After two insane weeks to open the season, things calmed down a bit in week three, which is fine. A band can’t play only closers for an entire concert. Sometimes you have to mix a ballad in. Finding the fun this week required digging a little deeper than usual, with both ranked matchups being total snoozefests. It could’ve been much better if USF and a Bobby Petrino led Missouri State team had pulled off hilarious upsets over Florida and Arkansas respectively, but oh well. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty to talk about from this past weekend. So without further ado, let’s head into the recap.
Game of the Week: The game that was the most fun to watch that week. Importance could be a factor, but it isn’t necessary to qualify.
Most Important Game of the Week: The game that had the biggest impact on the playoff race or the college football landscape as a whole.
Drunkest Game of the Week: The game that scrambled your brain just watching. A drunk game is full of chaos, but not the good kind. As the name implies, it’s a game where it wouldn’t be a shock to find out everyone involved chugged a fifth of Admiral Nelson’s beforehand.
Head-Scratcher of the Week: The result that makes less and less sense the more you look at it. This is a celebration of the random, outlier games that we look back on later in the year in awe.
Sickos Game of the Week: The game that you enjoy for all of the wrong reasons. The train wreck that you can’t look away from. This is the game that makes you shake your head and say “Only in college football.”
Hype Killer of the Week: The game where one bandwagon comes to a screeching halt. The game where a team that looked like a future college football darling crashed back down to Earth.
Seat-Warmer of the Week: The game that pushed a coach’s job security into the danger zone because coach search season never ends. It’s usually about the coach of the losing team, but that’s not always the case.
Seat-Cooler of the Week: The opposite of the seat-warmer, this is the game that will let the winning coach sleep a little more soundly at night. At least for now.
Your Future Coach: A new category where I look at a game involving an up-and-coming G5 coach that probably won’t be sticking around very long. If your team is ever in the Seat Warmer section, this one is for you.
Dealer’s Choice of the Week: The game that I just feel like talking about. It could be because it was especially fun, or stupid, or just because I want to make fun of a team I don’t like. It’s more of a catch-all category than anything.
All caught up? Good, let’s go.
Game of the Week: Florida State vs. Louisville
The first game of the week was also the best. It was a back and forth affair, especially in the fourth quarter, which didn’t feature a single punt. Florida State overcame a frankly ridiculous number of injuries, largely thanks to Johnny Wilson, a transfer wide receiver from Arizona State who is apparently the second coming of Randy Moss, which is further proof that Herm Edwards could make any player boring. Louisville QB Malik Cunningham was just as electric as I told y’all he would be, but threw a pick at the very end of the game to seal it. If they can get even semi-healthy, Florida State could be a real threat in the ACC moving forward, while Scott Satterfield’s job security at Louisville continues to be a rollercoaster that changes every week.
Most Important Game of the Week: Oregon vs. BYU
So, it turns out that Georgia might just be unstoppable. The entire country, including myself, wrote off Oregon after they were embarrassed by the Dawgs in week one. They looked completely incompetent and like they didn’t even belong in a power 5 conference. BYU was riding high off a big win over Baylor and looking like a legitimate playoff contender. Oregon’s win was the cornerstone of this weekend’s PAC 12 revival, keeping them alive in the playoff race and eliminating this year’s potential outsider looking to crash the party.
Drunkest Game of the Week: Syracuse vs. Purdue
The first half of this game was downright unwatchable. Things picked up in the second half, but the drunken madness didn’t begin in earnest until the final minute of the game. Purdue drove down the field to score a touchdown to take the lead with 51 seconds left. After the play, a Purdue player was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, costing them fifteen yards on the kickoff. Apparently one of Purdue’s coaches was not a fan of the call, and yelled at the ref so much that he also got hit with unsportsmanlike conduct, and another fifteen yards, and a penalty combo that led to this work of art:
Yes, that is Purdue kicking off from their own 10-yard line. Obviously, Syracuse started the next drive with amazing field position needing a touchdown. The Orange began that drive with six, yes six, straight incompletions. How is that even possible, you wonder? Well, Purdue got two different penalties on third downs, extending the drive and, of course, leading to Syracuse’s game winning touchdown, a play by the way in which Purdue committed another penalty that was declined. At this point the Boilermakers had lost all composure, started a fight, and somehow for the second touchdown in a row received two different unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, leading to yet another work of art on the kickoff:
In less than a minute, Purdue committed seven penalties and created two kickoff situations I have never seen before. Drunk is not a strong enough word for this chaos.
Head-Scratcher of the Week: Bowling Green vs. Marshall
These were two teams headed in very different directions. Marshall was fresh off an upset on the road over arguably the most historic program in the sport. Bowling Green was coming off a 7-overtime loss to a mid-tier FCS team. Marshall was the 26th ranked team in the country. Bowling Green was winless and the 9th worst rated team in the country according to the advanced metrics. If you watch college football, you already know none of that matters. If you were watching the home of MAC football, the *checks notes* NFL Network, you saw Bowling Green make up for last week’s overtime embarrassment and pull a major upset over Marshall. Just like I said last week when I talked about Bowling Green: there’s no sport like college football.
