Originally written September 16, 2012 on Crystal Ball Run:
It may be early in the season, but Alabama is just showing off. The Crimson Tide’s crushing performance against Arkansas Saturday was more impressive than most of us thought would happen, but it was a shock. Like every week, though, there are always some things we learn about teams that help shape our perspective. Here are some observations from the third week of the season. Quarterback Depth: When freshman quarterback Wes Lunt went down early with what looked like a bad knee injury, Oklahoma State fans were reminded that the Cowboys have some depth at the position. J.W. Walsh guided OSU on eight scoring drives in his first eight series. The opponent wasn’t Oklahoma or Texas, but even against Louisiana it had to be nice to see there is very little drop off from No. 1 to No. 2. PSU Star: Not much has gone right at Penn State for nearly a year, but receiver Allen Robinson had one of those games that catches your attention. It may have come against Navy, but Robinson delivered with five receptions for 136 yards and three touchdowns. Robinson gave the PSU fans something to cheer about Saturday. Beamer Ball: Call it the curse of Tino Sunseri, or it’s just simply the over-rating of Virginia Tech once again. The Hokies, who needed overtime to win their season opener against Georgia Tech, traveled to Pittsburgh Saturday and allowed one of the nation’s least effective offenses to score 35 points. Maybe DC Bud Foster should take the blame for this one, or maybe it would be nice to see Logan Thomas live up to his hype. Like Arkansas last week, Virginia Tech should fall completely out of the Top 25. Buckeyes Sputtering: Ohio State is 3-0, but for the second consecutive week the Buckeyes did not look impressive. You could argue that Cal outplayed Ohio State in a 35-28 loss. The one bright spot for OSU is sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, but you can just see Urban Meyer’s patience wearing thin and it makes you wonder how much longer he can go with out a breakdown. Seminoles Streaking: After about of decade of everyone telling us Florida State was ready to return to elite status, the Seminoles may actually be living up to the billing in 2012. FSU’s first two games were pretty much gimmes, but the Seminoles whipped Wake Forest and their defense has allowed only three points all season. Next week’s game with Clemson will be the one that shows us if FSU is for real. Dooley Outdueled: Tennessee was undefeated and ranked No. 23 in the nation, and all coach Derek Dooley wanted (and needed) was a signature win to quiet his critics. Instead, the Vols were outclassed by rival Florida. On the other side of the field, Will Muschamp got the signature victory and you can see a Gator program that is starting to mesh in the coach’s second season. Florida also deserves credit for pulling out back-to-back emotional wins — Texas A&M’s first SEC game and then a packed Neyland Stadium. If this trend continues, Dooley may be looking for new employment after the season. Irish Eyes: Despite what Tommy Rees did last week to help Notre Dame rally late to beat Purdue, Notre Dame’s quarterback is and should be Everett Golson. He proved it again with the Irish’s win at Michigan State, which helped Notre Dame improve to 3-0. Golson didn’t put up All-American numbers, but he delivered a clean performance. This allowed Notre Dame’s defense to fluster the Spartans. Misleading Score: If all you do is glance at the final score of Louisville’s 39-34 victory over North Carolina, you may assume the Tar Heels played well or that Louisville is just an average team. You need to look deeper. Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater played well and the Cardinals are 3-0. Charlie Strong should be concerned that his team scored just three points in the second half, but Louisville is easily the class of the Big East. What’s Wrong: Auburn is a bad football team, and it feels like a different type of bad. We can forgive the Tigers for the season-opening loss to Clemson, but then Gene Chizik’s team followed that up with two lackluster performances, including Saturday’s 31-28 overtime victory Louisiana-Monroe. That’s right, the Warhawks almost delivered a huge win for the Sun Belt Conference. It’s going to be a long, rough season at Auburn. Did you See: Minnesota, one of the laughingstocks of college football, is 3-0. It’s not like the Golden Gophers have really played a serious team, but Jerry Kill will take it. Don’t be shocked if Minnesota is 4-0 after playing Syracuse next week.
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