The TTT Week 8: College Football Review, Preview, and Rankings

Not much happened in the college football world since last Thursday.  No firings.  No sudden resignations from Mount Rushmore type college coaches.  Nor any resignations form coaches checking into a treatment facility.  No top ten upsets.  Nobody shot at his pregnant girlfriend.  There wasn’t even a PED related suspension to speak of.  Nope.  None of that.  All in all it was a pretty ordinary weekend in college football land.  Ohio State won.  Ho hum.  Baylor Scored 60 points again in a win over West Virginia.  The sun rises. The sun sets.  The Pac-12 continued beating itself up.  What else is new?

There was that one game though.  The one that took place on an Ann Arbor stage in front of thousands of unsuspecting fans.  The one that featured one of the most jaw-dropping finishes in college football history.  The one where the program’s former underachieving coach turned analyst questioned the program’s current overachieving coach for his late game strategy. The one where a botched punt in the final seconds of the game all but sealed the fate of a surging Michigan program.  The one that got away.

We can spend the rest of this column analyzing this one game and that one play that will surely be shown over and over… and over again on every top 10 list for the foreseeable future.  However, we wouldn’t be the Red Couch if we just focused on this game without covering the entire college football national landscape, and the TTT certainly would be a T short and a Thursday late of bringing you weekend preview.  But mainly, the Michigan punter has been through enough.  So has this poor Michigan fan.  So let’s just move on and shift the focus to the things yours truly got right and botched got wrong last week.

Things I got right last week:

  • Florida was not a problem for LSU. Truth be told the Gators were a pretty big problem for the Tigers.  The game was tied at the end of the third quarter but in the end the Tigers were able to edge out Florida by seven.
  • Texas A&M was not a problem for Alabama. This one was never a game.  Like I said, watch out for Alabama.  Saban doesn’t like it when he thinks you’ve buried him.
  • Ohio State blew out Penn State as a result of zero Buckeye turnovers. Called it.
  • The Michigan v. Michigan State game was a nail biter.

Things Thing I didn’t get right last week:

  • Clemson won against Boston College but not in the low scoring game I thought it would be.

 

Timmy’s Top Takeaways

  1. There’s no rule that says you have to snap the ball between your legs. I’ll never look at another center to QB exchange the same way again.  Did you see how that was done Chuck Pagano and the Indianapolis Colts?
  2. People should root for Trevone Boykin.
  3. Brady Hoke has nothing better to do than critique a much better coach.
  4. Christian McCaffrey could break Barry Sanders’ all-purpose yards record. Barry’s record of 3250 yards was set in 1988.  Number 2 on the running back depth chart behind McAffrey this year?  That’s right, Barry Sanders Jr.
  5. The UCLA City uniforms are next level.
  6. We all know about the Big 12’s offense. But can we get a little defense fellas?
  7. JT Barrett is starting for Ohio State again. I give him 2 quarters before Urban Meyer gets antsy again.
  8. Memphis, Toledo, and Temple are a combined 18-0 and ranked in both top 25 polls. Boise State, UCLA, and Wisconsin are all amongst the others receiving votes.  Welcome to Bizarro world.

 

Timmy’s Top Ten Teams

  1. Baylor

Seth Russell has the highest QB rating in college football.  Wide receiver Corey Coleman has set the single season Baylor touchdown record with 16.  We’re six games into the season.  He averages over 20 yards a reception.  Baylor has scored at least 60 points in five consecutive games.  In a row!  Back to back.  There aren’t enough superlatives to go around for this high powered offense.  Watch out Iowa State!  They’re coming for you next.

  1. Utah

There still aren’t a lot of believers in this Utah team.  Maybe it’s because they haven’t been nationally relevant since…ever.  They have a defense that has forced at least two turnovers in every game they’ve played this year and yet people still have their doubts.  The proof is in a Vegas spread that has Utah as a 3.5 point underdog this week against a 3-3 USC team that is still feeling out interim coach Clay Helton.  By the way if there is a more cringe-inducing adjective in this universe to describe a head coach than interim I haven’t run across it.  It’s not exactly a word that screams success…but I digress.  We have to remember that the point of a Vegas line isn’t necessarily to predict the outcome of a game.  Ideally what the linesmakers want to do is have a balanced line.  In other words if the house can create an environment where it wins money on the interest it charges on games regardless of the outcome of the actual game it has done its job.  The house usually does a good job.  So it would be foolish to think that one of the factors that these linesmakers take into consideration isn’t what the gambling public perceives the actual outcome of the game will be.  LA is a big market.  It’s much bigger than Salt Lake City.  That means that there are more fans that are emotionally invested in a team that clearly hasn’t lived up to expectation this year.  And what happens when sports fans can differentiate between emotional and financial investment?  You get a line where the clear underdog is giving 3.5 points to the opposition.  Utah has too much on the line here to not win this game.  Take the Utes money line and thank me later.

  1. LSU

What is the TTT without at least 250 words on Leonard Fournette?  A better and equally rhetorical question would be why does the opposition feel the need to supply the best offensive player in college football with bulletin board material?  Early in the season it was Auburn safety Rudy Ford who said “it shouldn’t be difficult” to stop Fournette.  Leonard’s response was a 228 yard day on the ground on 19 carries.  Following in Ford’s footsteps Florida DE Jon Bullard said “He’s nothing we can’t stop” when talking about the LSU running back.  Two touchdowns and 180 yards later another defensive player is left scratching his head and licking his wounds.  LSU takes on a Western Kentucky team that is just in its seventh year as an FBS recognized program.  The Hilltoppers offense is a perfect juxtaposition of the Tigers offense.   In my second bold prediction the Tigers win by fewer than 16.5.  They’ll be looking ahead to the 11/7 matchup against Alabama.

  1. Alabama

The Tide is a team that is playing with purpose.  The oddsmakers seem to agree as they’ve made Alabama an Alabama-like favorite again as 15.5 point favorites over the Volunteers from Tennessee.  They feel like they’ve been slighted due to what seems to be an early season fluke loss to a now floundering Ole Miss team.  You can’t turn a loss into a win by running through every opponent you face thereafter but please don’t tell Nick Saban that.  He seems to think you can.  More importantly, his players think they can.  That being said, Alabama wins by fewer than 15.5.  They’ll be looking ahead to the aforementioned LSU game.

  1. Clemson

I’m starting to buy in more and more on this Clemson team.  I was convinced that a weak schedule would be the Tigers’ downfall.  While they’ve still only faced two winning programs, the 34 points Clemson put up against Boston College last Saturday showed that they have the offensive firepower to outlast tough defenses.  Deshaun Watson rose to the occasion by having what some would consider to be his best game of the year against the Golden Eagles.  He went 27-41 for 420 yards three touchdowns and two interceptions on Saturday.  The Tigers square off against a Miami Hurricanes team that is desperately looking for a signature win.

