This week was an absolute mess to sort out; I’m not gonna’ lie. Half the Top 25 lost, and most weren’t pretty doing so either. The Big Three — Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia — absolutely pasted three of the worst major division college football teams. That doesn’t impress me. No, the bigger story is that after one month of play, some teams have earned their way at the top: Oregon and Arkansas.
The Hogs don’t have any talent to speak of, and these two Top 25 wins were over long-time foils and rivals. So, we’ll see what happens when they get into the meat of the SEC schedule. But I don’t think there’s a team in the country that plays any harder to a man, and on every snap, than Sam Pittman’s pigs. You can only tip your cap for now, even though I suspect this is eventually a 2- or 3-loss team by November.
They do fall just short of the top spot because I still think the win at the ‘Shoe was more impressive by Oregon; and I don’t know that there will be another one better this year
until Lane Kiffin works over the Alabama defense on Saturday. So, the Ducks get the cursed No. 1 spot for now.
Usual caveats: The criteria are nebulous, far-ranging, and capricious — strength of schedule, bad and good coaching, injuries, exigent circumstances, home/away results, defense or lack thereof, offense or lack thereof, line play, power poll-ishness, can you cover a spread (Vegas is pretty smart about how good a team is), head-to-head where possible or prudent, and my own lying eyeballs.
|NEXT UP||ULL, Baylor, Maryland, Memphis, UTSA|
Alabama may have played the slightly tougher schedule (slightly), but the Bulldogs have looked better doing it. Given Alabama’s OL issues against teams with a pulse, I wouldn’t want to face UGA’s pass rush or try to run on the Dawgs in September. Ask me again at Halloween.
Notre Dame: All they do is win, baby. Brian Kelly is Nosferatu and Rasputin all rolled up into one. You could say the same of Florida, even though that team still isn’t particularly worth a crap. They are forcing mistakes and go for the jugular.
Iowa has not. They are decidedly screwing around with teams they should pummel. It happened at Ames and Madison too: the Clones and Badgers never looked right all year, and now they have two losses in an underperforming season to date.
Penn State has not. Bruh, you were in a death match against a Wisco team that is turning out to be a one-trick pony and an Auburn team that can’t throw the ball...and you almost lost both games
There was a ton of piss-poor coaching this week, and teams have fallen entirely out of the Top 25 for that reason (Wyoming, Aggie, Auburn looking at you).
The Midmajors got shaken up a bit on the strength of the Power 5. No offense, to our G5 brethren.
Some teams that seem to have rebounded looked terrible again: Oklahoma, Michigan. No clue where that strugglefest came from in Ann Arbor especially.
The middle class of the Big 10 and ACC have finally shown up: Wake Forest, NC State, Maryland, Michigan State, Georgia Tech especially come to mind. Keep your Hurricanes, Hoosiers, and Tarheels — give me the Turtle and the Deacons.
I still don’t know that LSU, Kentucky, Houston, SMU, Memphis, or Auburn are any good, but I am very sure that Mississippi State and Navy are awful. No joke: I think even South Carolina could beat them. Vandy is going coach shopping again this winter, aren’t they? This is the worst Vanderbilt team I’ve seen in my life.
UAB and UTSA are quietly wrecking stuff. That will make for a great C-USA CG eventually.
But one league that has underperformed has been the Sun Belt. The Directional Georgias were expected to be better this season, and they have flopped. Troy played awful in Monroe and gave Terry Bowden’s Warhawks an early-season win of the year for one of the worst teams in the country. Appalachian State hasn’t been the same under Shawn Clark, and even ULL looks off. We’ll always have Coastal Carolina though; my large adult redneck son.