Nine things we learned in college football week five
- I give up
There are some things that you feel you can always count on, like an Arizona always being $.99 or Johnny Depp being in a Tim Burton movie. There is no such thing in college football. Stanford got blown out. Michigan State lost to Indiana. San Diego State lost. Florida State is 0-2 in ACC play. Oregon is now 2-3. Colorado is 4-1. For anyone that’s ever wanted to bet on college football, some advice: don’t.
- San Diego State disappointed again
Throw out all the hype about a possible undefeated season. Throw out all the hope for an outside shot at the Playoff. Throw out all the hope for a New Year’s Six bowl bid. Throw out any momentum heading into conference play. That’s what happens when you get blown out by South Alabama 42-24. If you’re getting deja vu, that’s because SDSU lost to South Alabama last year, as well. In fact, the Aztecs have never beaten South Alabama.
- Washington is for real
We expected a close game on Friday night between Washington and Stanford. To say the least, we didn’t get it. The Huskies won 44-6 in one of the biggest statement wins of the year so far. Their toughest test left on the schedule is a date with Utah on October 29 in SLC. They have a clear path now to the PAC-12 North title and a spot in the championship game. They’ll be dogged by the Playoff Selection Committee for the same out-of-conference strength of schedule questions that held down Baylor and TCU several years ago, but if the Huskies win out, such questions will be moot.
- Louisville and Clemson should play every week
In the biggest game of the week, Clemson defended home field in a 42-36 win over Louisville. The game lived up to the hype, as did Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson. The two combined for eight touchdowns and over 850 total yards of offense. Watson and the Tigers now have the inside track to the ACC championship while the Cardinals will need to hope for an upset somewhere along Clemson’s path. The table is set for two ACC teams in the Playoff, though. If both Clemson and Louisville win out, can the Playoff Selection Committee really exclude one of them? I don’t think so, but I might just be saying that simply so I can watch a sequel of Saturday night’s game.
- The catch of the year might belong to a cornerback
In case you missed it, Michigan’s Jordan Lewis sealed the Wolverine’s 14-7 win over Wisconsin with a bodacious one-handed diving interception. If you’ve yet to see it, stop whatever you’re doing, google it and learn why ‘bodacious’ is the perfect way to describe it.
- Tennessee must have sold their souls to the devil or something
I wrote last week about how we thought Tennessee’s week one nail-biting win over Appalachian State would be their best escape of the year, only to be treated to their comeback against Florida after being down 21-0. Surely, they wouldn’t be able to top that, right? Well, this week, the Volunteers topped it. After giving up the go-ahead touchdown to Georgia with 10 seconds left in the game, a solid kick return set Tennessee up for a 42-yard Hail Mary touchdown to keep their undefeated record intact. Whatever deal they made, it’s working so far.
- Utah State still might be the fourth best team in the Mountain West
Yes, we’re off to a pretty disappointing 2-3 start. Yes, we’re now 0-2 in conference play. But take a look at the Mountain West standings right now. Aside from Boise St, SDSU, and Air Force, the only other team with an overall winning record is Wyoming, who also lost to Eastern Michigan. Nevada went to overtime against Cal Poly. Hawaii is still Hawaii. New Mexico lost to Rutgers and New Mexico State. Despite the 0-2 start, a 5-3 conference record at the end of the year is very reasonable.
- Maryland might actually be a good team
Last year was a year to forget for the Terrapins. They went 3-9 with a 1-7 mark in conference play, good for last place in their division. This year, there were no expectations for improvement but the Terrapins now stand at 4-0. Yes, those four wins have come against Howard, Florida International, Central Florida, and Purdue. But the fact that they’ve already surpassed last season’s win total this early in the season bodes well for the future in Maryland.
- The next few weeks aren’t going to let up
Match-ups between two top 10 teams aren’t super common in college football. After being treated to three this weekend, you’d expect for there to be a slight drop off. Not so. We’ll have at least one top ten showdown to look forward to for each of the next three weeks. We don’t even know how blessed we are.