The Clemson Tigers capped off a perfect season Monday night, defeating Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game to seal the first 15-0 season in major college football in over a century. They won in convincing fashion. There is no world in which they are not this year’s undisputed national champion.
But that’s no fun.
The spirit and tradition of college football has always thrived when some jackass with a whackadoo formula claims, SCIENTIFICALLY, that a different team was actually the national champion under their entirely logical system.
Readers, I am brave enough to be that jackass.
With that in mind, I will now make a rational case for each team in the final AP Poll to claim a national championship, which I encourage those schools to cite as “AP* National Champion” (*actioncookbook’s poll) and to send me swag.
Managed to scrape together 9 wins by only beating teams that begin with the letters I, M or N. Can only assume this was on purpose; they set their goal and they achieved it. Except for when they lost to Northwestern. That’s probably a typo. Champs.
Most improved team in the country. Went 4-8 in 2016 and 2017, but then went 11-2 in 2018. Did Clemson win three more games this year than they had the previous two years combined? No, they did not. Champs.
23. Boise State
You know how some years the Oscars have a down year and so they’ll give someone an award that they probably should’ve won at some other point in their career, but not necessarily this year? That’s Boise State. Throw ‘em a Best Supporting Actor nod. Champs.
22. Utah State
Best Aggies (Civilian division). Champs.
Northwestern turned on the video game, went to settings, and put it on “Expert”. They lost to Akron and still made a conference title game. That’s style, folks. Champion style.
20. West Virginia
Listen, Coach Holgorsen asked me to throw him a bone here. He told some guys they were gonna win a title this year, and they’re gonna break his knees if they don’t. He can’t hide out in Houston forever. Champs.
How many programs strung together double-digit wins while also fighting long-term warfare against a myriad of opponents around the globe? Only Army, and UCF. Champs.
18. Fresno State
Like Cincinnati, exceeded their win total of the previous two seasons combined. Unlike Cincinnati (who went 4-8 twice), Fresno won 10 games last year, and 1 the previous year. That’s a blackjack win. I dunno. This one’s hard. Champs?
17. Penn State
Won the most games played in the state of Pennsylvania (6), narrowly edging out Pitt (5) and Temple (4). Champs.
16. Texas A&M
Best Aggies (Paramilitary division). Champs.
Did not lose a single game played indoors. Indoor football champs.
Batteries in their controller died in mid-November. Not fair to punish them for that. Champs.
Was only discovered after the season that they’d played the last 13 games of their schedule while suffering from something doctors call “the Auburn Flu”. With this in mind, 10 wins is downright inspirational. Champs.
Because Louisville’s 2-10 season would be even funnier if Kentucky won a championship. Champs.
Did not lose a single game in 2018. Champs.
10. Washington State
Finally got GameDay. Champs.
Only team whose mascot tried to kill another mascot before a game. Champs.
Only team whose mascot survived an assassination attempt. Champs.
If you refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the SEC East - and I do - they went 7-0. Champs.
You tell Kevin Faulk they’re not champs.
5. Notre Dame
Lost to Clemson by 27. Clemson beat Alabama by 28. Ergo, Notre Dame would’ve beaten Alabama by 1, if only they’d been given the chance. That’s just math. Champs.
Had such a good season they might’ve convinced a baseball player to stop playing baseball. That deserves praise. Champs.
3. Ohio State
Clemson couldn’t have done it without them. Champs.