A few thoughts after three entertaining weeks of college football:
- I’m really not sold on this year’s Notre Dame team. The Fighting Irish sputtered past a bad Purdue team on Saturday, winning by a final of 31-24. It is possible the Irish were still recovering from their close loss to Michigan the week before (Michigan also nearly lost to a terrible team–Akron–over the weekend). It is also possible that the Irish, and maybe the Wolverines as well, are not as good as expected coming into the season.
- Is Auburn back? Maybe not quite, but the 3-0 Tigers, who boast wins over decent Mississippi State and Washington State teams, should offer a good test to 6th ranked LSU this week.
- The Big Ten is off to another shaky start. Michigan got the big win against Notre Dame, but other teams from the conference have struggled in the non-conference. Wisconsin got upset by Arizona State this past weekend, Penn State lost to UCF, Purdue is terrible (they got killed by Cincinnati and barely beat Indiana State before keeping things close against Notre Dame), and the list goes on. The good news for the conference: Northwestern and Ohio State are both legit and both have exciting high wire offenses. The Buckeyes are pouring in a dash under 45 points per game through three contests (they also have two superstar QBs in Braxton Miller and his backup Kenny Guiton), while the Cats have only managed about 43 per game. When the two face off on October fifth, it should be a rip-roaring good time.
- The California Golden Bears have played both Northwestern and Ohio State, giving up 44 points to NU and 52 to Ohio State. Next up for Cal: the 2nd ranked Oregon Ducks, fresh off their third straight 59+ point performance (this time a win against Tennessee). You have to pity Golden Bears defensive coordinator Andy Buh.
- It’s been a good start to the season for the ACC. With their win over Georgia, Clemson established themselves as national title contenders, 16th ranked Miami bested then-12th ranked Florida week two, Florida State is 2-0 and commands the #8 spot in the AP Poll, and Virginia Tech didn’t embarrass themselves too badly week one against mighty Alabama. Sure, the bottom of the conference is abysmal (Duke and Wake have looked REALLY bad), but the top of the ACC looks better than it has in a while.
- Texas’ defense is..agh..um….yeah…