The SEC powers do not look all too powerful in a
- David Hale, ESPN Staff WriterSep 16, 2023,
- 11:20 PM ET Close ACC reporter.Joined ESPN in 2012.
- Graduate of the University of Delaware.There are just 3 weeks of
college football in the books, so it’s totally too early to pen a eulogy for the SEC, however Saturday offered some motivation for commissioner Greg Sankey to a minimum of pull his dark fit out of the closet and make sure it still fits.In Athens, the two-time defending champion Georgia Bulldogs went to the half routing unranked South Carolina 14-3. Georgia rebounded, but through three games, this hardly looks like the very same dominant force we have actually concerned expect.In soggy Tampa, Florida, magnificent Alabama, fresh off a shocking loss to Texas, went to the half connected at 3 with lowly USF. The Tide prevailed, however the QB room is in mayhem, and coach Nick Saban doesn’t seem to have an answer.In a rollicking Gainesville, upstart Tennessee saw its long-shot playoff status evaporate at the mercy of an all of a sudden wonderful Graham Mertz. Tennessee and Florida both now have a loss, as do LSU and Texas A&M. None of this was supposed to occur. Saturday was set to be a snooze fest, a week without a single ranked-vs. -ranked match and
a host of uneven point spreads. Instead, the SEC’s power players nearly sleepwalked into oblivion.Editor’s Picks
1 Associated Georgia came to life in the 2nd half against the Gamecocks, with walk-on Money Jones putting the game on ice with a 13-yard goal run midway through the 4th quarter. Maybe in the lack of Stetson Bennett, the Bulldogs simply required another underdog story to jump-start their season. Still, 3 weeks into the season, Carson Beck has just 3 goal throws– none of them to Brock Bowers. It’s totally possible this is simply a brand-new offense overcoming some experimental changes, and it definitely wouldn’t be out of character for the Bulldogs to bide their time and action on the gas just when absolutely needed. The schedule does not suggest those moments will come often, and yet, it ‘d be more reassuring if Georgia would deliver at least one true act of hostility, controling an opponent and stealing its lunch money.For Alabama, the whispers about the end of a dynasty have actually grown to an audible whispering. Recently’s loss to Texas was a cause for issue, of course, but barely splitting 100 passing lawns against USF is something far more unsettling. They say a group that has 2 quarterbacks really has none, which makes Alabama’s circumstance at least 50%even worse than that. Saban benched Jalen Milroe with a clear eye towards identifying whether Alabama had an efficient Plan B or C on the shelf. Instead, he opened the cupboard to find some ended tuna and a half-empty box of Triscuits.For Tennessee, Joe Milton’s arm was supposed to be the magic elixir that allowed the Vols ‘offense to keep piling up points in 2023, however behind a line that couldn’t obstruct and with a receiving corps that could not get open downfield, it was like casting Taylor Swift in a mime act. (Actually, we ‘d see that.)When the dust settles, Georgia will still be atop the AP survey, and Alabama, LSU and others still
have real playoff hopes, even if the road ahead is winding. Possibly this is all prologue to the real drama that awaits. But the vibes of Week 3 were all off, like Dreamland splashing their ribs in vinegar sauce. It’s just not how things are done here.And if this is indeed a new period of college football, when the power is all out west and the SEC is merely holding on for dear
life– well, it’s probably time to start building that bunker and stocking up on canned products. We do not need to know what waits for because future.FSU gets away BC It was a noon kickoff, which in late September in Boston is the perfect setting for a James Taylor ballad and a BC upset.It was the Eagles’yearly Red Bandana
game, an opportunity to honor Boston College graduate Welles Crowther, who saved more than a lots lives by compromising his own on 9/11. It was expected to be a tune-up for No. 3 Florida State, a game against damaged BC to pad the stats before a possibly season-defining journey to Clemson in Week 4.
It was a trap so diabolical, it could’ve been the plot of a” Saw “sequel. And for all the obvious threats, Florida State managed to journey
over its own shoelaces and fall face-first into quicksand. play 1:04 DJ Lundy follows up INT with a rushing TD for FSU DJ Lundy can do it all as he takes an excellent interception, then bulldozes into the end zone on the occurring drive to offer the Seminoles a 31-10 lead.Yes, FSU ultimately dominated 31-29 to keep its
national title hopes alive, but along the way, the two groups traded jabs– or, more often, bullets to their own feet, and the Seminoles protected the win only after Boston College provided one last self-own. But let’s not avoid too far ahead.The game began in sleepy Chestnut Hill with BC jumping out to a 10-3 lead, spectacular a groggy FSU. It felt entirely comparable to the greatest test FSU’s last national title team faced back in 2013, when a journey to BC started with a fast 17-3 deficit.
