New guest writer Andy Normile reacts to week 3 of the college football season.
Week 3 in college football may not have had some of the crazy upsets or big matchups as previous weeks, but in a 12-week season, every week carries great significance.
This was the week some of the major teams laid down a marker and showed their credentials.
None more so than Georgia who after their 48-7 victory over divisional rival S Carolina and are now remarkably looking strong than the 2021 Championship winning side.
In particular, and whisper this quietly, but, QB Stetson Bennett is looking more like a Heisman Trophy candidate with every game. He may not be a 1st round draft pick, and not produce some of the sensational plays as Bryce Young or CJ Stoud, but his numbers ( 952 yards, 5 TD’s 0 ints for the season) and leadership continues to improve.
Michigan was another team to put up some impressive numbers with a 59-0 win over Connecticut, which included 5 rushing TDs for Blake Corum. The Maize and Blue running game is looking strong again, Ohio State take note.
There were other big wins for perennial candidates Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Clemson and USC.
There were also some impressive comeback wins for teams who we might have written off in the past couple of weeks.
Texas A&M rallied behind new QB Max Johnson, to beat a match fancied Miami. After their disastrous opening day loss to Georgia, Oregon showed maybe they can still be a contender after beating a higher-ranked BYU team (maybe this highlights how good Georgia really are)
BIG 10 Loses
If last week was all about the Sun Belt East division, the week was all about the Big 10 West division, but for the wrong reasons.
Northwestern lost to FCS S. Illinois Salukis (a Saluki is a type of greyhound – yes I had to Google it).
While Purdue lost to Syracuse, and post-Frost Nebraska suffered a heavy defeat to Oklahoma.
On the East Side of the Big 10, there was an impressive win for Penn State (will Auburn coach Harsin survive the week ?) which raises the question is the Big 10 the Conference with the most lopsided divisional split? The NCAA has agreed that Conferences can base their championship game on the best 2 teams rather than divisional winners. While this may dilute some divisional races, it will surely raise the profile of the Big 10 championship game.
Some trends that continue much to our surprise. Victories this week mean Vanderbilt, Kansas (big dent in Houston’s Group of 5 hopes) and Duke all have 3 wins, which matches or beats their total from last year. But Iowa has smashed their scoring streak, with 27 points.
In Power 5 Interconference play :
- Big 12: 1-1
- Big 10: 2-3
- ACC : 2-2
- SEC : 2-1
- PAC 12: 1-1
Perhaps the most underrated win was for Arizona who beat North Dakota State. The Bison are current FCS National Championship, and have the incredible record of winning 9 out of the 11 last titles (truly a dynasty and surely one of the most impressive records in any sport) and have provided NFL QBs Carson Wentz and Trey Lance.
See Northwestern, FCS teams can be beaten.
Thanks to Andy for producing the College Football Week 3 winners and losers. You can see more of his work here in the future!