  1. Ohio State

The Buckeyes are looking better.  It’s amazing what holding onto the ball can do to a box score.  More importantly, I think the search for a starting quarterback has come to an end.  Cardale Jones started the game but J.T. Barrett ended it.  He just looked like a smoother more polished player than Jones.  It sounds crazy to say that about someone who only attempted four passes but two of those passes connected for touchdowns.  I know Urban Meyer doesn’t like to name starting quarterbacks because it gives opposing defenses fits trying to prepare for two different signal callers.  A little part of him must have died when he made the announcement that number 16 would start on Saturday.  Bravo Urban, way to step outside your comfort zone and pick a starter.

  1. Florida State

FSU plays Georgia Tech.  The Yellow Jackets have lost five straight.  There isn’t much more to say here.  The Seminoles should hand the ball off to Dalvin Cook a thousand times and they’ll have another victory under their belt when all is said and done.  I just thought of something.  What if Dalvin Cook and Connor Cook were on the same team?  Do you think this would happen?  I bet it would.

  1. Michigan State

Wow.  I really don’t have any other words to describe what happened on Saturday other than that.  Does that botched punt mean that the Spartans are a team of destiny?  Also when do you think they will they be finished with the Jalen Watts-Jackson statue?  Michigan State is an interesting team because the Spartans aren’t really dominating in any particular category but they find ways to win.  As we saw on Saturday, sometimes ways to win find them.  Ironically, I have Michigan State going down a little after beating what I still think is the best Big 10 team.  I can’t explain why or how I have them headed in the wrong direction but I do.  In fact this is the first time this season where the Buckeyes have looked better to me than Michigan State.  As I’ve being saying all along, my thought on where these teams stack up in the Big 10 can be taken with a grain of salt until they’ve all played each other.  Until then, the Spartans are 16.5 point favorites against Indiana.  Let’s see.  They’re coming off of an emotionally draining victory and they’ve have covered a spread where they were favored all year.  You might want to consider the Hoosiers in this one.

  1. Stanford

How does this happen?  What in the Tyrone Prothro is going on? Circus catches aside the Cardinal control their own destiny.  I just wish Christian McCaffrey could get a little more involved on the offensive side.  He only had 243 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns.  He also had a 96 yard return fall just short of the goal line.  The guy did everything but hand out water during timeouts.  It would be illogical to expect this type of production out McCaffrey every game but on the same token it would be wise to game plan around stopping him somehow.  Regardless of how Washington strategizes against this Stanford offense, I don’t see the Huskies coming out on top on Saturday.  I’m sure most of us thought the same thing before the Washington beat USC too.

  1. Iowa

No one outside of Iowa City has really been talking about the Hawkeyes.  Perhaps it’s because they’ve been relegated to the Big 10 West, the Khloe Kardashian of power conference divisions.  Since we’ve already established that I’m great at predicting things allow me to offer another look into the future; the Hawkeyes will continue to pile up wins against their unglamorous/unrecognized/undervalued Big 10 West counterparts and they’ll move up at least 4 spots in the AP rankings in the meantime. (Footnote.  My logic here is that by the time the regular season ends eight of the teams ranked ahead of Iowa on the AP will have played each other: Ohio State plays Michigan State 11/21, Baylor plays TCU on 11/27, LSU plays Alabama on 11/7 and Clemson plays FSU on 11/7.  The losers of these games will most likely drop below an unbeaten Iowa Hawkeyes team).  So now we have an 8 ranked Iowa State playing either Michigan State or Ohio State for a Big 10 Championship and most likely/ more importantly one of the four golden tickets to the Dr. Pepper college football playoffs brought to you by Dr. Pepper.

 

Enjoy the games tonight and this weekend.  So long until next week…

The TTT Week 6 Review

If you like story lines unfolding off the field as much as you do on it, then boy did you have a fun week of clicking in between sports updates and the “boss button” at work.  Imagine a situation where one of the winningest college football coaches of all time just up and quits in the middle of the season and it isn’t even the top story in college football that week. That’s exactly what happened this week when Steve Spurrier decided to hang it up.  The head ball coach just basically ‘up’d and left.  One day, he’s the coach of the struggling Gamecocks and the next day he’s in front of a podium saying “it’s been real South Carolina, but I’m leaving you.  Immediately.  I’m not waiting until the end of the season, I don’t care if I pass go, and I certainly don’t care if I collect $200.00.  Good bye University of South Carolina.”  (Maybe he didn’t use those exact words, but you get the gist.)

However, Spurrier’s  retirement from being the head ball coach at the University of South Carolina was overshadowed by the actions of another USC football coach.  In what I’m sure is no news to anyone reading this, Steve Sarkisian was fired from USC after it was suspected that he showed up drunk to a practice.  And a game or two.  And possibly the USC’s annual preseason dinner for alumni and donors.  Ok, ok, you get the point.  Which is more than I can say for Athletic Director Pat Hayden who seems to have made the move a few days late and a few nickels short.  No judgment here though, Pat.  You’re in a safe place on the Red Couch.  In all seriousness, alcoholism and any sort of dependency issues are no laughing matter and prayers are with Sark as he endeavors to navigate a long and successful road to recovery.

The storylines didn’t just stop with coaches.  The University of Florida football renaissance took a big hit after Florida QB Will Grier was suspended this year.  The suspension currently sits at a year as a result of allegedly taking a banned substance.  Will’s teammate DB Deiondre Porter was suspended from the team after firing a gun at his pregnant girlfriend.

With so much drama in the LBC, its kinda hard for Timmy to do the Triple-T.  (I think that’s what Snoop said.) Naturally, after nailing the week before, I came crashing down to reality this past week by getting most of my predictions from last week wrong.  However, since we don’t run away from the record, here they are.

Things Thing I got right last week:

  • I told you to take the points! Michigan State won again and failed to cover an overly aggressive spread again. They’re 6-0 but 0-6 ATS. The streak comes to an end on Saturday. Michigan is favored by 8.5 against Michigan State making it impossible for the Spartans to win and not cover for a seventh consecutive time.

Things I got wrong last week:

  • Leonard Fournette didn’t rush for a fourth consecutive 200 yard game. I’m gonna stop making predictions about this guy before I jinx him out of a Heisman and into Ron Dayne’s NFL career.
  • I said that TCU blowing out Texas wasn’t as impressive as Utah blowing out Oregon.  I thought Texas stinks and wouldn’t be very competitive the rest of the season.  Enter the Red River Showdown. Texas actually showed some signs of life by beating number 10 Oklahoma while the Ducks laid yet another egg against Washington State. (It’s a lazy pun but it’s my lazy pun and I can pun if I want to.) Anyway, Oregon’s loss and interesting choice of uniform prompted Washington State to send this ridiculously awesome tweet. How was this program playing for a National Championship last year?  (Wait a second, this just in from my editor.  Oh year, Marcus Mariotta was pretty good.)
  • FSU didn’t get leapfrogged in the AP rankings again. They actually went up one spot following their least convincing win of the season.  Hmmmmm.

