This week in college football started out like nothing really going on. No games between two top 25 opponents. But we had some interesting games and games that at least the top 10 were doing everything they can to flex their muscle. So let’s begin.
TOP 5 WINNERS
(1) CLEMSON: I don’t want to hear anything about Trevor Lawrence’s issues. He will be fine come November/December. Plus, how often do we see Clemson “scuffle” in the first half of the season only to go on a massive tear the rest of the way? The defense looks as good as it did last year even with replacing the entire defensive line and the team still remains hungry. And Lawrence WILL get better. Adding on, thumping a team gives you nightmares the last few years is a big thing. Nice win, and a win that Clemson showed their defense is atop of their game.
(2) WASHINGTON STATE: A road trip to Houston and against a team that was really going after them is still impressive. The Cougars still remain a slim chance at a Playoff, but they still have a shot. Already sad to think we are talking about Playoff hopes for the PAC-12 in Week 3 though, but the Cougars still have to be considered a favorite in the North.
(3) OHIO STATE: If you’re a team going against Ohio State, what is worrisome isn’t the Buckeyes offense, but the defense. Ohio State’s defense has dominated for the first part of the season. Yes, not a lot of competition either, but doing it to a team that fought with the Buckeyes last year in Columbus is a major bonus. This will be a huge step moving forward for the Buckeyes.
(4) VIRGINIA: It’s not like they were overly impressive with their win against Florida State, but the Cavaliers are in the driver’s seat in the ACC Coastal already. North Carolina showed they have some growing pains to go through, Georgia Tech is bad, Duke has issues, Miami has yet to beat a quality opponent, Cavs hold a W over Pitt, and Virginia Tech is not impressive at all. All the Cavaliers need to do is hold serve and be in Charlotte in December.
(5) ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils are off to another good start under Herm Edwards. What’s odd is that Arizona State isn’t winning it by offense but by defense. They did a great job stopping Michigan State (though Michigan State continued to have self-inflicted wounds too). They remain as one of the two undefeated teams in the PAC-12 South. The offense does need to generate some points however. Odd to say that too, but at least Herm is giving hope for Sun Devil fans, something that went missing under Todd Graham in his final years there.
TOP 5 LOSERS
(1) MARYLAND: And with that…..the Terps bandwagon has emptied. After scoring 142 points in their first two games including to Syracuse, Maryland could only muster 15 points on offense (+2 by safety) and had some questionable play-calls. Mike Locksley probably failed to prevent Maryland from drinking their rat poison. That said, they are a young team AND they will have their own growing pains a la North Carolina. An upset of a team is still possible in the cards for the Terps.
(2) MICHIGAN STATE: New year, same mess. Michigan State’s offense went AWOL again despite an impressive performance by the defense, where many think it is the tops in the nation. It doesn’t matter however if there is no offense to go with it a la 2012 when Michigan State had the same issues. Adding on, Mark Dantonio is starting to get roasted by Spartans fans for his inability to make coaching moves on that side of the ball. They have a great shot at winning some games they shouldn’t with their defense, but it gets nullified by that display called an offense.
(3) USC: Not like it was an unexpected loss, but the Trojans still had more talent than BYU and just really got outplayed in Provo. USC is still a threat in the PAC-12 but a threat to get into the Playoff? No way.
(4) STANFORD: For some reason this blowout loss to UCF just feels like the days of Stanford being super competitive are gone. They just don’t have that feel like they will make you work for 4 quarters anymore. Time will tell as it is early, but not liking on what I’m seeing from the Cardinal.
(5) MISSISSIPPI STATE: I don’t think many had the Bulldogs to be a super competitive squad but strong enough to to get in the faces of teams in the SEC West and they have historically given Alabama fits in recent memory. But a loss to a Kansas State team in the land of the Cowbell is not good. Granted we don’t know what team Kansas State is going to be in 2019 as the schedule wasn’t too strong to start with, but the Bulldogs still have more talent compared to Kansas State, or so we think.
TOP 5 QUESTIONS:
(1) TIM TEBOW IS GETTING ROASTED FOR HIS COMMENTS ABOUT COLLEGE PLAYERS GETTING PAID. IS HE RIGHT OR RIGHTFULLY DESERVED TO GET ROASTED? Rightfully deserved. Tebow was a well-to-do guy in college where his parents had money. He also was treated like a god down in Gainesville when he was a Gator. He didn’t need to do anything. He didn’t have an issue. But he’s not a large portion of athletes either. My take is that maybe give these kids “bonds” or something of that sort and figure out how much to give them pending on what they are bringing in for the schools. I mean colleges are making money off these kids. It’s simple as that. But Tebow to say that is selfish in his own right. Just my take.
(2) IT FEELS LIKE THERE IS A VIBE OF 6, MAYBE 7 TEAMS THAT HAVE A REAL SHOT FOR THE PLAYOFF (LOOK AT THE TOP 7). WILL THERE BE A TEAM THAT COULD SHAKE IT ALL UP? Yep. Auburn if the quarterback play is consistent enough. Of course they are #8 but get Alabama, Georgia, and LSU this year (first two teams at home). But outside of Auburn, I don’t think so. Florida has too many issues as does Michigan for right now. And I’m always going to be in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” category with Wisconsin.
(3) COULD MARK DANTONIO BE ON THE HOT SEAT AT MICHIGAN STATE? I don’t think so just yet. He’s earned a lot of frequent flyer miles since he arrived at East Lansing in 2007 including a few Big Ten Championships (where it had been Ohio State and Wisconsin dominating that landscape forever), a Rose Bowl win, a Cotton Bowl win, and a Playoff. However, since the Playoff berth Michigan State has only been 22-19 and the last few years the Spartans have been the butt of jokes with their offense. He really hasn’t changed the offensive mentality in the last couple of years and how the Spartans loss really infuriated the Sparty crew. IF Michigan State doesn’t figure out to get that offense going he may end up in the hot seat by the end of the year just as much as Jim Harbaugh is if Harbaugh can’t beat Ohio State.
(4) WILL THERE BE ANY TEAM TO SERIOUSLY GIVE CLEMSON A RUN IN THE ACC? Nope. The only team who could try to stand up to the Tigers may be of all teams North Carolina. But even then, I would expect a 3-TD W at the least and that game is in Chapel Hill. So I don’t see anybody really scaring Clemson from their winning streak. If they see Virginia in the ACC Championship, it may be interesting, but until then, the Tigers are going 12-0 this year.
(5) WHAT WOULD BE THE WEAKNESSES OF THE TOP 8 (MAY AS WELL INCLUDE AUBURN) MOVING FORWARD? Clemson (?-currently people are pointing to Lawrence), Alabama (defensive line is getting pushed around right now), Georgia (coaching decisions), Ohio State (?-Fields has done great but when the competition spikes, how will he respond?), LSU (DBU ), Oklahoma (defense), Notre Dame (size), Auburn (streaky QB play)
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat