Thoughts on the first Saturday I was able to sit and watch games all day...
1). Clemson still has the same issues on D - couldn't stop the run, couldn't defend the pass, couldn't get off the field on 3rd down. FSU is good, but to be considered elite, you have to get stops in big games and can't give up 50.
2). Bill Snyder is still getting it done at age 72 - After Snyder left after the 2005 season, Ron Prince went 17-20 and the Wildcat faithful called on Coach Snyder to get them back to their winning ways of 95-03. Sure enough, the Cats look strong again with solid defense and great QB play.
3). Rutgers has an excellent shot at making some noise this year - after surviving their toughest stretch of the season undefeated (@ USF, @ ARK), the Scarlet Knights come home for dates with UConn and Syracuse. After that, they get Temple, Kent St, and Army. Look for Rutgers to be 9-0 and in the top 10 heading into Thanksgiving week.
4). Who will the Big-10 representative be in the Rose Bowl this year? Ohio State is the lone unbeaten but is not bowl eligible this year. My guess? Purdue. The Boilers played ND better than either Michigan school and other Leaders division teams Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana have not looked good early on. Let's go with Purdue over Nebraska in the Big 10 Title game.
5) The Oregon D really may be the best in the Chip Kelly era. Now, Arizona wasn't a top 35 opponent, but they have been strong on O and have some good skill players. Their upcoming games with Stanford and their trip to LA later in the year should be interesting.
6). Can Dooley survive October? The Vols were sky-high 8 days ago and even through 2 quarters against Florida. However, the Vols issues on D and inability to run the ball are very glaring now and yesterday's game against Akron (a team UCF beat by 40) was a 1 TD game with 10 minutes left in the 4th. So, at 3-1, will Derek Dooley still have his job on November 1st if they lose their October games (@UGA, @ Miss St, vs Bama, @ South Carolina)? I say yes, as long as they compete and he will have a chance to win out and get to a bowl to buy him another year. A 20+ point loss to say UGA and Bama may get him on the outs.
7). Not many top-tier games next week, but October 6th gives us Florida-LSU, UGA-USC, Texas-WVU, and Nebraska-OSU. We will have some teams fall off the Title Game chase after these games are played.
RSM poll 9/23
3. Florida St
6. Notre Dame
7. Kansas St
8. South Carolina
11. West Virginia
16. Ohio St
17. Oregon St
18. Mississippi St
22. Iowa St
25. Michigan St