Week 3: 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 3.

1. Alabama (Last week: def. Western Kentucky 38-10) (This week: at no. 18 Ole Miss)

The Tide started out slowly last week against Western Kentucky, which, for us, is akin to saying that Vladimir Putin may have faced some token opposition from Ukrainian nationalists before shifting into higher gear and forcefully taking over all of Crimea.  Alabama travels to Oxford this week to face Ole Miss—a team that has actually beaten Alabama in two consecutive seasons.  Frankly, at least one of us here really, really wishes he were in Oxford this Saturday for that tailgate game.  For the Tide’s sake, hopefully head coach Nick Saban ensures that Joey Freshwater Lane Kiffin doesn’t have too much fun during the pre-kickoff festivities.

2. Clemson (Last week: def. Troy 30-24) (This week: v. South Carolina State)

Clemson’s shaky performance last week against Troy does not engender a lot of confidence, but Deshaun Watson & co. have another easy matchup this week before the Tigers dive into ACC conference play.  We thought about penalizing Clemson—and, for that matter, all ACC schools—in the rankings this week due to ACC Commissioner John Swofford unfortunately revealing that he has the testicular fortitude of post-op Chelsea Bradley Manning.  And that would have been entirely fair—but, honestly, we just LOVE Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.

3. Florida State (Last week: def. Charleston Southern 52-8) (This week: at no. 11 Louisville)

The ‘Noles smacked Charleston Southern one week after completing a truly epic, season-defining comeback against Ole Miss.  They have a tough road matchup this week against a very solid Louisville Cardinals squad.  But hey, since the game is in Louisville and not in Tallahassee, it won’t feature 2,349,531 instances of Florida State’s signature “tomahawk chop” cheer.  Thus, the game might actually be watchable!  Seriously—we love how y’all in Tallahassee are defying P.C. nonsense and all that jazz, but holy cow, that cheer is still outrageously irksome.

4. Ohio State (Last week: def. Tulsa 48-3) (This week: at no. 16 Oklahoma)

The Buckeyes started slowly last week before ultimately demolishing Tulsa.  Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett-led offensive blitzkrieg is as electric as any team’s in the country, helping to (shockingly) prove that the Big Ten can actually produce programs competent at a non-super-ugly brand of football.  The Buckeyes have a tough road matchup this week against Oklahoma in Norman, but Vegas currently has the Buckeyes as a two-point favorite.  If history is any guide, long-time Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops does not exactly have the most pristine track record at winning these high-profile games.

5. Michigan (Last week: def. UCF 51-14) (This week: v. Colorado)

Michigan has played no one of note yet, and is a 20-point home favorite this week against the Buffaloes of Colorado.  Michigan routinely trots out the coolest-looking jerseys in all of college football, but we here at The Resurgent need to teach head coach Jim Harbaugh a thing or two about Donald Trump.  From last April—a.k.a. the height nadir of the GOP presidential primary’s nationalist populist v. constitutional conservative civil war, Harbaugh opined thusly:

Dammit, Jim.  Wrong.  Very wrong.

6. Houston (Last week: def. Lamar 42-0) (This week: def. Cincinnati 40-16 (9/15))

It is pretty miraculous that the University of Houston is still presently the best college football team in the football-mad State of Texas.  The Cougars followed up their strong week 1 win over Oklahoma by blanking Lamar 42-0.  Houston’s schedule is pretty non-eventful until it faces Louisville in two months, and the Cougars will likely have to go undefeated the whole season if they hope to make the College Football Playoff.  Houston overcame first half jitters en route to ultimately easily prevailing on the road this Thursday against Cincinnati.

7. Stanford (Last week: Bye) (This week: v. Southern California)

Stanford has an extra week of rest for its showdown this Saturday with conference rival Southern California.  The Trojans, who got annihilated week 1 by the Evil Empire Alabama, themselves recovered last week by thumping Utah State 45-7.  Stanford and Southern California have had their share of dramatic games over the past decade, and hopefully this Saturday in Palo Alto provides the same entertainment.

8. Wisconsin (Last week: def. Akron 54-10) (This week: v. Georgia State)

We have Wisconsin rated higher than their positions in the AP and Coaches’ Polls would demonstrate, but there is really nothing not to like so far from the Badgers.  (This includes their fans, by the way: our own Josh Hammer was at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on April 6, 2015 to see his Duke Blue Devils win the NCAA men’s basketball national championship over Wisconsin, and has stories of how just astoundingly congratulatory, wholesome, and non-bitter Wisconsin fans were toward celebratory (but totally not obnoxious) Duke fans.)  Wisconsin’s week 1 win over LSU was very impressive, and they just teared into Akron last week.  Wisconsin has one more cupcake matchup this week before embarking on a simply brutal Big Ten stretch of Michigan State/Michigan/Ohio State/Iowa back-to-back-to-back-to-back, so time will quickly tell whether or not Wisconsin deserves its top ten ranking in our esteemed poll.

