Another week of blistering college action has gone by and again, there was something for everyone. We saw some of the big names take a loss, a terrible call to cost Arkansas an upset over Auburn and last year’s National Champions fall outside the AP 25, along with a Texas Longhorns team that was tipped for big things preseason.
As the fall (autumn) nights creep in, it feels like we have two out and out favourites for this year’s natty in Clemson and Alabama. The former didn’t let up at all on Saturday, despite some of us tipping Miami for a shock upset as the two sides met in South Carolina. Alabama had been efficient over the first two games of the year, but they really put their foot on the pedal this week to see off an Ole Miss side that don’t look too bad on offense themselves.
As ever there are plenty of winners and losers, but this week we want to give a bonus ‘loser’ medal to Fantrax, the platform which hosts our CFB fantasy league – at the time of writing there has still not been any data inputted and we’re in the dark as to who won last week’s matchups. There’s a gap in the market for someone to really do something with fantasy college sports.
- Najee Harris & the Alabama Offense
Whenever a team puts up 63 points, you know it’s been a good day at the office. In the early hours of Sunday morning (UK time) things didn’t start fantastically for Najee Harris as he had the ball ripped from his grasp on the Ole Miss goal line. But from there things only skyrocketed from the future NFL back, he went into the end zone five times and rushed for more than 200 yards, the highlight of which was a 33 yard burst to cap off the first drive of the third quarter. The rest of the offense showed up as well, with Mac Jones completing 28 of 32 passes for 417 yards and 2 TDs and Devonta Smith turning 13 catches into 164 yards and a score. The first big test of the season will come against a strong Georgia defense next week.
Lee’s adopted team in the Carolinas have had a great start to the season, early wins against Syracuse and Boston College set the Tar Heels up nicely for a matchup with ranked Virginia Tech at the weekend. With 101 points on the board it wasn’t one for the defensive fans out there but UNC and their running game were seemingly always in control. Sam Howell is shaping up to be a hell of a quarterback and he showcased it with a beautiful touchdown pass to Dyami Brown for arguably the most aesthetically pleasing play of the game. But it was the running game that won this game, with Javonte Williams and Michael Carter combining for more than 370 yards of rushing offense and four TDs. The win has catapulted the Tar Heels up to fifth in the AP 25 and things look set to continue against a rebuilding Florida State on Saturday.
- Iowa State Cyclones
When the Cyclones lost to Louisiana in their opener, people (admittedly including me) seemingly wrote them off straight away. But, Iowa State has bounced back in style with wins over TCU, Spencer Rattler’s Sooners and now the Texas Tech Red Raiders. As we’ve mentioned before, Brock Purdy came into the season with growing hype around him, and in this game he showcased exactly why. The draft prospect looked calm outside the pocket, including on a touchdown throw to Chase Allen, and even got outside the pocket and showcased his athleticism where needed. The Cyclones defense also turned up to play in this one, holding a traditionally free scoring Red Raiders to just 15 points and just 58 yards of rushing yardage.
- LSU Tigers
Well, the Tigers have really returned to Earth with a bit of a bump, haven’t they? Bottom of the SEC West, unranked and at the moment they just aren’t getting the job done.
Look, I know that they hemorrhaged a heck of a lot of talent in the spring to the NFL, and then some more to opt-outs but this just doesn’t look like an LSU team at all.
Why is that?
Because they can’t play defense.
Myles Brennan and the offense is having to work awfully hard to keep LSU in some games – As we’ve discussed on recent podcasts, there is some talent on this offense but when you have to put up 45 points to win a game, it’s just not sustainable.
It doesn’t get much easier this coming weekend as they head to The Swamp to take on Florida – Coach O needs to figure something out STAT otherwise it’ll likely be another loss for the reigning champs.
- Tom Herman and the Texas Longhorns
In a week of no defensive play (more of that soon), another team who can put up points in bunches finds themselves in my losers column this week.
The Texas Longhorns lost a close one to their bitter rivals Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown, which if your allegiances are to burnt orange, is what some might say… Not great.
However, the Longhorns and more to a point, their Head Coach, Tom Herman are losers not just for this weekend’s showing but precisely that really… Being losers.
Now, before you point out that Herman has a 27-17 overall record in Austin, and also 4-0 record in the bowls, which is all well and good but what has it really all equated to?
Not a lot.
Texas is one of the loudest and proudest institutions in college football and they are absolutely nowhere near winning a Big XII championship, nevermind making the college football playoffs or winning a National Championship.
Ok… Not many teams are… So does Texas send talent to the league?
No first round players in Herman’s reign as HC.
This is becoming a little bit of a grievance based on historical outcomes, however my belief is that this loss to an unranked Oklahoma team is the epitome of this era of Texas football.
Texas have all of this mediocrity whilst paying their Head Coach almost $7m per year, too – That seat must be getting as hot as an Austin barbeque on a July afternoon.
- Lovers of Good Defense
Regular readers and listeners to the Full 10 Yards CFB will know I’m a fan of good defense. I don’t want to see sloppy tackling, bad angles and a million points for each side.
This weekend in FBS Division-I, 18 teams scored 40 points or more. Another 5 scored 37 or 38 points.
It’s just unacceptable.
I get that some guys are missing due to COVID, some guys opted out and that it’s been a weird offseason but we need some guys who can keep the scores down out here!
I know college football and football in general is supposed to be fun and we all want to see touchdowns, but what we don’t want is offenses ragdolling defenses and just doing whatever they want.
That said, I do think this could be a trend as the season goes on and there is more disruption to the season, so I will try to embrace it and not be so grumpy.