The Saturday Seven

Sep 24, 2016 Comments Off on The Saturday Seven
Image via Phil Roeder Flickr

Image via Phil Roeder Flickr

Time flies when you’re having fun, and I think most college football fans would agree that the season to date has been a lot of fun.  Which means time is indeed flying as we’re already through the first quarter of the college football regular season.  It’s safe to say that this season has been anything but the status quo.  Yes, Alabama is still ranked #1 and appears to be everything the pundits thought they would be.  After that? Well, everything else has shown us that anything can happen on any given game day.  Some teams are not what they were made out to be and others have come out of nowhere and grabbed the attention of every college football fan in the country.  The coming weeks should be exciting.

The rankings this season have also taken on a chaotic angle in their weekly release.  In recent years, there have never really been the drastic movements up and down with teams that we’ve seen this year.  Now in some cases it makes a lot of sense and people in that camp believe that’s how it should be in order to reflect the importance of a big win or a big loss in a team’s movement.  For example, Louisville’s dismantling of Florida State warranted the jump in the rankings for Bobby Petrino’s team.  However, it’s not perfect.  Some would say that they’re over-rewarding some teams for winning and over-penalizing others for losses.  For instance, Miami started the year off unranked, but now they’re ranked #15 and have yet to play a power-5 opponent.  That may not be a huge deal, but then they moved up 10 spots for beating Appalachian State.  Ten spots!  That’s a debate that could take all weekend so instead, here’s the next edition of The Saturday Seven:

CONTENDERS:

Yes, it’s early; but it’s not too early to mention which teams have risen to the top so far this season.  Could this group change?  Yes, and most likely it will.  For now, these 3 teams have already shown the ability to get big wins, and they have shown that they will not be easy teams to beat.

  • Alabama: The Crimson Tide once again have a solid team on both sides of the ball. Guys graduate or leave early and they just plug in the next 5-star player.  So far that recipe is working with an opening game route of USC at Jerry’s World in Dallas, and a close come-from-behind win on the road over Ole Miss last week.  There’s not much to find wrong with this team that would keep them out of the College Football Playoff.
  • Ohio State: Urban Meyer may have another team ready to make a run at the playoff.  After two blowout wins his team went into a rowdy atmosphere in Norman, Oklahoma and…blew out the Sooners.  Quarterback J.T. Barrett is off to as strong start in leading the Buckeyes and will be the key to how far they go down the stretch.
  • Louisville: The Cardinals were the talk of college football last week after destroying the Seminoles at Peyton Man, um, I mean Papa John’s Stadium, 63-20.  It all starts with quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has shot up the charts and become the new favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.  Louisville still has a huge matchup on the road at Clemson, and the winner of that game will be in the driver’s seat to win the ACC and get one of the playoff berths.
  • WHAT ABOUT US?: Clemson, Michigan, Houston, Stanford, and Michigan State.  The only thing for certain is that some of these teams can move up and some of them will most definitely move down as the season progresses.  The question is, “Which one?”

PRETENDERS:

  • LSU: The question coming into the season was whether or not the Tigers had the quarterback to get them over the hump and back into the SEC Championship game.  The answer once again has been no.  In fact, people are already wondering if Les Miles will last the whole season.
  • Ole Miss: As well as they’ve played it’s hard to call Ole Miss a pretender.  However, having two losses after 3 games does leave Rebels’ fans pretending as if they think they still have a shot at making the playoff.
  • Oklahoma: Fans were hopeful that they would use the momentum of being in last year’s playoff to carry them right back into the Final 4 this year.  However, the Sooners got run over at home against the Buckeyes.  They also opened the season with a loss to Houston, who has jettisoned up to #6 in the rankings.
  • Notre Dame: Normally losing to Texas and Michigan State wouldn’t be a big deal, but if you lose to both of them in the first 3 weeks then all is not well in South Bend.  Beginning the season in the Top 10 and now dropping out of the rankings completely is all you need to tell you that the Irish were pretenders.

PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR (so far):

  • Lamar Jackson, QB – Louisville: Jackson has over 900 yards passing with 8 touchdowns.  However, he also has over 450 yards rushing with a whopping 10 touchdowns on the ground!  Keep an eye on him this season.  He’s the newest human highlight reel.  Jackson has accounted for more touchdowns by himself than 115 FBS teams have total.  How would he do against top-ranked teams?  Well, he had no problems against Florida State, and that should give him plenty of confidence heading into Death Valley next week.

THE HEISMAN CRYSTAL BALL:

Winner:  It’s hard to argue against Lamar Jackson at this point in the season.  He’s done it all so far, and he’s looked a cut above the rest of the field.  If he can take the Cardinals down to Clemson and come out of there with a win, the trophy will be his to lose.

Runner-up:  Christian McCaffrey, RB – Stanford

Invited to the ceremony:  DeShaun Watson, QB – Clemson, and somebody we’re not talking about now.

VIRAL MOMENT #1:

Can we check his gloves for super glue???  And I wonder how the film session went for the defensive back who was the recipient of a football bear hug.  Check it out here:

VIRAL MOMENT #2: 

This never gets old.  Feel free to watch a few times.  I know I have.

THE SATURDAY SEVEN UNVERISTY AMATEUR PICKS FOR THE PLAYOFF:

Final 4:     Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Houston

Final:  Alabama, Ohio State

Champion:  Alabama

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