NCAAF Week 9 AP Poll Critiques

Well, I got quite a bit of egg on my face this week, resulting from several bad takes and questionable picks. But then again, all of my takes are usually bad or poorly conceived, so I guess L’s are now a nutritional part of my diet for the foreseeable future.

Starting next Tuesday, I’ll be covering the CFP rankings as those are considered the real rankings and are in no way better, but are sometimes much worse than the AP Poll. I’m looking at you, 2014 Texas A&M. As always, if you dislike anything, I say here or dislike me in general, feel free to leave a comment down below or sent a tweet @ConorFDoherty. Unfortunately, no one has done this yet, and I get my sense of self-worth from talking to people I don’t know online or Nigerian princes who promise to get back to me with my money any day now… Anywho, the show must go on.

1. Alabama

  • At this point, the AP Poll should just be called Alabama and Friends cause the gap between the Crimson Tide and everyone else is wider than the Grand Canyon, or at least it seems like that. Tua continues to lead the Heisman race and its become clear just how much he changes the Tide’s identity on offense. In previous years under Saban, the Elephants were run first, run second and then run until you force the opposition into submission. Even with Derrick Henry, Mark Ingram, and Trent Richardson, the offense was never top tier for the Tide, especially in conference games at times. But now Tua has turned the Tide’s offense into the Sooner’s Mayfield-led offense, and that has given the Tide another way to crush their enemies or rather, their unwilling opponents.

2. Clemson

  • Ever since barely averting disaster against Syracuse, Clemson has done nothing but assert its continued dominance over the ACC. First was a 60 point shellacking of Wake Forest and then a definitive smackdown of a ranked NC State. The Tigers are getting into form with Trevor Lawrence as their future at QB, the defensive line is living up to its billing as the best in the country, and the ACC has become the worst Power 5 conference. It’s all looking up for Clemson, except that strength of schedule. Let’s hope whoever wins the Coastal gives the Tigres a decent fight in the ACC Championship to make the conference look better.

3. Notre Dame

  • Just like Michigan, I’ve always been put off by the Irish ever since I got into football. Both teams are storied programs and true blue blood of the game, but both haven’t had true success in over two decades, three in the case of the Irish and both have some of the most delusional fans in the country. Ian Book and the offense have been clicking, aside from the first 50 minutes of the Pitt game and the defense has been solid. It’s not as good as the 2012 Lennay Kakua-led team that got blown out by Bama but at least this team we might get to see the Crimson Tide win… by 50.

4. LSU

  • That was as close to a classic SEC game as possible. Low scoring, lots of defense, questionable offense at times by both teams and a feeling that I wasted four hours of my life watching paint dry. But, those LSU helmets were sick-looking, and I loved the context behind the design of the overall uniforms. The Best Tigers in the SEC get a bye this week to prepare their minds and butt cheeks for Alabama in two weeks cause an ass-whopping could be coming. I’m not going to predict that’ll happen cause I thought OSU was going to destroy Purdue last week and the Boilermakers threw that back at me like I was the pigeon Randy Johnson killed.

5. Michigan

  • See #3 for my overall views on this team, but I’ve come around to the idea that this is a good team. Not a great team cause like I said last week, as I’m still waiting for the moment when this train goes off the rails. It might not happen until the last game of the season, but if it does, that’ll be even funnier cause it’ll put OSU into the Big Ten Title game and a clear path to the Playoffs. The biggest concern, though, is the offense as it’s been inconsistent and up and down from half to half. Against Northwestern, the offense did nothing for three quarters before coming back in the fourth, and for about three hours, real-time, against MSU, the offense couldn’t do anything. Shea Patterson is the best QB Harbaugh has had since he got there but it seems like the offense has no sense of urgency.

6. Texas

  • At least there were a bunch of byes last week for teams to over prepare and strategize ways to play down to their competition. At this rate, I’m expecting Urinating Tree to make a video called Days of Our Steelers College Edition where all he talks about are teams not living up to their potential and playing down to the competition. Texas will probably win, but it’ll be close cause they’ll be caught looking ahead to their game against West Virginia in two weeks.

7. Georgia

  • Georgia is, yet another, team that is coming off a bye, though this time, the Dawgs had to prepare for a major hurdle in 9th ranked Flo Rida. I have no idea how this game is going to go so I just can’t wait to see what happens and to see ScooterMagruder make a video about it. But if push comes to shove, I’m going to take the team that did something last year, which means the Team between the Hedges will probably lose cause it seems this year that I’m a jinx for any team I think will win.

8. Oklahoma

  • Well, Sooner fans might have hoped that KaVontae Turpin had been dismissed from TCU a little bit earlier just so that they could win by a bigger margin. Kyler Murray picked up right where he had left off before the bye, minus having to carry the team in a loss. Thankfully, he shouldn’t have to do that this week against K-State.

9. Florida

  • See #7 above for thoughts on this team.

10. UCF

  • Nothing like playing one of the worst teams in the country to get an easy win when your QB and best player isn’t starting. Whatever the reason McKenzie Milton didn’t start was made moot by halftime. The Knights struggled a bit without him in the lineup at first as the Pirates kept it close, but the Defending National Champions just kept their foot on the gas and didn’t give chances back to the Bucs. Milton has a bye to get healthy or just refocus again for Temple.