 

Timmy’s Top Takeaways

  1. Steve Spurrier won a Heisman Trophy. There are only two others coaching D1 football who were in Heisman consideration when they played. They are Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Texas Tech coach Ryan Gosling Kliff Kingsbury. Is anyone else at least a little curious about what Kliff’s middle initial is?
  2. Since 2007 Alabama has faced more teams coming off of a bye than any other team in college. They’ve faced 25 teams after a bye week. The next closest is Louisiana Monroe who has faced 15 teams with an extra 5 days of rest.
  3. This has nothing to do with college football but you should watch it anyway.
  4. This is how Michigan State won against Rutgers. Bold Strategy indeed.
  5. Leonard Fournette is not only a good running back but it seems like he is a pretty good guy. He is going to auction his jersey for flood victims in South Carolina. It was Okayed by the NCAA. The NCAA gets half of the proceeds though. Just kidding.

Timmy’s Top Ten Teams

1.  Baylor

The Bears played how someone would expect them to play against one of the worst teams in the nation. The longest scoring drive the Bears had against Kansas lasted 2:16. That’s quick. This is a historical offense. Baylor has scored more points through the first five game of the season than any other team has since they’ve been keeping track of stats like that. They’re even finding ways to get the big guy involved. (That was a smart decision for the 175 lb DB not to go after the 400 lb TE.) Baylor takes on a West Virginia team in a revenge game from last season.

2.  Utah

There’s no love for the Utes out there in the world.  But don’t you worry, the Utes have a private spot reserved on The Red Couch.  I don’t think there is a college football analyst who doesn’t like Cal QB Jared Goff. So when Utah picked him off five times last week you’d expect an outpouring of praise to be directed toward this feisty Utes team right? You’d be wrong. The general consensus regarding Utah’s 30-24 win over Cal was that it wasn’t convincing enough. Six points is too slim a margin for a team that forced five interceptions. Part of me agrees with this line of thinking but another part of me is impressed that they were able to deceive such a polished “pro ready” QB on five separate occasions. This week the Utes play ASU who has already taken out one top ten team in UCLA. The game will be in Tempe which isn’t exactly hostile territory due to the fact that the Sun Devils are 1-2 at home this year.

3.  LSU

This SEC weather is really working out for LSU. The opener against McNeese State was canceled due to torrential downpours. This last week South Carolina played a “home game” at LSU because of devastating flooding in Columbia. The Tigers just caught another non-weather-related break. Florida QB Will Grier has been suspended for a calendar year due to taking performance enhancing substances. Even with a healthy Grier, I don’t see Florida being a problem for the fighting Fournettes.

4.  Alabama

Arkansas loses a lot but they’ve never really been put away. Such was the case last week when the Razorbacks hung around against Alabama until the bitter end. Arkansas eventually lost 27-14 but more questions were raised about the Tide. Are they really that good if they can’t blow out a 2-4 Arkansas team? My contention is that they are. The last time Nick Saban’s team was called into question was following the loss to Ole Miss. How did the team respond? By beating number 8 Georgia by 28. Alabama plays at Texas A&M on Saturday and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Alabama respond to the criticism in similar fashion.

5.  Michigan

The Wolverines jumped a ton of spots because they’ve pitched three shutouts in a row. They haven’t done that in 35 years! They give up 6.3 points a game! No one can convert third downs on them! I’m running out of exclamation points! Imagine being on an offense where scoring one touchdown is the dagger for the other team. After a first quarter TD the team should just up in the victory formation for the rest of the game. The Wolverines have their work cut out for them against Michigan State when they take on the Spartans in Lansing this weekend. Michigan’s defense will most likely be too much to handle for Michigan State and the Spartans will fall in a nail biter.

6.  Clemson

Boston College will be the toughest defense that Clemson will face this year. Luckily for Clemson the Golden Eagles have virtually no offense. In their last four games BC has scored just 24 points. It’ll take more than that to get it done against a Clemson offense that averages over 35 points a game. The Tigers win in a low scoring game.

7.  Texas A&M

The Aggies had a bye last week. They play Alabama on Saturday at College Station.

8.  Ohio State

Like sand through the hour glass, the Ohio State quarterback soap opera continues.  Now Urban Meyer is going with a two QB system. It seems to be working out for the Buckeyes.  They did put up 49 points last week against Maryland.  Ohio State also made improvements in the turnover game.  In fact, they didn’t give up any turnovers to the opposition for just the second time all season.  Yes this team struggled early in the game again but if they can find a way to hold on to the ball they will start blowing teams out.  That being said if the Buckeyes can’t hold on to the ball Penn State will be a tough match up for the Buckeyes and the 19 point spread favoring the Ohio State on Saturday will be way too lose.  Either way I foresee a Buckeye victory. It’s just a matter of how close the score will be in the end.

9.  Florida State

FSU beat Miami thanks in large part to a great effort by Dalvin Cook. Check this line out. Cook had 22 carries for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns. Weeeeeird. You can expect the same type of performance from him against Louisville on Saturday. Due to what is widely perceived as a weak schedule, Florida State’s victories will continue to be marginalized until they play Clemson on November 7. The Seminoles play Lousville this weekend.

10.  Michigan State

It’s hard to envision a scenario where Michigan State beats Michigan this weekend…Unless you’re superstitious a traditionalist. Michigan State is hard on first year Michigan head coaches. No Michigan head coach has beaten MSU on his first attempt since 1948. First year coaches are 0-6 since. Jim Harbaugh isn’t just any coach though. Holmes has won everywhere he has been. He turned around an unknown University of San Diego program. He parlayed that success and made a previously flailing Stanford program nationally relevant.  He then got bored with college and decided to take a 49ers roster that couldn’t sniff the playoffs the year before to within two Kyle Williams’ turnovers of the Super Bowl the following year. And now he’s 5-1 with a Michigan team that had 5 wins all of last year.  (Their lone loss?  That’s right, the Utes of Utah.) This will be a fun game to watch.

Have a terrific weekend and see you next week.

The TTT Week 5 Review

This week was nutso. Absolutely nutso. Ole Miss lost to Florida. UCLA, Georgia and Notre Dame all lost as well. Even some of the “top tier” teams that didn’t lose looked vulnerable. The Ohio State and Michigan State games were nail biters but what else is new? The college football hierarchy is fluid but don’t worry, so is Timmy’s Top Ten. As a result we’re welcoming the arrival of four new teams to the list. Before we proceed to the TTT some housecleaning is in order. The following is a look back at some of the things I got right last week along with some of the things I … didn’t get so right. Enjoy.

