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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week two)

A shocking second week of the college football season.

I mean, who really expected that Clemson, Alabama, and Oklahoma would all be looking good?  Or Georgia and LSU for that matter?

Oh, wait.

Even the upsets mostly turn out to not be particularly shocking.  Who is actually surprised when Pac-10/12/14 teams turn out to be less than expected?
Probably the biggest surprise after two weeks is how bad the bottom of the SEC appears to be.   Sure, sometimes there’s one true stinker in the bunch but this many?   And the next biggest surprise almost certainly has to be the fairytale 2-0 start for Mack Brown in his return to Tobacco Road.

Georgia Tech wins with … defense?
Ole Miss wins … over a team that might actually have even less head coaching
Tennessee … moves closer to the return of Phat Phil.  Or the hiring of Dan Quinn.

So a little shuffling down the list and that turns into my latest JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.     (last week’s ranking follows their name)

  1. Clemson (1)
  2. Alabama (2)
  3. Georgia (3)
  4. Oklahoma (4)
  5. LSU (5)
  6. Ohio State (6)
  7. Notre Dame (11)
  8. Auburn (9)
  9. Florida (12)
  10. Michigan (7)
  11. Utah (14)
  12. Texas (8)
  13. Penn State (15)
  14. Wisconsin (17)
  15. Texas A&M (10)
  16. Washington State (16)
  17. Oregon (19)
  18. UCF (18)
  19. Michigan State (20)
  20. Iowa (21)
  21. Washington (13)
  22. Maryland (Un)
  23. USC (Un)
  24. Virginia (24)
  25. Iowa State (25)

Dropped out: Syracuse (22), Stanford (23)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week one)

Well, we’re off to a … start.
I think.

I’m not sure I remember too many opening weeks with less notable occurrences than this one, at least not among teams that have a meaningful pulse.
So little of note took place that I don’t know that there’s much point in trying to recap it in even the usual brief fashion.

Clemson, Bama, and Oklahoma all look like they’re pretty good, not that any are in mid-season form.  Georgia, Oklahoma and maaaaaybe Ohio State are likely good but still have some things to work on.  It’s possible that everybody else is just jockeying for non-playoff bowls already.

Georgia Tech is going to have a painful season, as expected.
Ole Miss is going to continue to look largely uncoached and uninterested, as expected.
Tennessee could turn out to be the worst of my personal interest trio and that was definitely not expected.  I didn’t expect much but like everyone else, I expected more than that.

Between the largely blase opening games and the heat, I’m just gonna cut right to the first update of the year and give you my latest JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.     (last week’s ranking follows their name)

  1. Clemson (1)
  2. Alabama (2)
  3. Georgia (3)
  4. Oklahoma (4)
  5. LSU (5)
  6. Ohio State (6)
  7. Michigan (8)
  8. Texas (9)
  9. Auburn (14)
  10. Texas A&M (10)
  11. Notre Dame (11)
  12. Florida (7)
  13. Washington (14)
  14. Utah (13)
  15. Penn State (16)
  16. Washington State (17)
  17. Wisconsin (23)
  18. UCF (18)
  19. Oregon (15)
  20. Michigan State (20)
  21. Iowa (19)
  22. Syracuse (22)
  23. Stanford (24)
  24. Virginia (Un)
  25. Iowa State (21)

Dropped out: Northwestern (25)

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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 five)

Separation continues to increase between the few legitimate contenders and the horde of pretenders.

Not sure how much can really be said after a weekend of dominant performances more than anything else.   Alabama is fairly frightening right now, they might actually be able to split their roster and have TWO teams in the Top 25 … Clemson showed up to play against an above average opponent … Washington flexed against a weak sister … USC got exposed, Penn State seemed somewhat pedestrian at times … Auburn made Mississippi State look almost as bad as Georgia made them appear … Georgia did whatever they wanted against a woeful Tennessee … Georgia Tech has to wonder how things went so terribly wrong for two quarters against a team as bad as the Vols, and it’s a little hard to not wonder just how much that loss may haunt them … LSU entered ranks of “teams that regret an absurdly large contract buyout” … oh, before I forget, #FireButch, unless you’re crazy enough to consider Bobby Petrino as a replacement, in which case keep Bitch Jones since there actually ARE some things in life worse than losing.  Being associated with a lowlife of that order is one of them.

And with that said, here’s the latest JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.     (last week’s J3C ranking follows their name)

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

Dropped:  Mississippi State (22), LSU (25)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week four)

So, how are your nerves today?  Did you sleep okay?

Depending upon your team, there’s probably a wide range of responses.

If you’re an Alabama fan, you probably slept like a baby … Oklahoma fans probably wish their team didn’t go to sleep quite so early … Clemson backers are just happy their guys finally woke up … Penn State faithful may not sleep til Tuesday … Georgia fans have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads most likely … Folks in Starkville probably hope they can wake up from a nightmare … In Lexington and Boone and Ruston, the sleep was probably fitful, disturbed by thoughts of what might have been … In Knoxville, some folks likely spent the night wondering why it’s so darned hot in September … while in Atlanta, it was mostly just another night I imagine, when you do what you’re supposed to do then there’s probably a certain degree of routine about it all …

And no matter how restful or restless the slumber, the alarm will go off soon and it’ll be time to get back to work.

Time to redecorate, here’s the latest JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.     (last week’s J3C ranking follows their name)

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

Dropped:  Florida State (11), Colorado (20), Oregon (23),

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