College Football Wrap-Up – Week 3
Reality sets in about the 3rd week of major college football, and this year was no exception.
The #6-Ranked Georgia Bulldogs got stung on-the-road at South Carolina, losing to the Gamecocks by a field goal, 38-35. South Carolina, upended in its opener at home against Texas A&M by 24 points, now does not look so bad, as A&M, then ranked #17 is now ranked #6 after beating in-state rival Rice 38-10.
South Carolina is not the only team rebounding after an upset loss. The Ohio State Buckeyes lost by 24 to Virginia Tech last week and shut out in-state rival Kent State 66-0 this week. After its tremendous win against Ohio State last week, #17 Virginia Tech was upset by unranked East Carolina this week, 28-21.
After its awesome defeat of Stanford last week, #9 USC traveled to Boston College and promptly lost 37-31. #15 Stanford, on the rebound, shut out Army 35-0. Army was using popguns, which was kind of like playing a junior college team.
Not to be outdone were the #21 Louisville Cardinals, who could not keep pace with Virginia, losing to the Cavaliers, 23-21.
So Georgia, USC, Virginia Tech and Louisville are all not as good as advertised as these 4 ranked teams lost, and all but Georgia lost to unranked teams. This is the reality of college football, even the best of the best can be upset any week, and especially in an away game. This kind of action is also why college football is more interesting than pro football.
So 4 ranked teams are upset, and 3 ranked teams are on the rebound after suffering upset loses.
So, who is left that is really still getting it done? That means ranked teams that beat unranked opponents by at least 3 touchdowns. There were 7:
#8 Baylor (3-0) beat Buffalo by 42. Baylor is college football’s all offense team with little or no defense, which is why they can get attention but never win a national championship.
#14 Ole Miss (3-0) beat Louisiana-Lafayette by 41. Ole Miss is trying to get national attention after so many years as a doormat in the SEC. Just how long will Ole Miss go undefeated?
#3 Alabama (3-0) beat Southern Mississippi by 40. Alabama under Nick Saban is the Crimson Tide, and Roll Tide is in the hunt for the national title every year.
#2 Oregon (3-0) beat Wyoming by 34. The Ducks continue to be in the race for national title in recent years.
#10 LSU (3-0) shut out in-state rival Louisiana-Monroe, 31-0.
#20 Missouri (3-0) beat UCF by 28. Every 10 years or so Missouri has a good team, but mostly the Tigers win off the radar when it comes to the national championship race.
#4 Oklahoma (3-0) beat Tennessee by 24. For years Tennessee had competitive teams in the SEC. No mas. Payton Manning left Tennessee 17 years ago.
Now let’s identify the Top 25 ranked teams that could not beat an unranked opponent by at least 3 touchdowns, indicating that they are not nearly in the same league at this point in the season. There were 4:
#11 Notre Dame (3-0) could only beat in-state rival Purdue by 16. Purdue is never in the hunt for anything, the Boilermakers are too busy trying to find boilers to fix.
#16 Arizona State (3-0) could only beat Colorado by 14. The Buffaloes are on hard times in Boulder.
#25 Brigham Young (3-0) could only beat Houston by 8.
#12 UCLA (3-0) could only beat Texas by 3. Texas was supposed to be better this year, but the Longhorns have now lost 2 of their first 3 games, which is, of course, not good.
Notre Dame, Arizona State, Brigham Young and UCLA will all get beaten this year, and all of them will likely lose more than one game.
Ten unranked teams managed to open the season at 3-0 this year but against weaker competition. All will continue to rise or fall during the coming weeks. Here they are followed by the Sagarin rankings of the opponent they beat:
Pittsburgh (3-0) beat #157 Florida International.
Northern Illinois (3-0) beat #117 UNLV.
North Carolina State (3-0) beat #115 South Florida.
Mississippi State (3-0) beat #111 South Alabama.
Georgia Tech (3-0) beat #107 Georgia Southern.
Duke (3-0) beat #102 Kansas.
Penn State (3-0) beat #90 Rutgers.
Nebraska (3-0) beat #84 Fresno State.
Washington (3-0) beat #82 Illinois from the Big Ten.
Arizona (3-0) beat #76 Nevada.
Justified or not, Nebraska moved up to #24 in this week’s AP Top 25 Poll. Although they played better ranked teams, Washington and Arizona did not move into the rankings, mostly because Nebraska is almost always overrated and Washington and Arizona are Pac-12 teams. This week’s inside joke: Big Ten teams are always thought to be better than Pac-12 teams.
There were two dramatic overtime games this week. Middle Tennessee nipped Western Kentucky in triple overtime, 50-47, and Florida got by Kentucky in quadruple overtime, 36-30. Florida (2-0) is an improved team this year.