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By: Jim Myers

September 2012 Post(s): 1

 


 

Random College Football Observations

Sep 23, 2012

 

We’re starting to settle into the college football season after four weeks. We have an idea of the best team in the country right now (Alabama), but the rest is a crap shoot. Here are Random College Football Observations.

 

South Florida is a mentally fragile team. It doesn’t matter who the coach is along Fowler Avenue; USF does not have the mental makeup to withstand tough times. The Bulls looked strong coming behind from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit at Nevada Sept. 7. Since then USF lost 23-13 to Rutgers and followed that up with a 31-27 loss in which it held a 27-24 lead late in the fourth quarter. As usual, USF shows no mental strength.

 

The Big East’s national reputation is taking hits. Not only did the Bulls lose at Ball State, UConn dropped a 30-24 decision at Western Michigan and Temple lost 24-13 at Penn State. If you want to count Syracuse’s 17-10 loss at Minnesota or Pittsburgh’s 55-10 win versus Gardner-Webb, go ahead.

 

The Big Ten is little. Is this is another Big East hit column or what? I mean, why call it Big East with teams in the west, amiright? The numerically challenged Big Ten continues to look week. The conference is 23-12 versus non-conference opponents the last three weeks, with losses to Notre Dame (twice), Alabama, Oregon State, Virginia Central Michigan and Louisiana Tech. Even when the conference wins, it’s not convincing as evidenced by this week’s unconvincing 29-15 Ohio State win against visiting UAB.

 

Oregon looks good. The Ducks don’t have size, and they don’t play a traditional game. But they made mincemeat out of Arizona this week 49-0. This was an Arizona team averaging 46.3 points per game. This 4-0 Oregon squad is looking suspiciously like the one that took Auburn to the wire in the 2010 national championship game. The Ducks have something this year they haven’t possessed in the past: a first-rate defense. Chip Kelly’s team is averaging 52.8 points on offense and 18.3 against on defense. Autzen Stadium, where Oregon plays, is one of the more underrated venues in the nation for noise and atmosphere.

 

Geno Smith and West Virginia are suddenly respectable. It’s not only the name on the front of your jersey; it’s the name of your conference. Would WVU and Smith get this kind of pub in the Big East? The Mountaineers have been middling through four games, but they are in the top 10 and Smith is getting Heisman pub. Makes you wonder what the scenario would be if they were in the Big East still (even though they probably would not have played a conference game yet).

 

Florida State’s offensive line is impressive. The Seminoles trailed Clemson at home, 31-21, in the second half but scored 28 straight points to take control of their key Atlantic Coast Conference battle. The main reason was how FSU dominated the Tigers in the trenches. Chris Thompson scored on a pair of second-half runs where FSU completely dominated the Tigers on the line of scrimmage and gave him huge holes to run through. Quarterback EJ Manuel was given enough time to throw for 380 yards.

 

Kansas State will spoil several parties. Should Kansas State be in my top 10? I don’t know, but I didn’t feel comfortable having Oklahoma there (still did). The Wildcats, who defeated Oklahoma in Norman 24-19, have a team that can beat the top players in the conference. Head coach Bill Snyder has magic powder in his hat that can turn Kansas State into a contender any time he’s on the sidelines. Watch out West Virginia and Oklahoma State.

 

Is there a dominant conference? We hear about how great the Southeastern Conference is. However, the SEC has lost several out-of-conference games, including contests versus the Sun Belt Conference. But what about the Big XII?  Look at Kansas. Big Ten? Already mentioned, and the Pac-12 and Big East have both lost to FCS teams.

 

Rankings are crap. Personally, I can tell you I had Oklahoma in the top 10 though I didn’t believe it. Name on the front of the jersey. I also had UCLA in the top 10 (ESPN’s Tom Luginbill had the same thought). I try to look at the teams on the field, but rankings are sometimes about rep. Why should two-loss teams such as Michigan stay in the rankings? I don’t know.

 

 

RU opponents this week

Tulane (0-3; lost vs. Rutgers, 24-12): Lost 39-0 vs. Mississippi

Howard (2-1; lost at Rutgers, 26-0): Won 37-36 (OT) at Norfolk State (Sept. 15)

South Florida (2-2, 0-1 Big East; lost vs. Rutgers, 23-13) Lost 31-27 at Ball State

Arkansas (1-3; lost vs. Rutgers, 35-27): Lost 35-27 vs. Rutgers

Connecticut (2-2; 0-1): Lost 30-24 at Western Michigan

Syracuse (1-3, 0-0): Lost 17-10 at Minnesota

Temple (1-2, 0-0): Lost 24-13 vs. Penn State

Kent State (2-1): Won 23-7 at Buffalo

Army (0-3): Lost 49-27 vs. Wake Forest

Cincinnati (2-0, 1-0): Idle

Pittsburgh (2-2, 0-1): Won 55-10 vs. Gardner-Webb

Louisville (4-0, 0-0): Won 28-21 at FIU

 


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