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J3C College Football Top 25 (2017 season final)

Well that was close.   Too close.

A freshman quarterback that hadn’t seen particularly meaningful action all season.  A freshman receiver who caught only eight passes for the year, but two of those were game winning touchdowns on his team’s final offensive play.   This Alabama team suddenly has two surprise heroes … and, oh yeah, another national championship.

In some respects perhaps the sudden stunning finish to the 2017 college football season was appropriate.   I mean, who really thought FSU would end up with a season turning to disaster after an injury?  Or that the ‘Noles would go into 2018 with a new coach?  Or that their old coach would end up at … Texas A&M (!?!)? Or that UCF would run the table, regardless of their (lack of) strength of schedule?  Or that Auburn would beat both playoff finalists, but not be in the playoff themselves?  Or that a college team would hold a press conference to announced that they’ve hired Herm Edwards (?!?!?).   Or that Georgia Tech would miss a bowl … oh wait, that one really ain’t any more shocking than Tennessee (finally) ridding themselves of Butch Jones.    Or maybe there’s the most shocking development of all:  someone hiring Derek Doofus to coach in the college ranks again. Proof positive that, truly, anything can happen I guess.

I think, in the big picture, that the year was a good one for college football.   Too often in recent years there felt like there was little mystery to be found, while this year — good or bad — there was at least a little more sense of “what will happen next?”.   And that bodes well, in theory anyway, for next season … which is only about seven months away.   It seems almost certain that some of this year’s playoff teams will also be some of next year’s playoff teams … but you never know, which is what 2017 proved.

All that’s left is to put a bow on 2017, with my final JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25 for the year.  (Final rank & pre-bowl rank before the team name, my pre-season rank follows their name)

  1. (5) Alabama (1)
  2. (3) Georgia (17)
  3. (2) Oklahoma (5)
  4. (4) Ohio State (3)
  5. (1) Clemson (7)
  6. (9) UCF (Un)
  7. (8) Wisconsin (11)
  8. (10) Penn State (8)
  9. (13) TCU (Un)
  10. (6) Auburn (12)
  11. (15) Notre Dame (Un)
  12. (7) USC (4)
  13. (11) Miami (16)
  14. (16) Oklahoma State (10)
  15. (18) Michigan State (Un)
  16. (23) Mississippi State (Un)
  17. (21) Northwestern (Un)
  18. (12) Washington (6)
  19. (20) LSU (13)
  20. (14) Stanford (14)
  21. (19) South Florida (22)
  22. (22) Washington State (23)
  23. (25) Boise State (Un)
  24.  (Un) Iowa State (Un)
  25. (Un) Wake Forest (Un)

Dropped: Memphis (17), Virginia Tech (24)

Teams ranked in pre-season that finished 2017 unranked:
FSU (2), Michigan (9),  Florida (15), Kansas State (18), Louisville (19), Virginia Tech (20),
West Virginia (21), Texas (24), Utah (25)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (end of regular season)

What the weekend lacked in quantity, it made up for with impact.

Clemson and Oklahoma both handled their business, in convincing fashion, and made the top two spots pretty simple to figure out … Georgia did what they needed to do, Auburn didn’t.  That not only settles the third playoff spot but, IMO, also opens the door for another possible coaching change in the SEC … Ohio State put to rest Wisconsin’s bid for a playoff spot … UCF & Memphis mixed it up in a shootout, and now the winner finds themselves officially in need of a new coach … USC kicked off the weekend by winning a conference title though it had little impact nationally … Oh, and FSU and New Mexico State made themselves bowl-eligible by winning their sixth games of the year.   That brings us to 81 teams eligible for 78 spots, so somebody is staying home despite managing to win six games … Georgia Tech, that’s not the reason you’re staying home … And, no, Tennessee still doesn’t have a head coach.  They do, however, have a new AD. And this time Phat Phil got a job despite no one having heart surgery.  Will wonders never cease?

Most seasons I end up saying that things work themselves out in the end.  That the rankings (both my own and the playoff committee’s ) end up being pretty obvious.   This year, I can only say that about the top three spots.  The fourth one, it was tough, I won’t lie.   And yes, I’m writing it having already seen what the playoff committee decided.  That doesn’t bother me much honestly, I’m usually in a fair bit of agreement with them by the time they reach the last one.   The key word there is “usually”.  This year is an exception.   It’s not that I was overly impressed by Ohio State’s win on Saturday, it’s more than I can’t shake the sight of not just Alabama’s loss to Auburn but the manner of that loss.  Discombobulated is not a good final impression to make, and for that reason, I believe the 2017 committee got it wrong.

