Tuesday, October 10, 2017

2017 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings (Week 6!)

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

Alabama (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Arkansas (Oct. 14)

Stop me if you've heard this one before - Alabama just rolled another SEC West opponent. In Saturday's 24-19 win - trust me, the game was nowhere near as close as the final score would suggest - Alabama managed to outrun Texas A&M by a 232-to-71-yard margin, with Damien Harris alone chewing up the field (not literally, that's probably a penalty) for 124 yards and one end zone saunter on 14 carries. Alas, Jalen Hurts did underperform (13 for 22, 123 yards and just one passing TD), while the Tide's vaunted D allowed Kellen Mond to rack up 237 yards in the air. Uh-oh ... does this mean Bama's Achilles' Heel is its pass protection? We'll just have to wait and see, I 'spose ...

Clemson (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Syracuse (Oct. 13)

Kelly Bryant went 21 for 29 for 200 yards and a one TD/one INT split in the Tigers' 28-14 win over Wake Forest. And then he exited the contest with an ankle injury, and it's uncertain whether he will be back for this Friday night's game against Syracuse. So, just how far can Clemson go with back up QBs Hunter Johnson and Zerrick Cooper under center? We should get a pretty good idea by the time Saturday morning rolls around.

Washington (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Arizona State (Oct. 14)

As evident by the Huskies' 39-7 win over Cal, an argument can be made that Washington might have the best QB-RB-WR triple threat in the country. In last Saturday night's outing, Jake Browning went 27 for 40 for 215 yards and two touchdowns (plus another 20 yards rushing, with an extra TD), while back Myles Gaskin finished the contest with 91 yards and two end zone gallops on 24 carries. And then there's wideout Hunter Bryant, who wrapped up the affair with 121 yards and one TD haul on nine receptions. Needless to say - this is a really potent offense we're working with here.

Georgia (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Missouri (Oct. 14)

Jake Fromm had two touchdown passes and 102 yards on seven completions, but that's not the x-factor in the Bulldogs' 45-14 victory over Vanderbilt. No, that would be Georgia's run game, which outyarded the Commodores by a preposterous 423-to-64 yard margin. Backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb both finished the contest with more than 130 rushing yards a piece, combining for three rushing touchdowns. Fuck, they even let Evander Holyfield's kid run it in for a score, because why the hell not when your ground game is THAT good

Penn State (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Michigan (Oct. 21)

The Nittany Pedo-Bears drubbed Northwestern over the weekend, besting the Wildcats 31-7 in a game that saw Trace McSorely lob the rock for 245 yards and one TD on 25 completions. Saquon Barkley collected two touchdowns on the day, although he only averaged 75 yards on 16 carries. Hmmm ... his production numbers have been suspiciously low these last two weeks. Just something I'm throwing out there - not that I would be implying he secretly has an injury or anything like that.

Yes, it is that easy to score points in the PAC-12.

Washington State (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. California (Oct. 13)

Luke Falk went balls out in the Cougars' commanding 33-10 win over Oregon. Washington's QB went 24 for 42 in the contest, wrapping up the game with 282 yards and three touchdown passes - which is probably good enough to overlook the fact he finished the game with minus 23 yards rushing. Still, Washington State looked sloppy at times, turning the ball over twice and letting Oregon defenders sack Falk four times; thankfully, the Cougars defense was more than happy to return the favor and sack Oregon's QB just as many times, in addition to picking him off twice. 

TCU (5-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Kansas State (Oct. 14)

It was a close one, but the Horned Frogs nonetheless managed to stave off West Virginia in Saturday's 31-24 victory. Kenny Hill went 15 for 28 for 188 yards and one touchdown pass, with top back Kyle Hicks running the rock for 71 yards on 11 carries. Alas, TCU cannot be feeling too complacent about its atrocious pass defense; after all, they did let Will Grier rack up 366 yards in the air, along with three easy touchdown passes.

Wisconsin (5-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Purdue (Oct. 14)

Wisconsin outyarded Nebraska 353-to-110 on the ground in Saturday's 38-17 win, with Jonathan Taylor collecting 249 yards and two touchdowns all by his damned self. When you're having that much success running the ball, you can almost overlook Alex Hornibrook collecting just 113 aerial yards on the day - and the fact Nebraska outgunned 'em in the air by more than 150 passing yards.

