Non-Supernatural Superpowers Show Cracks
Alabama looked win-win for the first time.
Ohio State’s defense remains unchallenged, Clemson’s offensive still looks weak, and Oklahoma still looks far from elite.
Perhaps college football season for the super teams wouldn’t be inevitable after all?
Top seed Crimson Tide faced a serious challenge, but managed to break out of The Swamp undefeated against No. 11 Florida. The winners were also the No.9 Buckeyes, No.6 Tigers and No.3 Sooners with flaws.
These four teams met in 20 football playoff matches. Fans, at least fans of the other teams, were mourning the same old fashioned, the same, and preparing for another round of it in 2021.
Three weeks later, he dared to dream of something different.
Going up to 21-3, things weren’t easy for Crimson Tide’s attacking and perhaps Nick Saban was right to worry about this continued defense after the Mercer game. The Gators ran for 245 yards—although they went nowhere in terms of a potential 2-point conversion late in the fourth quarter.
Credit Florida coach Dan Mullen with back-to-back games against Alabama where – with very different individuals – the Gators managed to make the tidal attack work under pressure by deflecting his defense.
Last year, Florida was all about Kyle Trask’s outreach to Kyle Bates and Kadarius Tony. The Gators are a team now working at quarterback with Emory Jones, who went all the way with the sidelining of Anthony Richardson.
“To be honest with you, I hope we see them really soon, like later in the season,” Mullen said of Tide.
Alabama would still be No. 1 in the country, and a repeat favorite as a National Champion, but Tide gave only the slightest indication that the machine might have two gears that need grease. Especially with back-to-back games against Mississippi #20 (October 2) and at number seven at Texas A&M (October 9) soon.
No. 9 Ohio State (2-1) exceeded the point of needing to adjust only. The Buckeyes pulled out of Tulsa in the fourth quarter thanks to a TreVeyon Henderson phenomenon (270 yards lunge and three TDs).
Those defensive issues where coach Ryan Day was asked about defensive coordinator Kerry Combs’ status after the Oregon loss? I’m still here. Tulsa passed for 428 yards.
Related: No. 10 Pennsylvania, No. 25 Michigan and Michigan 9-0 combined.
Clemson’s opening loss, which didn’t go down to Georgia, didn’t seem to be cause for panic, and Saturday’s long weather delay against Georgia Tech may have taken out the Tigers (2-1) of some sort. However, the 284-yard total against a team losing to Northern Illinois is concerning. Clemson scored 17 points in two games against an FBS competitor.
Of course, the ACC doesn’t exactly boast a host of potential contenders to break Clemson’s six-year lock on the conference title.
As for Oklahoma, the hype that started this year was based on the premise that the Sooners now have a good defense to take on what is always a highly charged offense. The assumption is that with Lincoln Riley calling the plays, Spencer Rattler will go from good to great in the middle and the rest of the offense will follow.
Rattler would turn out to be a competitor in Heisman as the three quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield, Keeler Murray and Jalen Hurts) who came before him.
What is the old saying about assumption?
Oklahoma’s offense is still a far cry from the Baker/Keller days. In a deft victory against Nebraska, Ratler was 23 of 34 for 213 yards and no pickaxe.
The Sooners have won six consecutive 12 titles, but have only lost once in multiplayer during that time. After watching the Sooners play near Tulane and Nebraska, the rest of the Big 12 should be supported.
Now, reality check: Gains are wins and by the time November rolls around all of these powerful forces could be headed toward CFP again.
But for now, the rest of the country has reason to hope that a real playoff can take place.
No. 8 Cincinnati came from 14-0 late in the first half to put Indiana off late, checking the first box in an important period of games for the Bearkats if they hoped to provide a playoff case. UCLA has a week off before heading to No. 12 Notre Dame on October 2.
“It’s a little bit different world for us just because it’s a bit of a spotlight, a bit of a bull’s-eye,” said Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell. “I wouldn’t say it’s more of a spotlight or a magnet than anyone else has been rated for. But for us as a program it’s a little different from what we experienced, and our young people are finding a way to really deal with it.”
The Bearcats got some help in the form of four turnovers by the Hoosiers and a targeting call against IU who swung momentum late in the first half. However, it is a solid road win.
The strong problem was not what the University of California subscribed to. The Cincinnati Perfect World CFP scenario had Indiana and Notre Dame as the two seeded teams. The Hoosiers can still enjoy a good season, but Michael Bennix has been a spinning machine and Indiana probably won’t be the second-best team in the Big Ten East this season.
As for Notre Dame, Ireland led 3-0 and none of it came easy. At least this time they didn’t need the late game tournaments against Bordeaux.
Notre Dame ranks 18th in Wisconsin next week in Chicago. The Bearcats will root for the Irish in their layover week.
FRESNO STATE FOLK HERO
Jake Hanner moved from Washington to Fresno and turned into a Pac 12 killer.
The Bulldogs quarterback designed two late landing engines to upset UCLA’s No. 13 and turn the Pac-12 After Dark into a disaster for the West’s Coast Power Five Conference.
San Diego State beat Utah an additional three times, and No. 23 BYU beat 19th Arizona, with an assist Amazing chase by tyson algerNorthern Arizona beat Arizona for the first time in nearly 90 years.
But nothing was worse than losing UCLA. Just two weeks ago the Bruins dropped out of LSU and looked on their way to a big season under Chip Kelly.
Then Haener, playing through the pain, made one of the season hits, throwing for 455 yards and two touchdowns.
The Pac-12 is 16-16 in nonconference games, including three losses to BYU, five against Mountain West teams—such as Fresno State—and two to the FCS.
ABOUT THE COUNTRY: Nothing is more than Pete that the Panthers lost on their home soil to Western Michigan in the Mid-America Conference a week after they beat the SEC (Tennessee) team on the road. …add the number 15 Virginia Tech loss at West Virginia and Michigan State to take it to the 24th Miam i loss for Pitt and the Atlantic Coast Conference had another tough week in the non-conference play. …Memphis won a wild game against Mississippi State with one of More Exotic Punt Returns TDs You’ll see – and one that will piss off Bulldogs fans… Kedon Slovis got his chance at USC two seasons ago due to a JT Daniels injury. Is Jaxson Dart just Wally Pipp Slovis? The new Trojans player came off the bench in the first USC game since Clay Hilton was sent off for a 391-yard pass and four touchdowns in a defeat by Washington State. … Florida State 0-3 for the first time since 1976, the late Bobby Bowden’s first season as a coach. Rutgers is 3-0 for the first time since 2012. …I hope college football doesn’t wait another 90 years to see Auburn play at the Big Ten. Penn State – Auburn White at Beaver Stadium was the shape A in the case against the Neutral Location Games ban.
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