Week 4 in college football came and went, as should many of the mystical rankings of many teams. However, a few mystical rankings were propped up and will have to tolerated for at least another week.
The conclusion to be drawn from Saturday...mediocrity (parity) reigns supreme across the college football landscape, with the possible exception of Alabama (I said possible b/c not even the Tide are getting a pass on who they have played so far). Oh yes...and turnovers are deadly.
Analysis on my "Week of Reckoning" comments after the jump.
The Top 25 is stuffed with significant games, all of which should start to give us some clarity as to the giants and dwarfs, and who is masquerading as the other. It definitely accomplished this in spades, as, even in victories, teams showed their true colors.
- #24 Boise State 7, BYU 6...8pm CT on ESPN Thursday night, and the Smurf Turf is never an easy place to play. BYU should come back with a good game after a loss, but Boise will likely take care of business at home. A Cougar win would signal some down time for the perennial Cinderallas from Idaho. Kansas @ N. Illinois would have been better TV than this. Would somebody tell me how Boise State is ranked and OSU isn't? Horrible football.
- #1 Alabama 40, Fl Atlantic 7...Ok, they can't all be good games. Who cares when it starts. FYI...Bama scored 41 against Michigan and 52 against Arkansas. While it was 30-0 at halftime, I would still expect the Tide to put a few more points on the board against a 1-2 Sun Belt team who's only win is over Wagner (7-3).
- #2 LSU 12, Auburn 10...6pm CT on ESPN. This should tell us something about the Tigers (the ones from LSU). Auburn eeked out a victory against SEC slayer ULM last week, so LSU should handle this easily. If not, we might still be looking for the SEC challenger to the 800 lb gorilla that is Bama. Auburn gave up 28 pts to ULM the previous week in an overtime win. That's either an other worldly turnaround, or LSU's offense is not very productive. Either way LSU is NOT the #2 team in the country.
- #3 Oregon 49, #22 Arizona 0...9:30pm CT on ESPN. OSU folks will be watching this closely, and you'll have to stay up WAY past your bedtime to get your answers. How the Wildcats handle Oregon on the road will say a lot about the Cowboys' loss at Arizona in week 2. Other than the turnover/penalty gift handed to them by OSU, RichRod's crew hasn't dealt with much resistance, however neither has Oregon, who's only "decent" win was against Fresno State at home (42-25), and they have yet to play on the road. Oregon should win, but how they do will answer a lot of questions for both teams. Arizona got a taste of its own medicine as mistakes and failed opportunities eventually turned a close game into a blowout. Oregon (definitely a top 10 team) only led 13-0 at the half, and Arizona moved the ball. The Wildcats are a top 25 team and should make a little hay in the Pac 12 this year as RichRod has things headed the right way. I will say this....if Gundy wants to know what a physical yet fast defense looks like, watch a little Oregon football. On the flip side, our offense is serious. Sans mistakes, OSU puts up at least 60 on Arizona...at Arizona...
- #4 Florida State 49, #10 Clemson 37...7pm CT on ABC. An ACC clash of 2 top 10 teams. Clemson's only solid win was against Auburn at home (26-19), and Auburn punched a hole in that with their performance against ULM. Florida State has looked appropriately dominant dispatching weaker foes (best was Wake Forest), so I would expect the Seminoles to get after Clemson, maybe by 2-3 touchdowns. Both good offenses, not great defenses. Florida State is definitely a top 10 team...Clemson definitely top 20.
- #5 Georgia 48, Vandy 3...6:45 CT on ESPN2. After almost upsetting South Carolina in week 1, Vandy got handled by mighty Northwestern. It's back to the basement for the Commodores with an easy Georgia win. Georgia looked efficient and dominant, as they should have. Should be a good SEC East race between the Bulldogs, Florida, and maybe South Carolina.