Miami (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Georgia Tech (Oct. 14)

It was a close one, but the Hurricanes still managed to surmount Florida State over the weekend. In a narrow 24-20 victory, Malik Rosier went 19 for 44 for 254 yards, three touchdown passes and one INT, with underrated receiver Braxton Berrios concluding the game with 90 yards and two touchdown hauls on eight receptions. Still, that Miami allowed FSU to outrun them 203 yards to 83 yards doesn't bode well for the Canes - especially when they've got the nation's second best rushing offense next up on their schedule.

San Diego State (6-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Boise State (Oct. 14)

Rashaad Penny had 170 yards and two touchdowns in the Aztecs' 41-10 drubbing of UNLV, as San Diego State ultimately outyarded the Rebels 302 yards to 106 yards. Meanwhile, Christian Chapman finished the game 14 for 24 for 172 yards and no touchdown passes, though he did manage to record one scrambling score. Things get interesting this Saturday, as the new non-Power Five darling goes cleat-to-cleat with the old non-Power Five darling in a pivotal Mountain West clash that could have big implications come New Years' bowl selection time.

In case you've ever wondered what the kind of people who pay to see the UNLV Rebels play look like - wonder no more.

South Florida (5-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Cincinnati (Oct. 14)

South Florida took the week off and are set to re-emerge this weekend to go toe-to-toe with Cincinnati. At the almost midway point of the NCAA football season, South Florida is the tenth-best offense in the country, averaging 510 yards a game. Allowing just 294 yards per game, the Bulls also possess Division I-A ball's 15th ranked defense.

Navy (5-0)
Next Opponent: vs. Memphis (Oct. 14)

In one of the best games of the season nobody watched, Navy managed to just barely get by Air Force 48-45 in a shootout - well, I guess foot race would be the more apt metaphor - that saw the teams combine for 811 yards on the ground. Big ups to Midshipmen QB Zach Abbey, who not only recorded two touchdown passes on four completions, but finished the game with 214 rushing yards (with two end zone visits) on 29 carries. 

Central Florida (4-0)
Next Opponent: vs. East Carolina (Oct. 14)

In the Knights' 51-23 win over Cincinnati, Central Florida QB McKenzie Milton racked up FIVE touchdown passes, concluding the game with 374 yards on just 16 passes. Top receiver Tre'Quan Smith finished the outing with 165 yards and three touchdowns on only five receptions, while top back Marlon Williams wrapped up the contest with 47 yards on a single carry. So, uh, if they merged South Florida and Central Florida into a single team, do you think they could take the ACC Coastal crown?

Ohio State (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Nebraska (Oct. 14)

Holy goddamn shit, did the Buckeyes rectally annihilate Maryland. In Ohio State's 62-14 victory, the Buckeyes managed to outyard the Terrapins on the ground 281-to-50 and outyard 'em in the air by an even more preposterous 303-to-16 margin. With three touchdowns and 261 aerial yards off 20 completions, J.T. Barrett's final yardage count was literally ten times the total passing offensive output of Maryland - whose quarterbacks each finished the game with QBRs of 0.1.

NC State (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Pittsburgh (Oct. 14)

And just like that, the Wolfpack dashed Louisville's playoffs dreams. In a shocking Friday night upset, NC State defeated the Cardinals 39-25, with Ryan Finley (20 for 31, 367 yards, one TD) just barely edging out Lamar Jackson (26 for 47, 354 yards, one TD, one INT) in a shootout. Two Wolfpack receivers (Kelvin Harmon and Jaylen Samuels) each finished the game with more than 100 yards receiving, while NC State back Nyheim Hines led all rushers with 102 yards and two end zone visitations on 18 carries. Of course, this begs the question: is NC State finished destroying the National Championship aspirations of big-time ACC programs just yet?

And that's how you make a Heisman trophy campaign vanish into thin air.

Notre Dame (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. USC (Oct. 21)
Never mind Ian Book's 146-yard, one TD/two INT passing day - Notre Dame's run game was more than enough to give 'em the edge against North Carolina. In the Irish's 33-10 win over the Tar Heels, ND's backfield managed to outrun UNC by a 341-yard to 86-yard margin, with top backs Deion McIntosh and Josh Adams each finishing the outing with more than 118 yards on the ground. Alas, one has to wonder if Notre Dame's anemic aerial game will be enough to keep them competitive against the Trojans two Saturdays from now ... 

