We’re in the middle of an already exciting college football season. Boise State looks as good as ever. Auburn keeps winning games narrowly. And Notre Dame, is, well, Notre Dame.
Not to mention San Diego State’s 2-0 start with hopes of a 3-0 start this week, this could be one of the most interesting seasons in the Mountain West.
As part of knotmove.com’s coverage of college football, I have been asked to participate in a weekly roundtable discussion and to submit my vote on which teams are ranked in the top 10 in the country.
Each week I will post my answers and my poll here, as well as links to the responses of the other Examiners.
This is all about discussion, so feel free to discuss here.
On to the questions:
Game of the Week
Top-ranked Oklahoma travels to Tallahassee to take on a highly ranked Florida State program. This looks to be Oklahoma’s biggest test until later in the Big 12 conference schedule, and could be a game that propels Florida State in to serious national championship conversation this season. What are some of the keys to this game that you will be watching, and what is your prediction for the game?
Can Florida State stop Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles? It seems obvious enough, but that will be the deciding factor in this Top 5 meeting. Florida State returns all four starters from last year’s secondary, and I’m sure they remember what happened to them in Norman. Jones went 30-of-40, throwing for 380 yards and four touchdowns. Broyles caught 12 of those passes for 124 yards and one score. If Jones and Broyles can duplicate that—and duplicate their effort in the Sooners’ season-opening win over Tulsa—then the ‘Noles will have trouble.
This is, after all, a defense that gave up 225.0 passing yards per game last season and allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 58.3 percent of their passes.
FloridaStatewill have a fighting chance if its can get pressure on Jones and they have the man to do it. Brandon Jenkins led the ACC with 13.5 sacks last year, however, none came against Oklahoma.
But I think the Sooners will protect Jones, stop Jenkins and roll over the Seminoles.
September 17 has been circled on the ACC’s calendars for months. At the ACC Football Kickoff commissioner John Swofford stressed the importance of this date for his conference to represent the league well. This week Miami hosts Ohio State, Maryland plays West Virginia, Clemson hosts Auburn and the big game will be Florida State hosting Oklahoma. On September 18, will the nation be singing the ACC’s praises or will the ACC be looking to regroup after a rough weekend?
It looks like the ACC may be wishing that basketball season starts on September 18.
Clemson is in the first year of an offense that looks like a blend of Oregon’s fast-paced offense and Florida’s read-option. Auburn shut down the Ducks’ offense in the national title game. It will do the same to a far inferior offense. ACC is 0-1.
West Virginia may average 412.0 yards per game, but it has only rushed for 72.0 yards per game. However, there’s good reason. Geno Smith is a legitimate quarterback and the spread offense implemented by new head coach Dana Holgorsen is perfect for Smith and his crop of speedy receivers. Maryland squeaked by a Miami team that was dealing with suspensions. ACC is 0-2.
Speaking of Miami, it gets Jacory Harris back. At the same time Ohio State still is missing most of its roster and now injuries have hit the Buckeyes camp. This is where the ACC makes it stand. A depleted Ohio State may not be able to handle Harris as he returns for his first game of the 2011 season. ACC is 1-2.
As I mentioned earlier, Florida State allowed Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones to throw for 380 yards and four touchdowns last year. Look for the same to happen. ACC falls to 1-3 in its big games this weekend.
Notre Dame is off to an 0-2 start following a fourth quarter meltdown against Michigan. This week they host the Michigan State Spartans, who shocked the Irish with a fake field goal last season. Two-part question. Can the Irish avoid an 0-3 start, and how much of a must win is this game for Brian Kelly and his team?
The seat isn’t as hot as people think for Brian Kelly. Why? Even if Notre Dame loses this game—which I think will happen—the Irish still have a small chance at the BCS.
How? you ask. All it has to do is run the table this season, which would include an upset victory over a top-10 Stanford team in the final week of the season. That will get them to 9-3 and may propel them into the top 10 of the BCS.
It’s all hypothetical. Irish fans should panic when Notre Dame loses Saturday. But there is still a way for the panic to be eased.
BoiseState plays their first game since beating Georgia in the season opener. The Broncos will play Friday night at Toledo, who just fell short of a rare road victory against Ohio State. Should there be any reason to place Boise State on upset alert this week?
No. Ohio State was depleted—seven suspensions and injuries started to pile up. Boise State is coming off a bye week and I’m sure that Chris Peterson was watching Toledo’s performance intently. The question won’t be if the Broncos can score with the Rockets. The question is whether Toledo can keep up with Boise State. The Rockets have a pretty mediocre offense, averaging just 21 points and 283 yards per game—bad enough for 114th in the country. I see Kellen Moore dissecting the Toledo defense while the Toledo offense starts off well, but ends up sputtering at home.
The Broncos should be off to a 2-0 start.
My knotmove.com Top 10 Ballot
3) Boise State
8) Florida State
10) Texas A&M
For more info: Visit our San Diego State Aztecs Examiner, Jamie Kiskis.Visit our College Football Examiner, Kevin for more college football news. Check out the knotmove.com Top 10. Follow me on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.