This is what stalling looks like. I have a lot of thoughts on Ed Orgeron and the Mississippi St fallout, but getting it all organized is proving more difficult than I would like. So I’m doing the only rational thing: I’m punting away this possession and instead doing my national look around.
But first, the SEC…
1 Alabama. Oh no. Bama only won by 18 after carrying a four touchdown lead into the fourth quarter. The panic. It consumes me. Ack. Panicking. That’s what Bama should be doing.
2 Georgia. The Dawgs dispatched of their rent-a-win, but next week we get to see what they are truly made of when they play in the week’s marquee matchup against State. Yup, I can’t believe it either.
3 Mississippi St. Either State is great or LSU is terrible. Or, most probably, a little bit of both.
4 Kentucky. I’ve been skeptical of Kentucky all year, and then they go out and beat South Carolina on the road convincingly. It was, sadly, one of the best wins of the season for a conference team.
5 Vanderbilt. Look who is 3-0 with a big out of conference win over a top 25 team?
6 Auburn. Struggled with Mercer and then kicked Sean White off the team. Still one of the front runners.
7 Florida. That game was abhorrent, but they won, and that counts for something.
8 South Carolina. Still has one good win and another conference win, but the season now seems stillborn. What a totally wasted opportunity for the Gamecocks.
9 LSU. This might be a generous rank, but everyone beneath them really sucks. Fresh out of benefit of the doubt.
10 Tennessee. The offensive play calling was so terrible that the Posette changed the channel and refused to keep watching a game so incompetently managed. That isn’t a joke, she really did that.
11 Arkansas. Took a much needed week off to maybe install an offense. And probably a defense while they are at it.
12 Texas A&M. We’re going to look back at those double birds and see it was the turning point of the season.
13 Ole Miss. Showed some life before reality set in against Cal.
14 Missouri. They really suck. I mean, even for Mizzou.
2 Florida St
4 Virginia Tech
The postponement of the FSU-Miami tilt was the right call for safety reasons, but it does have the added benefit of allowing the ACC some time to hype up one of its biggest matchups of the year. Clemson’s win over Louisville puts them in the undisputed front-runner territory, so the ACC would love for Miami to beat FSY and establish itself as a genuine threat for the playoffs in a titanic ACC Championship Game. We’re a long way from that point, and Virginia Tech will likely have something to say about Miami’s final record, but that’s the dream scenario. But Miami has to get good first, and getting a few extra weeks to prepare for FSU can’t hurt.
1 Penn St
3 Ohio St
Penn St is yet to play a team with a pulse (sorry, Pitt fans), but they have absolutely thrashed the teams on the schedule. They beat Akron and Georgia St by a combined score of 108-0. I don’t care how soft the schedule is, that’s impressive. The Nittany Lions now move on to what will probably be their toughest test until late October: a road trip to undefeated Iowa. Iowa needed a late rally to beat Iowa St and a second half comeback to beat North Texas, so the Hawkeyes aren’t really good, per se, but they should at least put up token resistance. It’s out first chance to get a real feel for how good Penn St is.
2 Oklahoma St
4 Kansas St
5 West Virginia
My preseason pick took a giant step back with a loss to Vanderbilt, but that’s the exact sort of team that beats K State. I’m unwavering in my support of Team Boring (I’m totally wavering). Oklahoma St is another team that’s yet to play anyone any good, but their offense is already set to destroy. Mason Randolph has staked a claim to the Heisman race, though he needs to put up this kind of performance against a live defense. He gets his chance this week against TCU, which now looks like an early elimination game for the Big 12 race.
3 Washington St
USC lost a lot of luster in just one week. I’m not so concerned about struggling with Texas, that was a classic post big win hangover, and not fully taking the Horns seriously. No, the real concern is the quality of their win against Stanford took a nosedive once the Cardinal lost to SDSU. Now, the Aztecs are a pretty good team, but come on. Luckily for Stanford, no one on the east coast pays any attention to the late games, so Stanford has managed to avoid national ridicule for the biggest faceplant of this young season. Things don’t look up for them, as the Pac-12 field has not de-cluttered itself at all in the out of conference season. Seven of the twelve schools are unbeaten, and five are nationally ranked. It should be more, as we’re all trying to pretend Colorado was a fluke last year.
Current Playoff Teams
USC falls off this week thanks to losing their quality win. They are still in the conversation, and they still do have an OOC win against Texas, which isn’t nothing. Washington and Penn St have both played fairly garbage schedules, so it’s a coin flip between the two, but I’ve got more faith in Sarkisian than Franklin. I do think Penn St won’t be seriously tested for another month, so they will be in this pool for quite some time before we have any read on whether they are very good or just pretty good. Washington, on the other hand, goes to Colorado this week.