Utah and Florida State lose on the road; Oklahoma State Tragedy; The AAC Best Conference in College Football?
The Weekend: Utah and Florida State lose on the road; Oklahoma State Tragedy; The AAC Best Conference in College Football?
Utah and Florida State lose on the road; Oklahoma State Tragedy; The AAC Best Conference in College Football?
BIG HOUSE Stunner; Memphis Defeats Ole MISS; AP Rankings; Targeting Rule
Two weeks away from the first set of College Football playoff rankings and I already know it will be very interesting. ESPN analyst, Kevin Carter, said that Utah was the best team in the country. Other analyst left out the Buckeyes from the their own playoff rankings, even though they are still undefeated and the defending champs (remember I said they would get the Florida State treatment). The thing that bothers me about these rankings by media personalities is that they have little consistency. In week one, after the Wolverines lost to Utah, 70% of the media were claiming that this would be a long season for Harbaugh and they're not ready to make that jump back into the National scene; as of today, majority are claiming Michigan to be the best team in the Big Ten. And they'll never divulgate that they were wrong, not a chance. They'll just continue to make bold claims as if they predicted this to happen.
Ohio State (6-0) LW 1, W 49-28 Maryland
TCU (6-0) LW 2, W 52-45 @ Kansas State
Baylor (6-0) LW 3, W 66-7 @ Kansas
Michigan State (6-0) LW 4, W 31-24 @ Rutgers
LSU (5-0) LW5, W 45-24 South Carolina
Utah (6-0) LW 6, W 30-24 @ California
Florida State (5-0) LW7, W 29-24 Miami
Clemson (5-0) LW 8, W 43-24 Georgia Tecj
Alabama (5-1) LW 9, W 27-14 Arkansas
Michigan (5-1) LW 15, W 38-0 #11 Northwestern
Florida (6-0) LW 12, W 21-3 @ Missouri
Texas A&M (5-0) LW 13, BYE
Notre Dame (5-1) LW 14, 41-24 Navy
Iowas (6-0) LW NR, W 29-0 Illinois
Oklahoma State (6-0) LW NR, 33-26 @ West Virginia
Baylor jumped TCU in the AP rankings but not in the Fan-I 15. Baylor is getting more love because they are beating unranked teams by a large margin and apparently TCU isn't. Just a week a go, the Horned Frogs defeated the Texas 50-7, the same Longhorns that defeated 10th ranked Sooners. Baylor is definitley a great team but they have yet to play anyone worth considering. They won't play anyone until November 5th when they take a trip to Manhattan Kansas.
Oklahoma State and Iowa enter our top 15. Both are at a surprising 6-0 but neither have a win against a top ten opponent. Ok-State has a tougher road than the Hawkeyes, with Baylor and TCU still on the schedule; on the otherhand, Iowa won't face another ranked opponent for the rest of the season.
Florida and Michigan continue their hotstreak. Both have appeared in some early playoff rankings for good reason. Florida has four SEC wins and Michigan posted their third straight shutout. Big games are on the horizon, Michigan takes on Michigan State and Florida travels to LSU.
Michigan Defense – This is the first time we have selected 11 players as the POTW. Michgan's defense has been lights out, not allowing a touchdown since the fourth quarter of their game against UNLV on September 19th. Currently they are only allowing 6 points a game and less than 200 total yards, second behind Boston College in total defense.
This was probably the best moment of the weekend. You don't expect to hear or see this much maturity from a young man but Fournette is proving that he is not your typical jock that plays in the SEC. And for those that are wondering, the NCAA did approve him auctioning off his jersey.
Not much movement in the rankings which means no movement in the Power 5 rankings. Check back next week after some big games are played.
We hope Sarkisian can not only make his back on to the sidelines but also get healthy. You never want to see a coach or player struggle with drug use. Hopefully this leave of absence will help the head coach get through his struggles.
