Frank looks at Week 4

Frank looks at Week 4

Greg Frank ('13)/ Eastside Sports Editor

Week four was the most entertaining week of college football so far, here’s what I saw.

Tight games inside the top 10: LSU showed to me that they were one of the more overrated teams in the nation this weekend.  They could not muster much of anything against a lackluster Auburn team.  A 12-10 ugly win tells me they are definitely not the second best team in the country behind Alabama like they were ranked entering the game.  Elsewhere, Clemson rolled into Tallahassee and after 30 minutes led 21-14.  It was too good to be true for the Tigers as Florida State roared back in the final 30 minutes en route to a 49-37 win.  A top ten team not as lucky to survive was Oklahoma.  I’ve talked up Kansas State a lot the last two weeks and for now at least it looks like I got this one right.  A 24-19 win in Norman is really impressive for Kansas State and makes the Big 12 a conference with three very good teams when you factor in West Virginia. Though Oklahoma dropped to 16 this week in the AP Poll I think all three teams could easily finish the year in the top 15 and potentially top 10.

USC Bounces Back: After the subject of all talks College Football last week and for all the wrong reasons after their loss to Stanford, the Trojans turned in a very workmanlike performance in taking care of Cal 27-9.  It was one of many season-saving wins they’ll have to get; as I mentioned last week they’ll have to run the table for a shot at the BCS and that includes beating Oregon and Notre Dame.  Other than that their schedule is beatable and their games against Oregon and Notre Dame are in November so it’s unknown if the Ducks and Fighting Irish will be as strong then as they are now.  It’s still not likely that USC gets to a BCS bowl because it’s going to be hard for them to win both those games nevertheless, but for now, they’re not dead.

4-0 teams getting close to the top 10: There are a couple of 4-0 teams getting close to the top 10 that are playing really well, one of them being Florida.  The SEC just gets deeper and deeper as the Gators, ranked 11th in this week’s AP poll, fell just shy of being the 5th team in the AP top 10 this week.  They head into the bye off of a dismantling 38-0 win against Kentucky and will come out of the bye on October 6th against LSU in a game that we’ll all get to see if they’re for real or not.  The other team at 4-0 just outside of the top 10 is Ohio State.  I had them trending up last week and while it wasn’t pretty they won 29-15 against UAB keeping their record unblemished.  Like Florida, they’re next game will really give us a measurement of where they’re at.  They play at Michigan State this week and though Michigan State slipped up against Notre Dame, a road conference game against a ranked opponent is a good test.

South Carolina and Georgia 2-0 in Conference: I decided to come full circle and finish this week’s observations with some more top 10 talk just like I started off.  South Carolina and Georgia are both off to great starts in their seasons and it’s now beyond just looking at the layups on the schedule as both teams have won two SEC games.  Florida State is also undefeated in conference but they play in the ACC, South Carolina and Georgia play in the SEC. I don’t think I need to tell you which is more impressive.  While both teams have beaten the same two unranked SEC teams (Vanderbilt and Missouri) it makes for an interesting storyline if both teams are to win this week as they’re set to square off on October 6th.

Updated Top 10:

  1. Alabama: Easy win for them against Florida Atlantic in week four and now get ready for their second conference game of the year against Ole Miss.  Shouldn’t be much of a problem; expect the Tide to keep on rollin.
  2. Oregon: They’ll leapfrog LSU this week after LSU’s less than impressive win against Auburn and the Ducks had a more than impressive win against a ranked team in Arizona annihilating the Wildcats 49-0.  Washington State is the next team Oregon will try to put up a bunch of points on.
  3. Florida State: I’ve bashed the ACC for lack of depth, and while it’s true, Florida State won what may be the biggest game of the year Saturday and certainly their biggest conference game of the year.  They do not play a ranked team until the last game of the season on rivalry week when they take on Florida.  If the Gators are for real, they may have a chance to ruin the National Championship hopes for Florida State, but as of now I don’t see Florida State losing anytime soon.  They’ll play another in-state and non-conference team in week five as they play South Florida.
  4. LSU: They’ll have to impress me from here on out because as of right now they’re subject to an upset.  If they were playing Florida Saturday I’d be picking Florida.  But they’re not, they’re playing Towson.
  5. Georgia: So far so good. They get Tennessee next before the big showdown with South Carolina.
  6. South Carolina: They go to six after Oklahoma’s loss and should stay at six next week as they play Kentucky for their tune-up for the Georgia game.
  7. Stanford: I’ll move them up here just because I think the USC win still carries some weight and they didn’t have the hangover game in week four to potentially lose as they had a bye.  They’ll come back refocused for a Thursday night game at Washington.
  8. Kansas State: Similar to Stanford in week three, K-State pulled off an upset in week four and now sees the top 10 right away.  This one wasn’t as much of a shot in the dark though as I think K-State could be here to stay in the top 10.  Like Stanford, they’re rewarded after their upset with a week off.
  9. Notre Dame: They move up a spot after another win against a ranked team in taking down Michigan.  Albeit Michigan is no longer in the AP Top 25 but that’s obviously due to Denard Robinson’s atrocious performance which gave the Fighting Irish they’re fourth win of the season.  They’re another team with a bye this week and have some chances to move up in the top 10 later in the season with notable games against Stanford, Oklahoma, and USC remaining on their schedule.
  10. West Virginia: I’m still a believer in Geno’s gang, don’t get me wrong.  But Smith and the Mountaineers didn’t do enough in beating Maryland 31-21 to be moved up in this week’s top 10 and considering what Kansas State did in beating Oklahoma I had to move West Virginia down. The Mountaineers dip into Big 12 play with Baylor up next.

*Kansas State is new to my top 10 while Oklahoma drops out but there was lots of movement within my top 10 this week as Alabama and Georgia are the only two teams to stay in the same spots I had them last week.

 

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TCU: I wonder if on Saturdays LaDainian Tomlinson has been sitting somewhere enjoying his retirement and also enjoying watching his alma mater’s football team.  The Horned Frogs are at it again — just two years removed from their Rose Bowl victory against Wisconsin, they’re off to a nice 3-0 start winning all three games by double digits. I mention them now but may be talking about them later in the season as they finish with four brutal conference games against ranked teams in West Virginia, Kansas State, Texas, and Oklahoma.

 

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Michigan: For the second straight week it’s an easy pick as it’s a Big 10 team from the state of Michigan that disappointed against Notre Dame.  Credit to Notre Dame for playing well and making the most of Denard Robinson’s mistakes, but I’ve never been in on Michigan and at 2-2 with Big 10 games against Michigan State, Nebraska, and Ohio State, I’m not sure if their season can be saved.