College Football Wrap-Up – Week 7
A case could be made following major college football’s 7th week of competition that the trend toward parity among the AP Top 25 teams is happening, when, in fact, it appears to have already arrived.
Here is the evidence:
#6 Notre Dame at home could only beat a 2-4, unranked North Carolina team by 7 while giving up 43 points! – Needless to say, there is no way in hell that the Fighting Irish are the 6th best team in the country . . . or are they if parity exists?
#5 Baylor at home could only beat #9 TCU by a field goal while giving up 58 points! – Both of these teams need to implement defense into their football programs. Baylor was the only team in college football to not play defense; perhaps TCU could be added to the list of teams who do not consider defense to be part of their program.
#7 Alabama on-the-road could only beat a 3-3, unranked Arkansas team by a single point while giving up 13. – Yes, we are talking about THAT Alabama team, winning of 3 national championships in 4 years and arguably the BEST college football program in the country during past 6 years!
#8 Michigan State on-the-road could only beat a 3-4, unranked Purdue team by 14 while giving up 31 points.
#11 Oklahoma at home could only beat a 2-4, unranked Texas team by 5 while giving up 26 points.
#12 Oregon on-the-road could only beat #18 UCLA by 12 points while giving up 30 points.
#16 Oklahoma State on-the-road could only beat a 2-4, unranked Kansas team by 7 while giving up 20 points.
#19 East Carolina on-the-road could only beat a 2-4, unranked South Florida team by 11 while giving up 17 points.
When you understand and accept the standard that a ranked team must beat an unranked team by at least 21 points (a 3-touchdown margin to demonstrate dominance), you notice more evidence of parity. To wit:
#1 Florida State on-the-road could only beat a 2-4, unranked Syracuse team by 18 while giving up 20 points.
#10 Arizona at home could not even beat a 4-2, unranked Southern California team, losing to the Trojans in an upset, 28-26.
#22 Georgia Tech at home could not even beat a 5-1, unranked Duke 11, losing to the Blue Devils in an upset, 31-25.
#25 Stanford at home could only beat a 2-5, unranked Washington State team by 17 while giving up 17 points.
Unranked Wisconsin at home could only beat a 3-4, unranked Illinois team by 10 while giving up 28 points – In past years, the Badgers would have made the Fighting Illini into road kill upon sight.
So who is getting it done?
Let’s start with #3 Mississippi State at home as the Bulldogs upset #2 Auburn, 38-23 – Like the credit card commercial says, it was priceless for Bulldog fans.
#3 Ole Miss (tied with Mississippi State at #3) on-the-road upended #14 Texas A&M, 35-20.
#13 Georgia on-the-road leveled #23 Missouri 34-zip – That’s called stomping a mud hole in your ranked opponent, making Missouri imminently forgettable.
And then there was Marshall’s Thundering Herd, who remained unbeaten at 6-0 by eliminating Middle Tennessee, 49-24, a 25-point victory margin that vaulted Marshall into the AP Top 25 this week at #25.
More evidence of parity: After 7 weeks of major college football, ONLY 6 teams remain unbeaten, and all have 6-0 records:
#1 Florida State, #3 Ole Miss, #3 Mississippi State, #5 Baylor, #6 Notre Dame and #35 Marshall, a mid-major from Conference USA.
Among the 6 unbeaten teams, who really has a shot at becoming the National Champion?
Marshall is #2 nationally in Total Offense and Scoring Offense, but is not likely to beat a bigger, major school with a defense, like the Michigan State Spartans, who are #5 in Rushing Defense, #2 in Turnover Margin, #4 in Scoring Offense and leading the nation in Time of Possession.
Notre Dame is not in the Top 5 in any category. The Fighting Irish are #39 in Scoring Offense and #8 in Scoring Defense. Notre Dame has beaten Rice, Michigan, Purdue, Syracuse and North Carolina. Their only quality win was by a field goal over Stanford.
Baylor has beaten 5 flunkies—SMU, Northwestern State, Buffalo, Iowa State and Texas. The Bears only reasonable opposition was the TCU Horned Frogs, who the Bears beat by a field goal after giving up 58 points. You figure it out.
The jury is out on Mississippi State and Mississippi. They collectively have beaten some Top 25 teams and have not yet met their match.
Florida State beat Oklahoma State by 6 and Clemson in overtime; the rest of the Seminole wins were against lesser-light teams. Again, the jury is out.
Either Florida State or Notre Dame will lose this week as the play each other.
In a battle of winless teams, #170 Massachusetts (now 1-6) on-the-road beat #189 Kent State (0-6), 40-17. Joining Kent State as the only winless “A” teams left are #160 SMU and #183 Idaho. Bummer for those teams. They are only 125 “A” teams this year.
A last game of note: California, a 24-point favorite at home, was upset by Washington 31-7 – That is one, nasty 55-point backward turnaround for the Bears, and the Washington Huskies are now an iffy 5-1 team that could keep climbing or flame out.