Because game, Jameis Winston rallied the Seminoles, who controlled the 2nd half en path to a 48-34 win.On Saturday, Jordan Travis attempted to do the very same, and by the time Eagles fans found their seats after halftime, the Noles were up 31-10. Crisis averted. Cause the Tigers. Except, BC had other ideas.An Eagles goal was followed by a fumble return for a rating and a dynamic 95-yard TD drive, and suddenly BC was within 2 with 4:37 to play.If Florida State seemed intent on giving the game away, however, BC was all too delighted
to take the present, rewrap it, and hand it right back.Boston College ended up the game with 18 penalties. The Eagles were flagged for offsides, false starts, individual fouls, cutting those”do not get rid of”tags off their mattresses and almost every other violation an official could think up. However it was the 18th charge that proved the last dagger.Lawrance Toafili was pressed out of bounds for a 4-yard gain on third-and-7 with simply under a minute to play. BC had an opportunity to get the ball back and win the game. However a face mask flag offered FSU 15 backyards and an initially down, sealing the game– an error so pricey and yet so predictable that BC coach Jeff Hafley continued to stroll into Boston Harbor, never to be seen once again.(Most Likely.)For Florida State
, it was a timeless trap-game performance, one replete with miscues, psychological mistakes and a terror-inducing injury to Travis, who appeared to hurt his left arm prior to the half– though he later returned and ended up 212 passing yards and two touchdowns.For Boston College, it was a golden opportunity that slipped through its fingers like a buttered lobster tail.In other words, it was misery for both sides.This,
of course, is the charm of those drowsy Saturday mornings in late September. On paper, they’re all sweet dreams and flying machines, however by mid-afternoon, contenders and afterthoughts alike can be left in pieces.Real or not?In a week without any ranked-vs.-ranked matchups, it deserves examining
in with a few groups sitting pretty at 3-0 that haven’t genuinely been evaluated yet. Are they playoff contenders or paper tigers? Let’s discover. Penn State The Nittany Lions left to a slow start against Illinois but were never in any real trouble and eventually won 30-13. Penn State has been favored by
at least 14 in
every game and covered each spread. Drew Allar has actually been good if not representing a seismic shift from the Sean Clifford period. The defense has enabled just 35 points so far this season.Playoff contender? Probably. Penn State has a ton of talent
, but we’ll
know a lot more after next week’s face-off with Iowa in which the first string to two might win. Ohio State The Buckeyes’ offense was lackluster in each of its very first 2 games– both easy though unremarkable wins– and it seemed trending in the very same instructions early against Western Kentucky on Saturday. However after WKU pulled to within 4 midway through the 2nd quarter, Ohio State seemed to get things found out. Kyle McCord tossed for 318 lawns and three touchdowns, Marvin Harrison Jr. had a breakout efficiency with 126 lawns and a rating, and the Buckeyes won 63-10. Playoff competitor? Definitely. Ohio State just didn’t wish to put anything on tape that suspended Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh could dissect during his down time. Naturally, Harbaugh wasn’t enjoying Ohio State film anyhow. He was busy completing his fan fiction follow up to “Fred Claus. ” Oklahoma The Sooners lost 4 of their last five in 2022, however those memories have been wiped in the middle of a hot start to 2023. Oklahoma thrashed Tulsa 66-17
on Saturday behind 5 goal passes from Dillon Gabriel. Through 3 games, Oklahoma has actually outscored its opposition 167-28. Playoff contender? Not yet. Go back to the start of 2022, and things didn’t look much different than they do now. Oklahoma opened last season 3-0 with blowout wins vs. UTEP, Kent State and Nebraska, too. The bright side for the Sooners this time around is they won’t go into Week 4 with the Nebraska curse attached to them. Notre Dame After a sluggish start, the Irish travelled to a 41-17 win over Central Michigan on Saturday. Sam Hartman tossed for 330 yards and three goals, and in his four-game Irish career, he’s now accounted for 15 goals and no picks.Playoff competitor? Examine back next month. Notre Dame is 4-0 with each win visiting a minimum of 21 points, but the real test follows week with a home date against Ohio State. That’s followed by games versus 3-0 Duke, 3-0 Louisville and 3-0 USC. If the Irish can come out of that onslaught looking strong, they’ll certainly have a resume worth considering. Washington The Huskies are 3-0 after demolishing Michigan State on Saturday, and their average margin of success has to do with 603.(We rounded up.)Michael Penix Jr. has tossed for 400 backyards in all three games this season. Allegedly Washington also has running backs, however nobody’s troubled to look for them, so who knows?Playoff contender? An outdoors shot. Oh, Washington has a star QB, sets up a lots of points, beats bad teams in blowouts and is highly ranked? Welcome to the Pac-12(for the next five months anyway). The depth of the league makes the possibility that any one team makes it through the season mainly unscathed not likely.
