What we learned; observations and new questions from the weekend.
The Playoff Has Actually Begun
Those of you who believe that the College Football Playoff should be more than four teams, take heart; it’s actually about 125 teams jockeying for position to get to those magical four spots. It’s called the college football season and it’s still as relevant as ever.
The best conference in college football is actually a division. The SEC West to be precise. Five teams from this division make up half of the AP top ten this week — No. 3 Alabama, No. 5 Auburn, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 8 LSU, and No. 10 Ole Miss. The SEC West is a combined 19-1 this season, with the only loss coming in-conference to the No. 5 team. Oh, and that team with a loss (Arkansas) beat Texas Tech by two touchdowns on the road over the weekend.
Most likely, only one team out of this bunch will make it to the College Football Playoff. And even that’s not certain. Buckle up for one of the best races we will see and it lasts throughout the fall.
Not So Fast, UGA
Once again, Mark Richt proves why he’s always good for a bonehead move (or non move) in a big game. It was first-and-goal for the Dawgs at the SC 4-yard line, down 38-35 with just minutes remaining. Todd Gurley’s gotta get the rock, right? No. Let’s run a fake-boot and see what happens. Panic and an intentional grounding call led to the beginning of the end for Georgia.
The game was delivered on a silver platter and Richt gave it right back. It’s pretty simple, really. When you have the best running back in the game and he already has run for 131 yards, you hand it to him. Three times if you have to.
Four words for Coach Richt that he simply always seems to screw up: Don’t get cute, Mark.
What did we really learn from this game though? Never count out Steve Spurrier.
Your Turn, Pac-12
Last week it was the Big 10 laying an egg. This week it was the Pac-12. Let’s start with the good news – perhaps no one in the country will be able to slow down Oregon, who downed Wyoming, 48-14, on Saturday. Then there’s USC, who ran into a buzz saw in the form of Boston College. UCLA is 3-0, but it may be the most flimsy undefeated record in football. All due credit to Charlie Strong and the Horns, but most expected a track meet at AT&T Stadium that never came. The rest of the conference – not turning many heads.The Ducks may run away with this one without a problem.
OU Proving Itself
Bob Stoops and his Sooners took care of business on Saturday in a 24-point win over the SEC’s Tennessee Volunteers one of the few feathers in the Big 12’s cap thus far on the season. Tennessee may not be one of the SEC’s power teams this season but no matter – it beats anything on Baylor’s non-conference schedule.
What I see with OU that separates them – defense. Stoops has always had a good defense and this year is no different. I still like OU in the Big 12, especially since they get Baylor at home. One thing no one will probably bring up – OU get a pretty good test this week at Morgantown with West Virginia. The Mountaineers are playing well; don’t sleep on this game.
Things you can count on
Death, taxes and Florida beating Kentucky. Oh, and the Reverse Barometer completely destroying a team’s season by picking them to be a “surprise” (sorry, Texas Tech).