USC (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Utah (Oct. 14)
Following a demoralizing loss to Washington State, the Trojans rebounded with a 38-10 manhandling of the Beavers. Sam Darnold has three touchdowns and one interception in the big win over Oregon State, concluding the affair with 316 yards on 23 completions, and Ronald Jones II continues to impress, ending the day with 79 yards and one TD on 12 carries. And the defense didn't look all that bad, neither, holding the Beavers to just 197 yards passing and only 122 rushing.

Auburn (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. LSU (Oct. 14)

In Auburn's 44-23 win against Ole Miss, Jarrett Stidham went 14 for 21 for 23 yards and two touchdown passes, with top receiver Ryan Davis finishing the game with 75 yards and one score on only two receptions. Alas, while back Kerryon Johnson's three-touchdown, 204-yard rushing day is super-duper-impressive, we've got to talk about this team's pass coverage - sorry, but allowing Shae Patterson to lob the rock for 346 yards most definitely ain't a recipe for winning the Iron Bowl anytime soon.

Oklahoma (4-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Texas (Oct. 14)

I think it's safe to say Iowa State's 38-31 win against Oklahoma is EASILY the biggest upset of the season thus far. Despite Baker Mayfield finishing the game with 306 yards and two touchdown passes, he got TOTALLY eclipsed by Cyclones QB Kyle Kempt, who concluded the contest 18 for 24 for 343 yards and three passing touchdowns. The question now is, will the Sooners recover this weekend against Texas, or will the annual rivalry game officially put the kibosh on their National Championship aspirations?

Oklahoma State (4-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Baylor (Oct. 14)

The Cowboys had a bye over the weekend and will resume their season this Saturday against Baylor. At the week six point of the season, Oklahoma State is averaging 399.2 passing yards per game - enough yardage to make them the second best aerial offense in Division I-A football. Alas, allowing 370 yards of total offense per game, the Cowboys are ranked 54th in terms of total defense.

What is it about football players and their proclivities for puncturing giant O's with flagpoles?

Texas Tech (4-1)
Next Opponent: vs. West Virginia (Oct. 14)

In a 65-19 route of Kansas, Texas Tech back Desmond Nisby racked up 93 yards and four touchdown runs on just 11 carries - and he still wasn't the most productive man in the backfield for the Red Raiders (that was Justin Stockton, by the way, who finished the game with 161 yards on 15 carries.) Quarterback Nic Shimonek looked pretty swell, too: at the final horn, he went 19 for 24 for 233 yards, two touchdown passes and one interception.

Michigan State (4-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Minnesota (Oct. 14)

And just like that, the Spartans' Big 10 championship run gets a huge shot in the arm. In a rain-soaked slog of a game, Michigan State managed to outpace the Wolverines on the ground, outyarding their in-state arch rivals 158-to-102 in the 14-10 victory. And while the Spartans did let John O'Korn collect 198 yards in the air, Michigan State QB Brian Lewerke (11 for 22, 94 yards) did do something he couldn't - that is, actually throw a touchdown pass in the game.

Michigan (4-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Indiana (Oct. 14)

Yep, it's pretty much all over for Michigan now. After dropping a 14-10 heartbreaker at home to their in-state rivals, it's probably safe to assume this team ain't going to fare any better against Penn State or Ohio State a little bit later down the road. Granted, the game this weekend against Indiana should be a mild reprieve, but then again, if O'Korn keeps lobbing three interceptions a game, fuck, anything can happen.

Troy (4-1)
Next Opponent: vs. South Alabama (Oct. 11)

After upsetting LSU two weeks back, Troy took a breather over the weekend, with a throwdown against South Alabama schedule for later tonight. Posting 432 yards per game, the Trojans have Division I-A ball's 50th-ranked offense; allowing 340 a game, they're the nation's 31st-ranked defense. And no - I bet you still have no clue what state the university is located in.

Kentucky (5-1)
Next Opponent: vs. Mississippi State (Oct. 21)

With Saturday's 40-34 win over Missouri, the Wildcats are the second-ranked team in the SEC East, behind Georgia. And don't look now, but their sole loss of the year was by a one-point margin against Florida. With a murderer's row of opponents on their schedule - they end the year with back-to-back games against UGA and Louisville - its unlikely that the team will be playing for the SEC Championship, but that doesn't mean they can't score an upset win or two and royally screw up the SEC title - and by proxy, National Championship - picture.


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