The national title is up for grabs in college football, so there’s a lot of excitement. No team is flawless, even Georgia, which was unanimously selected No. 1 earlier this week. This year, no team has stood out on both sides of the ball halfway through.
There is no bandwagon to join, but there is a fresh development at No. 6 Oklahoma. Consider a 5-0 team with a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback benching their starter in favor of a rookie. During the Texas game, coach Lincoln Riley did just that. Caleb Williams was chosen the start against TCU last Thursday, replacing veteran Spencer Rattler. In guiding the Sooners to a 52-31 victory, he completed 18-of-23 throws for 295 yards and four touchdowns. Although statistics are essential, Oklahoma is a unique club. Williams is quick, accurate, and can stretch the field. Rattler lacked any glimmers of brightness, whereas William emanates assurance. Even with its defensive flaws, Oklahoma, which has the “snooze” button turned on, is suddenly a force to be reckoned with. It reads here that Rattler, who was formerly anticipated to be the No. 2 selection in the upcoming NFL Draft, has sunk so low that he will transfer in the off-season. “I ain’t staying unless I’m playing,” remember.
Is it true that Cincinnati is ranked second? Really? It states that they have no chance of winning a CFP place against any one-loss Group of Five champions. If either Georgia or Michigan is 11-1, even a one-loss team like Georgia or Michigan will have the political power to beat the Bearcats. The Bearcats will require assistance and good fortune.
Georgia’s defense is very exceptional. In last week’s 30-13 victory over Kentucky, it eventually let up two touchdowns. With four seconds left in a game that had already been won, the Wildcats took a timeout to stop the clock and execute one last play, which resulted in a touchdown from the one-yard line. JT Daniels (when he returns from injury) and current starter Stetson Bennett will both play the rest of the season, according to coach Kirby Smart. Only Florida has a chance to stay competitive in their last five games, as prohibitive favorites, before their greatly anticipated monster game of the year – an SEC championship game against Alabama!
Candidates for the Heisman Trophy? So far this season, no one has stood out. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is up for consideration. Except against Alabama, Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral has been excellent. Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III leads the country in running with 997 yards and should be considered. But do you know who Kenny Pickett is? He’s the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he’s passed for over 2,100 yards, 24 touchdowns, and only three interceptions. Since Dan Marino was their quarterback, the No. 23 Panthers (5-1) have lacked respect. Their finest win this season came against Tennessee, 41-34, while their only defeat came against Western Michigan, an underrated team. However, if Pickett puts in a strong performance this week against a top-ranked Clemson defense, the Panthers’ rating will skyrocket.
As a result, the Big 12 loses Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC. The American Athletic Conference loses UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston to the Big 12, while Conference USA loses six schools to the AAC, leaving only eight teams. The domino effect is what it’s called. It also marks the end of the Group of Five Leagues, as no one else is interested. East Carolina? Memphis? Coastal Carolina, perhaps? They are the best of the rest, but none of the Group of Five leagues are interested in expanding. Even Coastal Carolina, which is located just outside of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and has the nation’s most unusual moniker, the Chanticleers (a strong and proud roster), has little chance of being invited to a Power Five conference. In fact, many are questioning if the Big 12 will stay in contention for a College Football Playoff position as a result of the departure of its two marquee colleges (Oklahoma and Texas). After a 7-0 start, the University of Texas at San Antonio, one of the six institutions to enter the AAC, is ranked No. 24. The Roadrunners are good, but they don’t have any notable players on their roster. In my mythological rankings, they are ranked No. 68.
What comes next?
There are no games in the top 25 this week, but there are plenty that is worth watching. We discussed the Clemson-Pittsburgh game, which will be sold out at Heinz Field. I like Pickett, who is enjoying a breakout senior season, but Clemson’s defense is still formidable. The Tigers, who are still unranked and underdogs, win a tight game.
UCLA (5-2) versus No. 10 Oregon (5-1): The Ducks, who beat No. 5 Ohio State but battled against Stanford (lone loss) and Cal, have something going for them. This game is a toss-up for the Bruins, who are looking for their trademark win. The Ducks are said to have won a tight game.
8th place Iowa State (4-2) vs. Oklahoma State (6-0): Under coach Matt Campbell, the Cyclones are highly capable, especially at home, and they generally play well late in the season’s second half. After recovering to overcome Texas 32-24 on the road last week, the Cowboys are on a run. This is a trap game for OSU, but the Cowboys are on a quest to beat their arch-rival Oklahoma in their last regular-season game. That would be a fantastic “Bedlam.”
No. 13 USC (3-3) vs. No. 13 Notre Dame (5-1) -7: This is the country’s most popular and oldest rivalry. Unfortunately for the Irish, they haven’t looked good, and the Trojans are coming off a 42-26 home defeat to Utah. Is anyone else interested outside the fans of these two teams? How the powerful have sunk. Take the Irish, who are outperforming the Trojans.