You never want to see a man get fired, but since will still recieve $4.7 million from the Terps, it's ok to be happy that he will no longer be in charge of the football program. Natives here in Maryland are very eager to burst back on to the national scene, and I never thought Edsall was that guy. He walked into a sticky situation, replacing a well liked coach in Ralph Friedgen, who was fired after winning ACC Coach of the Year for the second time, so fans were already upset. Edsall could never dig out of that hole and their hearts. The numbers speak voulumes; 22-33 record, 0-12 vs AP ranked opponents, 0-2 in Bowl Games, and he never eclipsed 10 wins in a season.
While the top 4 teams switched spots, the bottom half of the top ten seen a major shake up. 4 teams in the Fan-I top ten suffered losses this past weekend, which means spots are available. What I find most entertaining is how the Associated Press over rank a team and then that team losses badly weeks after. Ole Miss jumped from #15 to #3 after defeating Alabama – that same #3 team was trailing Florida 25-0 at halftime. This week Utah made the ultimate leap jumping to #5 after not even playing this week. It's safe to say that Utah earned that leap after defeating two AP ranked teams convincingly, Oregon and Michigan, and will face another this week, newly ranked California.
1Ohio State(38) 5-0
4Michigan State 5-0
9Texas A&M(1) 5-0
12Florida State 4-0
14Ole Miss 4-1
15Notre Dame 4-1
21Oklahoma State 5-0
25Boise State 4-1
1. Ohio State (5-0) LW 1, W 34-27 @ Indiana
2. TCU (5-0) LW 2, W 50-7 Texas
3. Baylor (5-0) LW 3, W 63-35 Texas Tech*
4. Michigan State (5-0) LW 4, W 24-21 Purdue
5. LSU (4-0) LW 5, W 44-22 Eastern Michigan
6. Utah (4-0) LW 12, BYE
7. Florida State (4-0) LW 7, W 24-16 Wake Forest
8. Clemson (4-0) LW 13, W 24-22 #8 Notre Dame
9. Alabama (4-1) LW 11, W 38-10 #9 Georgia
10. Oklahoma (4-0) LW 14, W 44-24 West Virginia
11. Northwestern (5-0) LW 15, W 27-0 Minnesota
12. Florida (5-0) LW NR, 38-10 #10 Ole Miss
13. Texas A&M (5-0) LW NR, W 30-17 Mississippi State
14. Notre Dame (4-1) LW 8, L 22-24 @ #13 Clemson
15. Michigan (4-1) LW NR, W 28-0 @ Maryland
Ezekiel Elliot, RB Ohio State – 23 carries 274 yards 3 touchdowns vs Indiana
Coming into the season, everyone was riding the wave that was Ezekiel Elliot, but once Leonard Fournette started running defensive backs over, Elliot became the forgotten back – not this week. Elliott rushed for a career high, second most this season (Tyler Ervin San Jose State 300 yards 9/26), and second behind Eddie George for most in Ohio State history.
2. Big Ten
The Big 12 only has three teams ranked in the Fan-I 15 but I think their conference has been most consistent so far this season, reason why I put them ahead the Big Ten. SEC seen two of their top-ten teams suffer losses to lower ranked teams, something that seems to happen every week in the SEC. The ACC jumps the PAC-12 solely because of Clemson victory over Notre Dame, who will play an ACC schedule but remain Independent. With UCLA losing to an unranked Arizona State, it will leave the PAC-12 with one team in the top ten; if Utah suffers a loss, I don't think the PAC-12 will get a team to crack the playoff committee's top 4.
#10 Oklahoma vs. Texas – Texas doesn't make this game a must see but this is the Red River Shootout where rankings and records don't mean much. In 2013, the unranked Longhorns defeated the #12 Sooners 36-20 in Mack Brown's final season as Texas head coach. I expect the Longhorns to come out inspired.
Last week, I said Alabama and USC suffered losses that will damage their program in the long-run. This week Oregon suffered one of those same program-defining losses, just multiplied by 5. The Ducks on home soil suffered a 62-20 loss to Utah, who essentially was the underdog in this game. The Utes gave the fans of Eugene, Oregon the worst experience since 1977, when the Washington Huskies defeated the Ducks 54-0. Vernon Adams Jr. and Jeff Lockie played in this slaughter and could only put together two scoring drives, something that is unheard from the innovative no-huddle offense of Oregon. This goes to show you that no matter what, anyone can be beat in college – especially if they lack a quarterback.
