It is with great distaste in my soul that I must alert you that the College Football season is 1/3 over.
Not really though, because with Conference Championships, Bowl Games and Signing day it unofficially extends through February. That being said, most teams have played 4 games out of a 12 game schedule which has cleared up the picture a little bit on what we’ve got in the College Football world. Conference play is about to gear up full steam which will tell us infinitely more, but for now we know more than we did last week. Here’s the 5 biggest things we found out this week.
1) Mississippi State got crowned WAY too early…and Kentucky might actually be good?
MSU parlayed a lofty preseason ranking and 3 wins against teams to a #14 ranking and expectations to compete for the SEC West. They got shot back down to earth the SECOND they played a decent team in what was another example of the SEC hype train. Did MSU do anything last year or this year for people to think they were worthy of being called a top 15 team? Nope. Nick Fitzgerald showed us who he is in the passing game and the dawgs O-line got absolutely dominated.
Kentucky on the other hand showed us that there is at least one competent Stoops brother left in college football. I don’t know how Kentucky will finish the year, but they’ll likely be second in the SEC East. I can’t express how impressive that is when you’re on the outside looking in on most of the top recruits of the area. Also, Shoutout Benny Snell, Jr. Dude is looking like a legitimate Heisman contender and a 2,000 yard rusher. The Wildcats have two tough games on the slate in SCAR and TAMU, and then Vanderbilt and Mizou before the showdown with Georgia. If UK can win the next two (a BIG if), the showdown with the Dawgs will likely be a top-10 matchup the Wildcats get in Lexington.
2) Penn State Doesn’t Miss Moorhead as much as Anticipated.
I don’t know how you come back from a loss like that if you’re Lovie Smith. You have the top-10 ranked Nittany Lions down three to you in your own backyard. It’s the biggest pulse Illinois football has had since the aptly named “Juice” Williams was handing the ball off to Rashard Mendenhall. Then you turn around, wave at your family in the stands, look back at the scoreboard and they’ve thrown a 42 piece on your dome. Unanswered.
When the PSU offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead left to be the head ball coach at Mississippi State, there was worry that he would take all the offensive firepower with him. Well, Penn State proved that false, as they’ve still got the Jimmies and Joes to make up for the loss in X’s and O’s. Up next? The boys from Columbus come to town.
3) The Blueprint to Beat a Lincoln Riley Offense was laid out…by Army?
Look. As a Sooner fan, I can confidently say this was the weirdest game I’ve ever seen them play. OU message boards are going insane about how the Sooners almost lost to a military academy conveniently neglecting the fact that it was a style of offense meant to confuse and disorient the opponent, and also one the Sooner’s won’t see again the rest of the year. I’m not as worried about the Sooners defense as most, mainly due to that reason but also the fact that I don’t think their defense is that good to begin with.
In Mike Stoops defense scheme, turnovers are critical. If the Sooners don’t get a turnover or two, the game will likely turn into a shootout. Army’s offense is tailored so those come at an absolute minimum, so I wasn’t surprised when the game turned out like it did. What I would be scared of as a Sooner fan is that Army laid down the framework to show how to beat OU. Keep the offense off the field. If the failure of the OU defense to get timely stops on run plays translates to play against more typical offenses, the Sooners are in trouble. BIG trouble. Oklahoma has a game against Baylor this week, then the Red River Shootout against a Texas team that is aptly built to play a similar style of ball that the Sooners couldn’t stop. It won’t be the triple option, but Texas has the players to gain 3-4 yards consistently on the defense if they don’t step it up.
4) The LSU Defense may not be ALL that we Thought it was.
Look, I saw their defense live against a Miami team many people thought was good. They have some absolute DOGS on that squad. They have a guy named GREEDY as a cornerback for God’s sake. That being said J’Mar Smith of La Tech had a pretty damn good day against the Tiger secondary to the tune of 330 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 Int. He had to throw the ball 50 times to get their, but with Jake Fromm, Tua T*, and Kellen Mond left on their schedule their has to be some nerves going forward in Tigerland.
5) Really Weird Shit Happens in this Sport, Which is Why it’s the Best.
Ok. Sure, we already knew that but 32,000 people watched a guy film his TV in the hopes of seeing the men from Westpoint march into Norman and knock off a playoff contender. Oregon evidently doesn’t like the victory formation. Texas Tech knocked the dog shit out of Oklahoma State. Oh Yeah, a school called Old Dominion beat a Virginia Tech team thought to be a contender for the ACC. This happened three weeks after Old Dominion lost by SIX touchdowns to Liberty Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if that same Va Tech team goes on to beat Clemson this year. It’s a zany ass sport, and that’s why we love it. That’s why it’s the best. That’s why it feels like you’ve taken a Zoloft when football season comes around. Life’s just more exciting.
Look out for the post later in the week on what we will learn this week.