Thursday Ramblings: Justice for Carly Rae Jepsen
And also a new Top 25 and my Overwatch League All-Pro teams
This is an even more scattershot Thursday Hoopla post than normal, and I promise that they won’t all be in this style moving forward.
My reason for another one like this is because I am prewriting it and am unavailable most of Thursday to do a legitimate one. The next post, on the No. 5 team in the Big Ten, will also not be posted until Tuesday as I am out of town. Sorry for the delay.
But hey, please subscribe anyway.
Let’s start with my Top 25 in college football this week. I think this one is special, because it is the week where I officially gave up on almost anything that I thought I knew heading into the season.
1.) Alabama (-)
2.) Georgia (-)
3.) Cincinnati (+1)
4.) Oregon (+1)
5.) Iowa (+1)
6.) Texas A&M (+1)
7.) Ole Miss (+3)
8.) Penn State (+5)
9.) Coastal Carolina (-1)
10.) Oklahoma (-7)
11.) Michigan (+6)
12.) Clemson (-3)
13.) Ohio State (-2)
14.) Florida (-2)
15.) Notre Dame (-1)
16.) Arkansas (+4)
17.) BYU (+5)
18.) Iowa State (-)
19.) Wisconsin (+4)
20.) North Carolina (+4)
21.) Fresno State (NEW)
22.) Michigan State (NEW)
23.) Kansas State (NEW)
24.) UCLA (-9)
25.) San Diego State (NEW)
Let’s start out with the big thing here: Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma are bad teams until proven otherwise. I don’t care what levels of talent these three teams supposedly have, my eyes tell me that they suck and do not deserve to be in the top 10 right now.
Alabama and Georgia seem to be the only two teams fulfilling their potential, and even the Crimson Tide nearly blew it to Florida. I think both of these teams are likely to meet in the SEC title game, and then again in the playoff, but there’s still a whole lot of season to make that change.
Cincinnati was tested thoroughly by Indiana, who looked improved after getting trounced by Iowa. But the Bearcats held on and dominated the fourth quarter to win by two scores. I understand the argument for having the Hawkeyes above Cincy because of the common opponent, but for now, I will just say that Indiana, at home in Week 3, was much better than the one on the road in Week 1.
I cannot get enough of this Ole Miss team man. Matt Corral should be the Heisman favorite right now, and everything about this group just rocks, specifically on offense. Alabama and Ole Miss face off in two weeks. I can’t wait.
I am not entirely sold on Penn State still, but two ranked wins and impressive play from Sean Clifford gets the Nittany Lions into the top 10.
Who I am far too sold on so far is Michigan, who looks awesome so far. That rushing attack with Blake Corum, Hassan Haskins and Donovan Edwards is a treat, and right now the Wolverines are playing better football than Ohio State. Note that I am saying right now, not necessarily in nine games.
More teams I love: Arkansas and BYU. The Razorbacks have been very impressive and get a tough Texas A&M matchup to prove what they are truly made of. The Cougars, though, I truly adore. They have completely flipped their identity post-Zach Wilson, and my god is it working. Kalani Sitake is a true gem of a coach.
Fresno State may have a loss, but a one-possession loss to Oregon is plenty worthy of being on this list, ask the team ranked at No. 13 that has truthfully looked worse than Fresno to this point.
Shoutout Michigan State man. I thought this team was doomed after the insane transfer portal offseason, but the Spartans have come out firing, especially on the ground. I don’t think Miami (Fla.) is a true ranked win, but Sparty deserves to be ranked at this point.
Monday marked the 10 year anniversary of “Call Me Maybe,” the song that almost anyone would first pick out for pop artist Carly Rae Jepsen.
Look, I am not here to besmirch the name of Call Me Maybe, it is an absolute bop of a track that I have listened to many times in the past few days because of the anniversary. What I am here to tell you, the good people of the Hoopla Newsletter, is that Carly Rae Jepsen is so much more than a one-hit wonder.
Jepsen could have went down as one and I still might be talking about the artistry of that single hit today. Instead, she made “EMOTION,” one of the best pop albums of the 2010s. There is not one miss on this 15-song track list, not a one. This is bop after bop of the most catchy pop music you are likely to ever hear, including “Run Away With Me” which is, no hyperbole, one of the best pop songs of all-time to me.
