Yep. When there’s only one game with ranked teams facing each other and one of those teams is Georgia – which did what it seems to do every year under Mark Richt – losing a game it has no business losing and therefore essentially taking the Bulldogs out of Playoff contention, it’s a weekend unworthy of “College Football Playoff” discussion. Instead, let’s just look at five interesting/impressive(?) performances.
1. We’ll start with the Bulldogs who couldn’t convert a first and goal from the Gamecock four then missed the tying field goal in the closing minutes of a 38-35 loss to Carolina. It’s the third straight loss in Columbia for the Bulldogs, and fourth in the past five meetings against the ‘Cocks. Typical Georgia under Richt. The good news for Dawg fans is that the winner of this game hasn’t made it to Atlanta for the SEC Title game since 2010. The bad news is that it’s likely UGA is out of the Playoff chase – early in the season – again. Georgia now owns the crown for “Most Underperforming Power Program” in college football. Everything’s in place to compete for championships, yet the Bulldogs haven’t done that since Herschel Walker left Athens in 1982. The “impressive” performance in this game would belong to Carolina, which despite being embarrassed by A&M in the opener and not looking much better last week in a win over East Carolina the Gamecock still control their destiny in the SEC.
2. Fame can be so fleeting eh Southern Cal? One week after beating Stanford in Palo Alto and entering the Playoff discussion, the Men of Troy headed to Chestnut Hill, MA and laid an egg against Boston College. SC grabbed a 17-6 lead early in the second quarter, then the defense disappeared as the Eagles scored 24 unanswered on the way to racking up 506 yards, 452 on the ground.
3. Staying with the “highly-ranked, highly-regarded” yet disappointing performances let’s just go across Los Angeles to UCLA which has yet to show its Playoff worthy and Saturday’s 20-17 win over the Longhorns in Dallas is just another example. Yes quarterback Brett Hundley left the game on the Bruins second series when he hurt his non-throwing elbow, and I suppose it was thrilling for the Neuheisel family when Jerry, son of former UCLA coach and QB legend Rick, connected with Jordan Payton for a game-winning TD pass with 3:00 left. But through three uninspiring performances it’s impossible to believe UCLA is really a Playoff contender when it takes a final drive touchdown to beat a Texas team that was embarrassed by BYU the week before.
4. For the contenders that picked up easy wins, Oklahoma get the most credit. The Sooners simply outclassed Tennessee winning 34-10. OU was bigger, better, stronger, more tenacious (and somewhat surprisingly) much faster than the Vols. The Sooners look to have everything a team needs to earn one of the four Playoff slots, all they’ve got to do is avoid “Big Game Bob” earning what started as a legitimate crown but has evolved into a sarcastic nickname when OU (like Georgia) typically loses a game it should win. Top-ranked Florida State was idle, while second-ranked Oregon routed Wyoming 48-14, third-ranked Alabama rolled Southern Miss 52-12, and A&M cruised past Rice 38-10 as Kenny “Trill” Hill threw for 300 yards and four TD’s.
5. (HOMER ALERT!) Okay Twitter nation that has found the need to remind me, “We’ll know just how good Ole Miss is when they host Alabama on October 4th,” yeah I’m aware. (The Rebels have the weekend off before hosting Memphis prior to the Crimson Tide.) That said, there’s no an Ole Miss fan (like me) should or needs to explain three increasingly improving, one-sided wins over Boise State, Vandy and Louisiana Lafayette. It was LA-Lafayette that was talking about going undefeated, yet the Rajun Cajuns left Oxford 56-15 losers. Ole Miss has earned its Top-10 ranking. Whether or not they keep it after hosting Alabama remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t say a win is impossible. Beating the Tide, then A&M, Tennessee, LSU and Auburn in a five-game stretch probably is impossible.
SIDE NOTE-1 from the SEC: Arkansas. I said after the Hogs lost the opener to Auburn that this team was much improved and I think Saturday’s 49-28 pounding of Texas Tech in Lubbock justifies that prediction. Truthfully, I didn’t think Brett Bielema’s plan to install a “Big 10” rushing attack was the best approach in Fayetteville (heck even Alabama is going more uptempo than Tide fans ever thought they’d see from a Nick Saban coached team), but after rolling up 499 yards against the Red Raiders, it looks like the fat man with the hot wife knows what he’s doing.
SIDE NOTE-2 from the SEC: Time to stop overlooking Mizzou. The Tigers are 3-0 and won’t be giving up their Eastern Division crown without a fight. Maty Mauk was far from spectacular throwing for just 144 yards in a 38-10 win over Central Florida, but four of his 14 completions went for TD’s and the defense allowed just 302 yards and forced four turnovers in the win. Looks like the Tigers are transitioning rather well from the “flag football in shoulder pads & helmets” style of football that ruled the Big 12 for years.
This week provides much better competition. It starts on Thursday when 20th ranked Kansas State hosts 5th ranked Auburn. FSU returns to action hosting Clemson, Bama hosts Florida (Who should’ve lost to Kentucky – at home – Saturday night. The Wildcats were jobbed by two bad calls in OT.), Oklahoma travels to West Virginia, LSU hosts undefeated Mississippi State, and Playoff hopeful BYU hosts a pesky Virginia team.
FYI – NEW FALL SCHEDULE for the Bstraw & PaulyG Show: Tuesday’s 9:00 – 11:00pm, Wednesday’s 8:00 – 11:00pm, Friday’s 8:00 – 11:00pm. (Monday and Thursday evenings on SportsRadio 610 – NFL Football, Tuesday’s from 6:00 – 9:00pm – Texans Radio.)
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