I apologize for my absence last week. I am suffering from Labrynthitis which completely throws off my balance and vision. Some days are better than others and this past week has been particularly bad. However, I am feeling well enough to work on this today.
Nothing changes in the playoff picture as Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson, and Georgia continue their winning ways. Outside of those four there really aren't any true competitors to crack the top four. Ohio State and Oklahoma State have the best chance though the Big Ten has shown so far this season that they are not going to be that great a conference, so if Ohio State manages to lose a game it should completely take them out of the playoff picture. Of course, if they run the table (which they should be able to do with ease) the national media will put way to much emphasis on them.
I will freely admit that I have an anti-SEC bias (despite living in SEC country) but this year just feels like we could see a rematch of last year's Championship game.
W 62-7 against Ole Miss
Two seasons ago Ole Miss had just beaten Alabama for the 2nd straight year. That seems like a really long time ago after the past two seasons in which Alabama has beaten Ole Miss a combined 128-10, ouch. Right now Alabama looks unbeatable just as always. Alabama faces off against Texas A&M with new head coach Jimbo Fisher this week. Texas A&M is an unknown this year and they gave Clemson all they could handle in week 2. I still expect a route though.
Next game: at home against Texas A&M
W 37-27 against Iowa State
I don't know what it is with Iowa State that Oklahoma seems to struggle with, but this game should have been a panic for Sooner fans and it lived up to that. The Cyclones once again highlighted some issues with Oklahoma's defense, which up to this game had looked vastly improved. Oklahoma lost their #1 running back in it's game against UCLA and then their #2 back went down with an injury against Iowa State (no update as of now how severe the injury is) and the offense really stalled out after he went down against Iowa State. Oklahoma returns to Norman this week with a game against Army. This should be an easy victory for the Sooners but with Army's offense it could turn into a high scoring game.
Next game: at home against Army
W 38-7 against Georgia Southern
With all my football watching yesterday I somehow managed to not see a single play from this game. Clemson survived a scare from Texas A&M last week and is still going with it's two quarterback system. I have never been a fan of splitting game time between two different quarterbacks and I believe at some point it will bit Clemson this season if they don't settle on a starter. Clemson travels to Atlanta this week to take on Georgia Tech. It should be a relatively easy game for the Tigers.
Next game: at Georgia Tech
W 49-7 against Middle Tennessee State
Yes this was a cupcake game for Georgia but they are definitely one of the top two teams in the SEC this year. I honestly do not know what team they face this year in the SEC can even compete with them this year let alone beat them. That team would need to put in an A+ effort while Georgia is putting in and F effort and I just don't see that happening. This week they travel to Missouri, and even though they do look improved this year over last this should be an easy win for Georgia.
Next game: at Missouri
Best of Week
The Primetime Games
We saw much better match-ups this week for the two prime time games. Though the winners of the games (Ohio State and Texas) won by double digits both games were competitive into the 4th quarter. Ohio State trailed TCU at half 14-13 while Texas led USC 16-14 at half. They were both fun games to watch.
Worst of Week
The Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten went 6-7 this week with losses to BYU, Troy, Akron, Missouri, South Florida, Temple, and Kansas. For the record only 2 of those losses were to schools from Power 5 conferences and both of those teams are predicted to finish near the bottom of their league. Outside of Ohio State there really is not a playoff contender in this league this year.
On the outside looking in
Ohio State and Oklahoma State were both on the big stage this week playing ranked opponents and both came out victorious. I will admit that Oklahoma State's dominating win over Boise State surprised me. I expected the game to be close and it just felt all game that Oklahoma State had the game in control. Ohio State beat TCU by 12. Even though the experts expected a close game I did not. Ohio State should have been able to put TCU away early and instead trailed into the 3rd quarter.
However they are the next two up should the current playoff teams suffer losses.
State of Nebraska and Arkansas football
Gross. That is really the only word I can think of to adequately describe the way the seasons have started by both teams. Nebraska is 0-2 for the first time since 1957 and they are currently in a four game losing streak AT HOME. The Sea of Red just does not intimidate anymore. On the Arkansas side they were completely embarrassed and routed at home by NORTH TEXAS to fall to 1-2.
Here's the thing though. Both teams are coached by good coaches who turned around the programs they previously came from. The issue is that both coaches are bringing in completely new offensive schemes with players that simply cannot run those schemes. Recruiting at both schools had been questionable under the previous coaches and until both Frost and Morris can get their players on the team it's going to be a slog. Especially, as it kind of sounded in Frost's post game press conference yesterday, if they players simply are not buying into the schemes.
Both teams will be fine, not this year, but they will be.
Nebraska and Arkansas are both on the road this week; Nebraska at Michigan and Arkansas at Auburn. Fans should be prepared for blow-outs in both games. As much as I would like to see Arkansas absolutely embarrass Auburn coach, and Arkansas native, Gus Malzahn after he used the potential of coming to Arkansas (though he never had any plans to do so) as a way to get a raise at Auburn, I know it is not going to happen.
Odd and End
There are 22 new head coaches this year in Division 1 and they are a combined 28-31. But these coaches are the ones that stick out the most
Kevin Sumlin 1-2 (Arizona only led a Division 1AA school 31-24 after three quarters before deciding to pull away)
Chad Morris 1-2 (after an embarrassing home loss to North Texas)
Willie Taggert 1-2 (first FSU lost to Syracuse singe 1966)
Scott Frost 0-2 (first time Nebraska has started a season 0-2 since 1957 and have now lost 4 straight home games)
Chip Kelly 0-3 (I'm not sure what to say about an 0-3 UCLA team at this point)
The most surprising of these coaches is Chip Kelly. Yes, he is completely changing the offense but this UCLA team should not be this bad. They lost last night to Fresno State. A decade ago losing to Fresno State would not have that big a shock, but this Fresno State team just is not that good. Scott Frost and Chad Morris are both completely changing the offenses of their new teams and they simply don't have the players right now to run their offenses.
The slow starts by Willie Taggert and Kevin Sumlin aren't that surprising if you saw how their previous teams (Oregon and Texas A&M respectively) really weren't great.