Welcome back to the hottest of Hot Takes from throughout college football. This season has taken some odd twists and turns with some powerhouses struggling and others from out of nowhere are having epic seasons. Let’s start at the top with the #1 team in the country and the defending National Champions:
-Reality in Knoxville: Joshua Dobbs is a great quarterback and even with last week’s loss to Texas A&M in OT Tennessee is having a great season and Butch Jones should be very proud of his team. Well, on the day that Peyton Manning’s number was retired, Nick Saban showed which rooster still runs the SEC Hen House. A 49-10 pasting by the Tide, including Jalen Hurt’s 3 rushing TD’s and two more defensive touchdowns fortifies Alabama’s spot atop the polls and the conference.
-Will he even stay?: After yet another ugly loss, will Brian Kelly even come back next year. Notre Dame blew a 10 point lead and lost 17-10 to an equally bad Stanford team that didn’t even have Christian McCaffrey. After falling to 2-5 and with the schedule not getting any better, I can easily see BK at a Ford Field press conference being announced as the new head coach of the Detroit Lions, or Jacksonville, or Cleveland. Well even coaching ND is better than Cleveland. At least the Irish can’t lose this week, they have a bye.
-Wilting Hedges: Georgia is a disappointing 4-3 after a bad 17-16 loss to Vanderbilt, their third in four games after a 3-0 start. Nick Chubb is having a solid year with 586 yards and 5 TD’s even though he hasn’t played every game. This week is the ol’ Cocktail Party in Jacksonville with Florida, which doesn’t make things any better for the Bulldogs.
-Wounded Ducks: Will the bye help? Over the past decade it’s been Oregon dropping 70 points on teams, not the other way around. Well two weeks ago it was Washington who laid a 70-21 beatdown on the Ducks, whose 2-4 record (0-3 in the Pac-12) is just as big a shock as USC’s struggles have been. Oregon tries to get back on track Friday night in Berkeley against Cal.
-Service Academy Update: Navy is still flying high after their win over Houston. Their scheduled game with East Carolina was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew, but this week is a very winnable game for the #24 ranked Middies against Memphis. Army broke their short 2 game losing streak with a 62-7 pasting of Lafayette to up their record to 4-2. This week a home affair with North Texas. As for Air Force, the Falcons have cooled off with two straight losses after a 4-0 start. They try to get back up this Saturday with a home date against Hawaii.
That’s my “take”. Logan Crosland, the floor is yours!
-Ohio State Survives OT: Ohio State has looked unbeatable in its other five games this season leading into Saturday’s game with Wisconsin. Wisconsin defense has also proven it can be quite dominant in games. In the first half of Saturday’s game Wisconsin looked to use their defense to dominate the Buckeyes and did so successfully leading 16-6 at the half. Ohio State would then go on to dominate the second half and overtime outscoring Wisconsin 24-7, to pull away with a very impressive victory 30-24
-Clemson Escapes the Pack: A last second field goal in regulation could’ve sent Clemson’s season into a tailspin. NC State had their chances to put away the No. 3 ranked Tigers, but they just never seemed to be able to put them away. Kyle Bambard pushed a last second field goal right that could’ve given the Wolfpack a huge upset victory. Clemson was able to use this missed chance to it’s advantage as they were able to score first in overtime and then pick off a pass in the endzone to seal the victory.
-Arkansas Makes It Three in a Row: The Arkansas-Ole Miss game is always fun one to watch year after year, as they always seem to come down to the end. It is even more fun for Razorback fans to watch, because in the last 3 years they have come away with victory. In this year’s contest it was close the whole time, with Ole Miss leading 30-27 late into the game. The Razorbacks were able to use some late game magic again, scoring with a little over 2 minutes left and then forcing an Ole Miss turnover to make it 3 victories in a row.
-Is This Basketball or Football?: Syracuse have been considered one of the major powers in college basketball for many years, but the same cannot be said about Virginia Tech. The opposite can definitely be said about the world of college football. The Hokies have traditionally been a winning program, while Syracuse have been a bottom feeder for most of their history. Saturday, Syracuse made this game look like this was taking place on the basketball court as they were able to dominate the Hokies in the Carrier Dome 31-17. Coach Dino Babers said this had the elements of a program changing win, and is very excited about the rest of the season for his team.
-Two Pac-12 Upstarts Continue to Impress: Washington State and Colorado in recent years have been two teams that you can look at the schedule and say, “That’s a win.” Washington State was able to break that mold a little bit last year, but after a few early season trip ups seemed to be falling back into bottom feeder territory. They however have managed to win reel off 4 straight wins over very good Pac-12 competition, including Stanford. Colorado on the other hand, have been a power in the past but in the past decade have really struggled to even make it to bowl games. They have had a very impressive season so far, with victories at Oregon and this past week beating a very good Arizona State team. They still need to get a big win on a big stage to be taken seriously, but Colorado may very well be for real and can do some damage in the Pac-12 the rest of the year.
Thank you sir! Now for the updated AP Top 10:
Now a look at the big games this weekend, most of them from the SEC:
#6 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama, 3:30pm: Another threat to the SEC throne, this time from Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies.
#17 Arkansas at #21 Auburn, 7pm: The middle of the SEC West Race is muddled, this is a game separator.
#2 Ohio State at Penn State, 7:30pm: A hot crowd at Beaver Stadium Saturday night, a win could be a corner turning for a program needing a new beginning.
#23 Ole Miss at #25 LSU, 9pm: A lot of action in the nation’s best conference Saturday that could decide bowls and conference championship positioning.