So, my picks were 9-4 against the spread. Not a bad start. Turns out TAMU is for real, Michigan still sucks, Georgia Southern couldn’t beat West Virginia if spotted five touchdowns, and Auburn isn’t better than Louisville by as much as advertised.
Let’s break down what I saw. This list is not comprehensive, but it’s close.
Florida actually seems to have something on offense. They demolished New Mexico State-as expected-but put up more points in either half than Muschamp did in a a home opener during his tenure. Florida is also running a modified pistol offense that features multiple formations and shifts. The offense also seems to be built well for speed. Florida’s defense under Nussmeier isn’t Florida’s defense under Muschamp. Despite that, the multiple look scheme works well, especially in blitz packages-but Florida spent more time in the dime than I liked.
The Ramblin’ Wreck
Georgia Tech looked like a tremendous machine on its way to 69 points. Granted, they played Alcorn State, but the execution was there and the reads were there. The question is: can Tech’s historically undersized offensive line withstand higher quality opponents? This is why I don’t like cupcake games, you still don’t really know what you got. Tech returns a great quarterback with a decent line, but can they defend their Coastal title? Can they break into the playoff? Can they beat Georgia again? Eh, maybe. We will see.
Texas A&M and the Parity in the SEC West
TAMU obliterated an Arizona State team that is, by all accounts, a stellar team. The Aggies simply ran them out of the stadium. It wasn’t really ever close. Here’s the thing, A&M is supposed to be down this year and most experts have them finishing third or fourth in the SEC West (behind Alabama and Auburn at minimum). It’s no surprise that Sumlin had TAMU ready to play, but ASU didn’t belong on the same field. A&M may not have the name brand talent of years past, but they are not to be written off. It simply shows how good and how tight the SEC West is going to be again.
Why is everyone so high on Auburn?
Auburn is a good team and they will finish top half in their division in all likelihood. However, I’m not a believer in the hype. Auburn’s most exciting news this offseason was adding Muschamp as the Defensive Coordinator. Don’t get me wrong, Muschamp may be the finest defensive mind in football, but Auburn was 8-5 last year and lost the Outback Bowl. Let’s all just calm down. They’ll be better on defense, but I’m not prepared to crown them SEC Champion, much less put them in the driver’s seat for the playoff. Call me a hater if you want, but Auburn is a bubble team and they’re overrated. They may look better, but they really should have beat Louisville by a lot more than a touchdown.
Go home, Kansas
Kansas went to the mat with South Dakota State this weekend. It was, well, it was awful. Kansas came into the game favored big, got down huge at halftime, then they rallied and lost the game on the last play in the most heartbreaking way possible—can you call losing a game where you paid an opponent hundreds of thousands of dollars to show up and get their ass kicked heartbreaking? Kansas needs to stop; they lost to a team named the Jackrabbits, from the Dakotas, who play a division lower than the Jayhawks. Not a good look.
South Carolina is on the struggle bus
Spurrier basically willed the Gamecocks to a win over North Carolina. SC’s defense was terrible as always. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the total defense stats. South Carolina has been a bottom 1/3 team in the FBS. The exception: Clowney’s three seasons. He was so incredible that they were top 25 every season he was there. But, historically, the Gamecocks have been atrocious on defense. This is true again, and it made North Carolina’s sputtering offense look like rock stars. Don’t expect Cocky to have too much to celebrate. They’ll probably finish top half in the East, but that’s an indictment of the division, not a testament to South Carolina. They’ll be competitive, but nothing special.
Penn State lost to Temple
Well, this is awkward, and hilarious. Temple has a decent program but never in a million years did they expect to clown Penn State like they did. James Franklin seems to be an alright guy, but this is just funny. Penn State has a delusional fanbase so anytime they start 0-1 with a lousy loss is solid. I didn’t get to see any of this game, but laughed hysterically when I saw the final score. Let’s be real, Penn State wasn’t going to compete for the conference title. But now, they may be so pissed off that they’ll be able to play spoiler the rest of the year. I would not want to play Penn State after this embarrassment.
TCU is overrated at 2 (shocker!)
Anyone that knows my position on TCU knows that I am not surprised at all by this. But, TCU was picked by everyone to be the Oregon of the Big XII and to wreck everyone on their way to a playoff berth. Well, it took everything they had to hold off unranked Minnesota. I would say that there’s no way they stay undefeated, but the Big XII is trash. So, TCU will probably be able to ride it out on nobody opponents and the collective ethos of ESPN propping them up. Defense matters, and TCU doesn’t play it.
Golson fits perfectly
Florida State dominated Texas State, as they should have. But in addition to Dalvin Cook’s monster game, Everett Golson had a huge game. He proved that he has earned the right to start for that program. TSU playing football is only second on the list of most publicized TSU events this week, thanks to Barbie Jeep Girl. FSU will probably be solid this year. Playoff is doubtful, but stranger things have happened.
Texas is so, so bad
I love Charlie Strong, but he just doesn’t have a very good team. I’m not sure how Notre Dame is going to be, but they won’t be as good as Texas made them look. Texas fans may grow impatient with Strong if he slogs through the Big XII again this season. I want him to succeed, but I’m afraid the Longhorns are looking at the same situation as Florida and Muschamp. When ACC teams schedule you as their cupcake, it’s time to do something differently.
With the exception of a few teams on this list and Stanford, most everybody won the games they were supposed to win this weekend. Ohio State has yet to play, but I expect them to win. Mostly, this weekend showed us how pointless preseason rankings are and how useless cupcake games are at showing us anything about the winner. I vote we cut out cupcake games and expand the playoff. If you borrow a game or two from the season and start conference play sooner, there’s no reason you can’t have an eight or six team playoff with the games you’d save.
I’m just sayin’.