After all of that, it’s time for the season’s penultimate JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.   We’ll do this one last time after all the bowls are complete.  (last week’s J3C ranking follows their name)

  1. Clemson (1)
  2. Oklahoma (2)
  3. Georgia (5)
  4. Ohio State (8)
  5. Alabama (4)
  6. Auburn (3)
  7. USC (10)
  8. Wisconsin (6)
  9. UCF (11)
  10. Penn State (9)
  11. Miami (7)
  12. Washington (13)
  13. TCU (12)
  14. Stanford (14)
  15. Notre Dame (17)
  16. Oklahoma State (16)
  17. Memphis (15)
  18. Michigan State (18)
  19. South Florida (19)
  20. LSU (20)
  21. Northwestern (21)
  22. Washington State (22)
  23. Mississippi State (23)
  24. Virginia Tech (25)
  25. Boise State (Un)

Dropped: Fresno State (24)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week thirteen)

College football fans feasted on rivalry week … some of their team’s, eh, not so much.

As skimpy as last week was for impact, this week certainly tried to make up for it.   The Iron Bowl certainly delivered (most watched college game on CBS since the 2013 edition), and did a pretty good job of confusing things,  sending post-season possibilities all over the place like a Crimson Tide shotgun snap.  That’s twice in the past month Auburn has looked like they might be as good as anybody, so how in the heck did they lose the games they lost? … Pitt did it again, and Georgia fans had some flashbacks about underachievement under Saint Richt.  Can’t feel sorry for Miami really, they knew who they were hiring … Clemson, meanwhile, made sure they left no doubt about the state of things in South Carolina, unless perhaps you count the state of Muschamp’s future if he doesn’t break the streak next season … Oklahoma & Wisconsin similarly handled their business on Saturday … Georgia?  Pretty much as expected, especially by anyone who saw the last two quarters Tech played against Duke.   Only a complete meltdown by the heavy favorite would have produced a closer outcome, that didn’t happen & the Jackets barely seemed to care enough to provide even a nudge in that direction … Game of the weekend had to be Central Florida & South Florida, who provided an entertaining show for some 59 minutes … Ole Miss nearly turned into Ole Miss in the final minutes before providing a signature moment with the Egg Bowl Trophy in what ought to be the final game of the Matt Luke era. Then again, who knows, it seems like insanity might be part of the job description for some ADs … I mean, if Tennessee can get drubbed at home by Vanderbilt and then think hiring Greg Schiano is a good idea, well at that point I suppose anything is possible … Well, almost anything.   Neither of those scenarios would be any worse than Georgia Tech allowing Ted Roof to return as DC for another season.  Even they can’t be that st … and then I think about how long Paul Hewitt survived on The Flats and I can’t even finish the sentence.

With a final critical update still to come next week, for the time being here’s the latest JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.     (last week’s J3C ranking follows their name)

  1. Clemson (2)
  2. Oklahoma (4)
  3. Auburn (6)
  4. Alabama (1)
  5. Georgia (7)
  6. Wisconsin (5)
  7. Miami (3)
  8. Ohio State (8)
  9. Penn State (9)
  10. USC (11)
  11. UCF (12)
  12. TCU (13)
  13. Washington (14)
  14. Stanford (19)
  15. Memphis (16)
  16. Oklahoma State (20)
  17. Notre Dame (10)
  18. Michigan State (21)
  19. South Florida (19)
  20. LSU (23)
  21. Northwestern (Un)
  22. Washington State (15)
  23. Mississippi State (17)
  24. Fresno State (Un)
  25. Virginia Tech (25)

Dropped: Boise State (22) Michigan (24)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week twelve)

 Not a good week for college football if you’re dieting, ’cause it’s Cupcake Week.

The top two had obvious desserts and handled them accordingly … Oklahoma had a less obvious one but roughly the same calorie count … Miami added empty calories for a half before getting back to the plan … Wisconsin did likewise before getting back to their bland diet … Notre Dame and Mississippi State gave themselves heartburn but ended up largely unscathed … Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and NC State overdid it and spent the night going through the medicine cabinet trying to find relief … Georgia Tech had one of those all-too-familiar days and hopefully are at least embarrassed about it … Tennessee did about what you could expect at this point … Ole Miss gave yet another lesson in why they need an actual head coach instead of the current substitute … All in all, a rather bland week, more like TV dinner than holiday spectacular, but that’s what the next couple of weeks are for anyway.

So before we gather for the feat, here’s the latest JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.     (last week’s J3C ranking follows their name)

  1. Alabama (1)
  2. Clemson (2)
  3. Miami (3)
  4. Oklahoma (4)
  5. Wisconsin (5)
  6. Auburn (6)
  7. Georgia (7)
  8. Ohio State (8)
  9. Penn State (9)
  10. Notre Dame (10)
  11. USC (11)
  12. UCF (12)
  13. TCU (13)
  14. Washington (15)
  15. Washington State (16)
  16. Memphis (17)
  17. Mississippi State (18)
  18. South Florida (19)
  19. Stanford (22)
  20. Oklahoma State (14)
  21. Michigan State (24)
  22. Boise State (Un)
  23. LSU (Un)
  24. Michigan (20)
  25. Virginia Tech (25)

Dropped: West Virginia (21), NC State (23)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week eleven)

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

College football managed to avoid going full-Ghostbusters over the weekend, but it certainly came close.