Sickos Game of the Week: Rutgers vs. Temple
Just read those teams again. This matchup feels like a sicko game no matter what. The product on the field didn’t disappoint. Rutgers had more penalty yards than passing yards, and Temple had more penalty yards than rushing yards. This matchup wasn’t nearly as sick as the last two weeks of Iowa football, but it was a sicko game nonetheless.
Hype Killer of the Week: Texas A&M vs. Miami
It turns out moving to Miami didn’t transform Mario Cristobal into an entirely new coach. All the negative hallmarks of his Oregon tenure were on full display, including making a future NFL starting QB look incredibly boring. Miami got to the redzone four times and kicked a nauseating four field goals, including one in the second half from the four-yard line that turned their two-score deficit into a much more manageable two score deficit. I think most people assumed Miami would lose this game heading into the season, but that was before A&M got bullied by App State. The way Miami lost this game is much uglier than the loss itself, with Mario planting just a few seeds of doubt that he’s the guy who’s going to bring Miami back to the promised land. Either way, the U is decidedly not back.
Seat-Warmer of the Week: Eastern Michigan vs. Arizona State
NOTE: Not even ten minutes after I finished writing this section, this happened:
So take this part as more of an explanation of the firing than a prediction because, well, I was already right.
Legendary Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley once said, “If something needs to be done eventually, it needs to be done immediately.” We saw Nebraska adhere this philosophy last week at the cost of an extra $7 million, and buddy, Arizona State should not be far behind. Results on the field haven’t been great, but much like Herm Edwards himself, ASU’s largest issues are old-school. The team is facing major NCAA sanctions after completely disregarding the league’s COVID protocols back in 2020, which is basically the only thing that the NCAA can punish schools for nowadays. Even worse, the environment in the program is allegedly so toxic that nobody knows who blew the whistle because it could’ve been any one of least ten different disgruntled former coaches. Becoming the first PAC 12 school to lose a regular season game to a MAC team is proof that this runaway train cannot get back on the tracks, and the university’s president seems to have acknowledged as much. It was a tough day for most hot-seat coaches, but Herm seems like the strongest case of a firing being “when, not if.”
Seat-Cooler of the Week: UNLV vs. North Texas
The guys at Split Zone Duo like to use the term “proof of concept” when talking about coaches at rebuilding programs. It’s an example of that coach’s overall vision having success, even if the team isn’t winning many games. This win is Marcus Arroyo’s proof of concept. You could see the vision last year. In his first full season, UNLV went 2-10 against what was a sneaky brutal schedule, with 9 of their 11 FBS opponents making a bowl game. What stands out about this record is how close those losses were. They lost one score games to Fresno State, CUSA champ UTSA, Mountain West runner up San Diego State, and Mountain West champ Utah State. Those teams ended up with a combined record of 45-10. That trend continued this season when they lost another one score game on the road at Cal. This weekend, Arroyo finally broke through, beating the doors off a decent North Texas team. He was a coach that a lot of people seemed to believe in, but desperately needed a win to justify their faith. For the first time in forever, UNLV seems to be headed in a good direction.
Your Future Coach: Kansas vs. Houston
In case you didn’t believe me last week I’m going to say it again: Kansas is good at football. Lance Leipold has come in and turned this group into a competent, mid-tier power 5 team, which sounded unimaginable two years ago. In just 15 games he’s already racked up more road wins than the past five Jayhawks coaches combined. He’s also already tied for the lead with 2 conference wins, the most since Mark Mangino, who left in 2009. Relative to their situation, he’s one of the top 5 coaches in college football right now. He’s one of the few head coaches who can sit back and wait for the right situation to make the jump to a bigger school, because there’s no reason to believe he’ll stop overachieving like he has done at every stop in his career.
Dealer’s Choice: Appalachian State vs. Troy
What a week for App State. First, they upset a top 10 SEC team on the road and flood the streets in celebration. Then, College Gameday comes to town for the first time ever. Students were so excited that thousands of them camped out the night before and slept on the site. 99% of the game probably didn’t go the way App State fans had hoped, but they turned it around with the play of the day.
App State has apparently stolen all of Auburn’s chaos magic, as they’ve yet to play a boring game all year. Moments like these are what make college football so great. The Mountaineers have no shot at winning a national championship, but do the fans look like they care? Unless you’re rooting for one of the handful of teams that can win it all, this is the way to experience the sport. This is why it has survived the past two years of dysfunction, and why it’ll continue to survive in the future.
(Header courtesy of Yahoo! Sports)