Man, last week was frustrating. My piece on last week’s poll was all done and put up. The next day, I go to see how many people have viewed it like that gives me my sense of self-worth and its no longer up. Confused and distraught, I decided there was nothing to do except drink myself to death and watch the Hokies get embarrassed by the Irish. Thankfully, I didn’t kill myself or my liver and so like they say, the show must go on. Remember, these are just my takes on the AP poll and if you have anything you want to say to me, leave a comment or tweet me @ConorFDoherty where I’ll gladly tell you how happy I am to have any interaction with other human beings and then tell you how wrong you are.
- 1 1. Alabama
- 2 2. Georgia
- 3 3. Ohio State
- 4 4. Clemson
- 5 5. Notre Dame
- 6 6. West Virginia
- 7 7. Washington
- 8 8. Penn State
- 9 9. Texas
- 10 10. UCF
- 11 11. Oklahoma
- 12 12. Michigan
- 13 13. LSU
- 14 14. Florida
- 15 15. Wisconsin
- 16 16. Miami
- 17 17. Oregon
- 18 18. Kentucky
- 19 19. Colorado
- 20 20. NC State
- 21 21. Auburn
- 22 22. Texas A&M
- 23 23. USF
- 24 24. Mississippi State
- 25 25. Cincinnati
- All hail Lord Tua, he who is so good that he doesn’t even need to throw in the second half. What’s that? Oh, the rest of the team is so good that he doesn’t play in the second half? But then, how is he going to have his Heisman moment? He’s not going to need one because Alabama is going to go undefeated and he’ll win by default? Didn’t they give up 31 points to Arkansaw though? That’s the most they’re going to give up all year? How many more cupcakes do they play this year? 6? Wait, 8?
- Honestly, I have no idea how big the gap is between Alabama and Georgia. And I guess, unfortunately for the Dawgs, they won’t get to find out until the SEC Championship. The Team between the Hedges has looked great so far, as expected, but now they get to travel to the Baton Rouge Tigers. As I’ll mention later, the Tigers did lose to Florida and will be rightly pissed, and as we all know, anything can happen in college football. Except Nick Saban retiring or getting fired. We can only wish.
3. Ohio State
- Just like last year, the Buckeyes looked to be having a bit of trouble with Indiana for about a half or so. But then, just like last year, the Nuts realized that they were the better team and pulled away in the second half to finish with a win that was a lot closer than the score appeared. Next, they get to travel to Minnesota to face the Golden Gophers. That’ll be fun to watch for about an hour or so.
- Wow, did it suck to be Wake Forest, having to host Clemson after the Tigers were essentially embarrassed at home against Syracuse? They didn’t lose but Kelly Bryant’s decision to transfer looked like a major mistake after Trevor Lawrence went out with a head/neck injury. So what did the Tigers do? Oh, just come out and curbstomp the Demon Deacons by 60 on the road. I hear that’s a great way to relieve stress. While the Tigers are the class of the ACC, they saw firsthand their season almost go up in smoke, and now they have to be careful going into the rest of conference play. Also, the guy who keeps putting them at 1st and Alabama at 3rd on his ballot should be checked out by a doctor for a head injury.
5. Notre Dame
- The Hunchbacks are coming off a blowout win in Blacksburg, with the only concerns being that Ian Book couldn’t hit wide open receivers and the run defense, at least in the first half, gave up some big chunk rushes to the Hokies, who haven’t really had a great do everything running back since David Wilson. The offense looked good against an overmatched and young VT defense in the second half and is better with Book and Williams in the backfield. The remaining schedule is easy as no team left is currently ranked, but that could prove to be the downfall for the Shamrocks if they somehow were to lose a game. Losing any remaining games would, in my opinion, end their chances of making the playoffs. They wouldn’t have any great wins over highly ranked teams or even ranked teams, they don’t have a conference championship to win, which makes it worse as that is one of the biggest criteria that the committee says they look at when deciding the playoffs, and furthermore, only one of their wins over ranked teams is still ranked in Michigan. Stanford dropped out after getting blowout at home by Utah, while Virginia Tech was only ranked last week to give the Irish another win over a ranked team. Out of the two, Stanford is the most likely to end the season ranked, while the Hokies are still growing. Notre Dame is a great team but I honestly think that if they were put against any team above them, the only team I think they could genuinely beat would be Clemson and even that might be a stretch.