Things I got right last week:

  • Michigan State won but didn’t cover the 22 point spread. Told you.
  • UCLA fell into the letdown/look ahead trap game against Arizona State. Called it.
  • Clemson’s defense did prove to be too much for C.J. Prosise. Knew it.
  • Greyson Lambert’s accuracy did take a hit against Alabama. Duh.
  • Meanwhile, Georgia’s Nick Chubb cannot be stopped. He rushed for 146 yards. It was his thirteenth consecutive 100 yards rushing game. How about keeping it in his hands some more Mark Richt?
  • Ohio State didn’t cover the 21.5 point spread because they can’t stop turning the ball over. Did Vegas see it coming? Because the TTT sure did.
  • Florida State went down in the AP again after a win. Never a doubt.

And because not even the TTT can always be right, things I got wrong last week:

  • I predicted that the Georgia v. Alabama game would “be a good one.” I had the same predictions for the Ole Miss v. Florida game. I was wrong on both counts. Sorry.
  • I predicted that Leonard Fournette would break the single game rushing record for LSU against Eastern Michigan. He rushed for 233 yards and the record is 250. I was 18 yards off. My bad.
  • I predicted that there would be “a ton of lead changes” in the Baylor v. Texas Tech game. There were exactly zero lead changes. I was way off on this one. You’re better than that Texas Tech.

 

Timmy’s Top Ten Takeaways

  1. Northwestern plays at Michigan on Saturday. Expect the game to be low scoring. Northwestern and Michigan are number 1 and 2 in the nation in scoring defense holding opponents to 7 and 7.6 points a game respectively. They’re also 1 and 2 in defensive 3rd down conversion percentage. Michigan allows 3rd down conversions only 19.4% of the time. Northwestern’s defensive conversion rate is 20%. Puntfest 2015 in Ann Arbor.
  2. Michigan State is 5-0 but 0-5 against the spread. They’re laying 17 against Rutgers on Saturday and they play number 18 Michigan the following week. Given their track record and the potential that they may be looking ahead to Harbaugh’s boys up in Ann Harbor, do you take the 17 points, or do you take the 17 points?  I think you should take the 17 points.
  3. Number 33 on Northwestern looks like the mean guy at the bar from Good Will Hunting who passes off that Vickers quote from Work in Essex County as his own. If he plays a QB who looks like Matt Damon he’s screwed.
  4. This placeholder just gets it.
  5. Texas Special Teams are not getting better.
  6. Oregon’s new uniforms have nothing to do with Ducks.
  7. Kicking is hard. Of the 27 college placekickers who have attempted at least 8 field goals only two are perfect on the season. Duke kicker Ross Martin is 9-9 with a long of 53 and Oregon kicker Aidan Schnieder is 8-8 with a long of 40. The Pittsburgh Steelers are considering targeting both in the first round next year after their Thursday night game with the Ravens.[1]
  8. Baylor hasn’t scored fewer than 56 points this year. The Bears play Kansas who has the 121st ranked scoring defense in the nation giving up over 40 points a game. The over/under is 77. It looks like Baylor will need to score pretty much all of the points to cover against an anemic Kansas offense that will be without its first and second string quarterbacks.
  9. The top three scoring offenses in the nation are all in the Big 12. Baylor scores 63.8 points, TCU scores 50.8 points and Texas Tech scores 50 points per game. 
  10.  San Diego State didn’t run a single play in the red zone against Fresno State and still won 21-7.

 

Timmy’s Top Ten Teams

1.  Baylor

The AP has Baylor right behind TCU in the rankings but I think Baylor has been the more impressive team this year. If you look at the teams that both Baylor and TCU have played (SMU and Texas Tech) Baylor’s victories have come in more convincing fashion. I know that this way of comparing teams isn’t something that holds true in college football but until the two teams play each other on November 27th I won’t have anything else to go off of. Baylor also uses this guy as a fullback/tight end and has this guy on defense. How can they not be number one? Baylor plays Kansas, a team that many consider to be among the worst in football, in a game where the Bears can only lose face.

2.  Utah

Like I explained above, the TTT is fluid. Things are always in motion. Take Utah for example. The Utes were number 10 on the TTT last week and they weren’t even on anyone’s radar the week before. So how are they number 2 following a week where they didn’t play? The answer to that question has as much to do with Utah’s strong schedule as it does with the circumstances surrounding the team. The Utes opened the season by beating Michigan 24-17 at home. It was a win that didn’t raise any eyebrows at the time but how good have the Wolverines looked since then?!? Since that opening day loss Jim Harbaugh and company have gone 4-0 while scoring 122 points and only giving up 14 against the opposition. Michigan’s defense is the reason why they’re my dark horse favorite to win the Big 10. Utah also killed Oregon. Granted Oregon doesn’t seem to be living up to their preseason projections but I’m going to give you something to consider regarding the 62-20 punishment Utah doled out to the Ducks a couple of weeks ago. The Utes beat Oregon by 42. TCU is 2 spots ahead of Utah and holds the number 2 spot in the AP because they beat Texas by 43 (50-7). Which win looks more impressive to you? Put another way, if Oregon played Texas how many more Longhorn team members would tweet that they’re transferring at halftime? If you combine how Utah has handled a relatively hard schedule thus far with the fact that everyone and their mother ahead of Utah lost last week it makes sense to put the Utes at number 2. In three weeks Utah plays USC in a game that will most likely have serious postseason implications. Until then the Utes have to weather the storm by beating undefeated Cal this Saturday and an overlooked ASU team next week.

3.  Alabama

I wonder if Alabama thought they had something to prove in that Georgia game. They sure played like they did. The last time Alabama was an underdog was the 2009 SEC Championship game against the Tim Tebow led Florida Gators. Alabama won that one 32-13. Nick Saban would never admit this but already having a loss on his record this season has to be alleviating. For one, he doesn’t have to deal with the pressure associated with being undefeated. And two, for some reason teams who suffer losses early in the season are far more appealing to the AP and/or the selection committee than teams with late season losses. If you don’t believe me watch as the loser of the Baylor v. TCU game doesn’t make it to the playoffs because of a late season loss. Anyway, the Tide only has the benefit of being an “under the radar” one loss team for about another week. Alabama plays Texas A&M and LSU in a four game span. If the Alabama continues to play like an underdog with something to prove the rest of the way out the Tide won’t be beaten.

4.  Michigan State

Like Ohio State, Michigan State has trouble putting teams away. Unlike Ohio State, Michigan State doesn’t have a workhorse running back of Ezekiel Elliot’s caliber (not many do). Instead the Spartans have to rely on playing fundamentally sound football. Quarterback Connor Cook doesn’t turn the ball over (the Spartans have two turnovers in five games) while the Michigan State defense forces more than two takeaways a game. Michigan State’s turnover margin is one of the best in the country and is a big reason why they’re still unbeaten. The Spartans play Rutgers this weekend but might be caught looking ahead to very interesting matchup against Michigan, a team they play the week after.