Alabama had to come up big in the end to avoid complete CFB chaos but it definitely cutting things closer than any team would like … Georgia, not so lucky.   Thoroughly manhandled by Auburn for the vast majority of the game, that there’s more work to be done would have been difficult to make any clearer … Notre Dame managed to give a far worse accounting for themselves against Miami though, and suddenly that “best loss” doesn’t matter a whole lot … Miami, conversely, raised their stock by dominating a supposedly upper echelon team … Wisconsin, uh, well they beat perhaps the most perplexing team in college football.  Talk about one week to the next, sheesh … Then again, maybe Michigan State is the more perplexing team among the cast of Big Ten.  At least with Iowa we knew the offensive outburst was probably a fluke.  Not sure anyone saw Sparty getting completely embarrassed by a seemingly dead and buried tOSU … Someday we’ll look back on 2017 and think “wait, so there was a point where Washington was considered an actual contender? Srsly? ” … Georgia Tech couldn’t quite manage to Tech themselves against the other Tech and kept their bowl hopes alive … Tennessee played dead in the second half and that finally appears to have been the final straw for ol’ Butch … Ole Miss overwhelmed an overmatched opponent, which might be the worst possible outcome since it gives non-football types a chance to promote the even more overmatched nice guy that has the interim coach tag

And there’s still three weekends of mayhem to go, but for now, let’s take another crack at revising my JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.     (last week’s J3C ranking follows their name)

  1. Alabama (1)
  2. Clemson (4)
  3. Miami (8)
  4. Oklahoma (7)
  5. Wisconsin (5)
  6. Auburn (12)
  7. Georgia (2)
  8. Ohio State (13)
  9. Penn State (16)
  10. Notre Dame (3)
  11. USC (10)
  12. UCF (11)
  13. TCU (7)
  14. Oklahoma State (14)
  15. Washington (9)
  16. Washington State (17)
  17. Memphis (20)
  18. Mississippi State (19)
  19. South Florida (22)
  20. Michigan (Un)
  21. West Virginia (21)
  22. Stanford (Un)
  23. NC State (23)
  24. Michigan State (15)
  25. Virginia Tech (18)

Dropped: Iowa State (23), Iowa (24)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week nine)

A different kind of week for me, did I miss anything good?

Instead of my usual routine with TVs and too many browser tabs open, I was at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford for Ole Miss – Arkansas.

That turned out to be … less than satisfying.   The event itself was fine enough, the outcome was some pretty sorry stuff.

Then again, that was kind of the theme for my day as rooting interests go.   Clemson made GT look silly, Tennesee was just basically (what’s left of) Tennessee.   Come to think of it, that’s not all that different from a number of other weekends this year.   I’m aware of everything else that transpired, so a bit road-weary, I’ll just cut the the chase & give you my updated  JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.     (last week’s J3C ranking follows their name)

  1. Alabama (1)
  2. Georgia (3)
  3. Ohio State (6)
  4. Notre Dame (9)
  5. Wisconsin (5)
  6. Clemson (7)
  7. Penn State (2)
  8. Oklahoma (8)
  9. TCU (4)
  10. Oklahoma State (10)
  11. Miami (11)
  12. Washington (12)
  13. Virginia Tech (15)
  14. Iowa State (24)
  15. UCF (17)
  16. USC (22)
  17. Stanford (19)
  18. Auburn (21)
  19. Mississippi State (25)
  20. NC State (14)
  21. Memphis (23)
  22. Arizona (Un)
  23. Michigan State (18)
  24. Washington State (16)
  25. South Florida (13)

Dropped: West Virginia (20)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week eight)

It was either a very big weekend for college football hopefuls … or it was just business as usual.
I’m not entirely sure which.

The four teams in the top seven that were active had little more trouble with their respective opponents than the three other teams had with Bye … Oklahoma State was lucky to survive … Oklahoma had more trouble than maybe expected too … USC and Michigan were just flat out exposed … Georgia Tech didn’t make it pretty for a lot of the night but eventually avoided losing on Homecoming … And once again I’m grateful that the schedule doesn’t include a matchup of the Tennessee “offense” and the Ole Miss “defense”.   I’d be afraid that two entities that don’t exist in any meaningful form could collide and create some sort of space-time anomaly with disastrous results.

So that’s that … and here’s the latest JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.     (last week’s J3C ranking follows their name)

  1. Alabama (1)
  2. Penn State (2)
  3. Georgia (3)
  4. TCU (4)
  5. Wisconsin (5)
  6. Ohio State (6)
  7. Clemson (7)
  8. Oklahoma (9)
  9. Notre Dame (17)
  10. Oklahoma State (11)
  11. Miami (10)
  12. Washington (11)
  13. South Florida (13)
  14. NC State (14)
  15. Virginia Tech (15)
  16. Washington State (16)
  17. UCF (18)
  18. Michigan State (20)
  19. Stanford (21)
  20. West Virginia (22)
  21. Auburn (25)
  22. USC (12)
  23. Memphis (23)
  24. Iowa State (Un)
  25. Mississippi State (Un)

Dropped:  Michigan (19), Kentucky (24)

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