Week 3 has come and gone in College Football. With league play starting, we are starting to see who is a contender and who is a pretender. College football has made a ton of changes over the years to better the game. Can we make one more change pleasssssseeeee??!! Stop coming out with pre-season rankings. How can you judge a team that hasn’t even played yet? There should be no rankings until October 1st, this way teams have played around 4 games and we can make an educated guess. Pre-season rankings are a joke. Here are 5 things we learned about Week 3 in college football.
5) Shame on NIU– Northern Illinois lost to the #1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes 20-13 in Columbus. The Huskies were over a 30 point underdog. The story of this game was not how NIU kept it close, it was their head coach, Rod Carey…playing not to lose. Two times in the first half NIU had a 4th and less than 2 yards inside OSU territory and he punted. It is almost as if their only goal as a staff was keeping this game close. When you play the number 1 team on the road and you are a tremendous underdog you go for it. You take chances and you pull out all the stops. NIU had nothing to lose in this game and everything to gain. I know Carey has had tremendous success in the Mid-American Conference (25-7) career record) but when you play against the “Big Boys” you put your “Big Pants” on and you play aggressive and play to win. He didn’t do that and he owes his team, his university and the fans an apology.
#4) Auburn’s Johnathon Ford, don’t talk if you can’t back it up- In a press conference, Ford was quoted as saying, “Stopping LSU’s RB Leonard Fournette shouldn’t be that difficult of a challenge, we have a great front 7 and the back end of our defense knows how to tackle.” Perhaps Ford wants to rethink what he said. Fournette became the front runner for the Heisman trophy with his performance. The LSU running back finished the day with 19 carries 228 yards and 3 touchdowns. LSU was up 24 nothing at halftime and won 45-21. I am not ready to crown the Tigers, king of the SEC. Les Miles always loses a game late in the year that they should win. But… Fournette and that offensive line can control the ball and wear down any defense in the country. LSU has won 8 straight games at home against Auburn.
#3) Notre Dame is a legitimate top 10 team – Coming into this game Georgia Tech was ranked 1st in Rushing yards (475.5 per game), 1st in yards per attempt (8.5) and second in points per game (67). All that stopped Saturday in South Bend. The fighting Irish held the Yellow Jackets explosive offense to 216 yards rushing. GTech was 3-15 on 3rd down conversions. The Notre Dame coaching staff deserves a ton of credit for coaching their players this week. ND remained disciplined in their approach and stayed in their lanes all game. GTech kept the game close but ND won 30-22. I don’t know if the Fighting Irish are a legitimate top 4 team but they are definitely Top 10. They will be tested in Week 5 when they play at Clemson.
#2) Where does Steve Sarkisian go from here– A friend of mine on Twitter, Nissim Leon, brought up a great point, If Sark has an average year, do we start to question USC athletic director Pat Hayden? It was Hayden who fired Lane Kiffin and brought in Sarkisian. USC was leading 21-7 at home, only to lose to Stanford 41-31.This was a horrible loss for the Trojans. Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan who struggled mightily against Northwestern, looked like former Stanford great John Elway. Hogan was 18-23 for 279 yards and two touchdowns. From Midway through the first half, the Cardinals outscored USC 34-10. That can’t happen at home if you are USC. This is the 2nd time that Stanford has come into the game against USC as a 10 point underdog and won. The last time was in 2009.
#1) Ole Miss is the real deal- Coming into this game, Nick Saban and Alabama had won 8 straight in SEC openers. Ole Miss had only 1 victory, in their history at Alabama. The Rebels defeated Bama last year and won again on Saturday, 43-37. Bama is now 6-5 in their last 11 games vs top 10 teams. How do you beat Saban? Run a spread offense and take advantage of your speed. You can’t beat Bama with ground and pound and physical play. Ole Miss is a legitimate threat to win the National Championship. They are the only team in College Football that is ranked in the top 10 in offense and defense. They have tremendous athletes and playmakers on both sides of the ball. Chad Kelly has replaced the enigmatic Bo Wallace at quarterback and had a monster game. Kelly was 18-33 for 341 yards and 4 total touchdowns. Laquon Treadwell may be as good as Amari Cooper. He should definitely be in the Heisman talk down the road.
UCLA beat a very good BYU team at home 20-19. The Bruins young quarterback Josh Rosen struggled in this game, but an ugly win is always better than a pretty loss.
If you don’t know Clemson’s young quarterback Deshaun Watson you should. They play Notre Dame in two weeks and it could be his coming out party. If he was a baseball player you would call him a “5 tool” player. He is explosive, fast and has a cannon for an arm.
Is it time for Steve Spurrier to go? Spurrier and the Gamecocks got embarrassed last week against Georgia, 52-20. Players on SC were fighting during the game. Spurrier is now 44-38 in the SEC. The old ball coach was also known as the quarterback whisperer, but when was the last time SC had a great quarterback? I think he has underachieved at SC and it may get worse. I don’t see them winning 8 games this year. He may be on the hot seat.