State of College Football: Week 3
Can you believe what we just saw? Cats falling, Ducks running, Hawkeyes soaring. This weekend in college football was drunk - and I think it’s only going to get crazier.
This week: Top 25, Weekly Awards, $100 Handshakes, Right/Wrong, Quarterback Controversy and American Expansion.
Top 25 Rankings
Offensive Player of the Week: Sam Howell, QB, UNC - 352 passing yards, 3 TDs, 104 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Defensive Player of the Week: Josiah Stewart, Coastal Carolina - 7 tackles, 3.5 sacks
Freshman of the Week: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida - 152 passing yards, 115 rushing yards, 3 Total TDs
Coach of the Week: Sam Pittman/ Barry Odom - Arkansas
Brennan Armstrong, Virginia: 405 yards, 5 TDs
Matt Corral, Ole Miss: 281 yards, 5 TDs
Jason Bean, Kansas: 189 passing yards, 102 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Chris Rodriquez, Kentucky: 206 yards, 3 TDs
Zach Evans, TCU: 190 yards, 1 TD
CJ Verdell, Oregon: 161 yards, 2 TDs, 3 catches, 34 yards, 1 TD
Calvin Austin III, Memphis: 6 catches, 239 yards, 3 TDs
Jayden Reed, Michigan State: 4 catches, 181 yards, 2 TDs
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State: 7 catches, 145 yards, 2 TDs
Jelani Woods, Virginia: 5 catches, 122 yards, 2 TDs
Michael Mayer, 7 catches, 81 yards, 2 TDs
Sean Dykes, Memphis: 9 catches, 143 yards, 2 TDs
Arkansas Offensive Line: 333 rushing yards, 4 TDs, 0 sacks
Memphis Offensive Line: 263 rushing yards, 3 TDs, 417 passing yards, 5 TDs
Baylor Offensive Line: 419 rushing yards, 5 TDs, 1 sack
Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, Notre Dame: 2 sacks
Sam Williams, Ole Miss: 2 sacks
Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina: 2 sacks
Noah Sewell, Oregon: 7 tackles
Nate Landman, Colorado: 10 tackles, 2 TFLs
Hayden Henry, Arkansas: 15 tackles, 2.5 TFLs
Matt Hankins, Iowa: 2 INTs, 4 tackles
Kyu Blue Kelly, Stanford: 1 INT, 1 TD, 7 tackles
Kordell Jackson, Austin Peay: 8 tackles, 2 sacks
Where I Was Right / Where I Was Wrong
Look, it was a rough week. We’ll take a look at the tape and find guys that will give us good effort on every play. I put a lot of blame on myself but we’ll come back next week better than we were last week.
The bets. All of the bets. What a terrible weekend for my team and my money. A long time ago someone told me not to bet on my favorite team because the losing is too much to handle and wins can be upsetting if they don’t cover the spread. Well, I’m here to tell you that I’ve learned my lesson. Not only did Texas get their ass kicked on Saturday but I also lost on Texas -8. I won’t be betting Texas again...unless...
By now I hope you have seen the video of the cat falling in Hard Rock Stadium. *Spoiler Alert* The cat is fine. My question is how do these damn cats keep getting into stadiums? It feels like every week we have a new cat video, none as good as this one, going viral. My biggest take away - what an amazing job by the fans in Hard Rock Stadium to use the flag to catch this cat. However, cats gonna cat. Even after being rescued and saved from impending death, the cat was picked up like Simba in Lion King, and almost immediately attacked its holder. Those little bastards are just hard to trust - obviously it’s an animal and it was scared so it went into defense mode.
The Arkansas defense came to play Saturday night against the Texas Longhorns and they made a statement going forward this year in the SEC. Texas failed to get anything going on the ground or in the air until it was too late and much of that credit should go to defensive coordinator Barry Odom. Linebackers Hayden Henry, Grant Morgan and Bumper Pool combined for 38 tackles and set the tone for the Arkansas defense all night. Head coach Sam Pittman has the Hogs headed in the right direction.