9. Washington (Last week: def. Idaho 59-14) (This week: v. Portland State)

Truthfully, I am not sure if any of us here have watched a single minute of any of the Washington Huskies’ games, all season.  We are told that Washington is playing football, though, and that the team is actually quite good.  The Pac-12 is not exactly a Goliath conference, so “U-Dub” is a team that we should probably actually keep our eyes on this year.  It is unfortunate that that requires watching some Left Coast granola-loving yuppies and kale-worshipping hipsters duke it out on the gridiron, but such is life.  Washington has one last easy opponent this week before beginning conference play.

10. Texas (Last week: def. UTEP 41-7) (This week: at California)

We also have the Longhorns Charlie StrongHorns ranked higher in our poll than the AP and Coaches’ Polls would demonstrate, but honestly, why not?  Texas’s dramatic week 1 win over Notre Dame may well remain the single best college football game we will see all season long.  They smashed UTEP last week.  Texas finds itself playing at California this week, which means that the flagship public school of the nation’s most iconic red state is playing the flagship public school of the nation’s most iconic blue state.  Perhaps for that reason alone, hopefully the ‘Horns hook ’em this week.  Texas is an 8-point road favorite.

11.  Louisville (Last week: def. Syracuse 62-28) (This week: v. no. 3 Florida State)

12. Tennessee (Last week: def. Virginia Tech 45-24) (This week: v. Ohio)

Special shoutout here to our resident in-house Tennessee Vols mega fan, Philip Swicegood.  Tennessee had a quality win last week at the Bristol Motor Speedway neutral site over Virginia Tech.  Perhaps even cooler was the fact that the pregame national anthem presentation was arguably the most staggeringly patriotic—and, thus, staggeringly awesome—scene that any of us have ever witnessed at a sporting event.

13. Michigan State (Last week: Bye) (This week: at no. 19 Notre Dame)

14. Iowa (Last week: def. Iowa State 42-3) (This week: v. North Dakota State)

It almost feels wrong to include Iowa on this list without reminding our readers that Carly Fiorina actually once tweeted this.  Thanks for reminding us of everything we hate about politics, Carly.

15. Georgia (Last week: def. Nicholls State 26-24) (This week: at Mizzou)

Shoutout here to our own Dave Scharoun, a big-time Georgia Bulldogs fan, who was actually made physically ill by last week’s dud performance against Nicholls State.  He’s feeling better again just in time for Georgia’s tricky road game this week against the Missouri Tigers.  Vegas has Georgia as a 7-point favorite.

16. Oklahoma (Last week: def. Louisiana-Monroe 59-17) (This week: v. no. 4 Ohio State)

17. Texas A&M (Last week: def. Prairie View A&M 67-0) (This week: at Auburn)

18. Ole Miss (Last week: def. Wofford 38-13) (This week: v. no. 1 Alabama)

Our own Josh Hammer swears that he has a kind of/sort of/maybe valid reason for rooting for Ole Miss as his second team, after Duke.  It may or may not have something to do with Eli Manning…and an epic tailgating experience in The Grove

19. Notre Dame (Last week: def. Nevada 39-10) (This week: v. no. 13 Michigan State)

20. Baylor (Last week: def. SMU 40-13) (This week: def. Rice 38-10 (9/16))

21. Oregon (Last week: def. Virginia 44-26) (This week: at Nebraska)

At least one of us here thinks the Oregon Ducks have, hands-down, the most annoying fanbase in all of college football—which he totally would not know from first-hand experience, or anything.  Yes, that includes Notre Dame’s fanbase, too.

22. Florida (Last week: def. Kentucky 45-7) (This week: v. North Texas)

23. Miami (Last week: def. Florida Atlantic 38-10) (This week: at Appalachian State)

Speaking of incredibly annoying fanbases…ugh.

24. LSU (Last week: def. Jacksonville State 34-13) (This week: v. Mississippi State)

We’re still penalizing Erick Erickson’s home team pretty severely for that week 1 loss to Wisconsin.  But with LSU’s running back depth, the Tigers could truthfully begin to climb back up the rankings rather quickly if they find their mojo against upcoming SEC opponents.

25. Arkansas (Last week: def. TCU 41-38) (This week: v. Texas State)

It feels like every other joke about SEC football ends with a punchline about Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema.  See, for instance, the fact that, as of this writing, Bret Bielema’s Wikipedia page has been ungracefully edited by some Internet doofus to read, under the “Personal Life” header, “Arkansas sports radio personality Bo Mattingly debuted a series featuring Bielema entitled[,] ‘Being Bret Bielema’ on February 25, 2016.  Although generally well received[,] notable sports writer Dan Schreck of HotTakes.com called the show ‘a back-alley abortion.'”

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SYMPATHY SHOUTOUT: Oklahoma State (Last week: “lost” to Central Michigan 30-27) (This week: v. Pittsburgh)

Oklahoma State got robbed last week worse than a Trump University fraud victim.  We feel for them.  We really do.  But hey, at least the video of the game’s final play is legitimately one of the craziest things you will ever see, as a football fan.

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