Clemson out of the playoffs, there's no chance in hell a "W" would propel Virginia Tech into the the four-team single-eliminator, however. And to think: some people say playing "spoiler" is a reward in its own right.

Air Force (9-3)
Next Opponent: vs. T.B.A.

While the Falcons upset win against Boise State isn't enough to get them into a championship contest, it does elevate the stature of the program quite a bit. Who knows - give the staff three or four years' time, and we might just have ourselves another Western Michigan on our hands here.

Florida (8-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Alabama (Dec. 03)

After getting their asses kicked by Florida State 31-13, the offense-averse Gators nonetheless find themselves challenging Alabama for the SEC crown. Yeah ... trying to figure out who's going to win this one is kinda' like guessing who's going to win a Harlem Globetrotters game.

Western Kentucky (9-3)
Next Opponent: vs. Louisiana Tech (Dec. 03)

And the Hilltoppers re-enter the Top 25 for the first time in what seems like a bajillion jillion years. And these motherfuckers are on a roll, too - they head into Saturday's Conference USA title game riding a six game winning streak.

Old Dominion (9-3)
Next Opponent: vs. T.B.A.

And making their first appearance in the rankings all year round, let's here it for the Old Dominion ... uh, what's their nickname again? Well, whatever it is, they're closing their 2016 season on a five game win streak, and they're reward for playing so good down the stretch? Oh, that's right, the greatest prize in all of Division I college football ... a slot in the Popeye's Bahamas Bowl. God, I can almost smell the glory from here


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