11. Ohio State

  • Schadenfreude – the pleasure gained from someone else’s misery or misfortune. That’s how all of sports operate as there is nothing better to watch than sad and upset fans of teams that you greatly dislike. As a Maryland/DC sports fan (but not Redskins or Nats) I always watch a recap of the Red Sox epic 2011 collapse to try and cheer myself up and also look up videos of sad fans from other games like Bama fans after the Kick 6. So I’d like to thank the Buckeyes for giving us college football fans our yearly mutual pleasure of seeing you get blown out. The only good thing about this loss is that it happened early enough that the committee might be able to overlook it if the Nuts play lights out the rest of the season. The committee couldn’t do that last year, but the Bucks have several chances to get good/great wins to appease the committee.

12. Kentucky

  • As the Kentucky men’s basketball team opens the preseason rankings at 2nd, the football team continues to rise in the rankings as well. Now Wildcat fans have two great teams to root for. However, the Cats have had several straight close games, which is not what they want against a Mizzou team that can score in bunches. The offense might not be good enough to stay with the Tigers but for now, I’m a believer.

13. West Virginia

  • Like many other teams, the Mountaineers went on a bye after suffering a terrible loss and are hoping to clean their wounds by soaking in the blood of weak conference opponents. Unfortunately, Iowa State gave a blueprint on how to make Will Grier play like the handsome homeless guy he looks like, which probably means that he’s gonna go off for 400 plus yards and 5 TDs.

14. Washington State

  • Yet another L I had to take as Oregon failed to get anything going in the first half and by then, it was too late. Wazzou is for real, at least for now it seems, and are now in position to make the Apple Cup the deciding game for the North Division. Though I will say jumping up 11 spots for beating an Oregon team that’s been all over the place in terms of consistency is very, very generous. Anywhere between 5-8 spots would have sat well with me. Now they get to travel to Stanford which means the Cougars will probably get blown out and freefall back out of the top 25 after I just praised them. Hopefully they can buck the trend that is emerging.

15. Washington

  • The other half of the Apple Cup is now looking up at their younger sibling and is wondering whether they are now worse than them. The transitive property of college football does state that yes, the Huskies are worse than the Cougars but at least the Huskies get Cal to destroy before playing Stanford. Unlike the Cougs, they get Stanford at home so transitive property might get really confusing soon.

16. Texas A&M

  • It seems like this team has been slowly creeping up the rankings without anyone noticing cause they’re the red-haired and now disowned stepchild of the Longhorns. I always find it interesting to see a team ranked lower than another team that they beat, in this case, Kentucky. Now, that was a close game from several weeks ago so I’m not going to go around saying the Cats would beat the Aggies if they met again. However, the Aggies are still in prime position to finish third… in their division.

17. Penn State

  • Is the AP Poll not allowed to drop teams for winning close games against overmatched opponents? No, well then fine, guess I have to keep seeing this team try to relive the glory days of last year, which means no Big 10 championship appearance for them.

18. Iowa

  • Don’t look now but here come the Hawkeyes. Sneaking up those rankings like its 2014 again. Only thing that’s missing is a undefeated record and a heartbreaking loss to Sparta in the Big 10 Championship Game. The Hawkeyes should be rooting for Purdue to win against Sparta this week to set up a potential ranked matchup next week. But Iowa also has to make it through the team ranked just ahead of them. These two teams played a classic last year and Jodie and the Pussycats will be playing without Barkley. The Hawks are set to dive down for the kill.

19. Oregon

  • My oh my are the Ducks kicking themselves even more after losing to the Sexy Mamas of the Pac 12. The Cougs punched them in the mouth and they just took too long to respond. At least they didn’t give up a lead like against Stanford, but every time I think this team is gonna round the corner, they break too late and go flying off the track. Hopefully they can keep Khalil Tate in check. Oh, who I am kidding, Kevin Sumlin will do that for them.

20. Wisconsin

  • Playing in a blizzard looked tough, especially for the punter but Sconie pulled away against a weak Illinois squad. The Wildcats have been a tough team to put away, just ask both Michigan teams. But Camp Randall will be jumping, hehe, and the Badgers should win.

21. USF

  • Well, USF has looked overrated thus far as they haven’t shown an ability to put away bad teams in the last four weeks easily. 7 pt margin vs. ECU, 16 pt margin vs. UMass, 1 pt margin vs. Tulsa and an 8 pt margin vs. UConn show that something is wrong with this team. So I agree with the CFB subreddit that USF is overrated for now. I’m just not sure how long we’ll have to wait before that is confirmed, though.

22. NC State

  • Jesus, I was hoping for a somewhat close game. Instead, what I and everyone else got was a confirmation that the gap between Clemson and the rest of the conference is almost as wide as the gap between Alabama and the rest of the country. Up next is a visit to the Carrier Dome and an unpredictable Syracuse team.

23. Utah

  • Three straight wins with 40 plus points scored will catch AP pollers attention. And they get UCLA next, who is riding a two-game winning streak…after starting o-5. Another 40 point outburst could be in store for the Utes.

24. Stanford

  • Honestly, this team is probably only ranked because the AP Poll didn’t want to put too many G5 teams in the rankings. Utah State and San Diego State could have taken this spot, not to mention Texas Tech, Miami or Virginia. We’ll see against Wazzou.

25. Appalachian State


That’ll do it for the NCAAF Week 9 AP Poll Critiques. What did you think? Be sure to tell me all about it and more in the comment section below.

Published on 10/25/18 at 6:10 AM EDT.
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