There is nothing better about college football than the Mid-American Conference, because everything else is, well, kind of a series of lies that end up assembling into a truth about who the best team actually is.
More or less. Most of the time.
Anyway, we prefer to reflect that fact in this week’s Top 25. If all other programs disbanded and became gigantic shop classes, leaving only the MAC, this would be a better nation for all of us, and if you think otherwise, you’re a dope, and all the rest of us hate you for it.
There. That seems reasonable. Now, down to cases (as always, the parentheticals indicate actual record, against the line and over/under).
1. LOUISVILLE (3-0, 3-0, 3-0): Okay, now we lied. But say what you want about that lunatic Bobby Petrino, this is a hell of a team. Ask any footprint on any Florida State player, and he’ll tell you as much.
2. THE REBEL YELL (no record): The UNLV student paper is almost certainly composing an editorial asking CENTRAL MICHIGAN (3-0, 3-0, 3-0) to give back its win Saturday out of a sense of integrity. It should be mentioned that TRY is changing its name to something less provocative, so send any ideas you have to the editorial types.
3. WESTERN MICHIGAN (3-0, 3-0, 2-1): Got paid $1.2 million to go to Illinois and kick four touchdowns worth of ass in Champaign. Nice gig if you can get it.
4. EASTERN MICHIGAN (2-1, 2-1, 2-1): Due to penalties in their easy-as-a-monochrome-Rubik’s-cubs win over Charlotte, the Iggs got to try an onside kick from the Charlotte 20. It didn’t work. It doesn’t matter.
5. TOLEDO (3-0, 3-0, 2-1): The fourth piece of the mighty MAC West, which is 13-5, 14-4, 11-7. By comparison, the SEC is a pale imitiation of a mockery of a sham.
6. NORTH DAKOTA STATE (3-0, 1-1, 0-2): They beat Iowa, and they’re the Bison. Take a knee before your buffalonian overlords.
7. ARMY (3-0, 3-0, 1-2): Betting unders is a step above playing Fan Kings or Duel Draft, but Army did throw for 178 yards in a 66-14 win over UTEP, which for a service academy is tantamount to teaching the spread offense to North Korea.
8. NAVY (3-0, 2-0-1, 2-1): In other let’s-play-offense-drunk news, quarterback Will Worth was 5-for-12 for 59 yards, which was two completions and 38 yards better than Tulane’s Johnathan Bradley. Evidently the armed services don’t stand for anything any more.
9. MICHIGAN (3-0, 2-1, 3-0): Jim Harbaugh missed a third consecutive cover by a point, and Bo Schembechler spits on him from Valhalla. Bo always took great care to mind the number in his day.
10. SOUTH FLORIDA (3-0, 3-0, 2-1): Beat Syracuse, if that’s your idea of a good time.
11. OHIO STATE (3-0, 3-0, 2-1): Advancing the likelihood of that national title showdown against either Louisville, Western Michigan or the New York Jets.
12. MIAMI OF OHIO (0-3, 2-1, 1-2): For embracing the new metric world by employing as its starting quarterback (wait for it) someone named Billy Bahl.
13. CLEMSON (3-0, 1-2, 0-3): For shortening the third and fourth quarters of its 59-0 win over South Carolina State to 12 quarters out of respect to the Bulldogs, but with a blatant disregard for the over (63½). That’s not teaching good American values, Dabo. Cover the number, then indulge your humanitarian instincts.
14. THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (16-0, 14-14-4, 18-14): For allowing fans to buy customized jerseys with “HARAMBE” on the back. At the everyday extortionate rate, of course.
15. FC SCHALKE (3-2): Beat Nice in the Europa League, which is only fair given their basic human decency. This offseason, they hired the coach from Augsburg, who hired the coach from Darmstadt, who hired the coach from Arminia Bielefeld, who hired the coach from Sannehof Grossapach, who hired the coach from Eichede, who hired the coach from Wedelen, who asked Schalke for a make-good on raiding them from six cities away. The payoff? Fifty crates of beer, the best transfer day deal ever.
16. TENNESSEE-MARTIN (1-2, 2-0, 1-1): Beat Bacone, 84-6, in a game shortened to 10-minutes quarters after halftime. Next up in the Coldcut League: Sausage in two weeks.
17. PENN STATE (2-1, 1-2, 3-0): Failed to cover against Temple, and also did some Joe Paterno remembrance stuff.
18. BAYLOR (3-0, 0-3, 0-3): Now that’s hard to do even with the karma the program has coming.
19. NEBRASKA (3-0, 2-0-1, 2-1): Gets a push against Oregon only because Mark Helfrich went for two every time his team scored and converted only one of them. If you had the Huskers, even for sentimental reasons, you don’t deserve to get your money back.
20. LISBURN DISTILLERY (1-3-1): Big win this week over Queen’s University in the Irish Something-Or-Other League, after a 2-2 draw and losses of 6-1, 11-1 and 4-1. Why does this matter? Because it’s a team named after distillery, you cloth-eared nits.
21. STANFORD (2-0, 2-0, 0-2): David Shaw is 29-40 against the total in his career. The physics department is not pleased. I’m just sayin’.
22. CHICAGO CUBS (94-54, 67-73-8): The magic number is still minus-one after their hangover game Saturday.
23. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL (0-3, 0-3, 0-3): If you can’t ABC (Always Be Coverin’), there’s nothing wrong with NBC (Never Be Coverin’). We just need to know ahead of time how this is going to play out.
24. ALABAMA (3-0, 2-1, 2-1): This is the team of the new century? Go play some MAC teams, then come back to us.
25. SANTIAGO CASILLA (record withheld by request of corporate lawyers and current obscenity laws): There are still 14 games to play, so cheer up, suckers.
Happy now? Of course not. Go away.