1) Big Ten
After this weekend in college football, the Big Ten managed to further prove the point that I previously made in my article about the Big Ten being overrated. Penn State, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota and Iowa, all managed to defeat their G5 opponents. Ohio State took advantage of all the mistakes TCU made and defeated the No. 15 team. Other than Ohio State however, none of those wins were very impressive.
What was really impressive was the Big Ten’s ability to lose games. Purdue lost to the mediocre SEC opponent Missouri at home and Illinois gave up 18 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to USF for a G5 loss at home. Maryland, the team that defeated the Longhorns in week 1, managed to lose to Temple at home, the same team that lost to Villanova and Buffalo weeks prior. That’s right, Villanova has a football team; who knew. Northwestern found a way to lose to Akron at home, the once-hopeful Nebraska lost to Troy at home and in a huge upset, the No. 6 Wisconsin lost to BYU, also at home. The most impressive Big Ten loss however was the 55-14 ass whooping Rutgers took from Kansas, in the Jayhawks’ first back-to-back wins against FBS teams this decade.
“KU followed up on its road win against Central Michigan with a 55-14 whipping of Rutgers, in a matchup of Power Five bottom-feeders that should become sort of annual tradition – it’s the football equivalent of raising the bumpers on your bowling lane, handicapping the season so that at least one of these two teams has a good shot at getting into the win column in September.”
Although they didn’t have as bad of a week as the Big Ten, the Pac-12 continues to prove that they are the weakest P5 conference. Stanford, Colorado, Cal, Washington State and Arizona all managed to defeated their mediocre G5 opponents at home in impressively, unimpressive ways. Oregon beat San Jose State at home but only by 15 points. The same 0-3 San Jose State that lost to UC Davis 44-38; 9 more points than Oregon was able to score.
As the Pac-12 went into week 3 with 5 ranked teams, 2 of those teams managed to lose to unranked opponents. No. 22 USC was completely outmatched in Austin by the so-far, dull 1-1 Longhorns. No. 23 Arizona State, the team that previously took down No. 15 Michigan State, lost to San Diego State. Oregon State and UCLA both managed to lose to their 1-1 MWC opponents, Nevada and Fresno State. Now, the Pac-12 has 3 ranked teams, the least of any P5 conference, and I could easily see No. 20 Oregon falling off completely based on their embarrassing performance in week 3.
3) Florida State
While the rest of the ACC was either winning their games, or cancelling them due to Hurricane Florence, Florida State was getting their asses kicked by Syracuse. If you would have told me 5 years ago Syracuse would be beating Florida State 30-7 in week 3, I would have had you committed. In 2018 however, anything is possible, or anyone beating FSU at least.
Since losing Jimbo Fisher, the Seminoles are 1-2 and have allowed 80 points and only scored 46. Although losing to Virginia Tech in week 1 is understandable, especially for a new coach, allowing the FCS Samford to score 26 points and losing to Syracuse in such an embarrassing fashion is unacceptable, particularly for a blue-blood program like Florida State.
4) SEC Bottom-Feeders
Just like what I mentioned in my previous article about the Big Ten, the SEC continues to prove they are the best conference in college football. Georgia, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Texas A&M and even Florida, all managed to completely dominate their G5 opponents. No. 12 LSU beat No. 7 Auburn in a close 22-21 game in Alabama and even the mediocre Missouri was able to take down their Big Ten opponent, Purdue. Although Vanderbilt lost to the Fighting Irish, the Commodores were able to keep the game within 5 points against the No. 8 team at Notre Dame.
“Sure, you could be like every other Big Ten fan and claim that the SEC is top heavy but that simply isn’t the case, at least not more so than any other conference.”
As I previously mentioned, even in the most dominate conference has their bottom-feeders. Ole Miss was fiercely put in their place within the SEC after taking a 62-7 loss at home to the No. 1 Crimson Tide. Even after such a terrible loss though, I’m still a little unsure if this proves how bad Ole Miss is, or just how good Alabama truly is. Although I predicted the outcome in the Chairgatin’ Podcast, Arkansas also proved how bad they are this year after an embarrassing 44-17 loss to UNT at home. I didn’t want to have to say, “I told you so,” but I have previously mentioned on numerous occasions that Chad Morris was a bad hire for Arkansas.
Although Tennessee got their second win of the season, they only managed to score 24 points against UTEP, possibly the worst team in college football. UTEP allowed the FCS Northern Arizona to score 30 points and UNLV 52. So, although it was technically a win on the scoreboard, it was a loss in confidence. Regardless of the SEC bottom-feeders proving their disappointment to the rest of the conference however, the SEC still remains the best group of teams in college football. With six schools in the top 25, the SEC has the most ranked teams and could managed to have 2 more, in my opinion.
Sure, this one may be a bit personal for me but as a Houston Cougar alumni, I need to be just as hard on my team as I am supportive when they do well. After this week, I am going to be very hard on the Coogs. Looking at the scoreboard of this game, the 63-49 loss to Texas Tech in Lubbock may not seem so terrible for a G5 team against a Big 12 opponent but I assure you, it is a major loss. UH definitely put together a successful offense under new OC Kendal Briles but you have to remember that it was against the notoriously-poor defensive Red Raiders. More importantly, Houston let Tech score 63 points with a defense that helms a Heisman candidate and No. 1 projected NFL draft pick, Ed Oliver.
You could make the argument that Texas Tech has an amazing offense yet they only managed to score 27 points against Ole Miss, the same team that allowed Southern Illinois to score 41 points and Alabama 62. Maybe the Red Raider Freshman QB, Alan Bowman, is the real deal but the same Houston defense managed to hold Heisman candidate Khalil Tate to 0 passing touchdowns and 2 interceptions the week before. Looking ahead, the Cougars have 3 consecutive weeks against winnable opponents like Texas Southern, Tulsa and ECU. That being said, if Houston doesn’t figure out their impressively bad pass-defense soon, I honestly don’t know how many games they will win this year.