Monthly Archives: October 2016

No Shine Off Chase Elliott’s Rookie Season

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Chase Elliott leads the field past us at Talladega

Chase Elliott isn’t going to win the championship this year, and that’s a bummer. But the mere fact that there’s such a level of disappointment over having to accept that speaks to the massive increase in expectations.

That veteran championship contenders, Denny Hamlin in particular, made it a point not to aide the 20 year old rookie at Talladega because they legitimately worried about him winning the whole thing if he advanced speaks to the expectations even his competition has for him.
Chase Elliott didn’t fail to win the title this year because he’s not good enough, or because he’s in over his head, or because he’s still a couple of years away from being a contender. No, Chase Elliott isn’t continuing his championship fight simply due to rotten racing luck.

In reality, the same can be said of Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski as well. The second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup was not kind to three of arguably the top five contenders for the championship. Outside of Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick, the trio of Elliott, Truex and Keselowski were the class of the field over the duration of the chase as it pertained to raw speed. An argument could be made that in terms of speed and running up front consistently nobody was better than Chase Elliott through the first six races of the chase.

But running up front alone isn’t enough. Victimized at Charlotte by Martin Truex causing a massive crash on a day Elliott had established himself as one of the two fastest cars to derail his quest for a championship, his hopes went on life support when at Kansas a week later rotten racing luck bit after Elliott had established himself again as arguably the best car there.

Yet, in a do or die must win situation there he was at Talladega, up front and establishing himself yet again as one of the two best cars there. He went toe to toe with Keselowski, passing the dominate Ford on multiple occasions and proving to be his biggest threat.


But the racing gods decided it wasn’t to be for either contender. Keselowski detonated an engine and Elliott lost track position that without the required help needed at Talladega he just couldn’t get back.

But no one can say it was for a lack of trying. The rookie tried everything he could, making moves that left me closing my eyes from my spot in the grandstands from worry it was going to turn ugly. But there he was fighting every step of the way, and going down swinging.

Another testament to the respect he’s earned in the garage was the commitment shown to him by six time champion and teammate Jimmie Johnson. Already locked into the next round, Johnson pledged to commit to doing everything he could to help Elliott advance.

And boy did he ever. There were times you could almost see Johnson say, “I can’t believe we’re doing this here, but OK, I’m coming”, as he followed Elliott everywhere he could. Teammates or not, that’s a level of commitment reserved for people who your utmost respect. And for a 20 year old rookie to have such respect from one of the greatest drivers of all-time says something.

While the championship is off the table, plenty remains to be accomplished in 2016 over the final four races.

For starters, there’s the matter of getting that first win that they’ve been banging on the door of like a police officer. ┬áThere isn’t a person in the garage area that would be surprised if Elliott won not just one, but even perhaps two, of the final four races. Beyond that, they can still finish in the top ten in points.

The simple fact of the matter is that if Elliott’s future were any brighter we’d be advised to not stare directly into it.

When the 2017 season starts back up next February Elliott will be on the list of pre-season favorites to win the championship at the highest level of his sport. Not many 21 year olds (he’ll turn 21 at the end of November) can say that’s ever happened to them, in any sport.

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College Football Rankings 10-13

It’s an insanely inaccurate science, no question, and no logic pattern can be applied in every situation, so the rankings are unto themselves full of double standards and hypocrisy and thus vulnerable to never ending shredding from anyone who sees them. I’m forgiving of singular bad games, and I weigh what’s happened most recently more heavily, because I’m trying to determine who the best teams right now are. It’s for nothing but banter and fun, and because I’ve been doing it since I was 8 years old.

I’ve also decided doing them, this early in the season, every two weeks is better, to prevent knee jerk reactions. So, here are my complete rankings as of October 13.

*The App State vs UL Lafayette game is not taken into consideration*

1 Alabama 6-0
2 Ohio State 5-0
3 Michigan 6-0
4 Clemson 6-0
5 Washington 6-0
6 Louisville 4-1
7 Wisconsin 4-1
8 Texas A&M 6-0
9 Tennessee 5-1
10 Florida St 4-2
11 Miami 4-1
12 Ole Miss 3-2
13 Auburn 4-2
14 Nebraska 5-0
15 Houston 5-1
16 Baylor 5-0
17 Arkansas 4-2
18 LSU 3-2
19 Oklahoma 3-2
20 Virginia Tech 4-1
21 Florida 4-1
22 Troy 4-1
23 Western Michigan 6-0
24 West Virginia 4-0
25 Boise St 5-0
26 Utah 5-1
27 South Florida 5-1
28 Georgia 4-2
29 Memphis 4-1
30 USC 3-3
31 TCU 4-2
32 North Carolina 4-2
33 Navy 4-1
34 Toledo 4-1
35 Pitt 4-2
36 Penn State 4-2
37 Arizona St 5-1
38 NC St 4-1
39 BYU 3-3
40 Wake Forest 5-1
41 Colorado 4-2
42 Kansas State 3-2
43 Appalachian St 3-2
44 Washington St 3-2
45 Central Michigan 4-2
46 Indiana 3-2
47 Oklahoma St 4-2
48 Texas Tech 3-2
49 Tulsa 4-1
50 Stanford 3-2
51 UCLA 3-3
52 San Diego St 4-1
53 Cal 3-3
54 Iowa 4-2
55 Air Force 4-1
56 Louisiana Tech 3-3
57 Maryland 4-1
58 Minnesota 3-2
59 Northwestern 2-3
60 Duke 3-3
61 Texas 2-3
62 Michigan St 2-3
63 Georgia Tech 3-3
64 Middle Tennessee St 4-1
65 Oregon 2-4
66 Missouri 2-3
67 Arizona 2-4
68 Notre Dame 2-4
69 Southern Miss 4-2
70 Georgia Southern 3-2
71 Oregon St 2-3
72 Wyoming 4-2
73 UConn 3-3
74 South Carolina 2-4
75 UCF 3-2
76 South Alabama 3-2
77 Mississippi St 2-3
78 Kentucky 3-3
79 Akron 4-2
80 Army 3-2
81 Temple 3-3
82 Virginia 2-3
83 Vanderbilt 2-4
84 Cincinnati 3-3
85 Ohio 4-2
86 Colorado St 3-3
87 Western Kentucky 3-3
88 Iowa St 1-5
89 Purdue 3-2
90 Syracuse 2-4
91 Eastern Michigan 4-2
92 Old Dominion 4-2
93 East Carolina 2-4
94 Hawaii 3-3
95 Ball State 3-3
96 UTSA 2-3
97 Utah St 2-4
98 Tulane 3-2
99 Boston College 3-3
100 Nevada 3-3
101 Arkansas St 1-4
102 Illinois 1-4
103 Idaho 3-3
104 SMU 2-4
105 UL Lafayette 2-3
106 Northern Illinois 1-5
107 UNLV 2-4
108 Georgia St 1-4
109 UL Monroe 1-4
110 North Texas 3-3
111 Kent State 2-4
112 New Mexico St 2-3
113 New Mexico 2-3
114 Texas St 2-3
115 Kansas 1-4
116 Fresno St 1-5
117 Rutgers 2-4
118 Marshall 1-4
119 Bowling Green 1-5
120 UMass 1-5
121 Miami Ohio 0-6
122 Charlotte 2-4
123 FIU 2-4
124 Buffalo 1-4
125 UTEP 1-5
126 Florida Atlantic 1-5
127 San Jose St 1-5
128 Rice 0-5

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