After only three weeks the landscape of college football has shifted dramatically. A number of pre-season favorites have not only stumbled, but have looked rather pedestrian in multiple games. The current Heisman candidate has emerged from relative obscurity, and isn’t even the scoring leader nationally. Only two of the pre-season Conference champions remain unbeaten and likely to meet their lofty expectations. Here’s a list of things we learned in Week 3
FSU isn’t a top 10 team. If a 43 point loss can be more lopsided than the score indicated it happened when Louisville beat FSU on Saturday. The Cardinal could have easily won that game by 50+. So far the Seminoles have played two ranked opponents giving up 97 points en route to a 1-1 record (they are 2-1 overall having also beaten Charleston Southern 52-8.) Their defense looks terrible and their offense looks like it is going to be too inconsistent to score points on a regular basis this season. They should beat everyone in the ACC except Clemson but right now they look like an 8 win team.
There are exactly 6 teams in the NCAA playing hictorically good defense. Baylor, BAYLOR, has given up 30 points in three games which makes them tied for the third best scoring defense in the country with Washington, Toledo and Georgia Southern. Only the University of Miami and Florida are holding their opponents to under 10 points a game.
Lamar Jackson is the clear frontrunner for the Heisman trophy. His performance against FSU would have cemented the award for him had it come later in the season. Given his other performances it’s difficult to imagine him not winning it this year anyway. Jackson is showing no signs of slowing down. His toughest competition is Christian McCaffrey who has picked up where he left off last year and, surprisingly, Arizona St. running back Kalen Ballage. Ballage is probably benefiting from an NCAA record tying 6 touchdown performance in Week 2, but he’s still putting up the kind of numbers that gets one noticed by the Heisman Committee.
Alabama and Ohio State appear to be the best teams by far. Louisville, Michigan, and Houston also look like they’ll be competing for the playoffs at the end of the year. In terms of sleepers Florida - behind the strength of their aforementioned defense - could be a sleeper for the play offs as well.
It might be time for Kirk Ferentz to retire, somewhat gracefully. North Dakota State is a very good team with a history of beating FBS teams but they had no business beating a team as talented as Iowa. The Hawkeyes still could win their division and find themselves in the Big Ten championship game but anything short of that probably should cost their long time coach his job.