After a long weekend of what can charitably (and only) be described as “ass football,” it’s time to overreact wildly and revamp the WNABP Top 25. Remember: I watch terrible games so you don’t have to.
As usual, here is the blog poll, and a few very brief remarks follow. Usual caveats: The criteria are nebulous, far-ranging, and capricious — strength of schedule, bad and good coaching, injuries, exigent circumstances, home/away results, defense or lack thereof, offense or lack thereof, line play, power poll-ishness, can you cover a spread (Vegas is pretty smart about how good a team is), head-to-head where possible or prudent, and my own lying eyeballs.
Blog Poll Week 1
|OUT||BSU, LSU, Tulsa, UNC etc.|
|CONSIDERED||Ball State, Buffalo, SJSU, UCF, VT|
There is one, and only one, complete team in America playing major college football — and it happens to reside in Tuscaloosa. Though, I should note that the City of Angels seems to be reasserting itself as the epicentre of West Coast football. The Trojans looked very good dispatching an excellent midmajor, the reigning MWC Champion San Jose State Spartans. And UCLA has by far looked to be the best team in the P12 after two games. Starting 19 freshmen the last two years is paying dividends for Chip Kelly, isn’t it? Sissy Blue done whooped that ass, Ed O, didn’t they?
Clemson appears to have half a team; ditto Georgia; ditto Penn State. The Irish’s running game stinks, and the defense gives up too many explosive plays. The wheels fell off Oklahoma’s allegedly great defense. Iowa State screwed around way too much with an FCS team. USC and Miami were your typical ACC Trash. Ohio State looked decent across the board, but not great in any one phase. Directional Michigan teams played very well in losses to Michigan and Mizzou. Ball State screwed around with an overmatched foe. Texas A&M is in for a rough year unless it develops a forward pass, tightens up that defense, and learns how to open holes for the running game — Kent gave the Aggies all they wanted for a half. And Florida. Sigh. You’re here, but I don’t believe you’ll be for long. Emory Jones, as we’ve warned you, is straight trash. And who knows about the defense? Willie Taggart is the inverse Midas: he takes what is golden and turns into a brick of poop.
Now, back to the caveat above that only one team appears complete in the Power 5, which may be true: But that’s not to say Alabama is alone. No, the midmajors trot out some excellent balanced teams across the board Liberty, Coastal and Cincinnati may all actually be even better this season. Nevada for a fact is, going to Cal and whooping the Bears. No shame in road losses to Texas and USC for SJSU/ULL — those are still quality clubs. And App State looked outstanding on Thursday night.
In so many ways, 2021 looks to have just inherited what 2020 offered, but has added a few wrinkles. It’s the wrinkles that seem to interest me, frankly.
This version of Alabama seems far more mortal on offense: the offensive line has some issues to sort out, the running backs aren’t up to ‘Bama snuff — particularly RB1, who is just a guy by Crimson Tide standards, JoJo Earle needs to be more involved in the game plan, Jahleel needs to get his head on straight, a dependable WR2 must emerge, and there needs to be just improvement across the board in effort and breaking tackles. It’s a fast offense, for sure. But they’re not blocking well outside, and they are not getting the tough yards. That must improve in SEC play.
That said, Will Reichard is every bit the stud he was last season. And the defense is otherwordly for the modern era of offensive football. Pete Golding finally has all the pieces together for his evolved version of the hybrid Saban / Pete scheme; he has finally learned to adjust to the game in real time; and he so many toys in the garage to play with. And it shows. *Never doubted you for a second!
*Okay, kind of doubted you.
Chime in below, and answer today’s question: Who have you seen play that was a pleasant surprise?
For me, I’m going with UCLA. It may be that LSU is just trash. But after two games, that team looks awesome...for the Pac 12.