Where do we begin? League play took hold this week and we’re starting to see the legitimacy of the contenders. Just like in basketball, the non-conference games can give false positives for teams because they’re playing in weird places, staying in weird hotels, and playing teams they don’t normally play. But when you head into conference play you are playing teams you know, schemes you’ve seen before, etc.
Lack of Defense
In watching parts of a number of games yesterday the thing that stuck out to me is that the offenses are way ahead of the defenses right now. Obviously, the West Virginia game was entertaining… but a horrible offensively played game. While fun to watch (kind of) none of these teams are serious contenders as they will all eventually play teams with defense. Geno Smith’s 25,000 yard, 119 TD game was cool. We’ll see just how good he is on the road against Texas in a few weeks. Right now, he’s got Heisman hopes and the stats to back it up. He might be this year’s RG3.
That trend continued all day as there were lots and lots of high scoring, highly entertaining football games. I think the thing that was so shocking wasn’t just the numbers… but how open some of these receivers were. I think there is such emphasis on stunts and blitzes defensively right now, because that might cause turnovers… that offensive coordinators are just out-scheming these defenses. Find the open man caused by the blitz, toss it for 6 points.
There better be some panic on the Mesa today. Rocky Long, longtime labeled as defensive guru, saw his defense give up 655 yards last night, 484 last week, and 533 two weeks back. It’s like they aren’t even trying to stop the passing game. Big whoop, you stopped the run. The 3-3-5 depends on having a great inside linebacker which they don’t have. (Miles Burris graduated last year and is starting for the Oakland Raiders now) Time for Plan B defensively. So many times they gave up chunks of 25-30 yards to a completely unguarded receiver. That can’t happen.
Offensively, I love what I’m seeing from Adam Muema. That kid can play. And Ryan Katz (the QB) has moments when he’s great. But 5 turnovers last night ultimately put the defense in such a hole that they couldn’t possibly keep up. The first pick wasn’t Katz’s fault, but the other 2 totally were preventable.
Nice to have a week off and move up in the rankings. Thank you Stanford.
Let’s hope the only news items coming out of next week’s Miami game are…
Michigan State losing to Ohio State was bad news for the Big 10 on a day full of bad news. I felt bad for ESPN yesterday. How did they get stuck with Iowa/Minnesota and Illinois/Penn State? Gosh, Illinois is bad.
Nebraska beating Wisconsin put Nebraska on the board and puts Wisconsin on the pathway to the 5th place bowl. No idea where that league is headed… it’s looking like Northwestern is still in the drivers seat.
Oregon State is legit. It’s really fun to watch them play… too bad the Pac 12 network makes it so that no one really gets to see them. Oregon is the real deal. The question won’t be if they are good enough to get into the title game, the question will be if their defense is legit enough to not get run over by Alabama in the title game.
Big 12 vs SEC Challenge
Have you seen the top 15 rankings? 9 of the 15 are from either the SEC or Big 12. Obviously, there will be winners and losers now that they have to play one another. But its pretty clear that those 2 conferences are this years “top tier” and the other AQ conferences + Notre Dame (minus the Big Easy aka Big East) are second tier.
Who’s “The best of the rest?” Who do you think has a shot at the title that I’m not giving love to?