6. West Virginia
- Will Grier looked human for the first time all year, and it came against… Kansas?! Look, I like that Kansas has actually looked competitive this year and has a great running back in Pooka Williams, but the Mountaineers shouldn’t have allowed this game to be closer than 24 points. However, that might be too much to expect out of a Big 12 defense. Grier threw three picks in the win and is now behind Tua and Haskins in the Heisman race while the Mountaineers are probably now the favorites in the Big 12. Iowa State awaits, hoping to blow their dreams to the Land of Oz.
- When UCLA has its best game of the season, and the Bruins lost by 7, that should be a red flag for any team. Playing on the road is supposed to be difficult but not against a Bruins team led by Chip Kelly and his baby face. Playing down to competition is a major problem in all sports, look at my Hokies against ODU this year and JMU back in 2010, but the Huskies are in prime position to win the Pac 12, almost by default. USC was overrated to begin the year and is unranked while Stanford, as mentioned earlier, was a blowout by the other Mormons in Utah and is also unranked. Colorado is playing like it’s 2016, which we all remember how that ended against these same Huskies and Arizona, the preseason darling of the conference, can’t figure out that Khalil Tate is at his best when he utilizes his Lamar Jackson-like quickness to run past entire defenses. I’ve been underwhelmed by this team ever since their loss in the playoffs to Alabama and I will continue to be until Jake Browning can show that he is good enough to beat any teams, not in the Pac 12, which he might get in a New Year’s Six bowl.
8. Penn State
- Ah, the old “Go up in the rankings by three while on a bye” trick. They must have hired Penn and Teller to help them out. Its a goodbye for a team still licking its wounds after choking the game away against the Nuts. Now, Josie and the Pussycats get to travel to a Michigan State team that was just upset by Northwestern. Classic trap game before a trap game before a trap game before a big-time game against the X-Men of the Big 10.
- Is Texas back? The AP certainly hopes so. Is Texas now a favorite for the Big 12? I’d still put the Mountaineers and even the Sooners ahead of them. It’s a great win, but honestly, the Sooners would probably win 6 or 7 times out of 10. When will Texas be back? Around the time that Miami is back, which I hope is never.
- The Knights weren’t this high in the poll until the end of season poll after beating Auburn to win the national championship, so I’m glad to see that this team is getting the recognition it deserves. Also, they’ve shown that they can survive without Scott Frost, but its starting to look like he can’t survive without them. McKenzie Milton has been rising in the Heisman race, and the Knights are set up for a great finish to the season. Their last three games are against Navy, a currently undefeated and ranked Cincinnati team and the season finale on the road against the rival Bulls of USF, also currently undefeated and ranked. The AAC has looked great this year, and the Knights are finally in a position to make a run at the playoffs.
- If the Sooners had won, Kyler Murray would already have his Heisman moment as his 67-yard rushing TD with about 5 minutes left reminded me, in a good way of RG3’s run against the Vikings in his rookie year. Murray played out of his mind and was the best player on the field for either team. It just sucks that Mike Stoops made no defensive adjustments at all and let Sam Ehlinger score three rushing TDs on the same play call. Sooner fans must be thrilled all of the Stoops are now gone. Now they can continue their tradition of high-flying offense and high cholesterol inducing defense without them.
- What else can be said about Michigan than thank you? Thank you for beating down an overmatched and emotionally exhausted team in Maryland, while building up your confidence. Thank you for building said confidence until the inevitable humiliating loss to the Spartans and Buckeyes and the rest of the country gets to revel in your misery and sadness. Wolverine tears don’t fall that often, but when they do, they are a delicacy, unlike few others. Wait, they play at Wisconsin this week? Oh, Christmas has come early, boys.
