The four biggest takeaways from a wild week ten.
This weekend’s loaded college football slate did not disappoint. Many games went down to the wire, some upsets were seen, and the best of college football’s talent was on display. With many great games being played, week ten turned into a settling ground for many teams – punching tickets to conference championships and establishing the true frontrunners in conferences. Having the luxury to sit back and watch the madness unfold, here are our four biggest takeaways from week ten.
Michigan is for real.
Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines are good, but here’s what you don’t know: Michigan is going to win the BIG-10, and might just have a shot at the national title. While their rival Buckeyes were struggling to beat a 2-7 Nebraska team, Michigan wiped Penn State (a team that Ohio State barely beat) off the field in Ann Arbor. Michigan’s defense is ranked first nationally in almost every category, and the offense is top five in ball control, making them a good matchup for Alabama. The eye test is as sexy as it gets; take away the one bad quarter against Notre Dame this year, and Michigan has played nothing but great football. They’re now our number two team in the nation behind Bama, and with their 42-point domination on offense this week; they showed that they’re more than just a defensive threat to Alabama…
The PAC-12 has no contender.
People are really starting to put a lot of faith in a so-so Washington State team, which has benefited more from an easy and well-paced schedule than being an actual great team. The Oregon win for them was a combination of catching the Ducks after a rough patch of schedule, and Pullman being the best football environment it’s ever been, with College Gameday present. They edged out a mediocre (and injured) Stanford team, and lost to… 5-4 USC? The PAC is just a ton of good-but-not-great teams beating up on one another. No team is good enough to compete against the best from other conferences, and I have no faith in Wazzu being able to beat Washington at the end of the season. Teams in the PAC-12 are a weird mix of similar teams in the BIG-10 and BIG XII; no team has a true identity. Washington looks trapped somewhere between being a spread offense and west coast team, Oregon wants to be powerful but is clinging onto their old ways, and Washington State will throw it fifty times, but all of a sudden is trying to become a power run team too. There is no true contender here, just a bunch of 8-4 teams with a slight margin of error (10 to 6 wins). If a PAC-12 team makes the playoff, start saying your prayers. Bama by 30.
Purdue is knocking on the door of greatness.
Obviously, the Boilermakers sit at 5-4 now, and are not making the playoff this year; but the young roster at Purdue might just be there nextyear. Everywhere you look, the Boilermakers have young, talented freshman, including freshmen WR Rondale Moore (74 receptions, 13 yards per touch, 8 total TDs) and CB Kenneth Major (44 tackles and 3 INTs). While senior quarterback David Blough won’t be on the field next year, 3-star recruit Jack Plummer has the team reloaded with potential. Winning three games against top-25 opponents, the Boilermakers have shown more than just flashes of greatness on the biggest stage, and if they win out, the BIG-10 conference championship will be on their schedule, too, giving them more big-game experience before next year. The win against Ohio State was considered somewhat of a fluke when it happened, but as the weeks go on since then, it’s apparent that it was a team stepping into their fullest potential.
LSU has the most NFL talent in CFB.
29-0. Yeah, that’s the main argument against the Tigers right now, but don’t tell me the defensive performance put on in Death Valley was not impressive. Despite constantly being screwed over by their offense, LSU was the first team all season to hold the Tide to under 30 points, and the first to pick-off Tua Tagovailoa. The defensive backfield showed out. Corners Greedy Williams and Kristian Fulton added plenty of highlights to their NFL scouting film, competing on every one of Tua’s many shots downfield to wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Jaylen Waddle. Meanwhile, safeties Grant Delpit and John Battle IV proved why every team fears them as the best safety duo in college football. Each of the defensive backs should be picked in the first two rounds, and the front-seven has just as much talent. Devin White, while being suspended for the first half, still made a huge impact in his half of play, making eight tackles, and flying all over the field. While many people will get lost in Alabama’s defensive performance, LSU truly shined last night. Where Alabama’s defensive performance was more a showing of how bad the Tigers are on offense, their defense against Alabama’s high-powered offense, combined with a deafening atmosphere in Death Valley, was must see TV. Every time their Delpit and co. were on the field, it was an all-out battle between two of the best units in college football.