I know the quality of competition has not been world-beating or anything, but Utah worked over the Gators on a national stage, USC’s offense is as lethal as ever, Oregon State didn’t miss a beat, Wazzu posted a rout in some nasty elevation on the road, Washington’s offense simply pasted the preseason MWC favorites, and Oregon could have the best balance of all of them. Even Stanford, Cal and Arizona looked competent.
It’s not the SEC or anything, but the top is quite good, and I’d probably take the state of the Left Coast over the Big 12 or ACC at the moment.
On to Week 2.
Usual caveats apply: 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, advanced stats, and my own lying eyeballs.
Quick notes follow:
- Wow: FSU is trouble with a capital T. I wasn’t high on LSU or anything, but they’re a solid 8-ish win kind of bowl team, and had the Noles been able to hold on to the ball in the first half, FSU drops a 60-burger on them. Not a better combination of performance vs. opponent this week. Washington defenestrated Boise State like the Broncos were a Vladimir Putin critic hanging out on the 23rd floor of a St. Petersburg high-rise.
- Under the Radar: Michigan didn’t miss a beat. They strangled one of the AAC’s better offenses then cleared the bench in a deceptively lopsided 30-3 win over ECU. Don’t overlook how well Fresno State played on the road either. Nebraska and Iowa’s defense is going to mess people up too. And, in case you missed it, Penn State put on a masterclass of strangulation in the Backyard Brawl.
- Don’t Sleep On: Tulane is the best G5 team in the country until proven otherwise. And, despite jumping to the B12 this season, don’t expect UCF to just fall off the face of the earth, especially in a conference that looked as gross as the Flyover did this week
- Questions Answered: Yup, Vawls offense still good, especially at home. Yup, Kentucky is going to try to throw. Yup, Alabama will play it close to the vest with power running and PA deep shots. Yup, TCU is absolute cheeks. Texas Tech still can’t handle success. I really like McGuire’s approach and the Raiders toughness, but you don’t gack up a 17-point road lead to a Midmajor like Wyoming. Awful.
- Questions Raised: How on earth can Texas and Ohio State have that much talent and team speed, and look that pedestrian on offense? Texas especially has no excuses. What on earth happened to the Georgia offensive line and running game. Except for some big gainers (mostly on 1D), the ground game was meh. Was it really Monken after all? Where are Iowa and UNL going to find points? Can Tommy Rees avoid bad dry spells with the offense? In his best seasons at ND, he would have games where the offense was humming...then soul-destroying droughts. The Tide experienced just that same phenomenon in the 2nd quarter. We’ll learn a lot this week. Ditto an Alabama defensive line that seems to lack playmakers, but that at least are holding the point of attack for the linebackers to clean up.
- As advertised — for the good: ND’s new-look offense, Alabama’s defense (mostly), Penn State’s defense, Iowa’s defense,
- Did not see that coming: Oklahoma looked scary-good, even grading on the Arkansas State curve.
- Godspeed sorting that out: Oregon State, Oregon, Washington, Utah and USC could all legitimately win the PAC 12...or lose 3 games. Take your pick. When Wazzu is your 6th-best team, while Stanford and Cal’s offense looked competent, this conference is going to be a bloodbath in 2023. Lurking back there? Arizona, also with a scary offense. And damn ESPN for murdering the P12 just as they finally brought in coaching and talent and got serious about football.
- We Know Nothing About the SEC West: Ole Miss looks good. But, Mercer. Auburn looked good, but.... Mississippi State looked good, but... Texas A&M looked good, but... Arkansas looked good, but... And even Alabama’s win over MTSU was somewhat stinky, given the Raiders rebuild this year. The only team that stuck its neck out there, got their noggin lopped off.
- You scoffed: When I had Duke a Top 25 team. Told ya’. Their defensive front gets after it, the secondary is very active, their running game is scary, and they create their own opportunities. Elko has two blue-chip players on that roster. Clemson has 56.
Hot Mess with No End in Sight: Clemson’s WRs couldn’t block and couldn’t catch. Cade has piss-poor judgment and no one trusts him to throw the ball. The left side of the offensive line is a turnstile. The pursuit angles and tackling are laughable. The special teams are worse. So much laziness everywhere. And the mental mistakes and ball control are inexcusable...and I just don’t see much of that improving. The offense is Shipley, screen passes, scrambling, and hoping for points. This was a team loss for Clemson, sure. But like the 2018-2019 Alabama-Clemson game, it was a team loss by the coaching staff: This is a poorly coached team.
Hate to see it. Kermit tea sip dot jpg.
Who’s the No. 1 team in the country?
This poll is closed