Ohio State (4-0) LW 1, W 38-12 Western Michigan
TCU (4-0) LW 2, W 55-52 @ Texas Tech
Baylor (4-0) LW 3, W 70-12 Rice
Michigan State (4-0) LW 4, W 30-10 Central Michigan
LSU (3-0) LW 5, W 34-24 @ Syracuse
UCLA (4-0) LW 8, W 56-30 @ Arizona
Florida State (3-0) LW 6, BYE
Notre Dame (4-0) LW 9, W 62-27 UMass
Georgia (4-0) LW 8, W 48-6 Southern
Ole Miss (4-0) LW 11, W 27-16 Vanderbilt
Alabama (3-1) LW 10, W 34-0 UL-Monroe
Utah (4-0) LW NR, W 62-20 @ #12 Oregon
Clemson (3-0) LW 13, BYE
Oklahoma (3-0) LW 14, BYE
Northwestern (4-0) LW NR, W 24-14 Ball State
There was some slight movement in the in the rankings. UCLA and Notre Dame made the biggest impressions for me, along with Utah. UCLA went into Tuscon and defeated the Arizona Wildcats who was 16th in the AP polls. The Bruins were apart of many pre-season Final Four playoff rankings, and so far with the freshman quarterback, they have not disappointed. It will be interesting to see how they pan out during conference play, in what some are calling the “best conference in football”.
Michigan enters the AP Polls this week after they spanked BYU 31-0, their first shutout since 2011.
Leonard Fournette, RB LSU – 26 carries 244 yards 2 touchdowns vs Syracuse
For the second week in a row, Fournette has rushed for over 200 yards while averaging at least 9 yards per carry. I'm not sure if anyone will be able to stop this kid this season. The #1 player coming out of high school in 2013 is on a mission to prove that he is the best back in the country, and maybe the best back we seen since Adrian Peterson. We'll see if he can continue this run streak.
Treyvone Boykin, QB TCU – 34/54 485 yards 4 Tds vs Texas Tech
Travis Wilson, QB Utah – 327 total yards 5 Tds vs Oregon
This week of college football wasn't very exciting other than Utah demolishing Oregon. What is on the horizon though is full on conference play, which separates the men from the boys. Some teams have already played conference games but from here on out that’s all it will be.
The SEC is already two games into their conference season, Florida leading the East and Ole Miss leading the West. They will meet next week in Florida, which I think will be a very tough game for Ole Miss. Last season they had a taste of what it is like to be the favorite, winning seven games straight before losing four of their last six. This will be Florida's first time starting 4-0 since 2012, where they finished 11-2.
I think people are a little too over-excited about the PAC-12. I understand that they have 5 teams in the AP Rankings but the highest ranked team is UCLA at #7. Utah made a strong jump to #10 but their win against the Ducks just proved that Oregon isn't that good. The Big Ten and Big 12 split our top four teams, while the SEC sits outside. There is a strong possibility the SEC will only have one team in the 4-team playoff, or maybe even worse, no teams at all. How amusing would that be?
Games to Watch Next Week
Fan-i 15 rankings
You never know what's going to happen on Saturday during the autumn months. We all look at the polls and records, and think we know who will win each week. Vegas had the Buckeyes a 34 ½-point favorites against Northern Illinois; they would only win 20-13 while committing 5 turnovers. Alabama was set to revenge their loss to Ole Miss from 1 season ago, instead they lose to Ole Miss in consecutive games for the first time ever. You can't really predict stuff in college football – I'm not surprised Bama loss though. This is the beauty of college football, each Saturday, we're walking into the unknown.