- LOLSU was riding high and had a resume that few teams could beat. Of course, they’re not Bama and couldn’t get past a Gators squad that hasn’t seen any level of success since Tim Tebow. Now, they get to get curb stomped by the Big Dogs of the SEC, while Miami gets to watch its quality loss go up in smoke. God, its great to see sad college football fans without having to look in the mirror.
- A great win, but as has been made clear this week, I love watching the world of college football burn, as do most people. So I can’t wait for the devastating loss at Georgia in two weeks and getting to watch Scooter’s reaction to it. And no Scooter, the Gators are not winning the national championship, and the Cowboys suck.
- Damn, that loss to BYU is starting to look bad for this team. Thankfully for them, they played Nebraska, the team that brings everyone happiness and joy except to its fanbase. Next are the Khakis and you already know who I want to win this.
- My god Florida State, how hard is it to keep a lead?! All you have to do is move the ball consistently and not turn the, uh, right. The Seminoles are a steaming pile of a team that still thinks Willie Taggart is a great coach or that Deondre Francois is a good QB. They’re lucky even to have the record they have cause Louisville is somehow worse. FSU is the Nebraska of the ACC, except that they have some wins, so their pride is still slightly intact if a bit damaged. Anyway, the Hurricanes looked terrible for two and a half quarters and then made a furious comeback. Of course, that comeback shouldn’t have been necessary as the Hurricanes, yet again, played down to the competition. The Canes travel to UVA next, and all I wish for is the stadium to pull a “Dark Knight Rises” and collapse, so I don’t have to see either team win.
- Ah, the old “Go up in the rankings by one spot while on a bye” trick. Way more common than Penn State’s magic trick but effective nonetheless. Now, they get the Huskies at home. Let’s hope the Mighty Ducks remember that is such a thing as taking a knee to run the clock out.
- One more loss and the Wildcats will be back to being a basketball school. Of course, they have two more games before that’s going to happen at the hands of Jake from State Fromm and Georgia. Maybe the Cats can make that interesting game cause playing against Vandy, and the Turnover Trashcan most definitely won’t be.
- The Buffs haven’t played anyone good at all this season. The best team they’ve played is Arizona State, and they’ve fallen off incredibly quickly, almost prolifically. And of course, Colorado now has to travel on the road to face the Trojans. Honestly, I’m just hoping to see Virginia Tech transfer Travon McMillian rip some holes through that Trojan defense.
20. NC State
- The curse of #23 has ended and what does the Wolfpack get for their troubles? A trip to Death Valley. What luck.
- Jarrett Stidham has not progressed as a QB and is holding this team back. At least they get to play the Champions of Life. Maybe that’ll give some life back into this offense.
22. Texas A&M
- The game against Kentucky shouldn’t have even gone into overtime. But of course, the Aggies have to give their fans a heart attack before the end of the game. A trip to Columbia, South Carolina is next.
- I’m surprised by the score the Bulls gave up to UMass. 42 points, seriously? The best upcoming game for this team is in two weeks when the Bulls travel to face Ed Oliver and Houston. They’ve got two cakewalks between then, and now so we’ll get to see how far if at all they rise in the rankings.
24. Mississippi State
- Nick Fitzgerald broke Tim Tebow’s record for most career rushing yards by a QB. Great, now he has one thing that makes him better than Tebow and not much else. Its looking like he’s going to pull a Dak Prescott where he gets drafted, sits for a while, comes in to replace the injured starting QB, plays extremely well and leads them to the playoffs and then decides to play terrible for the next two-plus years while we all wonder whether he was outstanding, to begin with.
- Could be 9-0 going into the final three weeks. Man, the AAC is shaping for a great finish.
That’ll do it for these AP Poll critiques. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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