College Football Recap- Week 3
The college football weekend was filled with much to talk about. Some of the games unfolded as expected, but there were also many games that provided the unexpected…which is one thing that makes the sport so exciting!
Since we are now 1/4 of the way through the regular season, I would like to share some of my thoughts from the first three weeks and give an overview for each of the Power 5 conferences.
Let’s start with the #1 ranked team in the nation, the Alabama Crimson Tide, and the SEC conference!
The Crimson Tide utterly destroyed Ole Miss on Saturday night, 62-7. If Alabama really wanted to they could have dropped a 100! The Rebels scored a touchdown on the very first play of the game, a 75 yard touchdown pass to D.K. Metcalf. After that play, they might as well have headed to the locker room and and showered-up. There was no point for Ole Miss to be on the field for the rest of the game because Alabama was just that dominant!
Once again, Alabama is in a league of their own compared to the other 129 FBS teams. Just like last season, it seems that Georgia is the only other team in the country that is actually worthy to be on the same field as the Crimson Tide. The Bulldogs are the only team that could play a somewhat competitive game…and if things broke just right…maybe, just maybe, pull out a win.
Sure Clemson, Oklahoma, and “TTFDB” might make some plays against Bama, and they could probably keep the score somewhat close. But at this point, does anyone think that any of these 3 teams could actually go punch-for-punch with Alabama for a full 60 minutes?
I wish it were different! I wish that Alabama wasn’t so good and so dominant! I wish that it wasn’t the same 5-6 teams that will be competing for the four playoff spots! But after three weeks of action, it is what it is. “Roll Tide Roll” is our reality!
If Alabama wasn’t so good, the SEC West would be an incredibly exciting and competitive division. Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M all appear to be very good teams that could beat anyone in the country on a given day. It will be interesting to see how things shake out in this division after Alabama.
Of course we already saw LSU and Auburn battle it out this past Saturday, with LSU winning 22-21 on a field goal as time expired. Yes, I can point out all the things that Auburn “should have” done or “could have” done. But give credit to coach Ed Orgeron and the LSU Tigers! LSU has shown toughness, resiliency, and discipline through the first three games. And the Tigers probably have the best two wins out of any other team in the nation!
In the East, Kentucky has gotten off to a really good start (3-0). But Georgia is by far the best team in this division, and they shouldn’t have any trouble returning to the SEC Championship game.
As we know, Clemson is still the “Top Dog” in this conference, and they are in a class all by themselves. There are five other teams (Boston College, Duke, Miami, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech) that I would consider as “Good” or “Solid”. But none of these teams are ready to take down Clemson, let alone make a playoff run.
It is nice to see some “new faces” playing well and getting off to good starts. Boston College, Duke, and Syracuse are all (3-0) and each team appears to have things moving in a positive direction. But as I mentioned before in College Football Recap- Week 1, “It’s not how you start the season, but how you finish!” Finishing strong is what matters the most!
Last season the Big 10 finished (7-1) in bowl games, and if Michigan didn’t blow a 19-3 lead in the second half, they would have finished (8-0). But now we are in a new season, and the conference as a whole has gotten off to a really bad start!
Out of the 14 teams in the conference, only 5 remain unbeaten: “TTFDB”, Penn State, Iowa, Indiana, and Minnesota. Several of the teams have suffered some really bad loses!
Eastern Michigan- 20, Purdue-19
BYU- 24, Wisconsin- 21
Kansas- 55, Rutgers- 14
Temple- 35, Maryland- 14
Troy- 24, Nebraska- 19
Akron- 39, Northwestern- 34
Not to mention Michigan lost to Notre Dame (week #1) and Michigan State lost to Arizona State (week #2). There have been some good wins, or quality wins posted along the way, but the “Bad” has definitely overshadowed the “Good” up to this point.
We love to “assume” things in college football! Coming into the season almost everyone “assumed” that this would be a two-team race between Oklahoma and West Virginia for the conference title. Many felt that Oklahoma would cruise through the conference and post an (11-1) record, (12-1) if you counted the conference title game.
And when it’s all said and done, that may very well be how the season plays out. But I have a feeling that things could get very interesting in the Big 12 as the season progresses. Yes, Oklahoma and West Virginia have looked great! But every other team in the conference has shown that they are not just going to roll-over and be a “door mat”.
The Sooners had to battle for 4 quarters to hold off Iowa State this past weekend, 37-27. TCU showed a lot of promise in a 40-28 loss to “TTFDB” Saturday night, and if it wasn’t for a disastrous five-minute stretch in the third quarter, the Horned Frogs might have been able to pull-off an upset!
Oklahoma State had a very impressive win over Boise State, 44-21, and Texas rebounded nicely to take out USC, 37-14. And of course I have to mention Kansas! Yes, lowly Kansas! The Jayhawks have been the laughingstock of college football for the past decade, and it looked like that trend would continue in 2018 after they lost to FCS opponent, Nicholls, 26-23 in overtime on opening weekend.
But then Kansas went on the road and beat Central Michigan 31-7. Then they turned around and destroyed Rutgers at home, 55-14. All of a sudden the Kansas Jayhawks are (2-1) and looking like a “real” football team! What is going on???
So needless to say the Big 12 may be very competitive from top to bottom, and Oklahoma and West Virginia are going to have to work very hard in order to earn that trip to the conference title game!
Like the other conferences, the PAC 12 is intriguing. I think that this conference has a few “good” teams, a few “really good” teams, and a few “really bad” teams. The main problem for the PAC 12 is that there are no “Great” teams in the conference!
Washington, Stanford, and possibly Oregon are “really good” teams. Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah are “good” teams. Oregon State, Arizona, UCLA, and USC are “really bad” teams.
I’m not sure what to make of Washington State. The Cougars are (3-0), but they have yet to play a worthy opponent. The one “wild card” team that I see in all this is California. The Bears are also (3-0) with wins over North Carolina and BYU. And after BYU’s upset over Wisconsin on Saturday, that win is looking much better!
Utah is interesting because their defense is excellent…probably one of the best in the country! The problem is that the offense has looked terrible in the first three games- not moving the ball, struggling to score, turning the ball over, etc. If Utah’s offense can get on track, then this team could wreak havoc down the stretch!
So it looks like Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah will be battling it out in the south division. The north division will be up-for-grabs between Washington, Stanford, Oregon, and California. The Cardinal travel to Oregon this weekend for a big game against the Ducks. This should help us get a better feel for how good these two teams really are.