Why Jack Hall’s rankings are a sham and prove he doesn’t watch college football

Regular readers of this fine publication will recall that, earlier in the year, our wonderful sports editor released a set of rankings putting the Texas Longhorns at #1 after an overhyped win against Alabama. I, the wise old man of the Tartan college football enjoyers, knew he was wrong, and I put out a long article lambasting him for his atrocious takes. In it, I argued that Texas was a good team, yes, but not a great team. They had a lot of work to do, and they would probably drop a game or two along the way.

I was right. And now, I will turn my crystal ball to another contributor to these football pages, Mr. Jack Hall.

Jack’s rankings, for the record, mirror mine almost entirely. In fact, the only difference between our Top Ten rankings is that I had Michigan at #4, while he had them jump Washington and Ohio State to land at #2. But that, in itself, is enough to prove he hasn’t the foggiest idea what he’s talking about. Inherent in his position is the fundamental fallacy that Michigan, not Ohio State, is the best team in the Big Ten. And that’s simply wrong.

Michigan’s schedule this season, to date, strongly resembles the football schedule that my high school would release every year growing up. Thus far, they have played East Carolina, UNLV, Bowling Green, Rutgers, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan State, and Purdue. Congratulations to them for sweeping those nine games, but that isn’t exactly a difficult task. Now don’t get me wrong. Ohio State’s beat seven peewee teams, too, but they’ve also beaten Notre Dame and Penn State. They put Notre Dame on their schedule, knowing the risk, for exactly this reason — to defend against claims that their Big Ten schedule was easy in case they lost to Michigan or Penn State and needed to make the case for inclusion in the College Football Playoff. Well, they beat Notre Dame. And they haven’t played Michigan, but they beat Penn State. Should Michigan really be rewarded for skimping out on a difficult non-conference slate and beating nine thoroughly mediocre football teams?

No. They’ll settle this battle on the field, of course, in a few weeks’ time. But for now, let there be no doubt that Ohio State has done more, proven more, and deserves a better ranking.

Now, Jack Hall is a wonderful man, a friend of mine, and a tremendous NFL fan. He could name more of the Steelers’ lineup than I could, and I’m a Steelers fan through and through — he’s a Giants aficionado with a side piece at Heinz Field. But there are two things he lacks: basic moral character and college football sense. Jack Hall is the type of man to steal an Alexander Hamilton from your pocket and meekly offer you 12 quarters as compensation, and he’s the type of man who sees the unwarranted hype around a sign-stealing, cheating, dumpster fire of a program and rolls with it. Jack, you’d do better to stick to the NFL. Leave it to the experts, those of us who have spent 20, 30, 40 years closely following the college football landscape.

Leave it to me.