By: Monte Perez
In the 2006 movie Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone says, “. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.” It is a great quote and one that can motivate individuals, but let us be honest here; It is a movie. We know in life, there are people who get knocked down and never get up, same with sports. There are certain teams that get beaten and they never recover. This is my theme for this week’s teams that are down, and now out as in out of the national championship hunt.
Here are 5 Things The Sports Whisperer learned about Week 3 in College Football:
1) Is Louisville the best team in the country?: #10 Louisville thoroughly humiliated #2 Florida State 63-20. At one point, the Cardinals were up 49-10. Most experts had FSU their top 5 and some even had them winning the National Championship, I didn’t. The Seminoles are a top 15 team but they are nowhere near elite. What was so impressive about Bobby Petrino’s team is that FSU probably has about 20-25 NFL players on their roster. Louisville probably has 6-10. It was the most points FSU has given up in the modern era. Cardinals QB, Lamar Jackson had 362 total yards and 5 touchdowns. On the season Jackson has 18 total touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. He is the ultimate dual threat and will be in the Heisman talk all season long. Louisville still has to play at Clemson and at Houston. FSU will not be going to the Final Four playoffs. They got knocked out and won’t recover.
2) Nebraska upsets #22 Oregon: The Cornhuskers came back from a half-time deficit to beat the Ducks at Tom Osbourne Field, 35-32. It was Mike Riley’s best win since taking over the program a year ago. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. continues to make tremendous strides from last season. Armstrong is the only active quarterback in Division 1 who has thrown for over 7,000 yards and rushed for over 1,000 yards in his career. On Saturday, in the biggest game of his career, he threw for 200 yards rushed for 95 and had 4 total touchdowns. When Oregon coach Mike Helfrich was named the head coach in 2013 he had a team that was loaded with Talent. Chip Kelly led the ducks to three straight top 5 finishes . The Ducks were ranked 3rd, 4th and 2nd under Kelly’s watch. This team, that was once elite, is no longer a top 15 program. The talent level is no longer 2 or 3 deep at each position and Helfrich’s “in-game” play calling is mind boggling. When Helfrich got hired I wrote, “The program will erode over time” and it has. Until Oregon replaces him they will never recover from Kelly leaving for the NFL.
3) The Tide continues to roll: After trailing Ole Miss most of the first half, The Tide outscored the Rebels 31-19 in the final 30 minutes and won 48-43. Bama is the only team in the country that can beat you 10-7 or score 40 plus points. Ole Miss QB, Chad Kelly tied Eli Manning for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. That is being in great company. It is time to start question Hugh Freeze’s coaching acumen. There is no doubt that he is an elite recruiter. Ole Miss has sent a ton of players to the NFL since he took over in 2012. Over the past two weeks, his team has blown huge leads against Florida State and Bama. He might be on the hot-seat. Ole miss fans are extremely passionate and if you are good enough to gain a big lead, your coaching should be good enough to hold on to it.
4) Shame on Clemson and S.C. State: Every Major Division I college football team schedules so-called “cupcakes” but this is getting out of hand. The Tigers were up 45-0 at halftime and both teams decided to make the 3rd and 4th quarter 12 minutes each. Is this 1st and 2nd-grade pee wee football? How can you cut the game short because you are simply dominating a team? The fact that this is happening in Division I is proof that scheduling is a joke. In a society where everyone gets a trophy, I despise cutting this game short.
5) The Sooners= Overrated: Oklahoma was ranked 3rd in the pre-season polls. They lost to #15 Houston in week 1 and lost #3 Ohio State 45-24. This has been the M.O. of coach Bob Stoops. Every time you think his team is about to take it to the next level they fall short. Going into Saturday Nights game, Stoops and his team were ranked 113th in passing defense. Urban Meyer continues to be one of the best coaches in college football. Last season the Buckeyes players were playing for their draft status. This year, with only 6 returning starters, they are playing for the name on the front of their jerseys(OSU). This young team will only get better and that is a scary thought for the rest of the Big 10
#18 Notre Dame lost to #12 Michigan State 36-28. It will be very hard for ND to finish in the Top 12 this year.
Shout out to the Bison. No Carson Wentz… no problem. North Dakota State went into Iowa and laid the “SmackDown” on the road, against #13Iowa. The Bison won 23-21. It was their sixth straight win against an FBS school.
#11 Texas lost to California 50-43. The longhorns have given up 47 and 43 points in two of the last three weeks.
Texas Tech’s defense is “video game”like. The Red Raiders have given up 68 and 45 points and they haven’t even played an elite team yet. When it comes to defense Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury makes Rob Ryan look like Bill Parcells. Kingsbury may be the worst defensive coach in the history of Division I.
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