As college football teams start to play conference opponents, we see great parody. The days of teams from the SEC and PAC-12 going undefeated are long gone. With the increased competition, we also see a ton of coaches getting exposed. Kliff Kingsbury and Texas Tech lost to TCU at home last week 55-52. On Saturday afternoon, the Red Raiders got embarrassed on the road by Baylor, 63-35. The Bears could have scored 80 points if the wanted too but played super conservative the whole second half. This is Kingsbury 3rd season as the head coach and he is on his 3rd defensive coordinator. When Rex Ryan was with the Jets he had 3 offensive coordinators in 6 years. Eventually, The Jets had to look at Rex and realize he was the common denominator for their offensive woes and they fired him. Texas Tech has to realize this about Kingsbury. Great coaches Like Nick Saban and Urban Meyer never get humiliated in back to back weeks. Kingsbury is an offensive coordinator at best, he is not a head coach.
5 Things We Learned About Week 5 in College Football
5) Jump on the Michigan Bandwagon- After losing on the road to #5 Utah in their first game under head coach Jim Harbaugh 24-17, The Wolverines have won 4 straight and they have outscored their opponents 122-14 during that stretch. Most experts knew Harbaugh would turn this program around, but right now, he has Michigan competing for the Big-10 Championship. Ohio State continues to struggle with Cardale Jones as quarterback and Michigan State hasn’t covered the spread once this year. This will probably be one of the worst talented rosters Harbaugh, has because it’s basically Brady Hoke’s team. So, if he can win 10 games this season, it would be his greatest coaching achievement. That is saying a lot for a coach who has turned around programs everywhere he has coached, both in the college and the NFL. To quote the late great Al Davis… Harbaugh “JUST WINS BABY”
4) Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs come up short again- Alabama was an underdog for the first time in over 5 years and they took it out on Georgia, dominating the Bulldogs, 38-10 in the rain. Jay Coker was efficient for the Crimson Tide, he was 11-16 and threw for 190 yards and 1 touchdown. Georgia got dominated up front, they couldn’t stop running back Derrick Henry. The junior rushed 26 times for 148 yards. Mark Richt is a good recruiter and good coach but when he goes up against elite coaches he gets exposed. It is like a good looking guy standing next to Brad Pitt, you just become average because the competition is great. He will never win an SEC title or play for a national championships. Georgia will always be a top 20 team but under Richt they won’t be elite. There was one positive for GA on Saturday, RB Nick Chubb topped the century mark for a 13th consecutive game, (20 carries 146 yards) breaking Herschel Walker’s 33 year old school record. Anytime you can be compared with Walker…that is an amazing accomplishment.
3) Gators dominate Ole Miss at home- What Harbaugh has done for Michigan, Jim McElwain has done for the Florida Gators… He’s made them relevant once again. The Gators manhandled a very good Ole Miss team Saturday Night 38-10. Coming into this game the Rebels were the only team in the country who were ranked in the top 10 in offense and defense. They got pushed around, manhandled and outplayed for 4 quarters. Florida quarterback Will Grier became the first Gators signal caller since Tim Tebow (2009) to throw multiple touchdown passes in four games. He is following in the tradition of great Gators quarterbacks. Say that three times fast, “great Gators quarterbacks” Ole Miss came into this game averaging 54.8 points per game. They had no answers for Florida’s dominant defense. The Swamp hasn’t been rocking like that since Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow were on the field. McElwain appears to be the right hire and I expect Florida to contend for the SEC for years to come.
2) The PAC-12 is up for grabs- Utah, Stanford and California are all undefeated in conference play. The PAC-12 appears to be the most unpredictable conference in the country. After playing in the PAC-12 championships the Arizona Wildcats are 0-2. Oregon looks awful under Mark Helfrich, they are 1-1 in the conference and 3-2 overall. Last season the PAC-12 was arguably the best conference in the country. Unless Utah, USC or UCLA run the table, they may be hard pressed to get into the Final 4 playoff. In my pre-season article, I predicted USC to win the conference and I am sticking with them. Cody Kessler has 15 touchdowns and only 1 interception. I know it is early but no one is talking about Kessler as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.
1) Is Clemson a legitimate title contender? In arguably the best game of the day Clemson defeated Notre Dame at home 24-22. In a battle of two undefeated teams,the Tigers led the Fighting Irish going into the 4th quarter 21-7. ND made a ferocious come back scoring 19 points in the final period but came up short. Sophmore quarterback Deshaun Watson completed 11-22 passes for 97 yards and rushed for 93 yards. He had three total touchdowns and 1 interception. Some “experts” called this an Ugly win but when you have a young QB it is always better to win ugly then lose pretty. Clemson is a legitimate contender to win the ACC. They play tough division opponents, Miami and NC State on the road but play Florida State at home. Both ND and Clemson should be able to win 10-11 games. Dabo Swinney has his program trending upward.
Montes Final Four:
- Baylor – Talk about building a program, Art Briles has taken Baylor from an afterthought to a national powerhouse. In 7 years Briles has taken the Bears to 5 Bowl appearances. The 12 seasons before his arrival, Baylor didn’t go to 1 bowl game. 21 of his players have been drafted by the NFL. He has taken offense to another level. He makes Oregon’s offense look like it’s in slow motion.
- Ohio State– They haven’t played well but they are still undefeated. The defending national champions will get better under Urban Meyer as the season goes on. They will be tested by Michigan State and Michigan.
- TCU- A slew have injuries have really hurt this team but they don’t seem to be missing a beat. They still have tough road games against Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma before ending their season at home against Baylor.
- Clemson– This is my sleeper team, they have a young QB who will be tested on the road and are a long shot to make the final 4… but. I like the direction this team is going.