1Ohio State(42) 3-0 1490—
2Michigan State(7) 3-0 14152
3Ole Miss(11) 3-0 134512
4TCU 3-0 1345—
5Baylor 2-0 1213—
6Notre Dame 3-0 11832
7Georgia 3-0 1162—
8LSU(1) 2-0 10885
9UCLA 3-0 9811
10Florida State 3-0 9531
11Clemson 3-0 903—
12Alabama 2-1 88210
13Oregon 2-1 8551
14Texas A&M 3-0 7983
15Oklahoma 3-0 7821
16Arizona 3-0 4884
17Northwestern 3-0 4696
18Utah 3-0 4393
19USC 2-1 36713
20Georgia Tech 2-1 3526
21Stanford 2-1 288—
22Wisconsin 2-1 1742
BYU 2-1 1743
24Oklahoma State 3-0 1491
25Missouri 3-0 1353
1. Ohio State (3-0) LW 1 W 20-13 Northern Illinois
2. TCU (3-0) LW 2, W 56-37 SMU
3. Baylor (2-0) LW 4, BYE
4. Michigan State (3-0) LW 5, W 35-21 Air Force
5. LSU (2-0) LW 13, W 45-21 #6 Auburn
6. Florida State (2-0) LW 7, W 14-0 @ Boston College
7. Georgia (3-0) LW 8, South Carolina 52-20
8. UCLA (3-0) LW9, W 24-23 BYU
9. Notre Dame (3-0) LW 13, W 30-22 Georgia Tech
10. Alabama (2-1) LW 2, L 37-43 Ole Miss
11. Ole Miss (3-0) LW NR, W 43-37 #2 Alabama
12. Oregon (2-1) LW 11, W 61-28 Georgia State
13. Clemson (3-0) LW 12, W 20-17 @ Louisville
14. Oklahoma (3-0) LW 15, W 52-38 Tulsa
15. Auburn (2-1) LW 6, L 21-45 @ #13 LSU
Leonard Fournette had no chill this weekend. Just like viral star, Brody, Fournette rocked a bald head and demolished Auburn. His performance has everyone crowning him as this year's Hiesman winner, which is obviously premature, but he did create the conversation. I've seen others also say he is ready for the NFL right now, and should be able to skip his mandatory junior season. The thing about this generations, we tend to easily forget. I understand that Fournette had a legendary performance as a sophomore, but he isn't the first. As far as the Heisman, Fournette has 6 touchdowns and 387 yards vs. SEC opponents, I think it's safe to say he is the front-runner.
We've seen some great college football drama this week. The top 4 teams in our rankings and the AP rankings, I think will look completely different by time the first set of rankings are released. The SEC might only have 1 team in the playoff rankings, and I got that team being LSU. Other than that, it's no dominant teams in the SEC this year. Arkansas took an L for the SEC losing to their second straight out-of-conference opponent. By time the other SEC West teams get a chance to beat Arkansas, it won't hold much weight.
USC losing to Stanford was a bad loss for the program, similar to Bama. The Trojans were highly-touted this season, but an early conference loss like this, won't play well in their favor. Reason why I think Bama and SC took blows to their program is because I think these are losses in the recruiting field also. When was the last time you seen Alabama fans leave a game early? I never thought they were best fans in college football – they were mainly riding the wave, but I've never seen them leave a game like that.
The term “Power 5 Conference” is becoming one of favorites. Not only do it give a name to the best conferences in college football, but it's fun comparing them. Here is my ranking of the 5 conferences
1. Big 12
3. Big Ten
4. Pac 12
Big 12 might not have as many teams as the SEC in the rankings, but they are 2-0 against the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas took a butt-whooping from Texas Tech, who wasn't no where near the rankings to begin the season. Arkansas started the year ranked in the top 25 and has lost back-to-back games to un-ranked teams at home.
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.
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.
Opening Weekend turned out to be an exciting one for college football fans. We witnessed a Hail Mary game winning catch, an un-ranked team beat a top-25 team, and FCS school defeated an FBS school – which has become prominent during opening weekend in recent years.
Washington State were victims of the upset, losing to Portland State, 24-17. For me this wasn't much of an upset, only because Washington State hasn't had a relevant season since Ryan Leaf. Since 2012, the Cougars have only won 12 games, which doesn't make them that much better than a FBS such as Portland State.
