On paper, Week 7 of the college football season looked like a total dud. It appeared to lack marquee matchups or any game that could shake up the season as a whole.
Of course as we learned once again, college football doesn't have "bad" weekends, and after a Saturday that saw good teams like Clemson struggle, decent teams like USC emerge, and mediocre teams look especially mediocre-y (hello, Georgia!!) it's time to do what college football fans do best: Overreact.
Here are six overreactions to Week 7 of the college football season.
Purdue will knock it out of the park with their coaching hire
For the first time in a long time, Purdue stole the show this weekend. It just wasn't for anything that happened on the field. Instead, Darrell Hazell is out as the team's head coach and let's start off our overreactions with a curveball: By mid-December, the Boilermakers will have totally outkicked their coverage and hired a coach way better than any of us could have imagined.
Now that's not to say that Purdue is a highy sought-after job brimming with possibility, but it's simply a matter of supply and demand. There's a laughable amount of qualified head coaching candidates and not a lot of openings. All of a sudden, places like Auburn, USC, Kentucky and Vanderbilt seem much safer than they were just a few weeks ago.
Other than in Baton Rouge and maybe Baylor, who will Purdue really be competing with for the best candidates? There are no obvious answers. And while the Boilermakers won't quite have their pick of the litter, they will end up with a guy way better than anyone expects.
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P.J. Fleck will become the hottest name on the market
Fleck's name is just now starting to come up in coaching conversations, even though his resume is more impressive than Tom Herman's at Houston.
During his time at Western Michigan, Fleck has done everything you could possibly want from a future head coach at at Power 5 school. The Broncos have improved every year since he's been there, going from 1-11 in 2013 to 7-0 this year, with 14 wins in his last 16 games overall. He's signed the best recruiting class in the MAC three straight seasons and has picked up big wins this year over Power 5 schools Northwestern and Illinois.
If I were an AD looking to make a splash in the coaching market, he'd be the first name I'd call. Even ahead of Herman.
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The ACC has surpassed both the SEC and Big Ten as the best conference in college football this year
The ACC has depth that neither the SEC of Big Ten has. North Carolina, Miami and Virginia Tech are all legit Top 25 teams and you can add NC State to that list -- even if they aren't ranked there. Pitt has a win over Penn State and even Syracuse is showing signs of life for the first time in a long time after stunning Virginia Tech last weekend.
Considering that the Hokies, Hurricanes and Orange all made major coaching upgrades in the last year (and NC State and UNC before them) the league's rapid improvement shouldn't be a surprise. I doubt anyone thought the ACC would be this good, but it has exceeded expectations and ranks among the top conferences in the sport right now.
Kirby Smart will be coaching for his job at this time next season
The SEC East has never been weaker. We learned that the hard way when Georgia lost to Vanderbilt. It once again called into question the 'Dawgs decision to fire Mark Richt last season, only to bring in a man with no head coaching experience, whose best qualification was that he was an alum of the school. Oops.
Kirby Smart is already starting to feel the heat in Georgia. The 'Dawgs are just 4-3 overall and with narrow wins over Nichols and Missouri, that record could actually be much worse. There's no obvious reason for Georgia's struggles other than poor coaching. Smart was hired for one simple reason: To take an already good program and make it great. But it's floundering in Year One.
Don't be surprised to see Smart's name start to creep up on one of those "hot seat" lists at some point next season. With games remaining against Florida and Auburn, 7-5 feels like a best-case scenario for the 'Dawgs, without any obvious signs that things will be better next season. It's early, but there's no reason Georgia should look this bad under their first-year head coach.
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West Virginia will finish the regular season with at least three losses
The West Virginia Mountaineers were the biggest "winners" in college football last weekend, dominating Texas Tech, moving to No. 12 in the polls and generating buzz as a darkhorse playoff contender. And while the world loves the Mountaineers, consider me skeptical.
WVU's two "best" wins were by a combined four points against two teams that frankly aren't that good (BYU and Kansas State) and they struggled against Missouri in their opener. And since when did beating Texas Tech become a "statement" victory in the Big 12? Isn't that what good Big 12 teams are supposed to do? Would we give Oklahoma, Texas or Baylor credit for doing the same?
The Mountaineers are a byproduct of an easy front-loaded schedule that included two bye weeks and weak Big 12 competition. As the schedule gets tougher -- with Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas and TCU -- I fully expect them to finish with at least three losses.
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Sam Darnold will lead USC to at least one Pac-12 title while he’s at quarterback
It's not often that you can draw a direct parallel to a team's rapid success to one roster move but that's absolutely the case with Sam Darnold at USC. Before they inserted him at quarterback, the Trojans were 1-2 with embarrassing losses to Alabama and Stanford. Since putting him in, they are 3-1 with that sole loss coming in a game they should have won at Utah. All of sudden, USC is one Utes' loss away from winning their second straight Pac-12 South title.
And it's all because of Darnold. He's got the "it" factor. The guy has completely reinvigorated the program, tossing for 13 touchdowns and running for two more in just four full games. Considering the Trojans have a manageable schedule going forward, an 8-4 finish is not only realistic but likely at this point.