Monday, September 28, 2015

Fourth Impression: Chaos!

The first four weeks of the college football season are behind us, with the slate of games for Week Five set to begin in three nights, and so far:

Top-ranked Ohio State needed a fourth quarter pick-six to escape their own stadium with a 20-13 win over Northern Illinois.

Michigan State ascended to the #2 spot in the polls largely because of their 31-28 home victory against perennial national title contender Oregon -- but then Oregon played Utah and got blown out by 42 points in their own stadium, so how impressive does MSU's win look now?

And speaking of those Oregon Ducks, they opened the season ranked #7, but after four weeks, they are now 2-2 and surrendering an average of 40.75 points per game to their opponents. That includes 42 points scored by Eastern Washington, which plays in Division I-AA, and 28 by Georgia State, which went 1-11 and 0-12 the last two seasons.

TCU opened the season ranked #2 with a veteran roster, nine months after narrowly being kept out of last season's playoff. And, yes, they are admittedly 4-0 right now -- but they barely eeked out wins over the medicorities that are Minnesota and Texas Tech, and their defense has given up 89 points the last two weeks.

Alabama lost by only six points to a veteran squad whose juniors ranked as the nation's #1 recruiting class when they were signed ... and that loss was, in no small part, due to a semi-fluky play in which a pass was grabbed from the air after bouncing off of players like a pinball ... and for that, the Tide plummeted all the way from #3 to #12.

The team that beat them was Ole Miss, and afterwards, while Bama promptly plummeted, Ole Miss promptly rocketed up from #15 to #3. Then Ole Miss proceeded to struggle against Vanderbilt. After spending the first three weeks averaging more than 50 points per game and winning by more than 43 per game, they managed only a 27-16 win against the 1-3 Commodores.

For the first time since 1887, Notre Dame might actually be under-rated ... even though they are ranked #6, are undefeated, and beat Texas by five touchdowns ... you can't make this shit up.

Auburn opened at #6 and was considered a contender for the SEC championship and the inevitable playoff spot that that championship would bring ... then they proceeded to get worse in each of the first three weeks ... then, heading into Week Four, they benched their starting quarterback and made lots of position and personnel changes on defense ... and today they are 2-2 with a blowout loss to LSU and 17-9 loss to lightly regarded Mississippi State, and are far, far out of the Top 25.

And: Delaware has a RB named Thomas Jefferson and Army has a WR named Edgar Allan Poe. Neither of those facts mean anything, but they are still fun to mention.

In my September 14th post I wrote this: "There should be no college football polls until the season's first month is in the books. Until then, nobody knows enough to develop an opinion worthy of respect."

Well, this college football season is making me think that I should have declared the threshold to be the season's first month and a half, not just the first month.

So far, this season is a hot mess layered with chaos and cooked well-done, and from one week to the next there is no way to even begin to guess what will happen.

And do you know what? That ain't half bad.

Well, except for the Auburn part, which is (in my opinion) all bad.

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