Dropped from rankings: Arizona State 15, Wisconsin 20, Stanford 21
Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 79, BYU 74, Northwestern 72, Arizona State 49, Oklahoma State 30, West Virginia 23, Temple 8, Florida 8, Cincinnati 7, Kansas State 7, Minnesota 5, NC State 4, Louisville 4, Western Kentucky 3, California 2, Stanford 1
1. Ohio State (1-0), W 42-24 @ Virginia Tech
2. TCU (1-0), W 24-17 @ Minnesota
3. Alabama (1-0), W 35-17 vs Wisconsin*
4. Baylor (1-0), W 56-21 @ SMU
5. Auburn (1-0), W 31-24 vs Louisville
6. Michigan State (1-0), W 37-24 @ Western Michigan
7. Florida State (1-0), W 59-16 vs Texas State
8. Oregon (1-0), W 61-42 vs Eastern Washington
9. Georgia (1-0), W 51-14 vs Louisiana-Monroe
10. UCLA (1-0), W 34-16 vs Virginia
11. USC (1-0), W 55-6 vs Arkansas State
12. Clemson (1-0), W 49-10 vs Wofford
13. Notre Dame (1-0), W 38-3 Texas
14. LSU (0-0), vs. McNesse State CANCELLED
15. Georgia Tech (1-0), 69-6 Alcorn State
Games to watch Next week:
In his first collegiate game, Josh Rosen threw for 351 yards and 3 Tds, completing 80% of his passes. The freshman did not play like one, carrying the Bruins to a 34-16 victory over Virginia. While others made their first start against cupcakes, Rosen started with a power 5 conference team, and played well.
The Buckeyes passed their first test of the season, revenging their 2014 home opener loss to the Hokies. Urban Meyer waited until the final to inform the world what we have all been; who will be the starting QB? Cardale Jones won the starting the job for the season opener and for the rest of the season. Jones played well, showing he could run an offense just as well as J.T. Barrett, who many think was the more suitable player to run this offense. No Matter who runs this offense though, they are going to put up points, especially with Braxton Miller on the field – possibly the most dynamic player in the country.
It was good to see College Football back on the screen but I don't the fun has begun yet. Opening Weekend had the excitement but the rankings didn't get shooken up. We found out how good a few teams are like Bama, Ohio State, and TCU but that is about it.
Even with TCU holding to defeat Minnesota, which I thought was an impressive win, but the offense wasn't as potent as I expected it to be. Luckily, their young defense stepped up at the right moments, containing the lead and not allowing the Gophers to prosper off of the Horned Frogs' missed opportunities.
The most entertaining season of them all is finally here, College Football. Last season we were finally blessed with a playoff system which I was initially skeptical about, but by season end, was satisfied with the results. My only gripe with the system is it only includes 4 teams. Baylor and TCU were left out of the playoff party, even though both were ranked high and only had one loss. The Big 12 conference not having a championship game was the main reason why both teams were outside looking in.
This season, I expect the same drama and controversy.
Ohio State comes in the season ranked #1 unanimously, receiving all 61 media votes. The Buckeyes will not surpirse anyone this season, and neither will Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett. As of August 24th 2015, the starting quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes is still unknown. We do know that Braxton Miller will be lining up at wide receiver which I suggested back in January after they defeated the Ducks. No matter who take the snaps for the Buckeyes, they will be one of the best scoring offenses in the country. Urban Meyer is calling the plays and they have Heisman front-runner, Ezekiel Elliot, running the ball which will open things for everyone else, like it did in the final 3 games of the season.
TCU at #2 is a little shocking to me, only because I didn't think the voters would be that high on the Horned Frogs after they lost 6 starters on defense. They will have to replace the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Paul Dawson who led the team in tackles, tackles for loss (20) and was 2nd in sacks and interception. That's a lot of production you have to replace. TCU for the last few years has been known for their 4-2-5 defense implemented by head coach Gary Patterson, but this season it will be the offense that will drive the Horned Frogs to a potential trip to the National Championship.
