I typically couldn’t care less about rankings this time of year. But, for the purposes of discussion (and because it’s fun), let’s take a gander at yesterday’s first AP Poll.
Top 5 are as follows…
- Ohio State
No real surprises there. The only cavoite I’d add is OSU at 5. If by some miracle Urban loses his job (which, sadly, isn’t gonna happen), that whole program could nose-dive without its leader.
The top two on this list are absolutely frightening. Bama is Bama every season. The difference in this year and previous years, however, is that with Tua Tagovailoa under center, they can actually throw the football with a modicum of consistency. Combine that with their o-line, running game, and a defense that’s always stout under Saban, and the Tide may be tougher than ever in 2018.
Clemson, on the other hand, is just as frightening on account of their defensive line. I kid you not, out of the four starters, three if not all four will go in the first round of next year’s NFL Draft. Some are calling this the best defensive line IN HISTORY. That’s how good they are.
Other Takeaways from the poll:
FSU checks in at 19: Florida State came in at the same spot in the first Coaches Poll, and I’m good with that. We’re unproven with a first-year head coach and all new systems on both sides of the ball, plus we’re coming off a 6-loss season. People are right to doubt us.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If FUS ends the season at 9-3 — with this schedule, this offensive line, this linebacker corpse, and all this change — that’s a fantastic conclusion to year one of a new regime.
Note about the schedule: FSU plays four of the teams on this list in 2018 (VA Tech, Notre Dame, Miami, Clemson), plus NC State with Heisman candidate Ryan Finley on the road, Florida at home, and a mean Boston College team that many believe will cause issues for of a lot of teams this year.
No matter how you slice it, 2018 is gonna be a tough haul for the Noles.
Florida is MIA: It’s NOT a great… day to be a Florida Gator, and it hasn’t been for quite some time. I maintain that Ron Mullen was the right here in Gainesville, but dude better make an impact now because he’s getting his clock cleaned on the recruiting trail.
What a slate for opening weekend: Wives/girlfriends, please do the right thing and give your husbands/boyfriends a day pass to fly the couch for the entirety of opening day, September 1. There are some FANTASTIC matchups to start the season, and frankly they’ve earned it.
Let’s take a look…
- Alabama vs. Louisville — I know Lamar Jackson is gone, but Sneaky B. Petrino is still one helluva coach on gameday. I’ll take Bama for the win but expect some Cardinal surprises along the way.
- Michigan at Notre Dame — In what is undoubtedly a make or break year for Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines head to South Bend to open their season versus a great Fighting Irish defense. This one’s gonna be a war!
- Auburn vs. Washington — Auburn returns a strong squad, and no one believes in the Pac 12. That said, both teams bring explosive offenses, which should make this one tons of fun to watch.
- LSU vs. Miami — The Canes’ season will rise and fall on the arm of their Malik Rosier. Their defense is spectacular, but they got a lot of breaks last season. If they don’t get more production from the QB position, I think they’ll struggle. If Rosier or the kid behind him emerges, though, look for Miami to dominate the Coastal Division en route to the ACC title game.
In closing, I’d like to end this post with a “get off my lawn” rant on a trend that’s quickly (and alarmingly) becoming the norm in today’s college football.
Notice that of all the matchups above, only one (Michigan/ND) has an “at” in the listing. The others have a “versus.” That’s because the vs. matchups are all taking place at neutral sites.
I DO NOT approve of this. College football matchups are meant to be played on college campuses — period — unless they’re bowl matchups. I don’t give a flying rat turd in a handbasket about traveling to Atlanta, Dallas, or Orlando for a regular season CFB game. I just don’t. If FSU plays Texas, I want the Horns in Tallahassee and the Noles in Austin. Anything else is just an NFL game, light edition.
I get it. Big markets equal big money. I still don’t care.
Stop trying to turn college football into pro football, NCAA. Those of us who prefer the former do so for a reason. Stop screwing with it.
That’s all I’ve got for now, y’all. Feel free to weigh in via the comments below, and best of luck to your respective teams in 2018… unless, of course, your teams are Florida or Miami, in which case I hope you tank epically. ?
Cheers, and GO NOLES!!!