Yeah why not start with the disappointments. The above graphic really says it all.
The Big Ten – There’s a reason Mark Dantonio is looking awfully disappointed up there. It’s because the rest of the conference is looking like the MAC…and not in a good way (is there a good way?). Let’s list the disappointments inside the big disappointment since there is so much disappointing going around:
- Ohio State – To lay an egg to a Virginia Tech team that went on to lay an egg against East Carolina…not good. Braxton Miller will be missed more than they realize at this point.
- Wisconsin – It should have started well. They were beating LSU. Looking dominant. Then they realized they have no receivers and shit the bed. Since then hasn’t been too great. Not bad, but they should be better.
- Northwestern – They lost to Cal to start the season. Enough said.
- Michigan – If they lose to Utah then Brady may be fired in the parking lot after the game Kiffin-style.
- Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland, etc. – Don’t even get me started.
If it wasn’t for Sparty (and to a lesser extent, Penn State), this conference would barely qualify as an FBS conference, let alone a Power Five one.
Jameis Winston – Just for being a shitbag idiot. Is he trying to screw things up for himself? He seems to be trying to out-Manziel Johnny Manziel.
SEC Network – This is a disappointment SO FAR. The slate of games has been brutal. The only thing that has saved this from being fucking awful was the Kentucky-Florida game (the play clock said ZERO damn it!) and Musburger and Palmer. Still weird to see Brent get so pumped for a Sam Houston State-LSU game.
SMU (and most notably June Jones) – What a disaster this program has become in such a short time. The Stangs were supposed to be looking at bowl-eligibility again. Instead, Jones resigned amid one of the worst starts in program history. They’ve looked borderline-awful and it really does look like they won’t be able to compete in the American this season. They need a good coach and fast.
Sun Belt – It’s not like I expected them to be awesome. But when New Mexico State is leading your conference and looking like one of the better teams, you have a problem.
Every team in the Pac-12 South not called the Utes – Could Utah win the Pac-12 South? It’s plausible considering what has happened so far. UCLA can’t continue this way, USC was beaten up by Boston College, ASU loses Taylor Kelly for an important game (if not more), and Arizona has looked shaky in their wins. Also, Colorado is still Colorado.
Rogers – As much as TSN and Bell have stepped up to the plate (more on that below), Rogers has basically stepped right out when it comes to coverage on Sportsnet channels. On top of that, their selection of games on their Super Sports Pack has not mirrored Bell’s which was historically the case. I get that they get a hard-on for hockey there but if it didn’t bring in ratings at all, why does TSN show more college football than they ever have?
Missouri – Maybe it’s just a surprise to me. They are looking more and more like they will be defending their SEC East crown. This could be partially because every other team is screwing up in some way, shape, or form, but as long as the Tigers don’t make many mistakes, they could be looking at a New Year’s Six bowl bid come December.
Arkansas – Finally Bret Bielema got back to BielemaBall. Took him long enough. Basically if Arkansas, and all the other SEC West teams, win at least three of their non-conference games, you could see or six or even all seven of the teams in that division making bowl games.
BYU – Not a huge surprise; however, they destroyed Texas yet again and really, I don’t see them losing the rest of the way. Should get them a New Year’s Six bowl but will it get them into the semis? If they are the only undefeated team left they almost have to be included (although I still think Marshall will run the table also).
Gunner Kiel – Despite the fact I picked Marshall to be the one Poor Group of Five team to make the CFP-alooza, I figured it would be close. I may have to change my pick since Cincy looked awesome in their first game and most of it is due to Gunner Kiel, who looked every bit the star many thought he would be. Should be interesting when they head to the Shoe to meet tOSU.
Utah – Despite the fact the rest of the Pac-12 South looks weaker than we thought, Utah has to be considered a surprise. This could change when they get into the meat of the conference schedule. But until we see otherwise, the Utes have to be considered a contender.
TSN (and to a lesser extent, Bell) – This is obviously more specific to Canadians. Sportsnet has always been beyond brutal with college football coverage and, to me, TSN wasn’t too much better. They seemed not to care. This year, with the advent of three new TSN channels, we have had a lot more college football on TSN this season. Great for fans. Also great for fans is Bell’s decision (albeit a bit late) to make sure SEC Network games appear on the U.S. College Sports Package. Another win for Bell customers (I can’t believe I am saying that).
I can see some of the disappointments working themselves out and some of the surprises coming back to Earth…well except the Rogers one since they seem to be totally out to lunch there. That’s the nature of college football in that it can be very chaotic.
Last night’s Auburn-KSU game was pretty good. I still am not totally sold on Auburn as a CFP semi-final contender but KSU was ranked so they have to be given props for winning. It beat the NFL Thursday nighter that’s for sure. Can the Bucs and the Raiders just play right now for the #1 pick? Those two teams are awful. Painful to watch really. Looking forward to this weekend’s slate of games despite the fact I will be watching pretty much all of them on PVR (man that was not easy to set up to record the games tomorrow).