Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Hater's Guide To The College Football Top 25

Lads! Lads! Lads!
Lads! Lads! Lads!
Photo: Butch Dill (AP Photo)

College football, the looser and more fun but also worse version of football played by younger and less well-compensated people than those in the NFL, is back baby. Or maybe is already back? Anyway the timing is complicated, because while the good stuff gets going this weekend, college football’s latest attempt to jazz things up has meant that the season began with a few random games last weekend and will scatter in a few more during the work week before things get going for real over the weekend. When it does get going in earnest, it will be with a surprisingly good slate of games. Are you excited about this? Are you ready for some college football? It’s quite possible that you are not!

If you are excited about it, congratulations and feel free to go ahead and jump directly to the podcast, which features Drew and me talking to our resident college football weirdo and gangly pepperoni aficionado-in-chief Nick Martin about the upcoming college football season and Nick’s exhaustive and informative Deadspin 25. It’s right here, in the beloved/broadly tolerated Hater’s Guide format that gives us the latitude to discuss fly-by-night Louisiana tiger farms, the broader cultural problem presented by Stanford just as an institution and broader vibe, the good old horny college football scandals of yore, and also a decent amount of actual football. If you are not really that into college football, just as a general thing, I would like to meet you in the next paragraph.

Okay, so I don’t really follow this shit very closely anymore, either, and while most of that is because my dance card is pretty full with all the other dumb stuff I pay attention to, it’s also because college football has been fucking depressing of late. We discuss that, too, of course. It’s kind of difficult to talk about a list that features Ohio State and Michigan State without it coming up. For all the ambient dipshittery in the college football discourse and all the overt cravenness of the way the system works, this offseason has been relentless in reminding everyone just how deeply and proudly broken the broader endeavor is.


But while I’ve drifted away from college football in recent years because of that exploitation and ugliness and also because I have enough football in the monitors as is, I was reminded again of what a fun thing it is to talk about. Yeah, it sucks in a lot of ways, defiantly and openly and honestly maybe most saliently in a way that I personally am not inclined to excuse. But anything this broad and this goofy is always going to retain some conversational value, if not necessarily any other kind. At the very least, you have to tip your cap to LSU’s dedication to supporting local tiger farmers.

You can also listen at iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Spotify, NPR One, Apple Podcasts, or GooglePlay. And don’t forget to email us tips and/or general complaints at Have fun out there.

David Roth is an editor at Deadspin.

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