The most important returning starter is Trevone Boykin. Boykin broke the school record for most passing yards with 3,901 yards and 33 touchdowns. Boykin will need a Heisman-caliber season for the Horned Frogs to make it to the title game but he proved last season with 42 total touchdowns that he is capable of doing such. TCU will have a tough season opener in Minnesota but they won't see another true challenge until later in the season when they face Oklahoma and Baylor in the final two weeks of the season.
Michigan State is another team that I am surprised to see high in the rankings. They finished the 2014 season ranked 7th in the AP Polls with a 10-2 record. The Spartans only two losses came against playoff teams, Ohio State and Oregon. They will play their home-opener against the Ducks, which should be good one – I'm sure East Lansing will be rocking, giving the Ducks a nice welcome. Reason why I'm shocked to see Sparty ranked 5th is because, similar to the Horned Frogs, they lost a lot of production but on the offensive side of the ball. Connor Cook is still the play-caller but he lost his leading rusher, Jeremy Langford, and top receivers, Tony Lippett and Keith Mumphrey. Michigan State's offense was never potent but they did have a top tier run game, and still should. Majority of the offensive line is returning; and offensive line that only allowed 11 sacks all season and blocked for Langford who scored 22 rushing touchdowns.
The schedule for the Spartans is well in their favor, only two ranked teams on the schedule; except those two ranked teams are #1 Ohio State and #7 Oregon. They will have tough trips to Ann Arbor in mid-October and Lincoln, Nebraska in early November. An early win against Oregon should give the Spartans momentum to hopefully build for an epic battle on November 21st in Columbus.
The Ducks will come in at #7, their lowest ranking since 2010. I'm expecting this to be a rough season for the Ducks because they will have a new QB and one of their running backs will miss the season due to shoulder surgery. Vernon James Jr. and Jeff Lockie were fighting for the starting QB position but James Jr. has been named the starter. This is a transition period for the Ducks losing the bulk of the offense, Marcus Mariota, every school experience this. If James can have a great season, then I can see the Ducks making some noise. As of now though, I think this will be a rough year for the Ducks of Oregon.
The moment we have all been waiting for is finally here. In the 1st annual College Football Playoffs, Ohio State and Oregon will battle it out for the National Championship. Oregon is a 7 point favorite and rightfully so. They demolished the defending champs, Florida State, and was an early favorite coming into this season. Ohio State started off ranked 5th in the AP preseason poll but once Braxton Miller was ruled out for the season, everyone counted them out. Now with their 3rd string QB, they find themselves 1 win away from shocking the world.
Ohio State did the unthinkable in the Sugar Bowl by defeating Alabama. I didn't think it was impossible for them to do it, I predicted that they would get it done. I wasn't sold on Bama, nor was I confident in Blake Sims, who threw 3 INTs. Cardale Jones didn't have an unbelievable game but he didn't cost the Buckeyes the game either, only 283 total yards for him.
I do want to apologize to Ezekiel Elliot, who I said wasn't going to have a big game against Bama. Elliott not only played well but he rushed for 230 yards on the Tide, averaging 11.5 yards a carry. I did say that Elliot was needed to beat Bama and I was right on that part. I did not expect him to have a game like that though.
The Buckeyes will need Elliott once again to have a monster game. He seems to get stronger by the game and the higher the importance, the harder he runs. Oregon's defense against Florida State proved they could play physical but they didn't stop the run. Delvin Cook and Karlos Williams both combined for 183 yards on 27 carries (6.7 yards a carry). Elliott has proved that he can handle that workload by himself.
If the Buckeyes can get the running game going, Jones won't have to make so many plays. In the 1st quarter of the Sugar Bowl, the Buckeyes wasted two redzone opportunities trying to pass the ball instead of pounding the rock. Opportunities like that are not to be taking for granted against Oregon because they will turn it up on you.
