The Resurgent’s team of Philip Swicegood, Josh Hammer, and Dave Scharoun will be releasing its own NCAA football poll throughout the season, along with running commentary about each week’s highlights.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This week’s preview is dedicated to The Resurgent’s Director of Operations Philip Swicegood. Happy anniversary, Philip!
1. Alabama (Last week: def. Tennessee 49-10) (This week: v. Texas A&M)
Catharsis, sweet, sweet catharsis. I take back every bad thing I ever said about you, Nick. When more reasonable coaches may have said “that’s enough” or “let’s take it easy guys, we don’t want to embarrass them on their home turf,” Saban scoffed at such concerns and added three more touchdowns. I like to think at halftime, when he was ready to tell his team to take the foot off the gas, the little Kirby Smart photo he undoubtedly keeps in his wallet fell out, reminding him that ordinary humiliation was too good for these orange-clad hicks that celebrate touchdowns by singing about murdering government officials. Thanks Nick, you can hang 56 on us anytime. You will anyway, this is just me making myself feel better about it in advance.
2. Ohio State (Last week: def. Wisconsin 30-23) (This week: at Penn State)
I’m almost halfway nostalgic for the days when this team would waltz through their D-II schedule and sneak into the national championship game where they would get mugged by whichever team came out of the SEC that year. Truly simpler times. Now they have a real coach and play in a competitive conference and I’m forced to pay attention to them in the regular season. I’m just saying, these things didn’t happen when Bush was president.
3. Michigan (Last week: Bye) (This week: v. Illinois)
The Wolverines took the week off after beating Rutgers 78-0. No that’s not a misprint, that’s a real thing that happened. What in God’s name happened to Jim Harbaugh in the state of New Jersey that would arouse this level of ruthless vengeance? Was he forced to stay their for an extended period of time? Perish the thought. Anyway, this team is frightening.
4. Washington (Last week: Bye) (This week: v. Oregon State)
The worst part of writing these previews is having to come up with something to say about whatever Pac 12 team sneaks their way in here. I’m not sure I’ve ever watched a Pac 12 football game the whole way through. I mean a three hour time difference? Might as well be playing in Latvia as far as I’m concerned. Your games exist solely so that people in regular time zones can still have football on at the bar while they drink to forget football games that occurred between real teams. I have nothing else to say about this team.
5. Clemson (Last week: def. NC State 24-17) (This week: Bye)
The Tigers really have no business being here, seeing as that NC State only needed a field goal that was about the distance between the trunk and the hood of a mid-sized sedan to beat them at home. NC State was last relevant about a decade ago when Phillip Rivers had 23 fewer children than he has now. If you’re the betting type, you’ve now got a 1-in-5 shot of picking which game this team blows down the stretch to ruin their season. You might say Florida State next week but that seems too easy. I’m going with Wake Forest in four weeks. That seems stupid enough to happen.
6. Texas A&M (Last week: Bye) (This week: at Alabama)
And how could I forget the Aggies! Two weeks ago, Kevin Sumlin’s boys laid the first demoralizing blow to that squad of hill people coached by an inflated toddler person and I really can’t thank them enough for that. Best of luck in Tuscaloosa tonight, fellas!
7. Nebraska (Last week: def. Indiana 27-22) (This week: v. Purdue)
This is that weird part in the college football season where teams like Nebraska are still hanging around undefeated in the top 10 because they loaded the front end of their schedule with cakewalk teams and saved all the nastiness for the cooler months. We only have to deal with the Cornhuskers for one more week before they get a one-two punch of Wisconsin and Ohio State, both on the road. This will be a really fun team to watch in the Citrus Bowl while you start pre-game drinking for New Year’s.
8. Baylor (Last week: def. Kansas 49-7) (This week: Bye)
College football’s most unlikable program just refuses to go away no matter how much the general public wishes they would! The Bears have yet to beat a ranked opponent yet so rightfully no one is taking them seriously. The Big 12 is really bad this year and I’m tired of talking about it.
9. Louisville (Last week: def. Duke 24-14) (This week: v. NC State)
Other than a road game with Houston (Why does that game exist? Why is it so late in the year?) Louisville has basically no one noteworthy left on their schedule. Unless Clemson has a true meltdown in the vein of a team like Clemson and drops two more conference games down the stretch, the Cardinals aren’t going to the ACC title game, meaning this team is basically already in the Cotton Bowl. It might suck to know exactly where you’ll be in the postseason in late October, but at least it’s fun to watch Lamar Jackson play football. Plus you still got that whole Papa John’s thing going for ya, that’s pretty cool right?
10. Florida (Last week: def. Missouri 40-14) (This week: Bye)
With Tennessee’s 39 point beatdown last week from the Tide (which I want to stress that this writer found to be both personally rewarding and emotionally exhilarating), the Gators will now meander their way into another SEC Championship appearance that they did literally nothing to earn. But that’s okay. Frankly I think they should just abolish the SEC East and just have the Washington Generals play Alabama in the championship every year. At least then Nick Saban hanging 84 on some helpless team would be more fun and lighthearted and less “violation of the Geneva Convention-y.”
11. West Virginia (Last week: def. Texas Tech 48-17) (This week: v. TCU)
12. Wisconsin (Last week: lost to Ohio State 30-23) (This week: at Iowa)
13. Arkansas (Last week: def. Ole Miss 34-30) (This week: at Auburn)
14. Tennessee (Last week: lost really badly to Alabama 49-10) (This week: Bye)
Maybe I’ve been too tough on the Vols. After all, ten years of ineptitude legitimately made me take pity on this team. “The conference is just more interesting when Tennessee is good!” I misled myself into believing. But then you just had to go and beat us with shenanigans. You just flushed all that goodwill down the toilet. At this point, if a genie granted me three wishes, I’d use the first to relive that Alabama game, the second to have Tennessee rehire Phil Fulmer, and the third to have them immediately fire him again so this program could be plunged into another decade of darkness. You’ve caught me in a very bitter year, Tennessee.
15. Utah (Last week: def. Oregon State 19-14) (This week: at UCLA)
16. Boise St (Last week: def. Colorado State 28-23) (This week: def. BYU 28-27)
17. Western Michigan (Last week: def. Akron 41-0) (This week: v. Eastern Michigan)
18. Houston (Last week: def. Tulsa 38-31) (This week: at SMU)
19. Florida State (Last week: def. Wake Forest 17-6) (This week: Bye)
20. Oklahoma (Last week: def. Kansas State 38-17) (This week: at Texas Tech)
21. North Carolina (Last week: def. Miami 20-13) (This week: at Virginia)
22. Auburn (Last week: Bye) (This week: v. Arkansas)
23. Navy (Last week: Bye) (This week: v. Memphis)
24. Ole Miss (Last week: lost to Arkansas 34-30) (This week: at LSU)
25. LSU (Last week: def. Southern Miss 45-10) (This week: v. Ole Miss)
26-99. Lots of other teams, including Vanderbilt.
100-111. The entirety of the Sun Belt Conference
243. Georgia Southwestern State University (Discontinued football: 1989)
Even further down. Georgia (Last week: lost to Vanderbilt) (This week: Mercifully bye)
I don’t have much to say here. We lost to Vandy at home. Yes, I’m aware that Mark Richt used to coach here. Yes, I’m aware he’s a very nice man. I don’t know what he’d do about an offensive line that protects about as well as a group of third graders playing Red Rover but then again, I’m sure Scripture couldn’t hurt. I have 178 hours and 30 minutes to prepare myself for that Florida game so I think I’ll start drinking now.