Maybe she’s a one-album wonder then? Dear reader, no. Even if we weren’t to count the EMOTION B-Sides album, which is also excellent, Jepsen followed up that album with “Dedicated,” which is also filled with some of the best pop music in recent memory.
It may not quite hit the same highs for me as EMOTION, but tracks like “Julien,” “Now That I Found You” and “Want You in My Room” are enough to make it all worth it.
Carly Rae Jepsen remains, in popular culture, the Call Me Maybe girl, and while there are certainly worse songs to be remembered by, she should be known more as what she is: one of the best pop artists of the 21st century.
My Overwatch League All-Pro Teams
This is the section that you are free to skip – as you are free to do anything in this free newsletter – because this is very much me using this as an outlet to do something very few people care about.
The Overwatch League playoffs have begun and an MVP has been picked, and that has inspired me to do something the league does not do: name first, second and third teams for the league.
Here, I will pick six players in the first, second and third teams: two DPS, two tanks and two supports. Let’s do it.
DPS: Leave, Chengdu Hunters
DPS: Lip, Shanghai Dragons
Tank: Fearless, Dallas Fuel
Tank: Hanbin, Dallas Fuel
Support: Shu, Los Angeles Gladiators
Support: Fielder, Dallas Fuel
As much as I did not want to have three Dallas Fuel players in the top team, there’s a reason the Fuel was so dominant in 2021. The tank line of Fearless and Hanbin was undeniably the best in the league all year, and Fielder remains criminally underrated with how much he brings to that team.
I agree with the league’s choice of Leave as MVP. Chengdu was excellent this season and Leave was by far the most consistent and dominant player they had. I don’t have a single other Hunters player in this list, and yet they are in the playoffs thanks to Leave.
Lip was also so, so good for Shanghai this year, even going outside of his typical comfort zone to dominate on heroes like Tracer. And Shu truly got hot at the right time and became a game-wrecker on the flex support by the end of the season.
DPS: Fleta, Shanghai Dragons
DPS: Pelican, Atlanta Reign
Tank: Fate, Shanghai Dragons
Tank: Space, Los Angeles Gladiators
Support: Alarm, Philadelphia Fusion
Support: Viol2t, San Francisco Shock
Fleta was MVP in 2020 and I think he was actually better this year. But, so was his teammate Lip and the league as a whole, so he slips to the second team. I also agree with the league’s choice of Pelican as Rookie of the Year, a truly dominant force on a variety of heroes for Atlanta.
Alarm and Viol2t got less shine this year as their team’s were slightly worse, but neither was at the fault for that regression. Both supports change games in ways that almost no other support can, and I think they deserve recognition for that.
I might go unorthodox here with Fate, but his wrecking ball changed the momentum of the season, and I think he is a very underrated cog in the Shanghai death ball of a team. And Space, one of my favorites in the league, did so much for the Gladiators both in games and out. He makes such a tremendous impact that he has to be placed here.
DPS: Kevster, Los Angeles Gladiators
DPS: Sp9rk1e, Dallas Fuel
Tank: Mag, Washington Justice
Tank: Hawk, Atlanta Reign
Support: Izayaki, Shanghai Dragons
Support: Crimzo, Houston Outlaws
Kevster impressed me significantly in 2021 and is a big factor in LA’s rise to dominance in the back half of the year. And the other DPS, Sp9rk1e, may be the fourth Fuel player mentioned, but he is still as important to what that team wants to do: be obscenely aggressive. His skills on multiple heroes helped to make that happen.
Mag would be higher if Wrecking Ball was less frequent in 2021, but his Reinhardt and Winston are good enough to sneak in here (though I would have picked Smurf or Super on the San Francisco Shock if they didn’t have to split playing time.) Hawk also picked up from a lackluster 2020 and became a force this season, specifically on D.Va.
And finally, the supports. Izayaki was a bizarre pick for an MVP candidate in my opinion, but not because of his lack of talent. And yes, I do sneak an Outlaw into this list, but I think it is well deserved. Crimzo surprised everyone this season, and was the backbone to a Houston team that was great, but fell just short of the postseason.
Also, sorry main supports. It just wasn’t really the season for you, at least compared to the abundance of insane flex supports that the league had to offer.
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