What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
We are about a week away from that time of year which brings us the 12 greatest Saturdays of the year. As part of the run-up to kick-off, once again we here at Dubsism are giving you a top-to-bottom ranking from people who actually watch college football. That means you won’t get some of the non-sense “traditional” polls give you with the usual chronically over-rated suspects. That also means our anking is a simple exercise in 1 through 128; best to worst. We don’t give a shit about reputation, we don’t give a shit about regional issues, and we certainly don’t give a shit about schedules. The team we pick #1 is the one we think is best and has the best chance to win a national championship; vice versa for the team we put at #128, with the usual value scale in-between.
The Top 25: The Only Ones We Know You Really Care About
1) Alabama The Crimson Tide suffered key losses on both sides of the ball, but this team reloads better than anybody else. Expect Nick Saban’s team to lean on its defense and ground attack until the offense finds stability at quarterback, and even if they don’t, they can ground and pound all the way.
2) Ohio State The Buckeyes have the fewest returning starters of any Power 5 Conference club. However, Pope Urban I has a Saban-like recruiting ability. They can reload faster than a Marine in a firefight.
3) Oklahoma Bob Stoops and his Sooners are a heavy favorite to win the Big 12, but there are certainly no guarantees. Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield could quarterback OU to a playoff berth if the holes in both offensive and defensive lines have been sufficiently patched.
4) Clemson Everybody is slobbering over Deshaun Watson and the nation’s top receiving corps, but the Tiger defense may have been completely declawed.
5) LSU From one Tiger to another, expect another Leonard Fournette-led seal-clubbing of lesser SEC opponents on offense, and a brutal defense to give it a lot of short fields. A play-off berth is not out of the question, but quarterback Brandon Harris and the passing game will need to show improvement over last year if they want to beat Alabama and capture the SEC.
6) Florida State Everybody is in love with a Florida State which won 10 games in a “rebuilding” season, but nobody remembers this team still doesn’t have a quarterback and running back Dalvin Cook’s Heisman aspirations only go as far as his front five can lead him. It is time for FSU fans to quit talking about season in which they beat both Florida and Miami, and start worrying about when they are going to lose to both of them. That day is coming sooner than they want to admit.
7) Ole Miss Yeah, I know this is the third SEC team in the top ten, and there’s a reason for that. Hugh Freese has learned how to recruit to treplace three first-round picks departed for the NFL, and he’s got the trail of controversy to prove it. Besides, the Rebels have the best QB in the conference in Chad Kelly, and they have a cornucopia of receiver depth to accompany him.
8 ) Washington Head coach Chris Petersen’s third year in Seattle could prove to be the one in which the Huskies arrive on the national stage. They are on the verge of a breakthrough year led by sophomores Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin. The defense returns an octoplex of starters from a squad which allowed a measly 18.8 points a game last year in the pass-happy Pac-12.
9) Michigan State The Spartans have won no less than 11 games in 5 of the last 6 campaigns. Michigan State took some losses, namely quarterback Connor Cook, but Sparty may be the best “re-loader” in the B1G Ten not called Ohio State.
10) Stanford The Fighting Trees can go as far as stud ball-carrier Christian McCaffrey can take them…within reason. He can take them to a conference title, and perhaps even a play-off spot. But a national title might be what is known in corporate America as a “stretch goal.”
11) Michigan Don’t look now, but in a short period of time, head coach Jim Harbaugh has Michigan back in non-suck territory. They still need a quarterback, but so do a lot of teams in the
B1G Ten. Get ready for Alanis Morrisette-style irony in the fact that ex-Wolverine quarterback Harbuagh has a team loaded on defense.
12) Tennessee This might be the first time the Vols have merited mention this high since the Phil Fulmer days. Yes, I’m only mentioning Phil Fulmer so I can use one of my favorite graphics ever.
13) UCLA The Bruins come into 2016 needing to answer more questions than a prospective juror during voir dire. They have the Pac-12’s top quarterback in Josh Rosen, and their schedule is friendlier than cross-town rival and fellow division favorite USC.
14) Georgia Long-time head coaching brides-maid Kirby Smart finally becomes a bride in Athens, where he inherits a cupboard left pretty stocked by Mark Richt, including one of the nation’s top quarterback recruits in Jacob Eason (Illinois and New England Patriot fans should recognize that surname, thanks to his dad Tony).
