By: David Folz
Week three is done and over with and again there was much action that happened. We saw the #2 team get beat on the road, a return to prominence for a historic team (at least for a while) and surprise, the SEC being again the most dominant conference in college football again. With that here is what we learned:
The SEC is dominant again: Does this really surprise anyone? If it does well, you haven’t watched college football for six years. Again, you may see an all-SEC national championship (yes even though last years was terrible it could still happen) because Alabama is #1 and LSU #2 and it will take something monumental like Oregon going undefeated with a young team, Florida State surprising everyone and a severe distaste for a rematch of last year’s title game for this to happen. Aside from that, Florida capitalized on Tyler Bray’s inconsistency, and both Georgia and South Carolina rolled in their games. Yes for the seventh year in a row, you may see an SEC national champion.
The Big Ten, a catastrophe: The lone, and I mean LONE, hope for the Big Ten to surprise in the national title picture blew up in its face as much as the Michigan State offense in a loss to Notre Dame on Saturday night. The polls are harsh on the Big Ten too, and for good reason. Ohio State is the highest team at 16, and two of those teams are one loss again from being out of the rankings (Michigan State and Nebraska.) This year is not the year for the Big Ten.
Stanford/Notre Dame may be back: I know three weeks is a sample size for both these teams but you have to respect the job both teams have done early in the season. Stanford coach David Shaw lost a lot of big players, including Andrew Luck, entering this season and it was looked at this year as a rebuilding year for the Cardinal. The big thing for them came Saturday night as the Cardinal defense harassed Matt Barkley all night and they upset USC 21-14. As for the Fighting Irish, they pounded Michigan State on defense as well, winning 20-10. This Fighting Irish team may not put up the high offensive stats as Charlie Weis’ teams did, but there is no doubt how much the defense has improved for the Fighting Irish and that is something worth noting going forward. As a sidenote, Irish Linebacker Manti Te’o had a performance for the ages, recording 12 tackles and an interception after his grandmother and girlfriend passed away earlier in the week.
The Pac-12 is really deep: In addition to the big three of USC, Oregon and Stanford, many more teams have stepped up to make the Pac-12 really good. California came so close to beating Ohio State this past weekend on the road, but will prove a tough team in this season. Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State, and Oregon State have all scored big time wins over Big 10 teams, Utah rebounded to be a ranked rival in BYU, and the Wildcats are Bruins are ranked heading into this weekend. The only downside to the conference is Colorado, who is bound to be winless.
Arkansas may just well give up their season: After quitting en route to a 52-0 disastrous loss at home to Alabama, Tyler Wilson let his team have it. After the shocking upset loss a week prior to Louisiana-Monroe (who nearly scored an upset win against Auburn this past weekend) the Razorbacks just flat out did not show up against Alabama. The crowd rightfully booed the team in fervor, and the second guessing of wanting Bobby Petrino back began. The question is not will Arkansas return to their old ways or even be back in the top 25 this year, it may just end up being will they even make a bowl game this year?