- #15 Snyderball 24, #6 Goonerville 19...6:50 CT on FOX. Both teams are overrated right now (Sooners more than the Wildcats), but Big 12 fans are hankerin' for anything that will give them a little insight in to what appears to be a wide open conference race. Two contenders clashing in Norman will serve the purpose. Easily the best game to watch on Saturday. Three turnovers doomed the Sooners, as Landry's "Bedlam" deja vu accounted for 2 Wildcat TD's. The vaunted Belldozer threw a shoe inside the Kansas State 5 yd line, stopping what would have likely been a TD for Oklahoma. Snyder's crew is definitely the better coached "overrated" team, Landry Jones is a good, but not great college QB, and Sterling Shephard is really good (could challenge Lunt for Big 12 FOY). Not to be left out, Optimus Klein was the biggest man on the field. Period. OU is a top 20 team, Kansas State is probably about right where they are.
- #7 South Carolina 31, Mizzou 10...2:30 CT on CBS. Very interesting here, as I think South Carolina is definitely overrated (see Vandy vs #5 Georgia). It is, however, a road game for the Tigers. I think Missouri makes a game of it, and maybe even gets the upset road win. Maybe. Did I say "maybe?" I definitely want to qualify this with a "maybe." Thank goodness I said maybe. The Tigers got pummeled by classic SEC football. The Gamecocks will need to improve if they want to challenge Georgia or Florida for the SEC East. They are absolutely NOT a top 10 team.
- #8 WVa 31, Maryland 21...11am CT on FX. Mountaineers are woefully overrated, but won't have to deal with that until they visit Texas in two weeks. The Terps will provide little resistance. The ghosts of 2011 came calling for the Mountaineers as the Red Bull Express struggled at home to deal with the lowly Terps. How Geno Smith is a better Heisman candidate than Colin Klein is beyond me. What happens in Stillwater this Saturday will give WVa a good look at their "road" baptism possibilities in Austin on Oct 6. The Mountaineers, like the Sooners, are a top 20 team.
- #11 Notre Dame 13, #18 Michigan 6...6:30 CT on NBC. Oh how we long for the days of yore, when the Irish and Wolverines engaged in battles of lore. I like that. Unfortunately these two overrated sloths will not drag anyone except the Notre Dame and Michigan faithful to NBC. BOOOOORIIIIINNNNGGGG! BINGO!!! Do I get credit for hitting this one on the head? Michigan is NOT a top 25 team, and the Irish might be a top 25 team. This game resulted in 6 more points and only slightly more excitement than BYU-Boise St.
- #13 USC, #14 Florida, & #16 THE Ohio State all have cupcakes, 2 in the from of conference opponents. Insignificant. Florida took care of business, but USC and THE Ohio State looked none too dominant in their wins. The Gators should move up and the other two down.
- #17 TCU 27, Virginia 7...11am CT on ESPN. Another game Big 12 folks are eager to see, but alas, the Cavaliers are more like toy soldiers. The Frogs should handle them easily at home, and we still won't know much about them. We did discover this...the Horned Frogs better find more points quickly.
- Oregon State 27, #19 UCLA 20...2:30 CT on ABC/ESPN2. The only other game of interest in the top 25, as Oregon State tries to slow down the Bruins high scoring offense. The Beavers' win over Wisky looked good until last weekend, at which point they might as well have beaten Savannah State. UCLA should light it up. Wow, that was a whiff.
- Baylor 47, ULM 42...7 CT Friday on ESPN. Oh boy, this has satisfaction written all over it. The ghost of Bob may get exorcised. The Warhawks have looked formidable in beating Arkansas and losing a close one to Auburn, both on the road. You can bet they will be fired up for a less than impressive Baylor squad coming to their turf. Second most entertaining game of the weekend. OSU fans' collective disappointment that the Bears pulled out the road win was balanced out by the Sooner loss in Norman. What we learned...1) Baylor could definitely be a lower tier team in the SEC, and 2) they ARE definitely a lower tier team in the Big 12.
- Northen Illinois 30, Kansas 23...2:30 on ESPN3. Yep. It's going to be on TV. Ugh. The Jayhawks are 9.5 point UNDERDOGS...yes, you read that right, and most pickers are liking KU to cover. I might have to tune in for a bit...I said might. I did tune in for a bit, only to discover that ESPNU was carrying some other meaningless game on the east coast. Thank heavens. It will be an absolute fluke if the Jayhawks win another game this year. The bettors were right in that Kansas covered. Is there anyone in the Big 12 that isn't counting their game against Kansas as a bye week?