5.  LSU

The game plan against LSU is simple; defend against the run. Executing it is nearly impossible. Until someone figures out a way to stop the best running back in the nation LSU will continue to impose its will on the competition. That being said, there is something unsettling about a team that doesn’t field a proven QB. At this point you would be paying Brandon Harris a compliment by calling him a game manager. Through four games he’s thrown for just 382 yards. LSU plays at South Carolina where Leonard Fournette will extend his 200 yard game rushing streak to 4. I’m calling it.

6.  Texas A&M

A&M’s resume received a boost this past week with Arizona State winning in Pasadena. The Aggies also have a well-timed bye this week. They take on Alabama next Saturday in what will most likely be their biggest test of the season.

7.  Clemson

Of all my picks I’m most skeptical of this one. Clemson really hasn’t played anyone. They beat number 6 Notre Dame but have you seen who the Irish have played? Not including Clemson, Notre Dame’s opponents are 5-13 this year. The Tigers play 2-3 Georgia Tech this week but will really be tested next Saturday when they play the third best scoring defense in the nation in Boston College. B.C. is unranked but they got this guy named Troy Flutie playing QB for them. I guess his uncle used to play for them or something. Until then, Dabo Swinney will be enjoying his time in the spotlight.

8.  Ohio State

Between the following two teams which do you think is better? Team A scores 34 points a game, gives up 15.2 points a game and is -4 on turnovers on the season. Team B scores 40 points a game, gives up 12.4 points a game and is +8 in turnovers. Both teams played Hawaii at home. Team A won 38-0 and Team B won 55-0. Team A is Ohio State and Team B is Boise State. Boise barely squeaks in to the AP poll at 25 and is one BYU Hail Mary away from also being undefeated. Granted Boise State doesn’t have Ezekiel Elliot who was a definite bright spot for the Buckeyes in their win over Indiana but this Broncos comparison helps me prove a point; the separation of talent between top tier teams this year is so negligible it can border on arbitrary. Ohio State plays Maryland, a team that Michigan just shut out.

9.  Florida State

It happened again! Florida State moved down a spot in the AP for a third consecutive week and they haven’t even lost yet. Talk about damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The Seminoles beat Wake Forrest but Florida beat Ole Miss and Clemson beat Notre Dame. Both teams leapfrogged FSU while Notre Dame slipped down to 15. It’s gotten to the point where I’m actually looking for ways for this bizarre streak to continue. It took no time for me to  find a scenario for this week.  Northwestern is ranked one spot behind FSU in the AP at number 13. The Wildcats play number 18 Michigan on Saturday. A Northwestern win could look better than say an FSU win against an unranked University of Miami team. Bam! There you have it.  Florida State gets leapfrogged by a ninth team this season.  Timmy’s Think Tank prides itself on finding you scenarios even when there might not be one.

10.  TCU

I’ve been trying to avoid TCU like the plague. The Horned Frogs obviously have one of the best offenses in football but they really don’t have a great defense. Yes they held Texas to 7 points but they also are one week removed from a fluky 55-52 win against Texas Tech. The bottom line is that even though they’ve lost a ton of starting defensive players they continue to win. It’s hard to fault them for that and that’s why they made it to the TTT.

 

[1] I totally just made this up.

 

 

The TTT Week 4 Review

Another week of college football is in the books and there’s a lot to talk about. Oregon lost horribly. So did Arizona. The 52 points Texas Tech put up wasn’t enough for the Red Raiders to win. Arkansas almost won. I mean what is going on? Don’t you worry, the TTT is here to hold your hand and walk you through this…

Timmy’s Top Ten Takeaways

  1. The Oregon Ducks dropped from the AP Top 25. The last time they weren’t ranked this was number one on the Billboard. I guess 2009 was an annoying year.
  2. The Over/Under for the TTU v. Baylor game is 90.5. The last time I saw a line that big there was an iPhone at the end of it.
  3. Michigan State is undefeated but is 0-4 against the spread this year. They’re the only undefeated team in football that is winless against the spread. They’re 22 point favorites against Purdue. I wonder what will happen.
  4. Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs was the team’s leading passer, rusher and receiver against the Florida Gators on Saturday. Tennessee missed what would have been a game winning field goal against Florida with 3 seconds left on the clock. Too bad Dobbs wasn’t the Tennessee’s leading placekicker.
  5. In Saturday’s win against Syracuse, LSU running back Leonard Fournette was compared to Bo Jackson and Hershel Walker no less than 5000 times.
  6. Alabama is an underdog against Georgia. This is the first time Alabama hasn’t been favored heading into a game since 2009 when this was the top song. “If Jesus paying LeBron I’m paying Dwayne Wade!” I take back what I said about 2009 earlier.
  7. Eastern Michigan is last in the NCAA in rush defense. Guess who they play next? That’s right. LSU and Leonard Fournette. The over/under on Bo Jackson comparisons is set at 12.
  8. Not all offsides are created equal.
  9. Virginia Tech’s best play on Saturday was a punt.
  10. Michigan State has scored 30 or more points in their last 12 games. That’s the longest streak in the nation. I’m giving Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook the nickname Top Chef. It’s the right thing to do.

Timmy’s Top Ten Teams

1.  Ole Miss

I probably should have seen a post-Alabama letdown on the horizon for Ole Miss. Or maybe they were looking ahead to the Florida game. Either way the Ole Miss Vanderbilt game had all the makings of a trap game for the Rebels but they still managed to come out on top. Quarterback Chad Kelly didn’t have a highlight real game against Vanderbilt but he did well enough to keep the game out of reach going 24 of 42 for 321 yards passing a touchdown and two picks. Robert Nkemdiche rushed for his third touchdown of the season for the Rebels. He’s a defensive tackle! He also has a brother, Denzel Nkemdiche who had 14 tackles on the day. Robert remains number one on Mel Kiper’s Big Board. Ole Miss plays number 25 Florida in Gainesville on Saturday. It could be a good one.

 

2.  Michigan State

One of the only reasons I moved the Spartans down on my list from last week is that they can’t avoid injury. Michigan State was dealt a big blow on Saturday when the Spartans lost a highly regarded offensive tackle in Jack Conklin, a guy who some people say is the only irreplaceable player on the team not named Connor Cook. To make matters worse, tight end Josiah Price was seen using crutches after being knocked out of the game.  Michigan State came into the game already depleted having lost linebacker Ed Davis and cornerback Vayante Copeland for the year.  Actual Spartans dealt with injury less often. In the end Cook “managed the game” efficiently enough by going 11 for 19 with 143 yards passing and a touchdown. Michigan State ended up beating the Central Michigan Chippewas by 20. On Saturday the Spartans play Purdue and are favored by 21.

