Normally (I stress this word) by week four of the College Football season we know these three things:
A) Who the dominant teams are going to be heading into the heart of conference play.
B) Which teams we should believe are contenders to sneak their way into the Top 5 and which are simply overrated.
C) Whether the SEC will roll over everyone like in years past.
And out of those three things which do we know?
D) None of the above.
Luckily for the folks at the NCAA who gambled on creating a four-team playoff and getting rid of the BCS system, this is exactly what they want: Parity
Is Florida State really as good as last year, or even better as some have said?
Is Alabama the same dominant team even with an untested QB in Blake Sims?
Is anyone in the Big Ten legitimate to contend for a Playoff spot?
Yes, there is a lot of football to be played, especially in conferences across the country. But if we know one thing for sure so far, it’s that we know nothing.
Except Goat, he might know something.
The Mess in the SEC
Two weeks ago when Texas A&M obliterated South Carolina on their turf on National TV to open up the season, the Gamecocks were all but prematurely written off. Heading into week four they’re now favored to win the East after grinding out a victory in a downpour against favored Gurley-powered-Gerogia.
That alone should tell you how back and forth the SEC will be this year.
In the West, which has been all Alabama and Auburn for the past couple of years now has some contenders that
are more than equipped to unseat the two schools that are only 94 miles apart. Maybe a team some didn’t expect to contend is the now #10 ranked Ole Miss Rebels. The offense powered by QB Bo Wallace and WR Laquon Treadwell have shown they can put up points, but will have to put them up against an incredibly daunting schedule that includes A&M, Alabama, LSU and Auburn over the course of the next six weeks.
Speaking of Texas A&M who are sitting at #6 in the polls, obtain the 4th best total offense in the FBS that’s ran by upstart QB Kenny Hill (right) who already has garnered national attention and in the Heisman race. If A&M’s defense continues to improve, the difficulty of going on the road against Bama and Auburn will be more of game than many think.
The SEC East is less crowded at the top, but still features strong teams. As of now it is South Carolina’s to lose and the biggest game of the year in the East will be when #18 Mizzou travels to Columbia for their first conference game of the season. And after pulling out a Triple-OT victory in the Swamp against Kentucky, the revamped Gators could be a threat to both teams.
the Pac-12 Overrated?
Yes. Well, more so, not as good as we thought they were.
After USC’s win at Stanford in week 2, everyone was ready to jump to conclusions that the Pac-12 is the deepest it’s has been in past seasons.
Think again. USC looked less-than-stellar coming off the win, losing to a mediocre Boston College squad 37-31.
Meanwhile, UCLA continues to work-out the kinks and will have to do it without QB Brett Hundley who appeared to injure his elbow against Texas last Saturday. If it weren’t for back-up Jerry Neuheisal, the Bruins would have been done and dusted as far as the postseason goes. Hundley has the coming week off, as UCLA coach Jim Mora continues to say nothing regarding the star QB’s condition.
Which leaves Oregon. They are the class of the Pac-12 unless proven otherwise. After an impressive 2nd half comeback in which they outscored Michigan State 28-3, Marcus Mariota is the Heisman front-runner and has been nothing short of spectacular so far. But as always, the game that will define Oregon’s season will be when the Cardinal comes to town on November 1st.
The Big Ten’s Big Issue
In the 38 total games that have been played by the league’s teams, the Big Ten is a mere 2-12 vs. opponents who have had a .500 record and a 24-14 (worst among power conferences) record overall, while the SEC posts a 32-7 record (Stat via Brendan Quinn of Mlive.com).
Michigan State, who ended 3rd in the polls at season end a year ago, has not lived up to what they were in 2013, especially on defense where they let up 46 in a sub-par second half performance against Oregon. Meanwhile Ohio State losing to a VA Tech team at home that just last week to East Carolina at home was the biggest blow to the conference’s (and the Buckeyes) self-esteem. And while it is early, all signs are pointing towards a playoff that doesn’t feature a team from the Big Ten.
The midwest distress continues.
Goat’s Top 5 Poll for Week 3 and Heisman Update
2. Florida State
1. QB Marcus Mariota, 962 Total yards, 11 total TD’s
2. RB Todd Gurley, 329 yards, 5 Total TD’s, 6.6 yards per carry
3. QB Kenny Hill, 1094 yards, 11 TD’s, 92.9 QBR
Look out for: QB Everett Golson, 780 yards, 11 Total TD’s