10 things I learned during the first month of college football

Price1I’m hearing that Aerosmith jingle in the back of my head, “I’m back in the saddle again…!”

Fresh off a week-long trip with my kids to Disney World, it’s feels good to be back in the thick of things with the college football season now a month old. Especially with October football about to begin, which means no more cupcakes and the chance to finally see what some teams are made of after a month of directional schools and FCS opponents.

Since October is now here, what did we learn in the first month of the season? Well, an awful lot…here’s what I learned in the first-four weeks.

1. Nobody is going to go undefeated and win the national championship without a blemish in the loss column. We knew most every elite team had flaws before the season began and that hasn’t changed. This makes for an even more fun season, especially in the age of the CFB Playoff and publicly debating the four best teams on sports talk radio.

2. The toughest division in college football doesn’t belong to the SEC West. Hello Pac-12 South! I hear you angry SEC fans gnashing your teeth. Everybody ganged up on the Pac-12 after the second weekend of the season. But those naysayers are gone with the power out west, led by No. 7 UCLA and No. 10 Utah. Oregon is a shell of its former self, as the Utes went to Eugene and whipped the host Ducks up and down, all over the field. The Bruins have been impressive in every outing but big challenges await both teams moving forward.

3. Give me one running back in a deep national crop of outstanding players and I’ll take LSU’s Leonard Fournette without wasting a second. I’m sure most of you would to. Nick Chubb is a stud and you can’t go wrong with the Georgia sophomore, averaging over eight yards per carry (as does Fournette). The speed, power, inside-outside ability of the 6-foot-1 Fournette alone has me salivating and this doesn’t include his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and pass protect. He’ll continue putting up Heisman numbers until really being tested during LSU’s back-loaded November schedule.

4. Alabama won’t hit double digit, regular-season wins. I said it this summer, preseason and I’m sticking to it. Nick Saban’s talented level is clear, probably the most in the country besides Ohio State. Staying power is difficult at the highest levels of any sport and the continued attrition of players to the NFL had to catch up to the Tide eventually. A second loss could be coming Saturday in Athens and Bama still has road games at No. 14 Texas A&M,  No. 21 Mississippi State and the Iron Bowl plus No. 9 LSU at home.

5. I’m not picking on the state of Alabama but Auburn is a train wreck and we were all hoodwinked. I’m one of the many who was fooled, except my man Sturg who didn’t buy the Auburn hype before the season. Starting QB Jeremy Johnson has been a bust and Will Muschamp’s defense can’t stop anyone, including the above-mentioned Fournette (who has?) or even FCS Jacksonville State.

6. One final SEC item…Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema should once and for all keep his big mouth shut after another Razorback meltdown. Toledo upset the Hogs early but this time Texas A&M rallied past Bielema’s bunch in overtime. Instead of popping off about Ohio State’s weak schedule (no secret there) and chest beating about how difficult the SEC West is (heard that one before), Bielema should try focusing on what’s in front of his team like the Rockets and Aggies.

6. The ACC’s Coastal Division continues its time-honored tradition of annual surprises and disarray. Georgia Tech’s option couldn’t run past Notre Dame’s outstanding rush defense and then flopped to Duke in Durham. With the Jackets out of it, my attention now turns to the well-coached, David Cutcliffe led Blue Devils with their favorable schedule. Cutcliffe may have done the best coaching job of any head coach at any school over the last five years. My Al Golden fandom hasn’t waned and think Miami has confidence after surviving Nebraska’s rally but a brutal four-week stretch (at FSU, Virginia Tech, Clemson, at Duke) will make or break the Canes.

7. Is Clemson as good and is South Carolina as bad as perceived? Yes and no. The Tigers were criticized by some after a hard-fought 20-17 road win at Louisville in their first and only test of the season. Clemson isn’t national title or CFB Playoff good but they’re at the very top of the ACC title race with the No. 11 Seminoles. True freshman Lorenzo Nunez is Steve Spurrier’s best option at QB with Connor Mitch’s season-ending injury. Nunez’s arm strength is below average so the Gamecocks’ success depends on his legs and ability to take care of the football.

8. Biggest busts this season? Arkansas is a certain candidates and arguments can be made for Tennessee and South Carolina. Besides the Hogs I’d add Georgia Tech, Central Florida, Arizona State and Louisville. But the Auburn Tigers are the runaway winner here.

9. Not taking considering last season, the 2015 preseason rankings or how I think it’ll ultimately shake, my top-four teams in the country based on what they’ve done so far THIS season (in order): Ole Miss, UCLA, Utah, Michigan State. Ohio State and Notre Dame are my next two.