Oregon gave up a ton of points to Ohio State so it might seem odd that they make my Final Thoughts. The Ducks were down their top two defenders in Kayvon Thibodeaux and Justin Flowe but Noah Sewell (brother of Penei), Mykael Wright and Verone McKinley stepped up and made big plays in key moments. Ohio State put two fourth quarter touchdowns on the board and carved the Ducks for 612 total yards of offense, but the Buckeyes were uncomfortable and played from behind all day. The Pac 12 may have a team to be excited about come College Football Playoff time.
—Speaking of Ohio State. Freshman quarterback CJ Stroud put up some good stats on Saturday but plenty of Buckeye fans are starting to wonder about the other quarterbacks. It is kind of odd to think a guy that just threw for 484 yards and 3 touchdowns could split time with another quarterback, but when you have an embarrassment of riches this is what happens. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Jack Miller, Kyle McCord or Quinn Ewers see some reps in the coming weeks.
—Texas will be making a move at quarterback with Casey Thompson taking over as starter for Hudson Card after a poor performance against Arkansas. Thompson relieved Card of his duties late and seemed to lead the Texas offense more efficiently. Thompson and the Longhorns take on Rice Saturday - which should be an easy W with both quarterbacks seeing reps.
—Texas A&M lost starting quarterback Haynes King to an ankle fracture that will keep him out approximately a month. Sophomore Zach Calzada will take the starting job in King’s absence. Calzada went 18/38 for 183 yards and one touchdown against Colorado.
—Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell made the decision to bench Brock Purdy early in the fourth quarter after three interceptions against Iowa. Freshman quarterback Hunter Dekkers took Purdy’s place and finished 11/16 for 114 passing yards and one touchdown against Iowa. Now attention will turn to who starts this Saturday - Purdy or Dekkers?
—Florida has a bit of a quarterback controversy on their hands as well. Senior Emory Jones has been the starter and the Gators are 2-0, but freshman Anthony Richardon has flashed in the two games. With Alabama up this week, Florida needs to put up as many points as possible, and Richardson might be the guy to do it. *See Freshman of the Week award.
American Expansion, 2021
“I think we ain’t done yet” - Marcus Peters
This isn’t a chapter out of your history books but it will be one for the 2021 college football realignment book. The Big 12 is officially adding Cincinnati, UCF, Houston and BYU to their conference in the near future. Three of those schools will come from the American Conference, leaving a massive need for more realignment in college football. Luckily for the AAC there are plenty of good teams to pouch from the Sun Belt, MAC or Conference USA. My wish list includes four very good candidates.
Appalachian State - The Big 12 could have considered App State and no one would have blinked an eye at it. Now it’s time for App State to take the next step and join a bigger conference - setting themselves up for the next big move in realignment. App State checks all the boxes for the American Conference and would waste no time in establishing themselves as one of the top teams in the conference.
Marshall - the C-USA is not good enoughing to keep the Thundering Herd away from the American Conference. Marshall should have been a target for the American the last time we realigned. But they get their chance this time and will fit in perfectly.
Louisiana - Coach Billy Napier will be one of the top coaching candidates in the country this cycle and has built a great program in Lafayette. Napier will most likely be gone by the time the Ragin’ Cajuns start play in the AAC but he has laid the foundation and Louisiana should attract a good replacement should NApier decide to leave.
Coastal Carolina - Much like Louisiana, Coastal has a great coach that has built a great foundation. The question will be if Coastal can sustain their success in the future and if their facilities hold up to be added to the AAC. It might be a little early for Coastal to join a bigger conference but they’re always a fun story.
Others - Arkansas State, Toledo, Army, Liberty, UAB
Week 3 Games to Watch
15 Virginia Tech @ West Virginia, 11:00 CT, FS1
Michigan State @ 24 Miami, 11:00 CT, ABC
1 Alabama @ 11 Florida, 2:30 CT, CBS
South Carolina @ 2 Georgia, 6:00 CT, ESPN
22 Auburn @ 10 Penn State, 6:30 CT, ABC
19 Arizona State @ 23 BYU, 9:15 CT, ESPN