This week's Power Rankings WITH OH SO MUCH POWER cover the teams who in week six demonstrated an unholy power to discourage opponents, smash the hopes of their opponents, and then place those shards of dreams into a shotgun they set off in said opponent's faces.
Please remember that our Power Rankings simply cover this present moment, and gauge a team's ability to leave trails of destruction and sadness behind them at this exact moment. Future success is not guaranteed, and disaster is probably around the corner because we are talking about the reliability of 18-22 year olds doing things consistently.
1. ALABAMA. Bolt guns. Conveyor belts. A quick slaughter, and then three quarters of processing. My complaint about Nick Saban Football as a video game concept and football style is that it is, at its highest levels, no more exciting than watching a well-executed slaughterhouse in action. You can't block, you can't run, you can't pass, and after being afforded the courtesy of a punt you are placed into a press and run over with a Trent Richardson or Eddie Lacy until properly tenderized. The postgame handshake each week is the handing off of a few fine chops wrapped in butcher paper, and Saban's words are always the same: "Here is your offense. You get your own damn ice to keep it cold."
Alabama is allowing 39.83 rushing yards a game six weeks into the season. You get one forty-yard dash to spread out over four quarters of run production. Even Nick Saban seems to be getting bored with the magnificent, cruel, and efficient machine of his creation. He allowed hipster QB A.J. McCarron to pass the ball 30 times this week against Vanderbilt, a clear sign the tyrant finds his quarry too compliant. Bring him more nimble playthings so that he does not fall asleep in his tiny golden throne before the LSU game, minions. (Forget Mizzou: bring him the St. Louis Rams, Mike Slive. It's not like they're doing anything right now.)
2. LSU. Give all due credit to Les Miles: at least his variety of inhumanity towards one's fellow conference members is colorful and entertaining. Buy a ticket to an Alabama game, and it's just and endless chain of bad ideas being shot in the head in order, a kind of Chinese public execution for the gridiron. (Nick Saban would totally charge you for the bullet used to kill your family member.)
With Les Miles, you get an Australian punter taunting on a fake punt, a smartass and entertaining callback to a 2007 Tebow jump pass by a recently reinstated quarterback fresh off an epic barfight, an evil midget cornerback with a feral nickname shredding passing lanes and snagging hopeless interceptions from the air, and the continuing marvel of Jarrett Lee playing competent and at times brilliant football. Even in a blowout you get value for your entertainment dollar no matter what side you are on, and that is why Les Miles is the dinner entertainment at the SEC Cafe, and Nick Saban is the capo making sure the lobsters are fresh while threatening a busboy with imminent death if he ever looks a customer in the eye ever again.
(Will Muschamp, for the moment, is the psychotic grill cook eight orders behind on the line.)
3. Oregon. Distance runner Marshall Ulrich once ran the Badwater Ultramarathon four times in a row up and down Death Valley simply because he could. He also had his toenails removed because they hindered his running, and these two facts let you know that Marshall Ulrich has serious brain damage. He also used to black out the lights on his support vehicles while running to give the impression that he was much further up the road during long stretches of night-running. This lets you know that Marshall Ulrich is cunning, and also kind of a dick.
Chip Kelly is sort of an Ulrich-in-reverse. You think those are Oregon's taillights up ahead, and that you are within striking distance of keeping pace with the Ducks. After all, Cal led at the half of their game this last Thursday 15-14, and had to think they were close until they got close to the taillights, and then realized that Chip Kelly sometimes just puts two lights on the back of a donkey-cart just to fool you into thinking you're close. Then he drops three TDs in a quarter on your head to really turn the C-clamp of despair down on your heart. Oregon had 563 yards and 45 points on Saturday against Cal, and 31 of those points came after the half. Get your toenails removed immediately, because the Ducks' stretch pace will be inhumane and fierce.
4. Michigan. Denard Robinson's passes come in two varieties. Some are obvious "practice throws." You will recognize these because they are the ones that go into defender's hands. Defenders then yell out "Hey, you threw me the ball! That's not the way this goes, silly buddy!" The defenders then helpfully attempt to return the ball to the Michigan endzone, and Wolverine linemen and receivers rush to meet his good courtesy with enthusiastic hugs. All other throws are "live throws," and usually go for huge gains and essential scores.
At least that's the way Al Borges must have the Michigan offense thinking, since despite throwing three INTs against Northwestern they chugged past every mistake and continued to pour hot fiery death on Northwestern down the stretch. Power Rankings salutes Michigan's refusal to have a memory, and their recent hiring of a defensive coordinator after three years without one. (It was a bold idea, Rich Rodriguez, but innovation's dark side is a long string of well-intentioned but bitter failure.)
5. Stanford. Though Leland Stanford might have some complaints about Mr. Luck's obviously redistributionist and socialist receiving preferences (Luck threw to 11 different receivers against Colorado), the profits don't lie: 370 yards, 3 TDs, and one INT thrown, presumably, for pity's sake to keep Colorado somewhat hopeful in the game.
6. Notre Dame. It is a good week for snootiness in Power Rankings, and WHY HELLO NOTRE DAME. Sure, the 33 points allowed to Air Force might seem a bit much, but look at it as charity extended to the good hard-working people of our military, not defensive lapses against an undersized but very well-executed triple option attack. Tommy Rees threw four TD passes, and received an emotional handshake and head nod from Brian Kelly after the game. (Some Notre Dame fans found his behavior to be "histrionic," and then wondered if they could stoop to replace the clearly deranged Kelly with Urban Meyer or Jon Gruden, because this is what Notre Dame fans do.)
2. Machine Gun
1. St. Louis. The brewery, man.
2. Jacksonville, FL. The coffee plant, man.
3. New York. Hot garbage souffle.
4. Pittsburgh. The whole place smells of meat.
5. Shreveport/Houston. A petroleum industry tie.
2. Regular ol' Delhi.
2. That movie by Hype Williams
3. The band that did "Feed The Tree"
1. Franco. The director of Romeo and Juliet. Might be the reason you got to see nudity in English class. UP TOP, BRAH.