Round and round the chaos goes. Where it stops, the Index knows.
1. Texas – At this point, you can all but pencil the ‘Horns in at the top spot for the rest of the season. If they’re concerned about attendance in Austin now, how will things look if they start 1-7 after they spend some quality time with both Oklahoma schools, TCU, and K-State? Even that 527 yards of total offense that Jerrod Heard ran up might be a little dubious considering who he did it against.
2. Pac-12 South – Most. Overrated. Division. Ever. Said differently: when UCLA escaping by the skin of their teeth over a razor’s edge BYU is your big positive of the week, while Southern Cal gets bulldozed by the team that couldn’t score on Northwestern and the Arizona schools feast on (Arizona) or squeak by (ASU) a steady diet of cupcakes (not counting ASU’s maiming in College Station, of course), you’re not COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S BEST DIVISION!!!, are you?
3. SEC West – It’s playing out just like you expected, isn’t it? The Alabama schools are in charge, while LSU, TAMU and Ole Miss are probably a year away. Chaos is usually quite entertaining, but this might take the football-shaped tailgate party cake.
4. USC – So maybe things aren’t all better in Heritage Hall, given that Stanford just lit the Trojans up for more points than they did Northwestern and Central Florida combined. Has the “distracted coach” talk started yet in Troy?
5. USC – Congratulations on making the guy who couldn’t win the starting gig in Charlottesville look like Peyton Manning on Saturday. (Though you did force him to miss on one of his 25 passes, so that’s something!)
6. The Fightin’ Petrinos – Check it out! Paulie Walnuts ran up their first victory of the year…and by three points against Wofford at that. This week, Bob-o gets his chance – Samford Bulldogs…come on down!
7. Auburnt – Apparently, last week’s little tussle with Jacksonville State wasn’t exactly a fluke. That said, congratulations on keeping all the LSU running backs not named Leonard Fournette to an average of 6.5 yards a carry (while playing a team that can’t pass the ball), Tigers. Oh, and good luck scrubbing his tire tracks off your backs before Dak Prescott adds a bunch more next week.
8. Arkansas – Stupid things we wrote in the preseason: “[I]magine what happens when the Hogs get done with that lollipop nonconference schedule and dive headlong into the SEC West.” It seems that the Hogs chose not to wait.
9. The U – They’re undefeated and fans are flying Fire Al Golden banners over Coral Gables…and that was before they blew a 23-point lead to the sorta-hated Huskers and lucked out a win in OT. Can you imagine the atmosphere when they get blasted by “welcome” Clemson next month?
10. Nebraska – This is where the new coach usually utters the words, “We just need to learn how to win close games.” Say the words “moral victory” in Lincoln and see how fast the locals run you out of town.
11. Rutgers – The Scarlet Knights are obviously a lock for every week this year, aren’t they? They did, however, slide down into the second ten by putting up a field goal against Penn State while getting no one arrested during the game.
12. Virginia – That moral victory against the Irish looks pretty pointless after the Hoos just handed William & Mary their own moral victory in Scott Stadium. It’s hard to look at the conference schedule and see where they win a game, much less enough games to save Mike London’s gig. At least they have one game with a Group Of Five team first. Against Boise State. On national television in five days.
13. Alabama – The drooling Roll Tide lunatics are very open-minded about losing to Ole Miss two years in a row. If it’s possible to torch the town without blaming Saint Nick, they’ll find a way. Lose to Georgia in two weeks, and the Tuscaloosa PD will be putting the town on lockdown.
14. Mizzoops – How fortunate the Tigers are to have two great quarterback talents to choose from, though it might be nice if they didn’t look like ‘Bama QB’s have lately. Memo to Gary Pinkel: putting the true freshman in only at the end of the halves in close games might be a way of figuring out whether he’s got the cojones for this…or it might be playing with fire.
15. Florida – Undefeated…and looking at 3-5. Those understanding Swamp People will be cool with that, right? They’ll also enjoy seeing Tennessee take out all their residual Oklahoma anger on the Gators before seeing four ranked teams beat them. (Though if Mizzou’s offense plays like they did against UConn…)
16. UC/SF – 60 yards passing, Bulls? Suhweet! Quickly descending toward 1-11 before changing coaches. Now, if you guys could lose to an FCS team that had won one game in the last 12 months, you’d really be keeping up with the O’Learys.
17. FAU – Now officially college football’s second-best bet to go 0-12 this year. If anyone cared, this would be really bad. We could’ve put New Mexico State here, but they’ve got Idaho on the schedule, so there’s a shot at 1-11 in Las Cruces. (Of course, the Aggies do have the opportunity to lose to bad rivals in consecutive weeks next Saturday, so that’s something.)
18. North Texas – Look, it’s not like many people care, but given that you’re in the state where football is a deity, it might be a good idea not to serve as the giant bag of flaming poo left on the Lone Star State’s doorstep.
19. Boston College – If you’re looking for an unpleasant experience and root canal simply won’t do, go find a tape of this week’s game with Florida State. When the Northern Illinois team that just scared the bejeebers out of Ohio State gets through with them next Saturday, perhaps the offensive genius that is Steve Addazio will be in the mood for a little dental surgery.
20. Fresno State – Hmm…giving up 59 points a game against schools not named Abilene Christian. We hate to repeat ourselves but remember when Tim DeRuyter was headed for the big time? You can free up whatever brain cells you’ve used to store that information for something more productive.
Bonus: If you’re the UTSA marketing department, do you excitedly note that you’ve posted this photo to Facebook?