College Football Is Wide Open

After a fairly wild Saturday in a season that has already seen the most-ever losses by top-25 teams lose through the first two weeks, college football’s National Title hunt feels like it’s basically up for grabs.

  • #1 Alabama jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the first quarter, but had to hang on for dear life to scrape out a 31-29 win in the Swamp against #11 Florida. The mere 2-point win was Bama’s closest game since their 48-45 loss to Auburn on November 30, 2019, a game they were without starting QB Tua Tagovailoa in. The game against Florida all came down to a 2-point conversion attempt with 3:10 to play, but the Bama defense was able to step up and get the job done. Florida missed an extra point early in the game, and had they not missed it, they wouldn’t have had to go for 2 late in the game, they could’ve just kicked the extra point and tied the game. Bama is the best team in the nation until proven otherwise, but they do not appear to be as dominant as they were last season. Still, though, to be fair, while everyone is nitpicking this win, the fact is that Bama’s true freshman QB went into the Swamp and won a night game against the #11 team in the nation.
  • #2 Georgia easily handled South Carolina 40-13. Okay, fine. Georgia has been good this season, and obviously we know they have that win over Clemson on their resume. But Clemson might not be as good they were expected to be in the preseason.
  • #3 Oklahoma held on to beat Nebraska 23-16. Nebraska has already lost to Illinois this season. Nebraska isn’t that good. Oklahoma still had trouble with them. Oklahoma also almost lost to Tulane in week 1. Oklahoma hasn’t looked quite as bad as Ohio State has, but they do not appear to be a great team right now. It’s tough to see this Oklahoma team going undefeated.
  • #4 Oregon pounded Stony Brook 48-7. It was a gimme of a game. Oregon earned it after going to Columbus and beating Ohio State, though. Oregon should jump OU in the rankings after this weekend, in my opinion.
  • #5 Iowa took care of Kent State 30-7. I know Iowa has already beaten two ranked teams this season, but is anyone really, truly buying Iowa as a top-5 team?
  • #6 Clemson beat Georgia Tech 14-8. Huh? Down 14-6 with 18 seconds to play, Georgia Tech had the ball on the Clemson 1-yard line, but got stuffed on 4th down. GT could’ve won this game. DJ Uiagalelei threw for just 126 yards and had a QBR of 46.7. Clemson is not the same without Trevor Lawrence.
  • #7 Texas A&M sailed to a 34-0 win over New Mexico. They’ve got a big showdown with Arkansas coming up this weekend, and that should tell us a lot about whether they’re for real. A&M looked dominant against New Mexico, but it’s New Mexico. The Aggies are just a week removed from a 10-7 win over Colorado.
  • #8 Cincinnati, after a rocky start, took care of business with a 38-24 road win over Indiana. Indiana was looking good early, but fell apart in the second half. The Bearcats have a bye-week before they have to travel to Notre Dame on October 2. That game will tell us if Cincy is for real.
  • #9 Ohio State still hasn’t figured out its defensive issues, beating Tulsa 41-20 in a game that was a lot closer than the score indicated. Ohio State gave up over 400 yards passing. It’s getting to the point where I’m almost starting to wonder if maybe Oregon is a fraud given that they only beat Ohio State by 7. That’s how bad Ohio State looks right now. Right now Ohio State looks like a 2-3 loss team in the making.
  • #10 Penn State picked up a huge win over #22 Auburn in the Saturday night marquee matchup. Penn State already has a road win over Wisconsin on its resume, so the Nittany Lions actually look pretty strong right now. They’ve definitely been better than Ohio State.
  • #12 Notre Dame held off Purdue for a 27-13 win. Notre Dame needed overtime to beat Florida State, who is currently 0-3 and last week lost to Jacksonville State. And last week, Notre Dame barely escaped Toledo for a 32-29 win. Notre Dame feels like a team that’s cruisin’ for a bruisin’.
  • #13 UCLA, everybody’s darling this year after opening up the season with an upset win over LSU, lost 40-37 to Fresno State.
  • #14 Iowa State beat UNLV 48-3. Fine, but they’re a week removed from getting humbled by Iowa.
  • #15 Virginia Tech was upset by West Virginia 27-21.
  • #16 Coastal Carolina eked out a win over Buffalo, 28-25
  • #17 Ole Miss whooped Tulane 61-21. Ole Miss hasn’t really had any signature wins thus far, but they’ve definitely shown an ability to put up a ton of points under new head coach Lane Kiffin. The real test is coming after a bye week, on October 2, when they travel to Tuscaloosa. Kiffin’s matchup with his old boss Nick Saban is one to circle on the calendar.
  • #18 Wisconsin had a bye week
  • #19 Arizona State lost to #23 BYU 27-17.
  • #20 Arkansas housed Georgia Southern 45-10. Is Arkansas good again? They housed Texas 40-21 in week 2, but have a real test against Texas A&M at home coming this weekend. Then they go to Georgia, and then to Ole Miss. We’ll know if Arkansas is for real very soon here. It’s an absolutely brutal three-week stretch for the Razorbacks.
  • #21 North Carolina took care of business against Virginia 59-39, but UNC already has a week-1 loss to Virginia Tech on their resume.
  • #24 Miami got blown out in their own building by unranked Michigan State, 38-17. Looks like the U still isn’t back.
  • #25 Michigan has people thinking they’re finally good again after a 63-10 win over Northern Illinois. Michigan fans are feeling good about their team after a strong start to the season, but when has that ever worked out for them?

Obviously Bama is still the top dog in College Football. But they look a lot more beatable than they did last year.

Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Notre Dame–who have been the next-best programs in the nation behind Bama during the playoff era–all look shaky to say the least. Which means that even though Bama has looked somewhat mortal this season, it doesn’t feel like anybody out there will be able to take advantage of that. Because even though Bama doesn’t look as good as they did last season, you still have to be at your very best if you want to beat them.

So the good news is that it feels like there might actually be some uncertainty in college football this season with Bama not quite as dominant as they were last season, but the bad news is that nobody else out there has looked quite good enough to capitalize on that.

We have now seen the most top-25 teams lose through three weeks of a season ever. It feels like that’ll continue going forward and this will be a chaotic season. I doubt it’ll rise to the level of 2007 craziness, where we have a #1 vs. #2 Mizzou-Kansas matchup due to all the upsets, but I think things get crazier from here as we head into conference play.

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