Roger’s Rambing’s – A Look Around the College Football Landscape

Jan 12, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA;Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones (12) throws during the first quarter in the 2015 CFP National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Oregon Ducks 42-20. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 12, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA;Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones (12) throws during the first quarter in the 2015 CFP National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Oregon Ducks 42-20. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

…. Aaaaaaaaand we’re back.

Has it actually been 10 months since Snax Oliver gifted the Illini the football every other play? Man…. time flies when the Crown Tower clock is white.

I’m always excited about Northwestern football, but I’m pretty damn excited about what’s in store across the rest of the world of college football this year. If nothing else, each Saturday will provide me a nice respite from the daily grind of working and going to grad school at the same time. Now, I know what you’re thinking… “stop tooting your own horn, Roger. It’s really unbecoming of you.” Well, maybe, but who actually gives a shit? Let’s take a look around the country and see who else is tooting their horn (a little too much) this offseason.

Let’s start out west. UCLA….. wtf, UCLA?! Your offseason resembled an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. First, we had this. I don’t even have words here. A kettlebell? Come on, Diddy. Go get yourself some brass knuckles or something. Who the f*ck chucks a kettlebell? That’s some power lifter shit. Next, we had this. That’s right… Ishmael Adams, arguably the nation’s best DB, has been suspended indefinitely for robbery. But this wasn’t some Jameis Winston crab legs robbery. No no. As you can read in the linked article, it turns out that our boy Ishmael got in a fight with his Uber driver and stole his phone. Are you kidding me?! All this aside, I’m taking this one to the bank: UCLA is wildly overrated and will not finish the year with less than 5 losses. Their schedule is no joke (although they do avoid Oregon), they are replacing a very good college quarterback and they can’t seem to avoid the distractions of LA. Yet, people still have them ranked in the preseason top 15 and some have considered them dark horses for the Playoff at year’s end. I’m calling bullshit there. In an ode to the original Jim Mora (not Jr who currently coaches UCLA)…. Playoffs?!

Now let’s migrate east. Southeast to be precise. Nestled about 140 miles northeast of Bubba Sparxxx’s home of Lagrange, Georgia we find ourselves in Athens where expectations are high for Georgia. Yes, UGA has a distinct advantage over the rest of the SEC “contenders” in that they play in the SEC East (which might be as bad as the B1G West). But, hold the phone here. The Dawgs have to play both Auburn and Alabama in cross over games this year in addition to their annual rivalry with Georgia Tech. Some might say Nick Chubb can lead them to victories in 2 of 3 there, but guess what? That’s wishful thinking when you’re starting a graduate transfer at QB who lost his spot at Virginia. Unless Lindsey Scott, Herschel Walker and crew show up for some heroics this season, there won’t be too much property destroyed in St. Simon’s Island this fall. Prediction: Dawgs don’t even win the SEC East.

I’ll spare everyone the lengthy bitching, but let me get in a few sentences about a usual culprit on the overrated list: Notre Dame. This team was an absolute charade last year. They were mediocre at best. Northwestern waltzed in to 1930’s Berlin (also read: modern day South Bend) with a depleted team and ran up and down the field on those clowns. So….. Everett Golson leaves for FSU and now ND is a title contender again? I’m not buying that one. I thought after 20 years of consistently overrated shit we were done with the usual preseason garbage surrounding this team. Apparently not. Thanks Lou Holtz… now stop spitting on the camera.

That’s enough for the shit(tier than expected) teams…. let’s talk about how this season is going to play out.

First, Ohio State is good and the B1G is mediocre. If they get by VT on Monday night, realistically, it’s smooth sailing until a 3 game gauntlet of Sparty, The Game (with some increased attention now that The Lunatic graces the other sideline) and the B1G title game. It’s really damn difficult to win the title two years in a row. Ask ’02 Miami. But, it’s also really damn difficult to see Ohio State boxed out of the final four. I’ve got the BuckNuts with the 1 seed in year 2 of the CFB Playoffs.

So, with Ohio State in, one would think that’s all for the B1G, right? Probably, but I’m not so sure about that. If Michigan State manages to beat Nike (also read: Oregon) on 9/12 and Phil Knight’s squad goes on to win the Pac10/12/14/Whatever, then Sparty could also be sitting pretty at the end of the year if they only have one loss to the BuckNuts. Blowhards like Mark May, Lou Holtz and co. will point out that Sparty didn’t even win their division, but again, ask me if I give a shit. Are we looking for conference winners here or the 4 best teams?  Prediction – the winner of the Sparty vs. Oregon game will be in the final four.

We’re left with 2 spots and we haven’t even taken a look at Dixie yet. Aside from the usual racism in the name of heritage, general homophobia and sociopathy, what does the South have in store for us this year? Will it rise again? Sadly, yes, but only in the football sense. There’s also a saving grace here. Our third playoff team won’t be from this god forsaken state. The entire SEC West is going to beat up on itself once again, but LSU will sneak through with only one loss. Thus, the LSU Tigers will win the SEC and advance to the playoffs.

So, where’s the final spot coming from? The ACC? Uh….. no. I actually think Georgia Tech is the best team in the conference, but their schedule is too daunting to allow them a top 4 ranking at season’s end. That leaves us with only one other Power 5 conference. The Big 8-turned-12-turned-10. This one’s going to be fun. Everyone should buckle the f*ck up for what’s in store on the farmland. Everyone knows about TCU and Baylor. They were both great last year and are well positioned to enter November unscathed again this year (Baylor, tisk tisk for not playing a team with a pulse in your non-con). But, I would be remiss not to remind everyone that there’s a common theme in the Big [pick a number] over the past 15 years: Oklahoma ALWAYS rises to the top when expectations are low. Guess what? Expectations are low for Stoops and his crew. As such, I see Samaje Perine taking home the Heisman and leading the Sooners to the conference title and a birth in the final four. (Side note: Samaje Perine wasn’t even born when Northwestern won at Notre Dame 20 years ago today).

So….. how’d we do?

It looks like we have Ohio State, LSU, Oklahoma and Michigan State/Oregon in v2 of the College Football Playoffs. As for what happens once we get to that point, that’s anyone’s guess (and I have negative interest in speculating at this point… primarily because my prediction is likely to be wildly off base anyways).

That’s all for now. Here are some wild predictions for the week ahead of us:

TCU (-17) @ Minnesota – TCU wins by 25+ and hangs 50 on a solid Gophers defense
Washington @ Boise State (-12) – At least one person gets ejected in this game
Penn State (-7) @ Temple – Temple wins… James Franklin looks even dumber
Akron @ Oklahoma (-31.5) – Perine runs for 200…. in the first half
Wisconsin @ Alabama (-10.5) – This will get ugly. Wisconsin completes less than 10 passes.
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