If y’all remember about this time last year, I tried to record the Auburn-Arkansas game, which you should remember as the 4OT game, while I went to go watch my sister play in her first travel softball tournament. As difficult as it was, I was able to go the whole day without any score updates, whether it be from my phone or one of the many dads in attendance who were constantly checking scores. We got home, flipped on the game, and breezed through it with no commercials, which, by the way, is a very stressful way to watch a game. As it went into overtime, though, I noticed there was still about an hour left on the recording, so I wasn’t too worried… until both teams scored in 3OT, and the recording cut off there. I vowed then to never record a game again.
Flash forward to last weekend. I went home again, finally having an away game after five straight home games to kick off the year. My sister once again had a travel softball tournament, and I made the foolish mistake of trying to record the game. The plan was to go watch her morning games, then head home to watch the football game, but the DVR had other ideas. There was no recording, and we got home towards the end of the third quarter when the offense was already checked out and ready for the bye week. College & Mag readers, promise to never let me record a game again. I’d rather just keep up with it live on my phone from now on.
But hey, I did get to watch this stud play.
Let’s see what the Sterritt Score says, shall we? Drum roll, please.
Safe to say I feel a little better about these than last week. Let’s look a little closer.
The Playoff Teams
Same old, same old here. This week it was Michigan’s turn to blow the doors off Rutgers, handing them the worst FBS loss of the millennium. #103 Rutgers managed only 39 yards total, with a whopping 5 yards passing. Right now, Michigan is the easy #1 going into their bye week. Comfortably at #2, Ohio State was somewhat challenged by #61 Indiana, but they still managed a KO in the 3rd quarter and won by 21. They’ll face a good test heading to #16 Wisconsin this week, but the Buckeyes have just been an efficient machine this year, with every Knock Out coming in the first half this year and every game being won by more than 20 points. It shouldn’t be too much longer before the hype train starts for this Michigan/Ohio State game.
Finally sneaking into the top 4 this week is Alabama, after a thorough dismantling of a decent Arkansas team. Winning by 19 and KO’ing your opponent after one quarter is impressive, especially on the road in the SEC West. Bama continues to look impressive the last few weeks, and like I promised, their strength of schedule has risen with conference play beginning. They have a fun game in Knoxville against #17 Tennessee this weekend. Don’t worry about watching until the second half, though.
After the strangeness of Clemson NOT jumping Louisville last week after beating them, the purple Tigers jumped up to the #4 spot this week. The only thing holding them back so far this year has been their absolute inability to blow teams out. However, with a 46 point and 51 minute KO over #87 Boston College, Clemson finally showed they are capable of running over inferior teams. Clemson has an interesting test in hosting #13 NCST this week. While NCST is quietly 4-1 this year, they’ve had a relatively weak SOS so far, so who knows if they are actually as good as the Sterritt Score shows.
The Pac 12 is Weird
#5 Washington aside, the Pac 12 is a mess. Stanford and Oregon? They just got blown out by both of the Washington schools in back to back weeks. In fact, six weeks into the season, Oregon has only one win against FBS opponents: #95 Virginia. I believe Stanford can rebound within the next year or so because the program that has been built there is sound. Oregon, though… it may be time to clean house from the old Chip Kelly days. The offense isn’t terrible, scoring about 34 points per game, but when you give up 45 per game, something has to give. Interestingly enough, Washington State is now #20, and despite their losses to FCS power Eastern Washington and #7 Boise State, they’re still undefeated in the Pac 12 and could be the only team to challenge Washington in the Pac 12 North.
Meanwhile, in the South, nobody seems to want to take charge. #32 Utah has dropped a game to Cal already. #29 Colorado, breaking into the top 25 last week, went and lost to #65 USC last week. Speaking of USC, they have wins over 4-1 Arizona State and 3-2 Colorado, yet are 3-3 themselves. #Pac12AfterDark has been in full effect this year.
Like I said, I missed most of this week’s game. But it all sounds good. Winning by 24 on the road and knocking out Mississippi State only 8 minutes into the game is impressive, and Auburn is now #15 to reflect that. We have a pounding run game, an efficient and increasingly diverse passing game, and a defensive line that is tearing into opposing offenses. By all accounts, our secondary played well, but that could have just as much to do with the defensive line giving Mississippi State no time at all.
I hate that it took us losing two very winnable games against now undefeated teams to figure out the offense, but I have a feeling this team could be a ton of fun to watch down the stretch. Every game except for Ole Miss and Bama looks very winnable, and it is becoming easier each week to see Auburn playing those two games tight as well. We go into a bye this week, which the timing is just about right for with a few minor injuries. As good as Pettway and Kerryon have been so far, it would be great to have both of them healthy for the rest of the year. I will say, though, that Stanton Truitt has been a nice surprise so far working at running back. With the current depth at WR, I think that’s the right move. Auburn should be able to heal up just in time for the stretch run on the Plains.
Go have a nice weekend away from football. This is as about as lax as it gets this time of year.
#13 NCST at #4 Clemson
#2 Ohio State at #16 Wisconsin
#19 WVU at #23 Texas Tech
#74 Stanford at #48 Notre Dame (loser is in deeeeeep trouble)
#3 Bama at #17 Tennessee
#22 Ole Miss at #57 Arkansas
War Eagle y’all. I’ll see you next week!