 

3.  LSU

I have the Tigers pretty high on my list. In fact I have them much higher than I should for a team that’s as one dimensional on offense as LSU. But LSU’s one dimension will probably win the Heisman if things continue on this pace. I’m talking, of course, about running back Leonard Fournette. Fournette mania has gotten so bad that some are speculating he’ll sit out all of next year so as to not risk injury and compromise his potentially high draft position. Fournette had no option but to send out a response tweet. “I will never jump ship…I’m drowning with my brothers.” I don’t know how to feel about that if I’m an LSU fan. On one hand, it’s cool that he pretty much guaranteed that he’d be staying. On the other hand, he compared staying at LSU to “drowning” with his brothers. Fournette rushed for 244 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. He also had an 83 yard touchdown run called back on an illegal formation call. He plays Eastern Michigan on Saturday in a game where LSU’s single game rushing record will be broken. You heard it here first.

 

4.  Baylor

In my book you will rarely go up in the rankings by killing an opponent you were meant to kill. Baylor put up 70 against Rice. Quarterback Seth Russell threw for six touchdowns and no one was surprised. The Bears play Texas Tech, a team that lost a shootout to TCU last week because of this and then almost won on this. In a game that will feature virtually no defense expect lead changes. Tons of lead changes. Oh the lead changes…

 

5. UCLA

The Bruins were clearly the dominant team against Arizona. There really wasn’t a facet of the game that wasn’t controlled by the Bruins. UCLA led in time of possession (32 minutes), total yards (497 to Arizona’s 468) and, most importantly, were +3 on turnovers.  Josh Rosen’s first big college game in hostile territory didn’t seem to faze him. UCLA plays ASU in Pasadena coming off a big win. The Bruins also play at number 18 Stanford after the ASU game. UCLA is in a similar situation Ole Miss was in last week when the Rebels played an “easy” Vanderbilt team after having played Alabama and before having to play Florida. Ole Miss still won against the Commodores but it wasn’t the walk in the park that so many had expected. I’d be surprised if the same thing didn’t happen to the Bruins on Saturday. Don’t get me wrong, I still think UCLA gets it done against the Sun Devils but this game might be closer than the 14 point spread would indicate.

 

6. Notre Dame

The last time Notre Dame played at Clemson the Notre Dame quarterback was Joe Montana and Dwight Clarke was playing for Clemson. Just a little history lesson for you. The Tigers are 1.5 point favorites over the Irish. That being said, it’s hard to count out a team that has C.J. Prosise at running back. The guy is averaging 8.1 yards a carry this year. He’s clearly Notre Dame’s playmaker and looks so at home as a running back that I often forget he’s a converted safety. While Prosise is good, Clemson’s scoring defense might be better. The Tigers give up just over 12 points a game. So which Deshawn will reign supreme on Saturday (Kizer or Watson)? I have no idea but it should be a good one!

 

7.  Georgia

The Bulldogs take on Alabama. I heard people try to devalue Greyson Lambert’s incredible accuracy over the last two games by saying that Georgia hasn’t played anyone. That may be true but he’s 33 of his last 35! Try doing that in the backyard with no one trying to pressure you. Chances are you drop a couple. Undoubtedly Greyson’s numbers will fall against Alabama but I don’t think Nick Chubb’s will. He’s rushed for 100 yards in 12 straight games and is averaging 150 yards rushing a game this year. This is going to be a good one.

 

8.  Ohio State

The more I see this team the more I think they’re not that good. Everyone still has them at the number one spot but the Buckeyes just don’t look like the same Ohio State team that won a championship last year. As predicted, the game against Western Michigan failed to answer any of Ohio State’s offensive questions. Cardale Jones threw for 288 yards 2 touchdowns and an interception against the Broncos. Is that good? If anything Ohio State is validating the adage that defense wins championships. They’re tenth in the nation in the Points Against column allowing just over 12 a game. Until they’re tested by playing even a ranked team I’m not drinking the Kool-aid. By the way, a buckeye is a poisonous nut so no one should drink the Kool-aid. The Buckeyes play undefeated Indiana in Bloomington and Ohio State’s defense will most likely win this game. I just don’t know how they’ll be able to win by the 21.5 points the line suggests with Ohio State still in the red when it comes to turnovers.

 

9.  Florida State

The Seminoles had a bye last week and play Wake Forrest this week. They dropped a spot again in consecutive weeks. Even with a win over the Deamon Deacons, if Clemson beats Notre Dame by a narrow margin there is a small chance that the Seminoles could be bumped down again in the AP for the third time in as many weeks without having lost a game! It should be noted that the Seminoles have lost exactly one game in the last three seasons. They get no respect. Rodney Dangerfield would agree.

 

10.  Utah

62-20. That was the score. The Utes beat Oregon so bad that Utah got a first place vote from the AP out of it. I know. I know. The win came with backup quarterback Jeff Lockie playing most of the game. While he was part of the problem, the bigger and more obvious problem had to do with a porous Oregon defense that gave up 55 points to a clearly fired up Utah team. Special teams were no better for the Ducks. I think this play is the perfect indication of how well prepared the Utes were and how ill-prepared the Ducks were. Utah’s next game comes against Cal next week.

 

The TTT Week 3 Review

We’ve made some tweaks to the TTT and we think you’ll like them. We’re making the TTT even more alliterative. Not only are we bringing you Timmy’s Top Ten Teams, our ranking of the top ten college football teams, we’re also going to get the party started with Timmy’s Top Ten Takeaways, a weekly list of ten things that have allowed us at the Red Couch to gain perspective of the college football landscape as it unfolds before us.  Enjoy.

Timmy’s Top Ten Takeaways

  1. Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly is a better QB than he is a rapper.
  2. Only one team (Auburn) dropped from the AP top 25 this week. Stanford climbed back into the rankings after its victory at USC.
  3. LSU hasn’t turned the ball over yet this season.
  4. Neither has USC.
  5. Speaking of turnovers Oklahoma is the only AP top 25 team to have lost the turnover battle every game this year. They’re -4 on the season in turnovers and have a 3-0 overall record.
  6. Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot has the 24th most rushing yards in the country (331 yards on 61 attempts) and is 4th in Heisman consideration. Army QB Ahmad Bradshaw (no relation) has more rushing yards (333) on fewer attempts (58).
  7. There are only five QBs in college who have thrown for at least 10 touchdowns. Of those five only two have not thrown an interception. They both play in the PAC 12 South (Arizona QB Anu Solomon and USC QB Cody Kessler).
  8. Quick. Name the team in the Mountain West that has won at least one game in the last two weeks. Give up? So did the Mountain West. They’re 0 for their last two weeks!
  9. Georgia QB Greyson Lambert set a single game FBS record by completing 96% of his passes against South Carolina.  By the time I finish writing this sentence Lambert will have completed six more passes.
  10. College Gameday will be in Tucson this weekend as my alma mater, the University of Arizona, takes on the UCLA Bruins. If you rearrange the letters in ‘Wildcats’ and ‘Bruins’ you get the phrase ‘wrists can build’. So that’s something.

