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Camping World Bowl - Oklahoma State v Virginia Tech
Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

After further review of the 2017 season, we have determined that these are the only teams that mattered or were to be watched consistently.

UCF. Undefeated, and beat the team that beat Alabama, that’s enough for us. Also really fun to watch, and played half the roles in the best script written all year for a game: the raucous disorder of the 2017 UCF-USF game. Ooh, and they got writers to say they were a laughing stock in a sport with no clearly determined national championship ever! This is all quality work, UCF.

Iowa. Amazing work by the Hawkeyes throughout the year in their role as 2017’s Team That Ruined Things. Began the year by decimating Josh Allen’s draft stock on national television. Gave Northwestern a 17-10 win in OT, which no one should ever do against anyone, much less Northwestern. Weirdly, 17-10 was the score in three of Iowa’s football games this year, showing that this a.) may be a simulation and b.) that the simulation is lazy and really doesn’t like making up new scores.

Their masterpiece, though, was helping Alabama win another national title. By completely scuttling a possible debate over Ohio State’s place in the playoff by putting fifty-five points on them in what would be Ohio State’s second loss of the 2017 season, the Hawkeyes subsidized Alabama’s case for a playoff slot, and helped ruin another season by handing two freshman QBs to the Alabama defense to digest. Georgia completed the circle by knocking the one offense capable of testing Alabama out of the playoff in a Rose Bowl win over the Sooners.

Then, after earning the heart of a nation in beating Ohio State and making things as confusing as possible, Iowa died driving their tractor into an open sewer against Wisconsin.

The part in No Country for Old Men where the plot seemingly centers around Josh Brolin, then in the middle of the action he’s killed by Mexican assassins, and instead the movie ends with an indestructible psychopath with a bad haircut killing yet another innocent bystander while old man mutters about being lost in the dark in his dreams? That’s the 2017 season, and the Iowa Hawkeyes are the random assassins. The cattle gun is Tua Tagovailoa.

Memphis. I dunno, they were fun as hell and scored a lot of points and their coach used to have cornrows. We don’t ask much of a team we don’t root for other than to be interesting, and Memphis was interesting.

Auburn. Auburn probably would have made this list just for beating Alabama, but Auburn gave us so much more than that. The Tigers started the year by sputtering offensively and giving Clemson an ugly 14-6 win everyone roundly hated watching. They seemingly recovered, and then gave up a 16 point lead on the road to LSU for some reason, and then went on an unholy tear through the rest of their schedule including wins over both national title participants.

Then, clearly the country’s best team, Auburn entered Mercedes-Benz Stadium twice in the span of a month and shat multiple well-made beds in front of aghast audiences. Auburn lost the SEC Championship rematch to Georgia (again: fueling someone else’s title hopes) and then lost a second time inside I-285 to UCF in the Peach Bowl (see previous parenthetical.) Being dependable is boring, Auburn. We’re glad, for viewing purposes, that you recognized that.

Wisconsin. Cool, you like to vary your workouts, you know what Wisconsin is doing today? SQUATS. Going to Zumba class? Wisconsin is there doing squats on a power rack it bought itself in the back of the studio. Going for a run? Wisconsin is doing squats in the bed of a truck slowly creeping along next to you. Want to go for a swim? Wisconsin is in the next lane doing underwater squats with double bodyweight on the bar. The lifeguard can yell all he wants, there’s nothing on that sign full of your “rules” saying they can’t lift weights in the pool.

Wisconsin played every game the same way and beat the hide off everyone they faced, including Ohio State. Yeah, the Buckeyes won that game, but it hurt. Fancy records and bowl wins and whatnot aside, the primary legacy of Wisconsin football at its peak is that whatever happens during the game, you will hurt badly afterwards.

Oh, and not like they needed bonus points, but they had a fat Brazilian kicker, too. Shouts out to all fat Brazilian kickers smart enough to go to the one place that loves beer more than Brazil does: Madison, Wisconsin.

Oklahoma. Still giggling that their leading receiver against Ohio State was a fullback.

Oklahoma State. Here for the deep bombs and mullets, mostly, which is pretty much all you got out of Oklahoma State along with Justice Hill. Hey did you just think about Justice Hill only being a sophomore this year, and how Justice Hill also sounds like a place in a Western? Also that Mike Gundy will probably pick his defensive coordinator off a stat sheet like he did with his previous hire at offensive coordinator, and it will probably work out just fine?

That’s it, these were the only really fun teams.

P.S. Stop acting like you really watched Troy or North Texas play a lot, they were fun as hell but we really only got to watch them play like twice.