Tuesday, September 11, 2012

HTR's Top 25: Week 2

Previous dubious assertionsHTR's Official Meaningless Preseason Top 25, Week 1

Once again, it must be stated: after the first tier or two, the remaining terrain in the top 25 is largely unclaimed and largely untenable, which is why teams drop in and out with a Kramer-esque frequency. We know very little about most teams. That is, other than the fact that teams like Florida State can beat horrible teams by many points and that Michigan is not as good as Alabama. This is really the only downside to the first month of college football. Still, football that isn't competitive is better than no football at all. 

After all, without college football, we probably wouldn't get things like this: 

(HT: @edsbs)
No, your eyes do not deceive you.

West Virginia
Florida State
South Carolina
Michigan State
Virginia Tech
Ohio State
Kansas State
Notre Dame 

Out: Wisconsin, Nebraska, Utah, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Arkansas
Idle: Baylor, West Virginia

  • Déjà vu. Hey, Alabama and LSU at the top two spots! There's no way we get a second matchup in the MNC game after Alabama wins by 3 in Baton Rouge, right? RIGHT? The scary thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if that happened. I really wouldn't. As for Washington, I don't think anybody expects them to go into Death Valley and win, but this is year 4 of the Sarkisian era, and I think this might be the last season that Sark can rely on the fact that Washington football was completely atrocious before he got there (not that he's "relying" on this, per se, but you know what I mean). On the bright side, Stanford is looking very vulnerable, so second place in the Pac 12 North is a solid goal for the Huskies this season. No matter what happened against LSU's defense, Keith Price is still good in my book (and probably books other than mine). 
  • GO U NORTHWESTERN. Take it in...oh yeah. That is the battle hymn of undefeated football and championships. My future second alma mater, The Fighting Warrior Poets of Northwestern University, executed a smashing victory against the dastardly Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday. Much harumphing was done throughout this affair, and many comments were cast into the Evanston night regarding the authenticity of the student-athletes competing in a dignified and respectful battle of sport in a stadium filled with tens of people. The battle was won before the game had even started, joked every Northwestern fan to every single Vanderbilt fan in attendance. Indeed.
    • In the end, a game was in fact played, and the Warrior Poets--the ones in purple and black--emerged victorious with a little bit of luck and a lot of Venric Mark, which has been the winning formula thus far this season in two victories against BCS teams (Syracuse and Vanderbilt). Northwestern's wins aren't anything to write home about, but they do merit a lower end top 25 ranking (of course, this means so much). Kyle Prater still hasn't done a whole lot and 4-star recruit/true freshman defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo made his debut but didn't seem to do much either. If either of them get going, this team becomes even more spoilerific than it already is. The Wildcats' secondary played much better against Vandy's Jordan Rodgers than they did Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, but they will need to be even better with a pass-happy BC team coming to town next week. 
  • DERP. There was quite a bit of derping around done on this second football Saturday, although most of it was not that surprising when you really think about history and precedent and stuff. Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Illinois all playing Pac 12 teams out west in September? Boom, auto-loss. After seeing Michigan suffer abominable losses at UCLA, Washington, and Oregon in the early 2000s, why is any of this surprising? Detroit makes cars, the Big Ten loses out west in September. THIS IS WHAT WE DO. 
  • Speaking of out Californee way. The Pac 12 South is pretty much the complete opposite of what I envisioned it would be. UCLA and Arizona looking...good? Arizona State beating Illinois probably doesn't mean much, but they really beat them. I figured Utah to be the #2 team in this division, albeit with a vast gulf separating them and USC. However, after their loss at Utah State, it's looking like they'll be fighting to avoid having the pleasure of sitting next to the moldy unconsumable thing that is Colorado football. College football is fairly unpredictable, in case you hadn't noticed. 
  • Something something fluids not being hot enough something something. So, Arkansas. Let's talk. I know how you feel. So does Nick Saban AHAHAH /looks at Alabama-Michigan box score /sobs internally. I will say this though: I never understood all the Arkansas love, so they are only dropping down from #16 spot in my completely meaningless top 25. There was no reason for Arkansas to lose that game even without Tyler Wilson for most of it, but the Razorbacks are still a top 25 team if Wilson plays. Still, I can't even give them the ol' "I'm putting you at 25 out of pity" designation. With Alabama coming this Saturday, things don't exactly get much easier. 
  • THEY CAN'T HANG PAWWLLL. I started to convince myself that Florida and Georgia might go a combined 0-2 against their new SEC foes this past Saturday. Simply put: NOPE. I don't know that these games mean anything in the grand scheme of things (i.e. TAMU and Mizzou's ability to compete in the SEC), but it sure would've been nice for TAMU to shake the "can't finish" label against a Florida team that is still very much in transition from the Meyer era to Muschamp's brand of ball. Mizzou, on the other hand, had a chance to take out a team missing several key defenders (Alec Ogletree, Sanders Commings, Bacarri Rambo), and failed to cash in after hanging in there for three quarters. Things might have ended differently if not for an odd fake punt call by Gary Pinkel early in the fourth quarter, but a 21-point loss is, in the end, a 21-point loss. 
    • In retrospect, Mizzou actually would've been a pretty good addition to the Big Ten (not that Nebraska hasn't been one), and I think the Tigers will be probably be okay, although I just looked at their schedule again and it is pretty darn tough. Except for Kentucky, there probably isn't a single slam dunk game the rest of the way. As for Georgia, this is their first 2-0 start since the 2008 season, when they were preseason #1. 

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