If I’ve learned anything these past few weeks it’s that anyone can be beaten.  Some of the surprising performances thus far are reflected in my top ten below.  You may notice that our top ten doesn’t necessarily follow the AP top 10.  That’s because this is the TTT where we’re unafraid to break conventional wisdom and actually rank teams based on performance rather than mere name recognition.

Timmy’s Top Ten Teams

1.  Michigan State

This team is impressive but it isn’t infallible. The Spartan defense actually gave up more total yards (428) than the Air Force Falcons (324) on Saturday. Michigan State was plus three in the turnover column which contributed to the win. Also contributing was Connor Cook who completed 15 passes on 23 attempts for 247 yards and four touchdowns. Three of his four touchdowns went to wide receiver Aaron Burbridge. One of those touchdowns looked like this. The Highly favorited Spartans take on the Central Michigan Chippewas on Saturday.

2.  Ole Miss

I have the Rebels as the number two team but they could have just as easily been number one. It sounds funny to make such a claim about a team that wasn’t even on my radar last week but the Rebels have proven they can be dominant on both sides of the ball. Chad Kelly doesn’t even have to look where he throws to complete touchdown passes anymore and, thanks to consistent play, defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche is now number one on Mel Kiper’s Big Board; a board that will undoubtedly change on a weekly basis but still. Ole Miss plays Vanderbilt next.

3.  LSU

Last week the LSU Tigers played the Auburn … Tigers. LSU running back Leonard Fournette had his way with a clearly overwhelmed Auburn defense. I love the bulletin board material Auburn unnecessarily supplied him. Before the matchup, Auburn safety Rudy Ford said that it “shouldn’t be difficult” to stop Fournette. Good point Rudy. Fournette responded by rushing for 228 yards on 19 carries. It got so bad that people were trying to develop different methods of tackling him. None seemed to work. I’m willing to give Ford the benefit of the doubt on this though. My theory is that he was cut off mid-sentence when the press was quoting him. What I’m sure he really said was that it “shouldn’t be difficult to stop Fournette from setting a single game LSU rushing record against us.” He was totally right about that. Fournette was 22 entire yards away from achieving that feat. The joke is obviously on you Leonard. LSU travels to Syracuse, the longest trip of the year, but the Tigers are expected to win handily.

4.  Ohio State

OK. I messed up. I was way off on my QB assessment for Ohio State last week. It turns out Urban Meyer did have a reason to be nervous. The Ohio State Offense looked shaky really bad against Northern Illinois in turning the ball over five times. Fortunately for the Buckeyes they have a defense in the BIG 10 that gives up just over 12 points a game. It’s ironic how the biggest question mark for this Buckeye team revolves around two players (Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett) who were integral in winning them a national championship last year. I’m not sure playing Western Michigan this weekend, a team they’re projected to beat by 31, will clear anything up at the QB position but that’s who is on the schedule.

5.  Baylor

The Bears had an early bye this weekend and remained at number five on the AP Poll. They take on the Rice Owls this week in a game that shouldn’t give Baylor a problem.

6.  Notre Dame

I’m impressed with DeShone Kizer. He was thrown into the fire two weeks ago while trailing Virginia late and came out with a win. Last week he led the Irish to victory with help from the Notre Dame defense which held a usually prolific Georgia Tech Offense to just 7 points for most of the game. C.J. Prosise also helped out by having arguably the second best week for a college running back rushing for 198 yards and three scores on 22 carries. Notre Dame plays UMass on Saturday in South Bend.

7.  Georgia

Nick Chubb is my early Heisman favorite. He exemplifies consistency. His 159 yards and two scores on the ground last weekend was just another average day for him. If you combine his output with Greyson Lambert’s efficiency at QB and Georgia’s stellar defense, you have the formula for a pretty good football team. The Bulldogs have the Southern Jaguars coming up.

8.  UCLA

I was more on the UCLA bandwagon after they played Virginia than I am now. Myles Jack, one of the Bruins top defensive playmakers, is out for the season with a knee injury. Last weekend against BYU, Josh Rosen threw three first half picks forcing the Bruins to rely on running back Paul Perkins in the second half. The plan worked. Perkins racked up 219 rushing yards and a touchdown and UCLA was narrowly able to edge out BYU beating the Cougars 24-23. The Bruins head to Tucson to face off against the number 16 Arizona Wildcats in a highly touted conference opener. Although it’s early in the season, many are thinking that this game might have playoff implications. The Bruins are favored by 3.5 points but I’m predicting a Wildcat win because I went to UA and the Wildcats are the best. They’re also debuting these sweet helmets. How can you lose in those?! Bear Down! Win or lose this will shape up to be a good game. As a wise man annoying wide receiver once said; “Get your popcorn ready!”

9.  Florida State

The Seminoles shut out Boston College in a 14-0 win and the AP recognized this great defensive play by dropping FSU one spot in the polls. Style points count. I’m sure Dalvin Cook and company will keep that in mind when they head to Wake Forrest this weekend.

10. Texas A&M

I have Texas A&M ahead of teams like Alabama and TCU because the Aggies are the only team of the three that has beaten a top 15 team this year (Arizona State). ASU plays USC in what, for all intents and purposes, is an elimination game between the two. An ASU win at least helps validate what the Aggies did to them to start the season. But regardless of who wins or loses, Texas A&M will still have a chance to prove itself against Alabama in a few weeks. Come October 17, we’ll know just where the Aggies stand among the college football elite. Until then, Texas A&M will have to do what has come so easy to so many lately in beating a flat Arkansas Razorback team.

 

The TTT Week 2 Review

 

Man I love football season. And I know you do to. This year, for the first time in my thirty year existence on this planet, I will be sharing that love with you all, right here on The Red Couch on a weekly basis. Specifically, I will be coming at you with the college football Timmy Top Ten (the “TTT”). It’s my take on the top ten AP ranked teams in the nation.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Without further ado, the TTT:

1. Ohio State

In a time where people create controversy for the sole purpose of stirring the pot, Urban Meyer is Jerry Springer.   There is the adage “If your team has two quarterbacks, they have no quarterbacks.”  Ohio State is the exception that proves the rule.  The Buckeyes have two unbelievably talented QBs.  So why is there even a QB controversy?  Play them both like you have been.  Seriously this situation has all the contrived drama of a Bachelor Rose Ceremony.  Cardale will you accept my rose?  I will Coach Meyer!  As a side note I can’t help but wonder what Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly must be thinking when he watches Urban Meyer hem and haw over which QB “will get the job”.  The Irish have had to deal with their number one guy, Everett Golson, transferring to FSU and their new starter, Malik Zaire, suffering a pretty horrific season ending ankle injury.  It’s like going to a homeless shelter and complaining that your six bedroom Victorian Craftsman doesn’t let in enough morning light for the breakfast nook.  Well eat in the dark bitch, we a have to find a new guy to hold our clipboard.  Ohio State plays Northern Illinois in Columbus on Saturday.  Gross.