10. Which one team would I bet my hard-earned money makes the CFB Playoff at the end of the season? Ohio State.

Comments

comments

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying Panthers

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying PanthersRetired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he is interested [more]

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America Amateur

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America AmateurCoastal Carolina junior golfer Luis Ruiz has been selected to [more]

CAC swimmers clean up on medals at Tiger Invitational

CAC swimmers clean up on medals at Tiger InvitationalThe Coastal Aquatic Club (CAC) sent 37 swimmers to compete [more]

MB grad Sessions waived during 11th NBA season

MB grad Sessions waived during 11th NBA seasonFor the first time since his high school days at [more]

Horry/Georgetown Invite: CF, NMB, MB finish 1-2-3

Horry/Georgetown Invite: CF, NMB, MB finish 1-2-3The Carolina Forest High wrestling team captured the bi-county championship [more]

Battle at the Beach: MB makes it rain 3s; CA falls

Battle at the Beach: MB makes it rain 3s; CA fallsOn Friday night, a leaky roof forced the Myrtle Beach [more]

CCU Hoops: Coastal splits with visiting Georgia State

CCU Hoops: Coastal splits with visiting Georgia StateArtur Labinowicz scored a career, team and game-high 32 points, [more]

Hoops: Chiefs, Tigers use last-second shots for wins

Hoops: Chiefs, Tigers use last-second shots for winsNorth Myrtle Beach High's Cooper Chandler picked the right time [more]

MB Winter Bump tourney expects record crowd, field

MB Winter Bump tourney expects record crowd, fieldThe annual Myrtle Beach Winter Bump Volleyball Classic, hosted by [more]

Knaffle garners SCCAWS Player of the Year award

Knaffle garners SCCAWS Player of the Year awardSt. James High junior Smith Knaffle may need to add [more]

CCU Hoops: Chants split Sun Belt twinbill with GSU

CCU Hoops: Chants split Sun Belt twinbill with GSUJaylen Shaw moved into 13th place on the Coastal Carolina [more]

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls cruise past St. James

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls cruise past St. JamesThe North Myrtle Beach boys and girls basketball teams swept [more]

Wrestling: Locals earn top rankings; Chiefs take two

Wrestling: Locals earn top rankings; Chiefs take twoThe latest rankings were released Tuesday for SCHSL wrestling, but [more]

Boys Hoops: Socastee, Conway win region debuts

Boys Hoops: Socastee, Conway win region debutsThe Socastee High boys basketball team won a thrilling Region [more]

Girls Hoops: Seahawks knock off No. 1 Wilson

Girls Hoops: Seahawks knock off No. 1 WilsonThe Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team saw region rival [more]

CCU student-athletes post top semester in classroom

CCU student-athletes post top semester in classroom A record 264 Coastal Carolina student-athletes posted at least a [more]

Riptides make successful plunge at Polar Bear meet

Riptides make successful plunge at Polar Bear meetRiptides Racing's swimmers braved the cold weather and icy roads [more]

Local teams break ice with region rivals, reschedules

Local teams break ice with region rivals, reschedulesThe new year is only one week old and already [more]

Panthers suffer tough loss to Saints, face uncertainty

Panthers suffer tough loss to Saints, face uncertaintyThe Carolina Panthers' season ended in a heap atop sacked [more]

Ragin' Cajuns sweep CCU in Sun Belt doubleheader

Ragin' Cajuns sweep CCU in Sun Belt doubleheaderCoastal Carolina faced the top men’s basketball team in the [more]

Moglia announces return to role as CCU head coach

Moglia announces return to role as CCU head coachCoastal Carolina’s Joe Moglia announced he has been medically cleared [more]

CCU men, women see rally bids halted by Warhawks

CCU men, women see rally bids halted by WarhawksAfter trailing by as many as 21 points, Coastal Carolina [more]

Winter weather puts chill on local sports schedule

Winter weather puts chill on local sports scheduleThe winter weather didn't waste anytime scrambling the 2018 sports [more]

All That Jas: Adams nets Sun Belt weekly accolade

All That Jas: Adams nets Sun Belt weekly accoladeFor the second time this season, Jas Adams has been [more]

Tide rolls over Tigers in Sugar Bowl showdown

Tide rolls over Tigers in Sugar Bowl showdownThe No. 1 Clemson football team suffered its second and [more]

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying Panthers

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying PanthersRetired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he is interested [more]

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America Amateur

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America AmateurCoastal Carolina junior golfer Luis Ruiz has been selected to [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach