Another week has gone by, and the matchups were fantastic with Clemson against Florida State headlining the landscape of college football.
As usual there were a few upsets that shook everything, and the BCS race is starting to take some electric and entertaining turns. Looking at the fourth weekend of college football, here are your contenders and pretenders.
LSU Tigers, Pretender
What are you smoking?
Yes, that is a good question since the LSU Tigers are arguably the best team on the planet defensively (and perhaps overall). The defending SEC champs have a shot to repeat since they host Alabama, but I have this team labeled as a ‘Pretender’ due to their schedule and inability to come away with the big-plays against the elite competition.
While Les Miles is now 48-4 against unranked opponents, they were not impressive against the Auburn Tigers and I foresee at least one loss coming up, which would cost them an SEC title berth and perhaps even a BCS in general berth.
I love eating crow on Sunday and Monday’s after big games, but I will go ahead and call the big shot bold prediction two weeks in advance. The Bayou Bengals will get upset on the road at the Swamp in what should likely be an electric night, once in a lifetime experienced game.
Florida State Seminoles, Contender
The Noles are officially on both sides of the ball, and they even surprised me a tad against Clemson. The secondary may have had its issues early on (Dustin Hopkins too), but the skill position players actually lived up to its hype and then some!
Chris Thompson, James Wilder Jr, Nick O’Leary, Greg Dent, Kelvin Benjamin, Rodney Smith are just a few of the youngsters that played out of their minds. Plus, the defense flexed its muscles in the fourth quarter and walked the walked when it mattered most. They have a few road tests coming up, but the devastating speed they have on both sides of the ball is sitting them up pretty.
Oregon Ducks, Contender
The Ducks were contenders all along, but we did not know if they were legit BCS title contenders and they certainly look as such at the moment. De’Anthony Thomas did not even score and the offense looked just fine since he has such an impact on the game.
This is the best defense by far in the Chip Kelly era under Nick Aliotti (try the best Ducks D in BCS era) and while they might not be a more complete team than they were two years ago, they look awfully impressive heading into October.
Arizona Wildcats, Pretender
We weren’t even sure if they would be a lock to appear in a bowl game and they made a quick jump as dark horse contenders in the Pac-12. Well, they obliterated and shutout 49-0 in Autzen Stadium. Matt Scott and the offense was non-existent and now we will truly see what they are all made of.
SEC East, Contenders
The entire SEC East as far as I am concerned are loaded with contenders. Obviously none of them may become BCS title contenders, but I have been on the record since the spring about the Georgia Bulldogs (BCS title). I was on the fence with the Florida Gators two weeks ago because of the road traps at College Station and Knoxville, but they are a top 10 team.
Cocky and the boys looks legit as well since Connor Shaw is making nice strides and Marcus Lattimore is back to a work-like attitude (dude is still elite).
Oklahoma Sooners, Pretender
I hate when I have to say I told you so, but I totally told you so. I love me some Landry Jones and what he has done in the past, but I always attempt to look into the future and this team just had BCS title aspiration disaster written all over them. This was never a team built to win and or contend for a BCS title because they lacked the depth and beef up front.
Jones has had mechanic problems ever since Broyles was injured and he is clearly trying to do much right now. Can we honestly put all the blame on him though? His offensive line putrid for their standards and a third or fourth place finish can honestly happen in the much improved Big 12.
Kansas State Wildcats, Contender
Collin Klein is a Heisman dark horse and the stud can carry this team on offense, point blank. Their defense had some questions heading into the season but they brought back a boatload of starters and Arthur Brown looks like the third best linebacker in America (Teo, Jones). The Wildcats are not only Big 12 threats, but they could sneak into a BCS bowl unlike last year. They just need to finish strong and closing the year with Texas at home could have a lot on the line.
Michigan Wolverines, Pretender
These poor Maize and Blue Wolverines are looking at an 8-5 type of season if they are not careful. There is no reason why they cannot lose four or five games in the regular season because having one of the toughest schedules out there will crush you if you have major holes on your team.
Denard cannot do it all by himself, and making vital mistakes in the process usually is asking for disaster. The Big Ten is just starting and while the momentum is nearly dead, they will have their chances to contend albeit it is looking abysmal right now.