It’s Dan and this is another edition of Around Campus. I’ll admit that last week’s college football slate wasn’t the best or most competitive action. However, things get better with conference play getting into full swing for most teams. If you like (or don’t like) what I’ve got to say, please leave comments below or you can follow me on Twitter @DanMountSports
This week’s action proves to be a heck of a lot better, but let’s get through what we learned last week.
Enough cupcakes: Seriously, I should be seeing some quality interconference matchups in the fourth week of the season. Instead, I get Ohio State demolishing Florida A&M and Florida St. laying waste to Bethune-Cookman. I get that teams want to get all tuned up before diving headfirst into conference play, but this is getting ridiculous. I knew we’ve seen a rise in wins by the old Division IAA programs, but there are still plenty of butt-kickings by the big boys. ESPN’s John Buccigross (on Twitter @Buccigross) pointed on Twitter out the score disparity of the ranked teams and their unranked opponents on Twitter.
Ranked teams went 17-0 against unranked teams yesterday in College Football. The average score of those 17 ranked vs unranked games? 47-11.— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) September 22, 2013
I know these smaller programs need the money and going up to Columbus or Tallahassee to get your face kicked in rather than holding a car wash in the local parking lot, but come now. I wish there was a rule in place to stop against FCS teams after a certain date. I know the Big Ten told its members to avoid games against Football Championship Subdivision opponents, but I understand the function of the games. Besides, you can get your blowout fix out of the way by scheduling teams from the Mid-American, Sun Belt or Conference USA.
APU uprising: If you watched any of Georgia Tech’s game against North Carolina, Georgia’ win over North Texas or Northwestern’s victory over Maine, you saw some of the players had the letters A-P-U on their wrist tape. (Nope it wasn’t a reference to this guy.) The three letters actually stood for All Players United. This is a new movement that is stemming from the way players have been treated by the NCAA. They even have formed the National Collegiate Players Association and have a website. (http://www.ncpanow.org/) Most coaches won’t comment on it, but Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall has been a staunch defender of player rights and brought more attention to the campaign. This is going to be an interesting thing to keep an eye on. There are coaches that are trying to stifle it, but I don’t think it will work.
Since I’m making up for the dearth of quality games last week, I’ll give you five games to watch this week.
(14) Oklahoma at (22) Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (NBC): This was the game last year that put Notre Dame on everyone’s radar for a national championship appearance. The Irish went into Norman and beat the Sooners. Teams have been daring Tommy Rees to beat them, and he has done so. Blake Bell (known as the “Belldozer”) has started throwing the ball better now that he’s the full-time starter. The Sooners defense will have to step up
(6) LSU at (9) Georgia, 3:30 p.m. (CBS): The Bulldogs have rebounded from an early season loss at Clemson. (Even though they didn’t look so good against North Texas last week.) Georgia still has a shot to get into the national title game, but they have to win out. The Tigers have filled up on cupcakes after an early season win over TCU. This game is going to a feature a little more offense than we're used to seeing because the inexperience at the major defensive positions. I don’t expect a Pac-10 contest from a couple years ago, but a little more than a normal SEC contest.
(21) Mississippi at (1) Alabama, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN): Hugh Freeze is starting build the Rebels into a consistent program. Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott ran up 164 yards and ran back a punt 73 yards in the blowout win over Texas. The Crimson Tide have gotten through their first three games, but its' been more difficult than anticipated. Alabama’s 42 points against Texas A&M is still a major concern.
Arizona at (16) Washington, 7 p.m. (FOX): This game is going to put up more fireworks than the 4th of July with the high-tempo offenses of both sides on display. The Wildcats have gotten off to one of their typical fast early-season starts thanks to a soft schedule and All-American Ka’Deem Carey. The Huskies ranked ninth in rushing offense and 17th in passing in FBS. Keith Price and Bishop Sankey anchor that backfield that will test Arizona’s defense that has given up a lot of yards despite the easy schedule.
(23) Wisconsin at (4) Ohio State, 8 p.m. (ABC): The Badgers got over their controversial loss to Arizona State with a 41-10 beatdown of Purdue. Wisconsin still boasts its traditional power running attack featuring leading rusher Melvin Gordon. (The Badgers got help from James White and Corey Clement. The Buckeyes now have to face some real competition after beating down Florida A&M, 76-0. Pre-season Heisman candidate Braxton Miller could be back, but he could have to wait because backup QB Kenny Guiton has looked great.
That’s it for this week. See you around next week for another edition of Around Campus.
Dan Mount is a college football and NHL writer for TJRSports.com. He is based out of Watertown, NY.