Another week come and gone.
And we are really seeing a divide now of the contenders from the pretenders. We also see reasons why certain coaches will never get over that hump for a national championship. We see numerous players get put in big spots and succeed. And we still have teams that you go “how are they still undefeated and do they have a shot at spoiling things?”
Ah, yes college football.
TOP 5 WINNERS
(1) NOTRE DAME: They dominated last night. That has been probably one of the best games if not the best game I’ve seen Notre Dame have under Brian Kelly. If the Irish can escape Blacksburg next week with a win, then it is hard not to think they could run the table. And Ian Book is legit.(2) OHIO STATE: James Franklin’s lunacy and silliness aside, Ohio State had a great comeback in Happy Valley. Now are there questions? Yes, but they really solidify themselves as the Big Ten’s best shot at the Playoff in 2018. They have to avoid an Iowa game somewhere along the line.
(3) WASHINGTON: The Huskies answered my criticisms of the offense not being consistent enough by dominating BYU. If they continue their trend, they should be fine the rest of the way.
(4) WEST VIRGINIA: People may go, “well, they gave up 34 in their win.” Texas Tech we know will score points against anybody. But they got a big lead early and never looked back in a tough game in Lubbock. And the Red Raiders were ranked so it wasn’t like it was a poor team here. Hard to figure out whether the Mountaineers or the Sooners are the favorites of the Big 12 right now.
(5) OREGON: You blow a big lead at home to lose in overtime. And then turn around and just destroy a top 25 opponent on the road. Justin Herbert is moving up on the Heisman list in my eyes and is still must see TV. 2 weeks from now is the Huskies and Ducks. Should be a good one.
TOP 5 LOSERS
(1) JAMES FRANKLIN: I WON’T put Penn State technically on here. They played well enough to win. But Franklin, who has been known the last few seasons to find ways to run up the score on teams went ultra-conservative on his play-calling. Not just the 4th and 5 play to end the game. But the whole night. That stuff right there will forever keep Franklin and Penn State from winning a national championship.
(2) STANFORD: The minute Bryce Love went down, Stanford became one-dimensional and the same old story again. Shut down the run game and the offense will fall. Defensively you still have major questions about them so maybe the Cardinal were more on the hype side than the hope side.
(3) CALIFORNIA: You were home, playing well on both sides of the ball and against a team who blew a huge lead the week before and down. And you fail to show up. Ouch. Had Cal won that game, you may have considered the Bears a sleeper in the PAC-12 North. Not anymore.
(4) DUKE: They get back Daniel Jones against a Virginia Tech team that had given up 49 to Old Dominon, and they had no answers at all on either side of the ball. The hope was if Duke won, they may have been in control of the ACC Coastal. But nope.
(5) BYU: Seems like maybe the Cougars played more of a team that is not as balanced in Wisconsin than Washington, who stepped up big time last night. Because that was ugly. BYU still has a way from being a major threat.
TOP 5 QUESTIONS
(1) WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE KELLY BRYANT SITUATION AT CLEMSON? He has been there forever. I think he has the right to transfer. Selfish? How? If he wants a football career after college this is his best shot. So anybody who says he’s selfish needs to look at the big picture. I get it from his standpoint more and while I get that people think he should “stick it out” he has to think of his career. And if anybody who is OK with others transferring to their team needs to realize that it’s OK for Bryant to do the same.
(2) IS IT TIME TO PANIC AT CLEMSON? I’ve said it time after time this is what Clemson does best, but now I think there should be major concerns with the Tigers. If Trevor Lawrence can’t go, that’s an issue with Bryant not there. And it doesn’t feel like the Tigers have that dominant feel like we’ve come to know the last few seasons. But right now there are some concerns here.
(3) DID JAMES FRANKLIN’S COACHING BLUNDERS ALL NIGHT PRETTY MUCH SEAL HIS FATE AT PENN STATE? Yes, but do I think he will be fired after last night’s mess? No, much to Penn State’s fans dismay. Will he be fired after the season for it? Not unless the Nittany Lions go 5-7 or 6-6. But Franklin’s blunders last night (it wasn’t just one mind you) reminded me of Les Miles when he faced Alabama in 2012. LSU overall outplayed the Tide in Baton Rouge, but Alabama stole the game away late. All the buttons Miles pressed were wrong and it was dumbfounding when he made them too. He had been living dangerously with some of his decisions over the years, but the law of averages finally caught up to the guy. Yes, it wasn’t until 4 years after in 2016 that LSU fired Miles, but it is going to be that kind of vibe where things look good, but it never is the same again for a program and every time they see their dragon on that schedule (for Miles it was Alabama and for Franklin it is now Ohio State), it will be a huge mental block. Franklin isn’t the guy to get Penn State past Ohio State. And that will be a key thing moving forward.
(4) WHY DO COACHES MAKE THE SILLIEST PLAYS POSSIBLE IN KEY SITUATIONS? The coaches notably of James Franklin and Bobby Petrino at Louisville where he called for a pass on first down with over a minute left in what should have been a win for the Cardinals I think have god complexes. In the case of Franklin and Petrino both are egomaniacs. They want to show on a weekly basis of how upper echelon of coaches they are. The thing is, they aren’t because of the nonsense they do on the field (and in Petrino’s case, off the field). I get you need to have a big ego when you coach to show that you are confident in your team. I get it. The likes of Saban, Smart, Dabo, etc. all have that. But when you think you’re better than the actual logical plays which are the RIGHT plays, then you have a bit of an issue. And in the cases of Petrino, Franklin, and even the likes of Chip Kelly and Kevin Sumlin, it is why they will never get over that hump of being an elite coach. Ever. It still amazes me Les Miles ended up with a national title to his credit plus a national championship appearance because he falls into this category.
(5) DOES OHIO STATE RUN THE TABLE NOW IN THE BIG TEN? VERY possible and pretty probable. Three games I do have to wonder on with the Buckeyes and one will be very surprising. Of course you have to pen the two schools up north of the Buckeye State. Michigan State, even though last year’s 49-3 bombing of the Spartans happened, that game is always a fight and it is when you least expect Michigan State to be in that game that crazy stuff happens. Of course, Michigan plays Ohio State tough in Columbus. And I don’t think Purdue will be a complete waltz. They’ve been in every game so far this year despite the 2-3 record and it looks like they have picked it up since the 0-3 start. But right now, I’d be surprised given how the Bucks are superior to Purdue, Michigan State is still having trouble of winning decisive games, and we don’t know what kind of team Michigan puts out on a weekly basis sometimes that Ohio State loses to any of them.
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat