Football is three weeks in, but there is still a long way to go. Each week more is learned about each team, even though not everything can be known. Putting the pieces together on college football each season is part of why fans love it. With that being said, here are five things learned from week 3.
1. Boise State eliminated from CFP
Could a group of five team really make the College Football Playoff (CFP)? That was a question that Boise State could have answered if they went undefeated. ESPN hyped up the Broncos, saying that based on their FPI metric, Boise State had a greater than 50% shot of making the playoff if they won out. Unfortunately for fans waiting to see if a team from a less competitive conference could make the CFP, Boise State lost in Stillwater on Saturday.
Leading up to the game, the experts varied on which team was favored to win. Once the game got started, it was proven that Oklahoma State was the better team and they ended up winning 44-21. Even though Boise State now has about the same chance of making the CFP as someone has of winning the lottery, if they finish the season out strong they can play in a New Year’s Six Bowl Game.
2. Ohio State is ridiculously talented
The Buckeyes were without Urban Meyer for his suspension, but they were able to outclass TCU 40-28. Ohio State used their great defense to help them score and quarterback Dwayne Haskins was able to lead the charge on offense. The win is good for their resume and also shows the talent they have to leave Dallas with a win without their head coach on the sidelines.
In addition to not having Meyer, their best defensive player, Nick Bosa, also left the game with a lower leg injury. That didn’t slow down the Buckeyes’ on defense, as defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones stepped up. Jones continually made plays and even scored a touchdown after picking off a shovel pass.
There will be questions around the Buckeyes concerning Bosa’s health, even with Meyer returning, but they have the talent to overcome a lot of things this season.
3. LSU can win big games
As crazy as it may seem now, Ed Orgeron was on the hot seat before the season started. There were doubts whether he could lead a team to win a big game and if he was the right guy to lead the LSU program into the future. On Saturday he put a lot of those doubts to rest.
LSU had the daunting task of going into Auburn and playing the Tigers in the best conference matchup of the season so far. They were behind Auburn late in the game. In the past few years that meant that the game was over due to LSU’s inability to generate offense. This season though they drove down the field twice and got a game-winning field goal. Quarterback Joe Burrow is the difference for this team. He doesn’t complete a high percentage of his passes, but he did convert on a lot of key third downs. He’ll have to continue doing this as LSU goes through the SEC West schedule.
LSU already has two wins against top 10 teams this season. Can they keep it going?
4. Alabama’s offense is great
Everyone has talked about Alabama’s defense in the Saban era, but this year the offense is exploding. Their offenses have always been good and this season they are taking it to another level. This is in large part thanks to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who has been making highlight plays, completing 72% of his passes and hasn’t thrown an interception this season. He is a favorite for the Heisman Trophy for a reason.
Tagovailoa has a solid offensive line with a few future pros. The backfield also features Damien Harris and Najee Harris, who are both going to be playing on Sundays. These two units work together to create an elite rushing attack that keeps defenses honest for when Tagovailoa is able to set up a deep throw.
How did this offense do against Ole Miss? They put up 49 first-half points and coasted the rest of the game.
Simply put, the Crimson Tide offense can beat teams in a multitude of ways and is complete.
5. Wisconsin can’t win big (unless they get production from the quarterback position)
Wisconsin and BYU played one of the more entertaining games of the season. The Badgers missed a late field goal to tie the game, securing a BYU upset victory in Madison. Wisconsin still has a loss to play for this season, but losing to a team that they know they are better than has to sting.
The Cougars slowed down Jonathan Taylor in the game, although he still ran for 117 yards. When he wasn’t able to move the chains, the ball rested in quarterback Alex Hornibrook’s hands. Hornibrook threw for less than 200 yards and turned the ball over once via an interception. He did not help the Badgers get the job done.
BYU is coming off of a 4-9 season and Wisconsin will face much stiffer tests. If they want to win big games, much like LSU the past few years, they’ll need to find a quarterback who can help them convert on third downs and stretch the defense vertically.
Make sure to check out our college football page for more updates and rankings.