Michigan Life without Harbaugh has gone basically as anticipated. The Wolverines beat Bowling Green Falcons 31-6 on Saturday, and they have actually outscored their opposition 96-16 up until now. Like a good pair of khakis, it’s been completely
reliable and without a semblance of excitement.Playoff competitor? Sure, however they’ve got Rutgers on deck, which’s where the genuine work begins. Rutgers The Scarlet Knights are 3-0 and have enabled just 30 points up until now.
Rutgers beat the Virginia Tech Hokies 35-16 on Saturday despite passing for just 46 yards.Playoff contender? Heck, yeah. Let’s get weird.Down goes K-State If FSU handled to elude catastrophe, Kansas State wasn’t so lucky.Brady Cook threw for 356 backyards and accounted for 3 touchdowns, and Harrison Mevis booted a 61-yard field goal as time expired to give Missouri a 30-27 win over the 15th-ranked Wildcats.Missouri’s win can be found in spite of a woeful 3-of-13
on 3rd down, a missed 53-yard kick by Mevis in the very first half, and a hold-up of game flag before the last kick when Eli Drinkwitz was too sluggish getting his field goal unit onto the field.Still, after the kick skirted simply over the crossbar,
Missouri fans hurried the field– marking the best hurrying performance the Tigers have had since 2019.
play 0:55 Missouri fans storm field after kicker drills 61-yard game winner Missouri kicker Harrison Mevis connects from
61 yards out to win it vs. No. 15 Kansas State.Ideal outcome for Hawkeyes Let’s summarize Iowa’s 41-10 win over Western Michigan: Iowa’s defense recorded a safety.Iowa completed just 50%of its passes.Iowa had multiple TD tosses and runs in the exact same game for the very first time given that 2021. Offensive planner Brian Ferentz had a sideline meltdown deserving of fine art.Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, by Jacob van Oost I, 17th century, through @ChrisVannini https://t.co/zOovW7Vszv pic.twitter.com/iaNiKiAptR!.?.!— ArtButMakeItSports( @ArtButSports)September 16, 2023 Thanks to its defense, Iowa had goal drives of 25, 53, 17 and 33 yards.Aided by a last TD with 30 seconds to play, the Hawkeyes scored adequate to raise their season
average to a tremendous 28.3 points per game, putting Ferentz securely into the “Do not fire “tier of assistant coaches.And that, buddies, is Iowa B-I-N-G-O
. Oh, and there’s just one appropriate method to commemorate hitting Iowa B-I-N-G-O. Cyclones get robbed
For teams from the state of Iowa, points
resemble a lunar eclipse. They take place a couple of times a year, but they’re still unusual sufficient to
bring the entire household out into the backyard to gawk.So it appeared completely unreasonable that, when Iowa State had appeared to put 3 points on the board midway through the fourth quarter, some visually-challenged officials flubbed the call. What looked like a clearly effective field goal was ruled a miss, and Iowa State ended up losing to Ohio 10-7. It was the Cyclones
’10th loss in their past 11 games vs. FBS opponents, and they’ve averaged 11.2 points per game in those 10 losses.Under-the-radar play of the week We commemorate all goals by guys over 300 pounds here, and Oregon State delivered a beauty on Saturday.Beavers QB DJ Uiagalelei took the breeze, rolled to his right, then tossed back throughout the field to 305-pound offending lineman Joshua
Gray, who then rumbled 10 yards into the end zone.
play 0:29 Huge man TD!
Oregon State offensive lineman chugs into goal line Oregon State runs some misdirection as DJ Uiagalelei rolls to the right and finds Joshua Gray large open on the left side for a touchdown.Under-the-radar game of the week The Backyard Brawl is amongst the terrific competitions in college football, however with West Virginia and Pitt both bring a loss, there was restricted enthusiasm for this year’s installment.But neglecting a rivalry game between one fan
base that believes French fries are a salad and another that believes grain alcohol is a condiment would be a mistake.What the Panthers and Mountaineers played Saturday was less a football game than a looking contest. The two groups integrated to complete simply 6
passes in the very first half. Neither offense had anything resembling an effective tactical plan. The Benny’s Pizza Challenge has a better completion portion than Pitt
QB Phil Jurkovec at this point.In other words, it was a thing of beauty.Neither group threw for 100 lawns. Neither group tallied 250 overall yards. Both teams looked as if they ‘d been transferred onto the field from
in some sort of strange “Quantum Leap”scenario.The final rating– West Virginia 17, Pitt 6– felt
entirely too typical for a game that was so completely undesirable, but that’s what makes the Backyard Brawl so excellent. To simply look at the box
score is to only partially understand
how ruthless it is. Like the voice mail scene in”Swingers, “you actually need to watch it to totally appreciate just how bad it can get.