College Football

Uh, yeah, Lamar Jackson is for real – Week 3 College Football Recap

Did you see what he, and Louisville, did to Florida State?  Lamar Jackson has put himself squarely in the Heisman trophy conversation.  Now it is just September so until we finish this month’s and next month’s games we won’t have a clear view of who the contenders and pretenders are but I would be shocked if Jackson isn’t in the mix come the start of November.

Let’s start the recap shall we?

Thursday

  • It was a bit of a back and forth affair between Houston and Cincinnati early on but the Coogs pulled away late. They do have to fix their O-line problems though otherwise there is no way Greg Ward survives the entire season without another injury.  I was going to say this is essentially a Big XII play-in game (and should have been played in Dayton) but they will probably both be invited so no worries there.  Also, Cincinnati chili is disgusting.

Friday

  • I figured Baylor would beat Rice by much more. Considering they are almost looking like the Big XII’s best chance at anything this season, this is not good for the conference as a whole.
  • And speaking of not looking too great, what was up with Arizona State? After putting 60+ up on Texas Tech they struggled against UTSA and barely held on to the win.  I guess Kalen Ballage not going crazy and scoring touchdowns like they were going out of style was a one-time thing.

Saturday Early

  • Let’s not call North Dakota State’s win over Iowa a huge upset. Maybe a slight upset.  Remember how good this team is and has been over the past few years.  They could easily be in, oh let’s say, the MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE right now and contend for a league title.  But I will say it’s still amazing when an FCS squad beats a ranked FBS team, no matter how good the FCS team is.
  • What Louisville did, as I mentioned above, was almost NSFW. Thankfully I was at home at the time it happened.
  • Well that will be the last time ESPN heads to Boone, NC for a Saturday game for a few years at least. That was tough to watch.  Miami put the smackdown on Appalachian State from the opening kickoff.  Maybe the Canes are for real.
  • I normally hate hybrid conferences: ones that have members that aren’t all-sports programs (i.e. some don’t have football). I also isn’t too hot on football-only schools.  However, after seeing what Memphis did to Kansas, I think the Big XII should look into it (spoiler alert: they are).  Kansas is god-awful at football and has had a grand total of 3 good seasons in the past 20 years.  That is brutal to a ridiculous degree.  The Big XII needs to add some quality in-conference opponents and they need to do it yesterday.
  • I will await the Larry Culpepper commercial that appears on an ABC/ESPN telecast where Larry accidentally falls down the stairs and can no longer sell Dr Pepper. One, Larry is annoying.  And two, Dr Pepper is gross.
  • Clemson and South Carolina State agreed to 12-minute quarters in the second half after Clemson went up 45-0 in the first half. South Carolina STATE.    Not South Carolina.
  • Not saying Georgia Tech is great or anything but Vanderbilt is awful and it showed here. The Ramblin Wreck put a whoopin on Vandy at home.
  • Tennessee should have put Ohio away earlier than they did. Still ended up winning handily but they aren’t looking that great going into a showdown with Florida next week.

Saturday Afternoon

  • There was a point where it looked like Ole Miss would pull it out against Alabama (just like I thought). But in the back of my mind, I thought “this is Alabama; they may still win this.”  Lo and behold, I was correct.  Close game but you have to play four good quarters to beat a team like the Tide.  And Ole Miss has to quit stopping at about the 29 minute mark and play a whole game.  Second big lead lost in the first three weeks of the season for the Rebs.
  • Yes, North Carolina eventually beat James Madison easily but it was James Madison. It shouldn’t have been even close.
  • Colorado put an early scare into Michigan. The Wolverines, in the end, won handily but maybe, just maybe, this Buffs program is finally on the road back to respectability and bowl contention every year.
  • For people that noticed, CIS football was back on the air. CityTV showed Western at Queens.  Nice to see it back on the air but good lord the announcers sounded like they wanted to be ANYWHERE but at that game.  Get better announcers and then they may have something.
  • South Carolina held on to beat East Carolina after getting out of the gate fast. And for the two idiots who commented on the fact that I said ECU beat NC State last week yet were getting beat up pretty bad early to the Gamecocks, you guys can just fuck off.  I get it: you hate the ACC and love the SEC.  I have no time for conference homers like that.
  • Mark Stoops Employment Watch: I am wondering how long this act can last in Lexington. New Mexico State…NEW MEXICO STATE was hanging with the Wildcats well into the second half.    I think Stoops may not make it to the end of the season as the head coach.
  • Pittsburgh-Oklahoma State had, surprise, surprise, a weather delay! So many of them this season.  One day we are going to have the weather delay that trumps all weather delays and it will cause major issues I am sure.  Also, because of the weather delay, we lost the game to ESPN3.
  • You know, I am just thinking that some at Penn State just don’t get it. You want to celebrate Joe Paterno?  Do it on your own time.  Not in front of a national audience and don’t publicize it.  It’s just a slap in the face to all the victims.
  • Speaking of guys who will probably lose their job, add Steve Addazio to that list. Boston College’s offense is no better this year with Patrick Towles at QB than it was last year.  So something is wrong.  The offensive coordinator will get the axe sooner or later but I think Addazio also needs to go and they need to start fresh.  It’s got pretty bad out near Boston these days.
  • I missed most of the game but Nebraska beat Oregon. Bo Pelini can’t be too happy.