Ohio State best bet is to slow the game down, similar to what FSU tried to do, just without the turnovers. Defensively, they shouldn't look to stop the Ducks but focus on containing them. Keep the big plays to a minimum, and make Mariota stay in the pocket. The Buckeyes in the last two games has kept both Melvin Gordon and Amari Cooper under 80 yards, now on their way to playing the third and winning Heisman finalist.
Oregon has to speed this game up, similar to how they did Florida State. What was 18-13 at halftime, turned into a 27-point quarter for the Ducks. Mariota and the Ducks are going to need another great performance from their bruiser back, Thomas Tyner. Tyner gave the Ducks that physical presence they needed to beat the Noles and he'll have to do it again against the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes only allow 328 total yards a game, and similar to Stanford, they are very good against the run.
Mariota must have the best game of his career. He has to put the pressure on Cardale Jones and the Buckeye's offense to score points. Unlike the Florida State game, I think his arm will be needed. I would say the defense won them the game against the Noles but this time Mariota will have to prove he is the Heisman.
If I had to pick a winner for this game it would be Oregon. I like the Buckeyes defense but I think playing with a third string QB will finally catch up to them. Even though they beat Bama, scoring 28 straight, Jones still made some mistakes. Mistakes against Oregon will cost you even if its just one. If Jones can limit his mistakes to zero and keep up with Mariota, then the Buckeyes will have a chance, that's a big if though. I expect a great game with the final score being 42-31 Oregon.
1st in school history.
4-team breakdown of the 1st College Football playoff
A run down of an eventful Rivalry Weekend.
Last Weekend was kinda slow but Rivalry Weekend is on the way.
Another great weekend of college football.
We are now in the final month of the College Football regular season.
The playoffs are getting closer and closer.
The Rankings will never be the same.
What a weekend of college football. Of course the shocker of the week - and there was a lot of them - was Ole Miss defeating Bama in a classic SEC thriller. Ole Miss don't surprise me as much as they surprise other folks. Last season, I saw the potential in the Rebels in their 1st 3 games, when they defeated both Vandy and Texas on the road. They did go on to lose their next 3 games, @Bama, @Auburn, and vs Texas A&M, but then came back to defeat LSU. This was a young team last year, still young this year, but has much more experience. They are built on defense, only allowing 10 points a game and 8th in total defense, with 9 returning starters (4 seniors). I like this team a lot and if Bo Wallace can stay consistent for the remainder of the season, expect the Rebels to be in the playoff conversation.
AP Top 25
3Ole Miss5-0 1320
6Notre Dame5-0 1186
8Michigan State4-1 981
14Texas A&M5-1 731
15Ohio State4-1 534
16Oklahoma State4-1 527
17Kansas State4-1 486
19East Carolina4-1 344
22Georgia Tech5-0 235
WR Jalen Strong, Arizona State - 10 catches, 202 yards, 3 TDs vs USC
Statements like this really scare me. I really feel like the committee will make this a lot harder than what it really has to be. Instead of actually picking the best 4 teams, I think they will pick the best 4 teams at that time, just like the BCS, and when I say "at that time" I mean that actually weekend. I have seen some of the experts actually put TCU in as one of the top 4, even putting Mississippi State as the top team with Florida State at #4, I don't understand that at all.
The AP voters was so quick to knock FSU off the top spot last weekend just for Bama to lose in the very next week. I don't see how you can fault a team that hasn't loss. The Seminoles haven't looked as dominate as they did last year, but its a different season and they have a bigger target on their back. Every team is coming for them because they are the champs and they are at the top of the food chains. As far as consistency goes, I don't know how you can be more consistent than 5-0. At half vs Wake Forest, FSU only led 13-3, then they scored 40 unanswered points in the second half, whats more consistent than that? NC-State led the Noles at half last week 24-21, at home; second half the Noles outscored them 35-17. I say to all the experts; Stop Reaching.
I am actually happy for the state of Mississippi. A state with no professional team has both of their big time college football programs at the top of the rankings. It won't get any easier for them here on out becuase now they are the "hunted". No longer can they sneak up on teams like they did this past weekend. Hopefully both can enter "The Egg Bowl" undefeated, which should make for a great rivalry game in the final week of the season.