2. Alabama

Alabama is another team mired in QBC (Quarterback Controversy).  This one is far more legitimate than what they’re dealing with in Columbus.  Neither Jake Coker nor Cooper Bateman has looked particularly sharp and as a result their offensive roles have been limited.  Coker threw for first 214 half yards and a touchdown but also threw a pick against Middle Tennessee.  Bateman took over in the second half going 15 for 26 with a touchdown but also threw an interception.  If the Crimson Tide didn’t have Heisman favorite running back Derrick Henry, who ran for 96 yards and added 3 more scores, this would be a problem.  But they do so it’s not.  I have a feeling OC Lane Kiffin will be content running the ball until Alabama comes across a team that can figure out how to stop the run.  I don’t know who will start against Ole Miss on Saturday but I do know one thing; whoever does will be the best damn hander offer in college football.

3. TCU

The Horned Frogs just throttled that Stephen F. Austin team. I mean they made that team from the Southland Conference look like…well… a team from the Southland Conference. They put up 70 against the Lumberjacks.  The Big 12 is the anti SEC in that it is a conference that is looking better by the minute.  Oklahoma’s comeback win over Tennessee launches the Sooners into the discussion for Big 12 supremacy and Oklahoma State has cracked the top 25 this week.  That being said everyone knows that the Big 12 is not perceived as a particularly strong conference.  A one loss TCU team and a two loss Baylor team did not receive invites to college playoffs last year.  The proper response until a Big 12 playoff is instituted is to schedule a tougher out of conference schedule.  I think TCU must have received that message because they play American Athletic powerhouse SMU on Saturday.  That’s right.  That fifth in the American Athletic West SMU team.  The same SMU team that scored 12 points last September.  The same SMU team that Baylor played to start the season.  I’m shaking with anticipation just thinking about this matchup.

4. Michigan State

The first top ten matchup of the year did not disappoint. Last week’s win over 7th ranked Oregon not only gave the Spartans revenge from a 2014 46-27 road loss to the Ducks, but it also added intrigue to the Big Ten, a conference many thought had just one contender in Ohio State.  So is Michigan State still overshadowed by the Buckeyes or are the Spartans getting the respect they deserve?  According to analyst Danny Kanell, “Michigan State’s probably the most underrated team in the nation.”  While some would argue that Kanell’s comment actually makes a lot of sense others believe that being the only team not named the Buckeyes to receive first place votes by the AP is proof alone that the Spartans are not being overlooked.  Whether you side with Kanell or not one thing is for certain; the November 21 matchup against Ohio State in Columbus will answer any questions you had about Michigan State. Until then, Michigan State will concentrate on the triple option Air Force runs this weekend.

5. Baylor

QB Seth Russell threw three picks against Lamar.  At one point late in the second half Baylor was down 14-13.  The Bears ended up winning the game by 32 but the slight hiccup cost them a spot in the rankings.  Baylor plays the Waco High Lady Lions Rice Owls on Saturday.

6. USC

The Trojans haven’t really been tested yet.  They beat Arkansas State and Idaho by a combined score of infinity points.  Kessler looked good but he should have.  He’ll be put through more of a test when he faces a Stanford defense that has only allowed 18 points to opponents in two games.

7. Georgia

The Bulldogs beat another SEC team in Vanderbilt and jumped three spots in the AP Poll.  0-2 Vanderbilt.  My first reaction was to laugh at the people who keep hyping the SEC.  Upon closer examination the jump wasn’t really a jump at all.  Georgia did leapfrog Notre Dame but that’s hardly an overreaction to a team losing its starting QB for the year.  The Oregon Ducks went down after they lost and Auburn went down after they kinda won.  Plus Georgia has running back Nick Chubb who only has four fewer rush attempts (35) than QBs Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey have combined passing attempts (39).  Get ready for Handoff Fest 2015 against University of South Carolina on Saturday.

8. Notre Dame

I love some of the questions head coaches get asked.  Notre Dame just lost their running back and QB in successive weeks.  Brian Kelly was asked if they have enough depth to have a successful season without Zaire.  The reporter asking that question should have just said “Say the word ‘yes’”.  Is there any situation where he just says “no” there?  It’ll to be interesting going forward.  Notre Dame plays Georgia Tech on Saturday.  Although QB Deshone Kizer answered the bell nicely by throwing a game winning touchdown with 12 seconds left to play against Virginia, it might be hard him to keep up with the Georgia Tech offense.

9. Florida State

Everett Golson didn’t look great going 14 for 26 for 163 yards and a touchdown against University of South Florida.  You don’t have to be great when you have Dalvin Cook on your team.  He went off for 266 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 30 carries.  The Seminoles take on Boston College who at the exact same point in the season last year beat a 9th ranked Bruin team.  Weeeeeeird.

10. UCLA

Josh Rosen has looked so comfortable at the quarterback position this year that it’s hard to imagine that he’s just a freshman. Through two games he has thrown for 574 yards and 4 touchdowns and just one interception.  He’s an early season dark horse Heisman candidate and the reason why some analysts have the Bruins contending for a National Championship.  Where Rosen goes, so go the Bruins.  That being said I wonder how UCLA has been preparing for BYU all week.  I’m also curious as to what goes on in a BYU practice.  My guess would be minimum two hours of Hail Mary prevention per day for UCLA while the BYU offense puts in the same time just perfecting the play.  BYU just can’t expect to Hail Mary their way up the rankings can they?  They can’t right?    This might be where the magic runs out for BYU as indicated by a 17 point spread in favor of the Bruins.

OTHER NOTABLES

Number 15 Ole Miss takes on Number 2 Alabama.  The Rebels are averaging 74.5 points per game.  2 points more than the basketball team averaged last season.

Number 18 Auburn fell 12 spots after a win.  That has to be some kind of a record.

Arkansas Razorback Head Coach Bret Beilema said this about Ohio State before he lost to Toledo.
“I spent a lot of time in that other conference. Ohio State’s ranked No. 1 and they have one game remaining on their schedule that has anybody ranked right now — Michigan State. We’re going to play eight straight opponents that are ranked.”  – Bret Bielema

Looks like he was worried about the wrong team from Ohio.