15) TCU The Horned Frogs are a long shot to take the Big 12 title. The offense is thinner than a swimsuit model with a tapeworm, but the defense is as loaded as Johnny Manziel on “2 for 1” night.
16) Iowa The Hawkeyes burst on the big-time scene once again last year to silence the growing anti-Kirk Ferentz cacophony. This year sees them as a solid favorite to snatch the B1G Ten West.
17) Louisville This is a team that ended last season winning 6 of its last 7 games. They come in to 2016 with 16 returning starters and an interesting quarterback in Lamar Jackson.
18) Florida On the defensive side of the ball, the Gators rank among the best in the SEC. On offense, they sputtered for a scant 12.6 points per game in their final 6 in 2015. Gator nation is resting it’s hopes on Oregon State transfer Luke Del Rio (yes, Jack’s son) as their new starter under center.
19) Miami Call me crazy, but I see big things in Miami’s future, namely because they got a great coach who got run out of Georgia in Mark Richt. His return to South Beach could be just what a beleaguered program like Miami needs to find its way to their initial trip to the ACC Championship Game. He’s also another new coach with a highly-regarded quarterback in junior Brad Kaaya.
20) USC What kind of pressure could there possibly be in being the Trojan head coach in a season where a) they just fired the star head coach, b) have been in an era of mediocrity since Pete Carroll left town, and c) are competing for the Los Angeles football dollar with the NFL? Top that off with the fact USC has one of college football’s toughest schedules, and head coach Clay Helton’s first full season is going to be a rough one. But, he’s also at USC which never has problems getting players.
21) North Carolina College football fans need to get ready to learn a new name: Mitch Trubisky. The Tar Heels quarterback is a rising star, and the rest of the squad promises to turn head as well. Not to mention, Gene Chizik returns to his best role as defensive coordinator rather than being college football’s version of Wade Phillips; the guy who’s so good as coordinator he keeps getting head coaching jobs.
22) Oklahoma State The quarterback-wide receiver combination of Mason Rudolph and James Washington should keep the Cowboys near the top of the Big 12. The difference between this year and last season’s 10-win squad is in the offensive line.
23) Oregon Ex-Michigan head coach Brady Hoke has a revamped offensive line protecting a quarterback transferring in from the FCS ranks. Plus, the Duck defense needs to improve from last year’s surrendering of 37.5 points per game.
24) Arkansas Head coach Bret Bielema has another SEC squad featuring a punishing defense, but needs to retool an offense that lost quarterback Brandon Allen, running back Alex Collins and a handful of other key players.
25) Baylor So, it’s the post-Art Briles era in Waco. So what? Baylor still has plenty of talent, but new coach Jim Grobe inherits a team with line of scrimmage issues on both sides of the ball…probably enough to keep them from a shot at the Big 12 title.
The Best of The Rest – Teams You Will Likely See in This Year’s Three-Week Bowl-Gasm
The title of this section really tells you all you need to know. Including the championship game, there are 41 post-season games in the upcoming college football season, which means there will be 82 teams filling out that schedule. Here’s who we think the “best of the rest” will be.
26) Texas A&M
27) Virginia Tech
28) Washington State
30) Notre Dame
32) Boise State
35) San Diego State
37) South Florida
38) Mississippi State
39) Texas Tech
40) West Virginia
41) Penn State
46) Kansas State
47) Arizona State
48) Georgia Tech
49) Air Force
55) Appalachian State
60) North Carolina State
61) South Carolina
63) Wake Forest
64) Boston College
66) Western Michigan
69) Iowa State
70) Southern Mississippi
71) Middle Tennessee State
76) Northern Illinois
77) Western Kentucky
78) Arkansas State
79) Georgia Southern
81) Utah State
Maybe Next Year…Maybe
Again, this should be self-explanatory. The top two-thirds of teams in college get to go bowling, and the bottom-dwellers don’t. It’s that simple.
85) Central Michigan
86) Louisiana Tech
88) Colorado State
90) New Mexico
91) Oregon State
93) Texas-El Paso
94) San Jose State
95) East Carolina
96) Bowling Green
100) Florida Atlantic
102) Central Florida
105) Old Dominion
106) Florida International
108) Louisiana -Lafayette
109) Fresno State
111) Georgia State
112) Miami, Ohio
113) Ball State
115) South Alabama
118) New Mexico State
121) Kent State
123) Eastern Michigan
124) Texas State
125) Texas-San Antonio