The first month of college football produced several winners and losers. Here’s a rundown of both.
Arizona State. You may wonder how a 1-2 team that gave up 250 yards rushing to a previously-undistinguished running back from Eastern Michigan can be a winner. But the Sun Devis are a September winner because they finally disposed of their NCAA-violating, the-NFL-does-not-work-in-college-football coach and AD buddy Herm Edwards.
Appalachian State. Beating – whipping, actually – Texas A&M on the road, hosting College Game Day followed by a miracle Hail Mary, are you kidding? There’s never been a better September for the Mountaineers. Not even beating Michigan can top this month.
Georgia. Nuff said.
Michigan. This team is ranked fourth and hasn’t done a dang thing to deserve it. Heck, it even backed out of a home game against UCLA and instead played horrible Hawaii. Did the voters not watch Georgia steamroll Big Blue in last season’s playoff? UM is not that much better this year.
Oklahoma. It appears the Sooners have not slowed down one bit under new coach Brent Venables. Tho it’s really difficult to judge just because they ran all over Nebraska.
Oregon and Utah. Those losses to SEC teams are behind them and now all they have in front of them is the mostly-cushy Pac-12. These teams play Nov. 19 in Eugene. The Utes also host USC on Oct. 15.
Texas. The Longhorns survived the Bama Effect that plagues teams by rallying to beat USTA. It happens when teams almost beat Bama but lose in a close game. You see, teams put so much effort into beating Bama they have nothing left for the next week. This goes all the way back to the Bear Bryant era and is still true today. Just ask Florida; heck that close loss last year wrecked the Gators entire season.
USC. Getting rid of Clay Helton-Skelter was a win last year and getting Lincoln Riley to be the coach was an even bigger victory. Transfer U is back in the national spotlight, tho it has yet to be tested. And may not be, either, outside of Utah anyway. The defense is a concern for close watchers but for now it’s Conquest Time in Troy.
The Sun Belt Conference. This small-school conference knocked off several big boys with App State’s win over A&M, Marshall taking Notre Dame to the woodshed (tho it lost the next week) Georgia Southern pounding Nebraska and Old Dominion beating Virginia Tech.
Any Team That Plays Georgia. Nuff said.
Auburn. Things are really ugly down on the Plains. The play of the team, the coaching, the recruiting (or lack thereof); it all means Bryan Harsin is likely to be getting an early off season, where he can go sit on a beach somewhere in Mexico with a margarita by his side and relax in comfort with a big contract buyout.
Miami. Only two games into his tenure and Mario Cristobal is hearing it from alumni and fans for his conservative, field-goal, play-not-to-lose philosophy. Heck, some are even screaming on social media to bring in Scott Frost to save the offense. Now that is desperate but they can clearly already see the Cristobal trend. Miami is not back and isn’t even close to being back to being the U.
Missouri. This team is so bad it will likely lose to Auburn. It is interesting to note that Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz once coached under Harsin at Boise State. If anybody cared about Missouri football, he would be on the hot seat.
Nebraska. Interim coach Mickey Joseph did all the right things in an attempt to right this listing ship, such as actually having tackling drills in practice and bringing some badly-needed discipline to the team. He even fired the defensive coordinator. But as was evident in the OU game, there’s a much larger mess to clean up at NU than can be fixed in a week. Yep, Scott Frost was really that bad.
Texas A&M. Despite beating Miami – due mostly to the Hurricanes’ fumbling a punt and then playing for field goals despite being down two touchdowns in the fourth quarter – the Aggies still have perennial 8-4 Jimbo Fisher as coach.
UCLA. The Bruins not only needed a boneheaded coaching call by South Alabama to escape with a last-minute field goal win, but there is zero excitement around the program. Less than 20,000 people are showing up to the Rose Bowl – and those are official numbers, which counts both teams, the cheerleaders, the band, the media and probably anyone within 20 miles of the stadium. Chip Kelly was an overrated coach to begin with and now it seems as he’s just riding off of the fat of his fat contract.
The Big 10. Yes, Penn State did go down to SEC territory and pummel Auburn. But on the same day, Michigan State was hammered by Washington (hardly a powerhouse), Indiana and Rutgers barely escaped against sub-par opponents, Nebraska is pathetic, Iowa can’t score, Northwestern has lost to Southern Illinois and well, it was not a good month for this conference.
The Pac-12. This conference is doing even worse than the Big 10. First, Oregon got run out of the gym by Georgia to start the season, Utah lost to a so-so Florida team, Arizona State and UCLA are already covered here and Colorado may well be the worst team in college football. It certainly is has the nation’s most boring with an offense that makes Iowa look like USC.
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