Another college football Saturday is in the books, and with it a clearer picture of how the season will unfold as well. Ohio State and Louisville both made statements to the College Football Playoff committee on Saturday, while Texas A&M took a step back. And once again Alabama proved that the road to the title goes through them.
Still, even with a pretty straight-forward Saturday, it doesn’t mean that we can’t do what college football fans do best on Monday -- overreact!
Here are five massive overreactions from Saturday’s games.
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The Alabama loss will cost Ed Orgeron the full-time LSU job
Not literally, since LSU still has three games left to play before the end of the season. But even if Coach O wins out, I just don’t see how LSU can give Orgeron the head coaching job after that performance.
Now, that’s not a knock on Coach O – nobody looks good coaching against Alabama, and no one could have, or would have, had any more success against ‘Bama than he did on Saturday night. At the same time, the two biggest reasons Les Miles was fired earlier this year was because of LSU’s stagnant offense and his inability to beat Nick Saban. Miles had lost five in a row to Saban, and his teams never put up more than 17 points in any of those losses. After Saturday’s performance, how is Coach O any different?
The goal in firing Miles and bringing in a new coach wasn’t to find a guy who could beat Texas A&M, Florida and Mississippi State; Miles was already doing that. It was to find a guy who could breathe life into this offense and beat Bama. Coach O couldn’t do that Saturday, and it’s why he won’t get the job in a few weeks.
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James Franklin will sweep the national Coach of the Year awards
With all due respect to the work that guys like Chris Petersen, Kevin Sumlin and Bobby Petrino have done this year, I can’t think of a single team that has improved more from last year to this year than Penn State. Heck, I can’t think of a team that has improved more from last month to this one than the Nittany Lions have either.
Remember, this team struggled to get past Temple and Minnesota just a few weeks ago. But watching them absolutely dominate a good Iowa team on Saturday, they’re a completely different team than they were even a few weeks ago. The Nittany Lions put up a staggering 599 yards of offense, while their defense was spectacular, allowing just 204 yards of total offense, including 30 on the ground. Yes, that’s an average of just 1.2 yards per rush.
With games against Indiana, Rutgers and Michigan State remaining, Penn State is going to hit 10 wins. And Franklin is going to receive a couple well-earned national Coach of the Year honors.
Washington’s toughest remaining games await them
It’s incredible, but it was just two weeks ago that we thought Washington had picked up their toughest win of the season against Utah on the road. Now I’m beginning to wonder if their toughest games are remaining.
For starters, they get a red-hot USC team this Saturday in Seattle in what is likely the biggest game of the weekend. The Trojans have been unstoppable of late, winning five straight games since a 1-3 start, and with Sam Darnold at quarterback, they have put up at least 41 points in four of those five games. The defense has been equally as stellar; they haven’t given up more than 20 points in four of those five wins.
Even if Washington gets by the Trojans, they have a mega-showdown looming in the Apple Cup with Washington State. The Cougs have won seven straight since an 0-2 start, including the surprise thumping of the weekend, when they took Arizona behind the woodshed in a 69-7 win.
Speaking of Washington-Washington State, two quick thoughts: Who could have imagined in September it could decide the Pac-12 North title? Also, who would have thought Washington State would be one loss against Eastern Washington in Week 1 from being in the playoff mix right now? What world do we live in?
Clemson won’t play a single game in the single digits until the playoff
While U-Dub, as well as Alabama (Auburn) and Michigan (Ohio State) still have arguably their toughest games remaining, Clemson’s road to the playoff is basically in the rear-view mirror. And after embarrassing a good Syracuse team by a score of 54-3 last week, I have to ask: Will any team be able to play within single digits of the Tigers until the playoff?
I say no, as they won’t be tested against Pitt, at Wake Forest and against South Carolina to close out the year. And while I like (projected ACC Coastal champ) Virginia Tech, this is a team that has won its last two games by a combined six points. They stand no chance against Clemson, either.
Assuming nothing catastrophic happens, it will be a cakewalk to the playoff for the Tigers. They have unofficially punched their ticket already, and will win every game left on their schedule by at least 10 points.
Baylor is currently 6-2. They’ll finish 7-5 at best
The wheels have officially fallen off Baylor. Last week reports began to surface that Baylor’s coaching staff has in essence stopped recruiting for 2017, and that attitude appears to have permeated to the field on Saturday. The Bears were absolutely listless against TCU, getting outscored 38-14 in the first half on their way to an embarrassing 62-22 loss to the Horned Frogs. The worst part? This isn’t even a vintage TCU team; with the win, they’re now just 5-4 on the season.
It seems as though everyone – from coaches to players – just want the season to end, and because of that it’s hard to see the Bears winning another game this season. They aren’t beating a red-hot Oklahoma team in Norman this week, and in two weeks they play a pesky Kansas State team; say what you want about Bill Snyder’s club, but they play great defense (allowing just 24 points per game) and are always prepared. A win against Texas Tech is possible the week after that, but so too is a loss at West Virginia to close the year.
At best this team is finishing 7-5, with 6-6 likely.