A Look Around The Country

A Look Around the Country

I don’t know what to think of the nation’s “best” teams so far this season. Once again, the top ranked teams in the country struggled this past weekend. It just doesn’t make sense. I can’t remember the last time I’ve watched a college football season without thinking a certain team has all the goods to be National Champs. Right now, there isn’t a single team that I’m confident in to run the table. Florida State won in overtime without Infamous Jameis. Alabama struggled with a Florida team who barely beat Kentucky last week. Oregon beat Washington State by a touchdown. Oklahoma struggled briefly against West Virginia (who is better than people think). Hell, Indiana beat Missouri. Indy-freaking-Ana beat the defending SEC East Champs! I still can’t believe it happened. But that’s the kind of year it’s been. I wouldn’t be surprised if a local flag football team beat Oregon. So, let’s get into the week that was while also looking into this weekend’s slate of games.

Notable Games Last Week

Auburn 20 Kansas State 14

Much like most of last season, Auburn was able to escape defeat. This time doing it in Manhattan, Kansas in what many people considered one of the biggest games in Kansas State Football history. But the Wildcats continued to shoot themselves in the foot and lost a very winnable game. The defending SEC Champs (and a team I’ve had ranked in my top 4 since the preseason) have struggled so far this season. Eventually, they’re luck is going to run out.

Oklahoma 45 West Virginia 33

A game which was tied at halftime led to the Sooners pulling away, something Alabama couldn’t exactly do back in Week One. I firmly believe as the season goes on, we’ll start to see how good of a team the Mountaineers really are. But Oklahoma is better and right now they have a case to be number one.

Florida State 23 Clemson 17

The broadcast started with Jimbo Fisher having to send his star quarterback to the locker room because apparently not dressing for a game your suspended for is something Jameis never considered. It’s tough to figure out what this means because the guy who will be leading the Noles the rest of the way* wasn’t playing. But teams will use this to their advantage to scout against the rest of that team. If you stop Jameis, you can beat Florida State.

*As long as he doesn’t do something stupid again.

Nebraska 41 Miami (FL) 31

In the battle of “Who’s Back?” Ameer Abdullah and the Huskers didn’t disappoint. In case you haven’t noticed (and if you’ve been watching ESPN, you haven’t) Bo Pelini has them at 4-0 with Illinois coming to Lincoln this week. A win there would give them a 5-0 record headed into their game at Michigan State. I’m giddy to watch that one already. And the way this season has been going, anything can happen in East Lansing that night.

Ohio State (Bye)

The Buckeyes struggled against Bye Week as they dropped in the polls for the second consecutive week. The SEC consistently plays better against them.

Big Games This Week

UCLA at Arizona State

Both teams roll into this game with an unblemished record and the winner of this one will have a leg up in the Pac 12 South Division going forward. Arizona State is without QB Taylor Kelly but the home crowd in Tempe should make up for that. Winner of this one could very well be playing Oregon in the Pac 12 title game in December. But UCLA has been flirting with a loss all season. Sun Devils with the upset.

Thursday, September 25 at 10:00pm on FOX Sports One

Maryland at Indiana

Who would have thought that this game would hold any sort of significance in the Big Ten race in 2014. The 3-1 Terrapins take on the 2-1 Hoosiers in a Big Ten East showdown. With the amount of parity in college football this season, there’s a possibility that this could at least play a role in the East. But I’ll be honest in saying it’s an extreme longshot. However, when was the last time the Hoosiers ever played a significant game in something other than basketball? Might as well get the most out of it now.

Saturday, September 27 at 1:30pm on Big Ten Network

Missouri at South Carolina

Missouri is coming off of a disastrous loss to a basketball school while the Gamecocks barely beat a middle of the road Sun Belt team in Vanderbilt. Sure, the SEC is the best conference in the country and there’s no arguing that. But they are not as good as the south says they are. The SEC East is WIDE OPEN with these two teams along with Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia all in the mix. In my humble opinion, this division is no better than the Big Ten East. I got Spurrier in this one.

Saturday, September 27 at 7:00pm on ESPN

Cincinnati at Ohio State

All of the talk about Chris Ash’s new secondary will be put to the ultimate test on Saturday evening as former 5 star QB and Notre Dame Enrollee, Gunner Kiel comes into the Shoe. The Buckeye defense will be the X factor in this game, and if the D-line can get after Kiel, then the Bearcats should be in for a long night. They gave up 34 points to Toledo so I know we can score against them. However, I’m not sure I like our chances if we get into a shootout with them. But I don’t see that happening. Buckeyes win by 17.

Saturday, September 27 at 6:00pm on Big Ten Network

Michigan Update

Wow, I’m speechless about this team so far. They’ve gone from bad to worse. After losing to Utah 26-10 in front of about 12 people on Saturday night (to be fair, they had a weather delay) they’re season is all but over. Changes at quarterback could be coming as well as head coach. Brady Hoke will probably ride out the rest of the season, but there’s no way he’s coaching for them next year. The rest of this season has to be about getting the right coach in there to turn this once legendary program into its old self. Jim Harbaugh? Les Miles? Doug Nussmeier? Fielding Yost? Something has to change in Ann Arbor. I’m sick of beating a crappy Wolverine team each year. It’s much more fun to do that when their good. They play Minnesota for the Little Brown Jug at 3:30 on ESPN2. I have the Gophers by a touchdown.

Heisman Watch

Marcus Mariota, Oregon

21/25 passing for 329 yards and 5 touchdowns in 38-31 win over Washington State. The Ducks struggled this week against the Cougars but they can thank Mariota for the W. He’s my clear favorite right now.

Todd Gurley, Georgia

6 carries, 73 yards in 66-0 win over Troy. He was taken out early because of the horrible play of juggernaut, Troy. But he may be the best RB in the country.

Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

13 carries for 253 yards (19.5 yards per carry!!)  and 5 touchdowns in 68-17 win over Bowling Green. That’s an insane stat line, even if it’s against a MAC team. He has to be in this discussion.

Rising Star

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

35 carries for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns in 41-31 win over Miami (FL). He’s an underrated player because of the lack of coverage of the Big Ten. Abdullah has to enter this discussion because of his extraordinary skill set, especially in the receiving game. We’ll see what he’s made of next week against Michigan State.

Dropping Fast

Jameis Winston, Florida State

You know why.

My Playoff if the Season Ended Today

  1. Oregon (beat Washington State 38-31, plays Arizona next week) The Ducks escaped the upset bid by the Cougars. Good teams find a way to win. And this is still a great team. They stay at the top.
  2. Oklahoma (beat West Virginia 45-33, plays TCU next week) The Sooners struggled in the first half in a hostile environment. But the cream rose to the top in the second half. It took Alabama a lot longer to do that in an SEC environment in Georgia. Sooners are team to be reckoned with.
  3. Florida State (beat Clemson 23-17, plays NC State this week) The Seminoles are a one-dimensional team. Once someone figures that out, Florida State will go down.
  4. Alabama (beat Florida 42-21, plays Ole Miss next week) The Crimson Tide finally earn a spot in my top 4. In a weaker than usual SEC, they have the best chance of being in the playoff. They can thank Amari Cooper for that. Nobody in America can cover him.

Just Missed the Cut

  1. Baylor
  2. Auburn
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Texas A&M
  5. Michigan State
  6. Ole Miss
  7. Ohio State



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