There was no preseason Chaos Index this year. Why? Simple: lack of motivation. Between hurricanes (real ones, not the ones in Coral Gables), ballistic missiles, the existence of Art Briles, and the lack of Les Miles, I couldn’t motivate myself to care.
Then, it happened. “It” being the season of course, which has started with its usual run of meltdowns, freakouts, and letdowns, and everything fell into place. Yep, football’s far less important than real life, which means it’s a hell of a lot more fun to mock.
So, here goes another season of our annual mockumentary, starting off right where it should, with the perpetually disappointed bearers of burnt orange.
- Texas – Yep, that Tom Herman hire fixed everything!!! What could go wrong now? Just think, the always tolerant UT faithful surely won’t lose their shit when USC gets done with them. At least no one from the Longhorn Board of Regents is flipping out on social media like one of the wise elders who oversees…
- Texas A&M – If there’s anyone who can sympathize with y’all, it’s your friendly hosts from California. While Aggieland wonders how their heroes blew a 44-10 lead with 17 minutes to go, Bruin fans Noel exactly how it happened. And now, to see how ugly things go before they gig Kevin Sumlin.
- UCLA – That sure was an amazing comeback! That sure was the exact same putrid running game – all 63 yards of it – that got Josh Rosen impaled halfway through last season and almost knocked out of this one after 30 minutes. At least the fine folk of College Station waited until after the game to fire Kevin Sumlin on social media. Bruin Nation was doing Jim Mora on Twitter at halftime.
- UNLV – When the local fishwrapper’s first “lesson” from your opener is “It’s difficult to find any hope at this point,” you best to start planning your Saturday afternoon yardwork through November. Oh, and when you lose to a 2-9 FCS squad as a 45-point favorite, the sky really is falling.
- Baylor – Meanwhile in Waco, the sky has fallen. We are not about to mock the horrible things that happened at Baylor these last few years. A former national power losing at home to Liberty? We’ll make fun of that all season long.
- Oregon State – Hmm, the Beavs got chainsawed for 58 points by a Colorado State team that got held to a field goal by Colorado. Then, they only snuck by Portland State because the Vikings don’t have anything resembling a kicking game. It’s going to be a loooooong year in Corvallis. Again.
- Florida – Admit it, you’ve been expecting big things from the Gators once they get a real quarterback like Feleipe Franks. Or Malik Zaire. Or why don’t we just call the whole thing off?
- Florida State – Well, that playoff bid went kaboom in record time, didn’t it?
- Missouruh – Remember when Mizoops couldn’t score to save their, er, season. Well, they put up 72 on an FCS team that’s won nine games in three years. Oh, and they gave up 43, so now that the offensive side of matters might (or might not) be back on track, the D sure looks promising.
- North Carolina – In case you weren’t aware of it before the Heels went belly up at home against a Cal team that can politely be described as substandard, this week was your ultimate proof that, for all the big talk, the Larry Fedora era is going in circles.
- North Carolina State – In case you weren’t aware of it before the Pack went belly up against a USC (East) team that can politely be described as meh, this week was your ultimate proof that, for all that darkhorse playoff team talk, the Dave Doeren era is going in circles.
- Arizona State – The Devils came dangerously close to going full Texas A&M. Against New Mexico State. At home. At this point, Sparky’s got to be hoping that Todd Graham’s wandering eye homes in on someone else.
- Georgia State – Congratulations to the San Diego State of the South for keeping hope alive! By hope, we mean the hope that they’ll finally have their first winless season since 2013.
- Nebraska – Yeah, Arkansas State is one of three semi-relevant teams in the Sun Belt. (Really, #FunBelt? You’re still here?) That said, when you’re barely scraping by against them in Lincoln with a refugee from Tulane under center, things are not going the way the friendly folk of America’s Heartland expect.
- USC (West) – But…but…they won by 18 points. But…but…Western Michigan was in a really big bowl game last year. Sorry to butt in, but this ain’t that Broncos team, and this is a fan base that freaks out almost as fast as the one in Austin. If there’s even a hiccup next week against Stanford, expect the panic level to reach DefCon 2. Oh, and whatever happens, that Texas game is going to leave somebody freaking out.
- UTEP – It wasn’t like you expected the Miners to win, or even keep it close, against Oklahoma, but getting outgained by 500 yards doesn’t exactly paint a cheery picture for what comes next. Nobody doesn’t like Coach Koogs, but what’s coming next is probably not a long-term extension after his fifth season.
- Illinois – Remember when the Illini were in so much of a big hurry to hire Lovie Smith that they offed Bill Cubit right after they extended him? How’s that working out?
- Tennessee – Is this the year the Vols finally break through, or will this be yet around rendition of “Butch Says We’ll Get There Next Year?” If you saw them this Labor Day, you already know the answer, and you’re gearing up to pick the correct game where it all falls apart in your office pool. (Me? Florida’s tempting, but I’m holding out for Georgia.)
- The Schedule – Lessee, last year’s Week One was The Greatest Opening Week Ever!!! This year, we got ‘Bama vs. Felony State, and what? That dog between Michigan and Florida? The Black Diamond game was nice, but when that’s your second-best event of the week, well, ick. The day when Power 5 schools only play other Power 5 schools cannot get here soon enough.
- LSU – The Tigers don’t belong here. There’s no chaos whatsoever going on in Baton Rouge, and that was a nice opening win. At least, they don’t belong here yet. It just felt too weird not to leave them in, so consider this an honorary ranking that also anticipates whatever’s about to come with Coach Eaux. Y’all check back around ‘Bama time.