In college football it’s easy to get too high or too little after each week’s results. The nature of the game is such that every Saturday triggers emotional reactions depending on whether it is positive or negative.
That’s why we are here. A step back from action can provide a perspective that will rightly quell some misplaced enthusiasm from positive performance and elevate those feeling in the dumps after negative consequences.
Week 5 had lots of examples on both sides of the coin. Here are the five biggest exaggerations from the action:
Oklahoma has resolved its offensive issues
It’s more like this Oklahoma crime.
After weeks in a row where the Sooners had some of the lowest-scoring games during the Lincoln Riley era and fans benched quarterback Spencer Rattler, there were signs of life against Kansas State.
Rattler looked like the 2020 version of himself who was brilliant in the second half. He hit 22 out of 25 passes for 243 yards and was running effectively even when the lanes were open. The 37 points scored on Saturday were almost equal to the combined 39 scored against Nebraska and West Virginia.
Still, it was just a performance. The game, starting this week against Texas, still needs to go on. The Rattler needs to prove that he cannot build on performance and avoid making shaky decisions and the offensive line will have to protect him. A big day against the Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl would start to build more confidence than Riley when he said the unit was not far off. And perhaps it could be a catalyst for Oklahoma to live up to its promise.
College Football Report Card:Why Ole Miss Coach Lane Kiffin Gets an ‘F’
Cincinnati to be turned down by playoff committee
It looks like the Bearcats beat Notre Dame for their second important win on the road against a Power Five rival. First, let’s take a breath. There is a long way to go until December and any predictions about this unpredictable weather at this point of time are premature.
This will not deter conspiracy theorists. The case against Cincinnati is straightforward. Its schedule strength will not be good enough. Indiana was ranked in the preseason and its 2-3 starts have diminished the value of that win. Notre Dame has also been less than dominating in its four wins. The Bearcats need a strong second stop for both of those teams. They are also hurt by the lack of a competitor in American Athletic as long as SMU can remain unbeaten.
Even with the factors at work against Cincinnati, an unbeaten finish would tie it to the Power Five conference champions of the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12. Trying to guess how it will settle now is pretty much pointless.
Auburn SEC . third best team
Ok. Let’s start off well. A win at LSU in which they were nine in the fourth quarter was huge for the Tigers and first-year coach Brian Horsin. The Bo Knicks were the Bo Knicks again. Lots of good and bad by the junior quarterback, resulting in a few clutch late plays that helped his team win.
Now, bad. Alabama and Georgia are clearly first and second in the SEC pecking order. When you consider last week’s clashes against Georgia State at home it’s still difficult to keep Auburn behind them, with Mississippi, Arkansas and even Florida.
This is a team that lacks consistency, which is not indicative of a team fighting for the SEC title. Let’s see how the Tigers perform against Georgia next week and then in the following weeks before placing any hopes on the Rebels and Razorbacks.
Ohio State is back to Ohio State
The demolition of Akron and Rutgers would certainly help the Buckeyes pad their stats and feel better about themselves. They didn’t address any concerns they saw at the start of the season against Minnesota and Oregon.
When a team can get a physical with Ohio State, can it step up to the challenge? Penn State is the first of those contenders to take advantage of those weaknesses later this month to scramble both ways. Freshman quarterback CJ Stroud struggled to execute the offense when it was all on his shoulders. It is still unknown how he will handle the situation. A defense that allows 400 yards per play also remains a mystery, especially in the secondary. With the competition in the Big Ten East, it would be better to bet on the field than the Buckeyes.
Wake Forest can’t win ACC
Damon Deacon is the only unbeaten left in the conference, although his pedigree and perceived lack of talent are skeptical. Those skeptics may want to take a closer examination at this team.
Wake had won four games by at least 21 points before Saturday’s loss to Louisville. Sam Hartman has been excellent at quarterback for an average offense of 38.4 points per game. The defense has also been solid, finishing 28th in allowed points. It’s a balanced team that can’t beat itself.
With three league victories already in the books, Damon Deacon should cruise through the rest of his league games in October, with only Syracuse and Duke going. This sets them up well for a back-loaded schedule that includes North Carolina, the state of North Carolina and Clemson in November. Just two wins out of those three could send them into the conference title game.