Week 4 Observations - College Football
It would appear after 4 weeks the CFB season is unfolding just like everyone expected. There are no surprise teams undefeated or even worth mentioning for the first time in years. It’s really full of plain vanilla story lines. All the pre-season prognosticators are still perfect…
I hope you appreciate the sarcasm because week 4 was wild! We are starting to see some other storylines develop within each conference and we will highlight just a few as we travel around CFB.
In the AAC, Tulane has only given up 47 points in 4 games sitting at a surprising 3-1 before we head into the thick of conference play. Can they keep it up? Tulane was expected to finish near the bottom of the AAC to start their season and heading to Houston this week will be a real test. Can ECU bounce back from non-conference play and make some noise? They should be a team to watch.
Moving to the ACC, how about Syracuse? What a story to start off the season. Sitting at a perfect 4-0. They will have a tough three-week stretch coming up later in October by facing NCST, Clemson, and ND in back-to-back-to-back weeks. If they can survive that gauntlet then all bets are off for them to win the ACC. Speaking of Clemson, how about their OT road win down in Winston-Salem? Just when we think the program is finally coming back down to earth Dabo picks them up and figures out the offense in the nick of time.
Switching gears to the Big Ten, is Minnesota the real deal, or are they really just the best team out of a very weak Big Ten West division? Looking at their schedule they could very well be undefeated until they travel to Happy Valley for a big road test. Safe to say Ohio State figured out the offense after their slow start to the season. It helps to have so many home games to start the season. If they can keep the momentum going they should have no reason not to be undefeated when they welcome Michigan in late November.
Onward to the Big 12 and easily the best story of the season thus far is Kansas. After their first sellout in years they took care of Duke to reach 4-0. Their 4-0 is a lot better than other schools because they have two strong road wins by winning at WVU and HOU. HC Lance Leipold can flat out coach after his success at Buffalo and putting Kansas football back on the map. They have a tough four game stretch before their first bye week at the end of October. If they can survive and stay healthy they will continue to make some noise across CFB. I think they jury vote is in and Texas is still not back. Despite all the glitz and glamour from the preseason hype they are still an average program after losing to Texas Tech this past week. On the brightside they could still play the role of spoiler for Oklahoma in a couple weeks.
In the MAC it’s always a tough go to start the season in non-conference play. Kent State went down to Athens and put up more points than anyone in recent history against Georgia. Can they turn the experience into conference play success? It is definitely something worth watching over the next couple of weeks. And how about Toledo the pre-season pick to win the MAC? They had a tough schedule going out to San Diego and playing at Columbus. They will have four road conference games the rest of the way out.
Heading out west to the Mountain West Conference one can only wonder what is wrong with Boise State? They have only managed to put up 88 points in 4 games and losing to UTEP doesn’t help. Over the next two weeks they host SDST and Fresno St with the chance to salvage their season. UNLV is currently sitting atop the MWC West standings but can they keep it up? They were picked to finish near the bottom of the MWC.
Staying out west in the PAC-12, Washington is off to a hot start undefeated at 4-0. Note all four wins have come at home and they will be on the road for the next two weeks. We should know more about Washington rather quickly. Does anyone else remember when Colorado was a great football program? What happened? Their defense has given up 173 points in the first four weeks. They head into a brutal conference schedule and it makes me wonder if they can stop the bleeding sooner rather than later.
Rounding third and heading home into the SEC how about Kentucky and Tennessee? They were both pre season darlings featuring strong and experienced quarterbacks yet somehow they both have backed up the hype sitting 4-0 respectively. Tennessee finally beats Florida this past week and all is well in Rocky Top for now. Tennessee has LSU and Alabama coming up real soon in back to back weeks. Kentucky somehow manages to avoid Alabama, LSU, and Texas A&M but will be on the road at Tennessee in late October. Both are playing for second place in the SEC east unless Georgia manages to falter at some point, which appears unlikely.
That’s all for this week...Rank Kansas and Syracuse you cowards!