There’s no other way to put it: If you’re a college football fan, Saturday was absolute bananas. From noon Eastern until well after midnight, the day was chock full of huge games which were not only entertaining, but will alter the college football landscape for months to come.
And now that we're three full weeks into the season, it’s time to do what we do best in college football: Completely overreact.
We'll give you overreactions every Monday here on FOXSports.com. Here are 6 overreactions from Week 3 of the college football season.
Getty ImagesScott Halleran
This is the best the Big Ten has been in two decades
For the Big Ten, it was a banner day. After being college football’s favorite whipping boy for years, the conference as a whole made a statement. Ohio State absolutely crushed Oklahoma in one of the most surprising results we’ve seen all season. Michigan State dominated Notre Dame for most of three quarters. Nebraska beat Oregon and Michigan beat Colorado. And remember, Wisconsin already has a win over LSU. To quote Jim Harbaugh: Who’s got it better than the Big Ten right now? Noooooobody!
The Buckeyes, Spartans and Wolverines are all legitimate Top 10 teams (and Wisconsin is not far behind), which got me wondering, when was the last time the conference has been this good? The answer might be all the way back in 1994, when the league saw Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan all finish in the Top 15, before nine separate Big Ten players were all drafted in the first round in the NFL.
It's safe to say that this is the most competitive the league has been in a long, long time, and folks in the Midwest have to be enjoying every second of it.
Getty ImagesAndrew Weber
We will one day discuss the 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes with the 2001 Miami Hurricanes as the best teams of all-time
As I watched Ohio State -- one of the youngest teams in college football this year -- go on the road and absolutely disembowel Oklahoma, I couldn’t help but think one thing: How the heck did this team ever lose last year?
That's what’s most amazing about Ohio State’s win over OU: They went on the road and beat a top-20 team with a bunch of guys who played no meaningful snaps last year -- guys who couldn’t even get on the field because everyone else in front of them was so good.
Malik Hooker led the team with eight solo tackles on Saturday. He had six all of last year. Hooker and fellow corner Marshon Lattimore have six total interceptions so far this season, after combining for zero last year. Jerome Baker had a pick-six on Saturday. He didn’t even play in almost half of Ohio State’s games (six) last year. Curtis Samuel has 16 catches after making just 22 all of last season.
So when you add all those guys -- a group of future All-Americans and NFL stars -- with the guys that Ohio State lost off of last year’s team, the Joey Bosas, Ezekiel Elliotts and Eli Apples of the world, I think we’ll one day look on that 2015 Ohio State team similar to the 2001 Miami Hurricanes, as the greatest of all-time.
Getty ImagesScott Halleran
Speaking of Miami, they will make their first ever ACC Championship Game this year
The early 2000s Miami teams -- which were among the best in the country -- are the reason that the Hurricanes are in the ACC right now. When the ACC added Miami in 2003, they were coming off three straight 11-win seasons and everyone assumed that the ‘Canes would continue their dominance in their new league.
But then the program fell apart. To date, they have only won their division one time, a three-way tie in 2012. But because Miami was ineligible for the postseason, it was ineligible for the ACC title game as well. The Hurricanes still haven’t played in a single ACC Championship Game.
I think that streak ends this year. The ‘Canes are quietly putting together a dominant opening stretch to the season and look like a completely different team under Mark Richt.
Sure, the competition hasn’t been great; Miami has only played Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic and Appalachian State so far. But there’s something to be said for playing weak competition and dominating them, something the Hurricanes have done to a tee. They won those three games by a combined score 153-23. Wow!
There’s no reason to think that the ‘Canes aren’t a legitimate top-15 team capable of winning the ACC Coastal Division this season. Despite its on-field struggles, Miami has recruited well over the last few years and probably has more talent than anyone in the conference not named Louisville, Clemson or Florida State. Joseph Yearby and Mark Walton are especially impressive at running back, with a combined 11 touchdowns this season.
Louisville-Houston will be a “Win and You’re Into the College Football Playoff” matchup when they play in late November
Louisville’s win over Florida State was massive proof that the Cardinals aren’t just Lamar Jackson, they're a complete and total team. And if they can get by a trip to Clemson in two weeks, they have a super-manageable schedule that should have them at 10-0 when they travel to Houston on Nov. 17.
Doesn’t that feel like a “Win and You’re Into the Playoff” scenario at this point?
If Louisville were beat Clemson, it would all but wrap up a staggering regular season (they play Kentucky the following week) that would include wins over three top-15 teams (Florida State, Clemson and Houston). Even if they were to lose in the ACC title game, they would make a compelling case for the playoff.
On the flip side, there is Houston. We've heard how Oklahoma’s loss to Ohio State hurt the Cougars, how Tom Herman’s club no longer has a signature win to hang their hats on. I don’t believe that and think it will be long forgotten by November. If Houston beats Louisville, they will have two solid wins on their resume, including a win over a potential ACC and Big 12 champ. They would also hold a trump card if Louisville went to win the ACC title. How could you put Louisville into the playoff over Houston if the Cougars had a head-to-head win?
Georgia will go from 3-0, to 3-2 in two weeks
With so many big games on the docket Saturday night, one result got lost in the shuffle: Georgia’s disappointing 28-27, come-from-behind win over Missouri.
Yes, it was an SEC road win, but Georgia gave up 27 points to a team that averaged 13.6 points a game last year and ranked 127th nationally. Missouri didn’t look better in Week 1 either, scoring just 11 in a loss to West Virginia. Couple that performance with a 26-24 nail-biter against Nichols, that’s a second straight poor performance for the ‘Dawgs.
Georgia could be in big trouble the next two weeks. They go to Ole Miss this weekend to play a Rebels club which, at 1-2, has their season at a crossroads. Hugh Freeze’s team has played both Alabama and Florida State well and you’ve got to think that the ‘Dawgs will get the Rebels' best effort. After that, they host Tennessee. The Vols certainly haven’t looked great so far, but they have more experience and talent -- and will likely be favored in that game.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY SportsBrett Davis
The winner of Stanford-Washington two weeks from now will make the College Football Playoff
OK, so this probably isn’t a “gross overreaction” so much as a “lukewarm overreaction.” But through three weeks, the Cardinal and Huskies are the class of the Pac-12. Whoever wins this game could easily run the table and win the Pac-12 title.
The rest of the conference is miles behind these two teams. UCLA and USC have been two of the most uninspired teams in college football this season and don’t appear to pose any real threat. Oregon proved Saturday that it's light years away from when Chip Kelly was their coach. Arizona is crumbling after struggling against Grambling a few weeks ago (although they bounced back nicely with a win over Hawaii this week). Arizona State is young but inconsistent. Only Utah remains as a true threat to those top two teams.
No one thought of Stanford-Washington as one of the “games of the year” when the season started. But its impact could be more meaningful than any of us imagined.
Aaron Torres covers college football for Fox Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Aaron_Torres, Facebook or ATorres00@gmail.com.