CFB Rankings: The Hubris of Success

Marcus Mariota
AP Photo/Thomas Boyd

Saturday afternoon was the ultimate lesson in being careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff told reporters on Monday that he didn’t want to play the Rose Bowl unless he’s playing for a national championship. Running back De’Anthony Thomas said, “We already won a Rose Bowl, so it feels like, ‘Whatever.'”

When Pete Carroll was coaching USC, he always said that his goal was to go to the Rose Bowl every year, that there was nothing tiresome about being in the Rose Bowl. He went to five Rose Bowls in a six-year period. The one missing trip was because USC played for the BCS Championship at the Orange Bowl.

In 2008 Rey Maualuga said that he and some of the seniors were getting tired of Disneyland and some of the activities surrounding the Rose Bowl game. They were clearly BCS Championship favorites after beating Ohio State in Week 3, but they faltered in Corvallis after the bye. They wound up going to the Rose Bowl and beat Penn State, but that was their last appearance in Pasadena in January.

The gods were much more severe with Oregon. They travelled to Tucson, and Arizona just whooped up on them. Although the Ducks outgained the Wildcats, Oregon coughed up the ball three times. Ka’Deem Carey carried the ball 48 times for 206 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback B.J. Denker was an efficient 19-for-22 with two touchdowns and 102 yards rushing on 14 carries.

So fortunately for Huff and Thomas, they won’t have to settle for the drudgery of the Rose Bowl. They could maybe get BCS at-large bid at best. If that doesn’t happen, they could even go to the Alamo Bowl. But imagine how much fun Oregon will have at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego or the Sun Bowl in El Paso. Talk about a hootenanny.

I’m sure Arizona would love to go to a Rose Bowl — besides newcomers Colorado and Utah, they’re the only other Pac-12 team never to play in the game. California hasn’t played in the game since 1959.

Of course, the other big loss of the day was Oklahoma State housing Baylor. For weeks I did not buy Baylor. It’s easy to score over 60 points when you’re playing programs like Wofford, Kansas, Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe.

If Baylor beat the Cowboys, I was ready to give them respect. I probably would have elevated them over Ohio State. But they didn’t.

Of the two losses, Oregon’s was more shocking. A team that just lost to Washington State at home completely thrashed them.

Here’s the new AP poll.

Rank Last Week School Record AP Rank Comments
1 1 Alabama 11-0, 7-0 SEC 1 Nick Saban said the only news he watches or reads is the 10 minutes he watches the Weather Channel. Shut the fuck up.
2 2 Florida State 11-0, 8-0 ACC 2 Last week I wrote that I didn’t think Jameis Winston raped the accuser. This week I believe he did it. Let’s see how the Tallahassee machine works this week to exonerate him and start slut-shaming the victin.
3 3 Auburn 10-1, 6-1 SEC 4 Auburn tailgaters are already lined up for the Iron Bowl. Interesting fact. Since the SEC split into divisions in 1992, the Iron Bowl has never determined the winner of the SEC West. This will be a first.
4 4 Ohio State 11-0, 7-0 Big Ten 3 Ohio State beat Indiana. Hooray?
5 7 Oklahoma State 10-1, 7-1 Big 12 7 I guess I like the Pokes more than the AP voters. That was a brilliant defensive game plan by OK State.
6 8 Missouri 10-1, 6-1 SEC 5 It’s easy for Mizzou. Beat Texas A&M, got to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game. That’s it. See? Easy!
7 NR Stanford 9-2, 7-2 Pac-12 8 Stanford clinched the Pac-12 North thanks to the collapse by Oregon. A shocking loss to Utah is the only thing standing between them and hosting the Championship Game.
8 10 Michigan State 10-1, 7-0 Big Ten 11 So when do they play Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game? They have to play Minnesota next week? Oh jeez.
9 9 Clemson 10-1, 7-1 ACC 6 Clemson has played two FCS teams this season. Fuck you. Oh you might say that a mediocre Georgia Southern team beat Florida, but don’t forget one fact: Florida is a really shitty team.
10 6 Baylor 9-1, 6-1 Big 12 9 I never bought the Baptists as a legitimate title contender, but I thought they were a really good team. At least I think they’re really good, but I guess we’ll find out when they play at TCU and host Texas over the next two weeks.