The Weekend: SEC Gets Exposed; Irish lose QB; Oregon loses Top Ten match-up
Week two of the college football season is officially in the books, and it was much more entertaining than week one, mainly because the almighty South Eastern Conference got exposed.
This is probably one of the most on-going conversations in college football, whether or not the SEC is overrated. I think it is overrated to a certain extent; something you'll continue to hear me say throughout the season. Is the SEC the best conference in college football? Yes, but it's not by a large margin as many try to portray. Arkansas, one of the ten SEC teams ranked in the AP top 25, lost at home to an un-ranked Toledo. Missouri only defeated Arkansas State by one possession, Florida struggled with ECU, 6th ranked Auburn need an overtime to defeat Jacksonville State, who at one point was controlling that game. Not a good look for the SEC.
Ohio State (2-0) LW 1, W 38-0 vs. Hawaii
TCU (2-0) LW 2, W 70-7 vs. Stephen F. Austin
Alabama (2-0) LW 3, W 37-10 vs. Middle Tennessee
Baylor (2-0) LW 4, W 66-31 vs. Lamar
Michigan State (2-0) LW 6, W 31-28 vs. #8 Oregon
Auburn (2-0) LW 5, W 27-20 OT vs. Jacksonville State
Florida State (2-0) LW 34-14 vs. South Florida
Georgia (2-0) LW 9, W 31-14 @ Vanderbilt
UCLA (2-0) LW 10, W 37-3 @ UNLV
USC (2-0) LW 11, W 59-9 vs. Idaho
Oregon (1-1) LW 8, L 28-31 @ #6 Michigan State
Clemson (2-0) LW 12, W 41-10 vs. Appalachian State
LSU (1-0) LW 14, W 21-19 @ Mississippi State
Notre Dame (2-0) LW 13, W 34-27 @ Virginia
Oklahoma (2-0) LW NR, 31-24 OT @ Tennessee
I think the biggest loss of them all for the SEC was the Volunteers losing to the Sooners in Neyland Stadium. All week both teams engage in pre-game chatter, Sooners' linebacker, Erik Striker, going on a mini-rant about the media's love affair with the SEC, but Striker has room to speak that. He was apart of the team that defeated the Crimson Tide two years ago in the Sugar Bowl; prior to that game Bob Stoops called the SEC overrated. It's no question the Sooners are not fans of the SEC and they shouldn't be, currently on a 3-game win streak vs. SEC teams.
The top 4 teams didn't have much of a challenge this weekend, each facing mid-major schools. The AP jumped Bama ahead of TCU, which I think is SEC bias. Neither team has done anything to move up or down the rankings. Bama's 18-point win against Wisconsin at a NEUTRAL SITE is equivalent to TCU's 7-point victory against Minnesota ON THE ROAD. Don't drink the kool-aid people.
The Pac-12 has 3 schools in the Fan-I 15 which is second most to the SEC, who has 4. I'm still curious to see how good the Trojans really are. Some think this will be the year we see the Trojans jump back into the national spotlight but I'm not sold just yet. UCLA is also receiving some heavy praise but only of the two will be able to represent the PAC-12. For the sake of entertainment, I hope we do have a end-of-the-season battle for a playoff spot between these two.
Notre Dame loss their starting quarterback for the year, Malik Zaire suffering a broken ankle during their win against Virginia. I was becoming a fan of the junior QB, definitely sad to hear he is out for the year. Sophomore, DeShone Kizer will replace Zaire, already throwing a game-winner in his 2nd collegiate game. If Kizer can somehow take this team to the promise land, we will have some controversy in South Bend.
Player of the Weekend
Dalvin Cook rushed for 200 yards for the first time in his career this past weekend, dropping 266 yards on South Florida. Cook also scored 3 Tds, giving him 5 on the season. So far Cook is setting himself up for potential Heisman consideration. I know it's a little early for that but he is definitely one of the best backs in the country.
Matt Johnson, QB Bowling Green – 36-55 491 yards 6 Tds @ Maryland
Rodger Lewis, WR Bowling Green – 15 catches 200 yards 2 Tds @ Maryland
Corey Coleman, WR Baylor – 6 catches 182 yards 4 Tds vs Lamar
Nick Wilson, RB Arizona – 21 carries 194 yards 3 Tds vs Nevada
For me one of the biggest stories from the weekend is Oregon's new quarterback Vernon James Jr. At Eastern Washington, James has played in big games before, but I don't think he has seen one to this magnitude or seen a defense like Michigan State before. James threw two interception and looked flustered for much of the game. He and the Oregon offense made a few plays as you can see by the score, but it didn't resemble the Oregon offense we have come to know over the years. Luckily for James he won't see a defense like this for the rest of the season.
Games to watch next week (AP Rankings)
#18 Auburn @ #13 LSU 3:30pm
#14 Georgia Tech @ #8 Notre Dame 3:30pm
Stanford @ #6 USC 8pm (Potential Trap Game)
#15 Ole Miss @ #2 Alabama 9:15pm
#19 BYU @ #10 UCLA 10:15pm
USC will be in the national spotlight as a high ranked team, which for me puts nothing but pressure on them. Even though we are weeks away from the first set of playoff rankings, the committee will be watching this game, and like everyone else, they will be expecting a great performance from the Trojans. Stanford has won the last two games of the series.