Here are a few thoughts on the college football world as it stands right now:
- West Virginia is getting some serious love from the pollsters. The ninth ranked Mountaineers simply have no business being ranked where they are. The ‘Neers have a mediocre defense and a decent offense with a very good QB. Nonetheless, their flaws are evident. They let up 34 points to Marshall, and looked anything but dominating in a narrow win over a young, improving, Maryland team. Also, don’t forget that WVU was up-and-down last season before a stunning blowout win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl. With four out of their next five games against top-25 opponents, West Virginia has an opportunity to validate their lofty ranking. I don’t see it happening.
- Notre Dame is back! Well, maybe. Brian Kelly’s squad is 4-0 with a pair of marquee wins, but both came against struggling Big Ten teams. The Fighting Irish have their best team in years, but it is too early to tell if they are ready to contend for a BCS bid.
- The Heisman Race is really up for grabs. Everyone wants to peg Geno Smith as the early frontrunner, but Smith is a system QB who doesn’t have jaw-dropping athleticism or an elite arm. De’Anthony Thomas is another compelling prospect, but Oregon doesn’t use him all that much. Candidates to watch include EJ Manuel of Florida State and Braxton Miller of Ohio State, but don’t be surprised if new candidates come to the forefront in coming weeks.
- The Big Ten is BAD! There is a certain amount of flukiness in how the conference has struggled thus far. Michigan is 2-2 and unranked. Michigan State is still ranked after getting blown out by Notre Dame and struggling in a win over Eastern Michigan (their ranking is inflated by a win over ever-overrated Boise State). Wisconsin has looked horrendous too. Ohio State has yet to fumble a game, though they are fairly untested. Other than the Buckeyes, Northwestern and Minnesota are the only undefeated Big Ten teams. NU and Nebraska look like favorites in the Legends Division and with Ohio State disqualified from playing in the conference championship, the Leaders Division is totally up for grabs. Did I mention that Iowa lost to Central Michigan???