Saturday Primetime

  • LSU had Mississippi State on the ropes and let them back in. Now I am definitely second-guessing picking them to win the national championship.  The way they are playing they probably won’t make the New Year’s Six even.  At least they still have Leonard Fournette.
  • No Tess Effect here. Stanford beat USC pretty easily.  Didn’t crush them but man does it ever feel like USC made the wrong choice with Clay Helton.  He still has the rest of the season to turn it around and he will to have the team buzzing along or else it could be curtains for him and his staff.
  • I actually watched like fifteen minutes of North Texas-Florida. I have no idea why.  Maybe my remote control was sending me subliminal messages to not use it for a while to give it a rest.  My remote control hates me I am sure.
  • Best game of the primetime slot was probably Georgia-Missouri. Does no one want to win the SEC East?  It’ll be a dogfight between teams that can’t be considered elite yet.  The only team that is definitely out of it is Vandy.  Even South Carolina has to be considered somewhat dangerous.
  • Michigan State held on to beat Notre Dame but for most of the game it was out of reach. Sparty built a big lead to almost lose it again.  All this means the Irish should fire Brian VanGorder.  I know Georgia Southern definitely will pass on him in the free agent coaching market.
  • Another weather delay but it did not deter Ohio State from basically demolishing Oklahoma. They obviously let up at about the 5 minute mark of the third quarter.  It was pretty bad to watch…if you continued to watch it which I did not.  I can only take so much of a thrashing before changing channels.  Ah, the power of choice.
  • Have you seen Last Chance U? It’s a fantastic documentary series about East Mississippi Community College and their run of power at the top of the JUCO rankings.  Great to watch.  It featured former Florida State QB John Franklin III who went there looking to be recruited again to a Power Five school.  He was and landed at Auburn.  This past Saturday we got a glimpse of why he was never given a shot at Florida State.  Not knowing it was fourth down and running out of bounds short of the marker?  That’s bush league.  Not that Auburn was going to win but that may have been the nail in the coffin for the Gus Bus.
  • Oh and by the way: what is this epidemic of dropping the ball before crossing the goal line for a touchdown? Why do players CONTINUE to do this?  It’s absurd.  If I was a head coach and saw that, I would be so tempted to nail that player’s ass to the bench for the rest of the game.

Saturday Late Night

  • UCLA-BYU was a bit of a defensive struggle which was surprising considering the teams involved. UCLA did not look that strong and BYU looked awful offensively, especially running the ball.  At least it was close.
  • On the other hand, the other late night I affair (that I could watch) had a shootout between Texas and Cal. And who picked Cal to pull off the upset?  This guy!  I still don’t buy the Longhorn magic.  Are they improved?    But I can’t see them better than an 8-4 team at the end of the day.

So there you go.  Fun times indeed.  And a bit of absurdity.  Here are my updated Top 25 rankings:

#1 Alabama
#2 Ohio State
#3 Michigan
#4 Louisville
#5 Michigan State
#6 Clemson
#7 Stanford
#8 Houston
#9 Washington
#10 Florida State
#11 Wisconsin
#12 Georgia
#13 Tennessee
#14 Texas A&M
#15 LSU
#16 Baylor
#17 Texas
#18 Florida
#19 Miami
#20 Ole Miss
#21 Arkansas
#22 Oklahoma
#23 TCU
#24 Nebraska
#25 Utah

I put Louisville at #4.  I think many would have put the Cards at 1 or 2 but I don’t see how they replace either Alabama or Ohio State.  Michigan at #3 may raise some eyebrows but until they truly falter I won’t put them below the 3 spot.

To be honest, I can honestly see none of the current top four being in the College Football Playoff.  It’s already been that nuts of a season and I see that continuing.  All four teams have at least one if not multiple difficult games the rest of the way.  No one has a cakewalk.  Not even Houston who gets Louisville in November.  Is there a possibility we end up with only one or two undefeated teams at the end of the regular season?  Definitely.  Is there a possibility these teams would be from Group of Five conferences only?  Another distinct possibility.  Anything can happen and I just assume it will at this point.  That’s why I make somewhat crazy predictions at times (see Cal-Texas above).

Alright tomorrow will be the NFL recap.  I’ve started working on the college football schedules for next weekend.  Again it will be a PVR-riffic weekend which sucks because there are so many staggered times it’s ridiculous.  That is awesome live but super frustrating when you have to try to record almost everything.  I have become rather creative with piecing together games so that I can catch, hopefully at least, the ends of many those games.  Makes life as a college football fan at least a little bit more tolerable.

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