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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week eleven)

A brief respite from a season of craziness.

That was basically the story of week eleven, where almost everyone that was supposed to win (gasp) actually did so.  Though not quite all of them did so in the way we expected.

Both Alabama and Clemson dominated with defense.  How thoroughly?  They didn’t allow 300 yards of total offense COMBINED … Notre Dame and Michigan overwhelmed overmatched opponents, though in theory there ought to be a big difference in beating FSU and beating Rutgers.  Maybe not so big this season … Okay, sure, Fresno State laid an egg in the middle of my rankings but I figure somebody had to do it …

For my more personal interests, Tennessee got the job done against a Kentucky team that looks like it’s run out of gas, Georgia Tech avoided doing Tech things and handed CMR another loss to further warm his seat as the weather grows colder, and Ole Miss did Ole Miss things.  At least they got a big win earlier in the week with the “resignation” (yeah, right) of the existing chancellor there.

The march to the playoffs continues, so let’s march right on in to the latest update of my JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.

(last week’s ranking follows their name)

  1. Alabama (1)
  2. Clemson (2)
  3. Notre Dame (3)
  4. Michigan (5)
  5. Georgia (6)
  6. Oklahoma (5)
  7. LSU (4)
  8. West Virginia (8)
  9. Washington State (9)
  10. UCF (10)
  11. Ohio State (11)
  12. Utah State (12)
  13. Syracuse (17)
  14. Texas (16)
  15. Penn State (19)
  16. Cincinnati (21)
  17. Florida (20)
  18. Washington (23)
  19. Iowa State (25)
  20. Utah (Un)
  21. Boise State (Un)
  22. Kentucky (13)
  23. Boston College (18)
  24. Northwestern (Un)
  25. Army (Un)

Dropped: Fresno State (14), Mississippi State (15), Auburn (22), Iowa (24)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week ten)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: One potential contender for the final four lost, as did a number of field fillers.
Somehow that sounds familiar.

So in a post-Election Day attention diverted fashion, I’ll just hit a couple highlights from the weekend that was.
Thorough.  That’s the word that comes to mind when I think about what Alabama did to LSU.  In Death Valley … Clemson and Michigan both stood out this weekend … Oklahoma, Washington State, and Ohio State also stood out but for the wrong reasons instead of the right ones … Also standing out were Texas A&M, Florida, and Iowa, but that’s the kind of stuff that will leave you standing outside …. For my personal interests, Tennessee struggled their way past Charlotte (? Srsly?), Georgia Tech found juuuuust enough to avoid another collapse, and I watched in person for the second straight season as Ole Miss snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, sparked by the refusal of their quarterback to even look willing to TRY to get a crucial first down.   I’m genuinely shocked at this point that anyone is willing to block for him at all.

That’s an abbreviated wrap due to time constraints, let’s get to the latest edition of my JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.

(last week’s ranking follows their name)

  1. Alabama (1)
  2. Clemson (2)
  3. Notre Dame (3)
  4. Michigan (5)
  5. Oklahoma (6)
  6. Georgia (7)
  7. LSU (4)
  8. West Virginia (8)
  9. Washington State (9)
  10. UCF (10)
  11. Ohio State (11)
  12. Utah State (17)
  13. Kentucky (13)
  14. Fresno State (19)
  15. Mississippi State (20)
  16. Texas (16)
  17. Syracuse (25)
  18. Boston College (Un)
  19. Penn State (12)
  20.  Florida (14)
  21. Cincinnati (Un)
  22. Auburn (Un)
  23. Washington (Un)
  24. Iowa (21)
  25. Iowa State (Un)

Dropped: Utah (15), Houston (17), Virginia (22), Texas A&M (23), Georgia Southern (25)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week three)

Week three, where bubbles burst. Or at least a couple of them did.

While Auburn still has multiple opportunities to get themselves back in position for the playoff despite their loss to LSU, Wisconsin now may need an unbeaten run to the finish by BYU for them to salvage a spot for themselves.  Such is life in the (post)modern college football era.

Meanwhile, Alabama could face charges involving mistreatment of a corpse after their thorough dismembering of (what’s left of) Ole Miss.  It only looked like a snuff film, but the victim was already dead … Clemson did enough, though for about a quarter & a half things were closer than they would have liked or hoped … Georgia beat up another victim while Ohio State got one of the best wins anyone has on their resume to date this year … Iowa State might be the best 0-2 team in the land, just ask Oklahoma … Stanford mostly sleptwalked through their win this week while Washington survived a physical affair against Utah … Notre Dame nearly ended their season early while Michigan posted a pedestrian 25 point win … Out west, USC and Arizona State were both revealed as pretenders to significance …   Tennessee manhandled a lesser opponent defensively, more than enough to get their offense through another week, while Georgia Tech throughly soiled the proverbial sheets.  While it’s fair to put the latest display of ineptitude largely on the players lack of execution (insert John McKay joke about his players execution here), CPJ is the clown who brought them in so #FireCPJ remains most definitely a valid thing.

Shuffled up a bit, time to deal  the latest edition of JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.
(last week’s ranking follows their name)

  1. Alabama (1)
  2. Clemson (2)
  3. Ohio State (5)
  4. Georgia (4)
  5. Oklahoma (5)
  6. Stanford (9)
  7. Notre Dame (7)
  8. LSU (11)
  9. Auburn (8)
  10. Washington (10)
  11. Penn State (12)
  12. Mississippi State (14)
  13. Virginia Tech (15)
  14. West Virginia (16)
  15. Oklahoma State (18)
  16. TCU (16)
  17. Wisconsin (3)
  18. Michigan (19)
  19. Oregon (24)
  20. Miami (21)
  21. UCF (22)
  22. Boston College (23)
  23. Texas A&M (Un)
  24. Boise State (17)
  25. BYU (Un)

Dropped: USC (20), Arizona State (25)

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week two)

Does week two have a bit of “sophomore jinx” this year?

Not in the sense that a lot of upsets occurred or unexpected poor performances, but rather more in the sense of feeling a little … lackluster.

Three ranked teams lost this week but none of those were overly surprising to me, though ASU vs Sparty felt like a toss up and that’s about what it turned out to be … Most ranked teams did what you’d expect against significantly weaker opponents, Clemson found life to be more interesting than they anticipated/hoped for … While not particularly relevant to anything in the big picture, my own teams of interest were at least, well, interesting (though not all for good reasons) … Ole Miss puts up a basketball score on SIU, while letting the Salukis figuratively shoot the lights out for a half … Georgia Tech got the result I expected, just not entirely in the manner I figured.   I didn’t figure USF would need the predictable collapse to win outright … Tennessee let a weaker opponent (which are kinda tough for them to find) hang around for a little while before doing what they ought to do in that situation.

Mostly though, my football weekend was highlighted by a trip to see some of my family’s favorite people as Washington & Lee faced DIII rival Sewanee.  Good times, great people, and a handy win.  Hard to beat that for a football outing.

With relatively few changes, here’s the latest update of JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25.     (last week’s ranking follows their name)

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

Dropped: Michigan State (15), South Carolina (24)

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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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