So, here we are. AFC Championship Sunday. The last time we were here, 8 years ago, we had one of the more unexpected regular seasons to end up #2 seed with Jake Plummer at QB, but it was still a massive upset to lose to the #6 Steelers.
I prefer to remember the Championship Games of 1997 and 98 where, stung by an upset defeat in the 96 playoffs, our 36-year-old QB with questions about his legacy without a ring led the team to back-to-back Super Bowl wins. Sounds vaguely familiar, eh?
The Championship Games before then were a little before my time of watching live, but I was brought up on stories and VHS videos of The Drive and The Fumble.
Couple all that with my intent hatred of all things New England Patriots, and tonight takes on a very important hue. I’m nervous, yeah, but we’ll succeed when #UnitedInOrange.
Welcome to Week 4 of the college football season, ladies and gentlemen. We have a slate of five live games and just one as-live to sate our appetites, but ultimately the options weren’t that great in the first place. Tonight’s ACC matchup is certainly interesting, and is Clemson’s first opportunity for their annual in-conference mess-up, and Friday night’s game out West could decide who wins the MWC, but beyond that it gets a bit… bland.
GameDay is coming from North Dakota State this week, which is a sweet gesture of ESPN, if a little bizarre; San Jose State and Minnesota is a matchup I doubt many will be itching to see; and Tennesse and Florida isn’t quite the close rivalry it once was. Even Sunday’s as-live game is hurt by both teams’ subpar seasons so far.
Let’s not pretend last week was about anything other than Alabama overcoming their biggest test of the year, and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel’s incredible solo performance against Nick Saban’s defense. Defeat by just seven points to the then-unanimous #1 sees the Aggies drop five spots in our ranking, but hang onto their top ten spot by their fingernails.
This week is a little “after the Lord Mayor’s show”, to be honest, with only a couple of our top 25 even facing a moderate test – Stanford hosting Arizona State, and LSU hosting Auburn. For there to be much change next week, something pretty spectacular will have had to happen…
No sooner does the dust settle on Week 2, as Week 3 is upon us. Here’s what college football is slated to be on ESPN this weekend:
In the early weeks of the college football season, there can often be a fair amount of flux in the rankings as teams begin to face tougher opponents and we find out who they really are. Thanks to powder puff out-of-conference scheduling, not many teams have faced common opponents yet, and even less have faced another ranked opponent, but hopefully that will begin to change this week.
After all, last week’s all-ranked matchups have shaken things up a bit. Florida’s defeat at Miami sees the two teams as our biggest faller and risers respectively, while Georgia and South Carolina also saw reversals of fortune on the back of their Week 2 meeting.
I can’t go any further without mentioning our game of the week – #1 Alabama travelling to #5 Texas A&M. Will a defeat irreparably damage either team’s rankings? Probably not, but it should still be one hell of a fun game. Other all-ranked games see #15 UCLA travel to #23 Nebraska, and #18 Wisconsin travel to #24 Arizona State.
So, without further ado, the rankings:
My, how the NFLUK poll has grown. From humble beginnings tucked away in a subforum on the under-utilised UK website of a niche sport, we now have 12 pollsters in three countries, and our preseason poll has had over 2,000 views on the aforementioned forum.
One of the things that makes our poll unique is that, for the most part, it’s an eyeball-test poll. Our pollsters aren’t grads or former players of the colleges themselves, and don’t have a vested interest in promoting one team over another. But it still carries the quirk that make college football the fantastic entertainment that it is – disagreement between fans.
Before you read on, let me get this out of the way from the off. Alabama are ranked #1, and will be until they lose (and even then, some people might still think they’re the best team)…
It’s Football Week, everybody! Whilst NFLUK still haven’t announced where SNF and MNF are going to be shown in 2013, we know for sure that the home of College Football is BT Sport’s ESPN channel. Here’s what’s coming up:
As with in 2012, ThorpesSportingThoughts only comes alive when there’s real football to be played, so without further ado, let’s start the 2013 season. Last season the NFLUK Forum carried out it’s own version of the College Football Top 25 poll, collated and published on a weekly basis by yours truly. To celebrate the new season, nine of our voters have submitted preseason polls to compare to those of the coaches, the AP, and the other news outlets. Counting down from “Also receiving votes”…
There’s an inherent risk with publishing mock drafts so close to the combine weekend that all NFL writers face: no sooner have you clicked “publish”, something is going to happen that will make the most recent mock obsolete within a matter of hours, and 2013 has been no different.
Whether it was the news that Star Lotulelei has a heart condition, whether it was Manti Te’o's better-than-expected presser, or whether it was Geno Smith’s car-crash mock interview with Steve Mariucci, big boards across the country are being ripped up and started again, and mine is no different.
So, here it is; the end of my second mock draft of the 2013 offseason. This is deeper than I’ve gone with pick analysis, but I’m generally happy with who’s ended up where (even with a few last-minute tweaks). I assume you’ve read the first three parts of this mock, but if not you can find them at:
Like in the first round, we start our second part with the Steelers: