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Week 1: Everything You Need to Know for #GameDay

The Resurgent’s team of Philip Swicegood, Josh Hammer, and Dave Scharoun will be releasing its own NCAA football poll throughout the season, along with running commentary about each week’s highlights.

Here are our rankings and preview for week 1.

  1. Alabama – For the 147th year in a row, Alabama tops the charts in the opening preseason poll. While we would all probably pull for the Taliban over Alabama, 55 of the 64 voting coaches gave the top spot to the Crimson Tide in the preseason coaches’ poll. After losing Kirby Smart to the University of Georgia, Jeremy Pruitt takes over for Nick Saban’s defense. Another important note is that only 11 starters from last year’s national title team will be returning. We wish them nothing but the worst. The Tide opens with a challenging neutral site match against no. 20 Southern California at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
  2. Clemson – Last year’s runner-up will again start this year in the second slot. Early Heisman candidate and all-around stud QB Deshaun Watson is returning for what will likely be his final season with the Tigers. Clemson benefits from a fairly easy schedule (insert ACC joke), facing only a handful of ranked opponents. Coach Dabo Swinney returns 12 starters from last year’s squad. Clemson sets another personal record with 81 straight days of no players arrested. Good job guys. Clemson opens the season against Auburn.
  3. Oklahoma – Perennial top-fiver Oklahoma starts The Resurgent’s week 1 poll in the no. 3 slot. Coach Bob Stoops, who underwent a hip replacement in the offseason, is bringing back 14 starters from last year. Aside from a possible weakness at linebacker, Oklahoma looks solid on the depth charts, including redshirt junior QB Baker Mayfield. The Sooners have a challenging schedule, facing Houston, Ohio State, TCU and Texas in four of their first five games. Oklahoma lost to Clemson last year in the Orange Bowl and is opening the season in a challenging matchup vs. Houston at the Houston Texans’ NRG Stadium.
  4. Florida State – Coach Jimbo Fisher is returning an unprecedented 18 starters, including the entire offense. Ole Miss, Clemson and Florida are the Seminoles’ three toughest games, but they are spaced out at the beginning, middle and end of the season. Fisher is blessed with one of the best RBs in the country in Dalvin Cook, along with a very talented Sean Maguire at QB. The ‘Noles lost to Houston last year in the Peach Bowl (LOL). FSU opens against no. 11 Mississippi.
  5. Ohio State – The NFL annexed Ohio State’s roster like Putin took Crimea. The Buckeyes brought back a whopping six players from last year’s 11-1 season. Usually this would tank a team in our “highly researched” polling system, but returning star QB and offensive savior J.T. Barrett overcame the shortcoming. Ohio State’s three toughest games will without a doubt be Michigan, Michigan State, and Oklahoma. Ohio State plays BGSU this week.
  6. Louisiana State – One of Erick Erickson’s favorite teams (please forgive him) is returning an impressive 19 starters, including early Heisman hopeful RB Leonard Fournette. After speculation about coach Les Miles being fired following three brutal losses in a row at the end of 2015, expectations are high for 2016. LSU is opening with a de facto road game against Wisconsin at the Green Bay Packers’ historic NFL stadium, Lambeau Field.
  7. Stanford – Seriously, who pulls for Stanford? Skip.
  8. Michigan – After going through a rebuilding decade, the Wolverines are returning 15 starters, including nine on the offensive side of the football. The QB battle is ongoing and essentially still wide open. Jim Harbaugh—the Donald Trump of head coaches—takes over the Wolverines for the second year, hoping to improve on last year’s 10-3 season. Michigan’s two must-win games are Ohio State and Michigan State. Michigan plays Hawaii this week.
  9. Notre Dame – The conference-challenged Fighting Irish are returning only 10 starters this year after an injury-riddled 2015 season. Notre Dame has one of the easiest schedules in the top 10, with only one game versus a ranked opponent—and that one is Stanford. (They do, however, have to deal with Josh Hammer’s beloved Duke Blue Devils on September 24.) Side note: Why is every Notre Dame game on NBC? Seriously, nobody around here (SEC country) would waste a Milwaukee’s Best six-pack watching them play. Notre Dame opens on the road against Texas.
  10. Tennessee – What the hell happened Thursday night? After going through a rebuilding program worthy of Atlanta interstate construction projects, prospects at Tennessee are finally looking up. Last year, the Volunteers had four heartbreaking losses to Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, and Florida by a combined total 17 points. Coach Jones is returning an impressive 18 starters, but is facing a brutal schedule. Our “highly researched” prediction:  Expect a Tennessee vs. Alabama SEC championship matchup.
  11. Mississippi (vs. Florida State (neutral site in Orlando))
  12. Michigan State (vs. Furman)
  13. TCU (vs. South Dakota State)
  14. Houston (vs. Oklahoma)
  15. UCLA (at Texas A&M)
  16. Georgia (vs. North Carolina (neutral site in Atlanta))
  17. Washington (vs. Rutgers)
  18. Iowa (vs. Miami (OH))
  19. Louisville (beat Charlotte 70-13)
  20. Southern California (vs. Alabama (neutral site in Arlington, Tex.)
  21. Oklahoma State (vs. Southeastern Louisiana)
  22. North Carolina (vs. Georgia (neutral site in Atlanta))
  23. Baylor (vs. Northwestern St)
  24. Oregon (vs. UC Davis)
  25. Florida (vs. Massachusetts)

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