Week 4 college football preview, Heisman shows

Week 4 college football preview, Heisman shows

What’s a college football season in the 21st century without someone spilling out for a rivalry about to leave the stage?

And that’s how it went this week for the Bedlam Series, a staple game for Oklahoma and Oklahoma State before Oklahoma was even a state. (Schools met three times before state admission earlier on November 16, 1907).

Shot: A report by Action Network’s Brett McMurphy that a series that has been played continuously since 1910 — surviving several pandemics and world wars — will come to an end when Oklahoma enters the SEC in 2025.

Chaser: Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy calling a spade a spade while reading prepared notes.

“Bedlam is a thing of the past,” Gundy told reporters. “We all know that. We know that. Because OU chose to follow Texas and SEC money. That’s okay.”

Gundy was a little selfish in his performance, but his overall point is this: Oklahoma took the money and ran. The unsaid is another truth: Surely Oklahoma State would have done the same had the opportunity presented itself.

Two things are worth mentioning here. The first is that if Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were really committed to the series, they could set planning philosophies aside, cancel contracts with other schools, and play the game every September if they so wished. Of course, they are not the first schools to opt against continued rivalry.

In fact, McMurphy started a few, a group that included Texas-Arkansas (a former Southwestern Conference rivalry) and Texas-Texas A&M (a much-missed Lone Star State rivalry on hiatus since 2011). Both are a good bet to resume immediately when the Longhorns move to the SEC in 2025 with Oklahoma.

All of this means there is hope for Bedlam. It’s just one move away from the conference to resume. It might be a decade or three away, but the ever-changing tectonic plates of college sports could eventually bring them together. One thing is certain: money, not logic, will drive the reunion.

After promising to apply a “new model of leadership” that always seemed more appropriate for an MBA candidate than an NFL prospect, stumbling into hot water with the NCAA during the pandemic and seeing a coaching staff experiencing a massive turnover, Arizona State parted ways with Herm Edwards on Sunday for the cardinal sin of losing to Eastern Michigan.

This development is pretty much the least goofy thing to happen in Edwards’ tenure, which although it did start out was more like a curious lab experiment whose main benefit was that it had never been tried before. that a really logical approach.

But don’t take my word for it in 2022. Take my word for it in 2018.

Let’s ignore the press releases littered with commercial jargon and lay out the basics of hiring Herm Edwards: He’s a 64-year-old who hasn’t coached anywhere since 2008 and hasn’t worked in the college game since. 1989. “Innovative” is the optimistic spin for the rental. (Agreed, the business jargon couldn’t be completely avoided.) “Unconventional” is probably the fairest assessment.

That said, the Sun Devils are 67-60 over the past decade, and they’ve slipped back from back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2013 and 2014. Of course, that’s a risk. But sometimes risk is necessary for a program that probably needs to be a little different to achieve lasting high-end success.

Arizona State has won 6-7, 5-7, and 7-6 the past three seasons. It would be fun — and plausible — if the Sun Devils found themselves in that neighborhood again in Edwards’ first season.

Well, Edwards threw a 7-6 out of the chute and then assembled a pair of 8-5s around a pandemic 2-2 season. The Sun Devils won 4-0 over Arizona (which is good) and 22-20 over everyone else (which is forgettable and includes a 1-2 start this year).

Kansas is 3-0. Yes, Kansas is 3-0. That’s right, Kansas is 3-0.

It’s appropriate, really. Arizona State is a program that has been pretty much the very definition of indiscriminate since the end of Jake Plummer’s college career. The Sun Devils have four top-25 finishes in the Associated Press poll over the past 24 seasons. They landed in the top 10 exactly once in the past 15 years, the week of November 1. 9, 2014.

Yes, there was a 9-3 in 2004, a 10-3 in 2007 and back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2013-14. The Sun Devils have rarely flirted with being terrible over the past quarter century; low tide was a 4-8 race in 2009. But rarely have they turned out this interesting.

The puzzle is why. It’s not like Arizona State is devoid of football history, even though its best days were before it joined the Pac-10/Pac-12. He may not have the immediate access to talent of a Southern California, but he’s in a major metro area (Phoenix) in a fast-growing state (though not as fast in the last decade ).

Yes, college football is a zero-sum game, but the Sun Devils should probably have higher — and longer lasting — spikes than they’ve enjoyed. You don’t need a business school textbook to understand this.

But whoever is next faces a hole. NCAA penalties are likely to come. Edwards went all-in on the transfer gate amid the program’s tumult, so the current foundation is shaky. The same could be said about the Pac-12-Soon-To-Be-Minus-Two.

The state of Arizona’s “new model of leadership” is history. His penchant for struggling to gain ground in football probably isn’t. The Sun Devils would always be wise to be a little different in the future. just not this different.

Five with the most at stake

A look at some teams with the chance to prove a lot in Week 4.

1.Tennessee. The no. 11 Volunteers (3-0) are the only SEC team to face Alabama, Florida and Georgia every season, and they’ve dropped a combined 16 in a row against those three since 2016. The first step to them towards a real grip seriously beats any of this group. No. 20 Florida (2-1, 0-1 SEC) arrives in Knoxville for the Tennessee conference opener this week.

2. Wake Forest. In 2008, the Demon Deacons defeated Clemson, 12-7, on a Thursday night in what turned out to be Tommy Bowden’s last game in charge of the Tigers. Since then, Wake Forest has been 0-for-Dabo. It’s no secret that the ACC’s latest Atlantic Division title will go down to No. 5 Clemson. The no. 21 Demon Deacons (3-0) held off Liberty last week and will need to be better to secure solid positioning for a second straight Atlantic crown.

Best college football bets: Clemson will be too much for Wake Forest

3. Arkansas. The no. 10 Razorbacks weren’t particularly sharp against old friend Bobby Petrino and Missouri State last week. But they’re still 3-0 heading into their annual date with No. 23 Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas. The Hogs play four of their next five games away from Fayetteville, and deciphering the Aggies’ defense would be a welcome sign ahead of a tough October.

4a. Southern California and 4b. Oregon State. The no. 7 Trojans head to Corvallis to take on the brave Beavers in a 3-0 teams clash. It won’t get many looks outside of the West Coast thanks to its placement on the Pac-12 network, but it’s a tricky contest for USC and a showcase game for Oregon State, which is part of the impressive departure from the Pacific Northwest. in season.

5.Minnesota. The Gophers (3-0) aren’t a popular topic of conversation, at least not yet. Wins over New Mexico State, Western Illinois and a sad team from Colorado won’t raise anyone’s profile this year. They head to a Michigan State group after a lackluster showing in Washington, and beating the Spartans at East Lansing makes a run at a Big Ten West title a little more plausible.

A weekly look at the race for college football’s favorite stiff-armed statue.

1. QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State (941 yards, 11 TDs, 0 passing INTs). Shredded Toledo for 367 yards and five touchdowns as the Buckeyes finished non-conference play with a rout. (Last week: 2)

2. QB Bryce Young, Alabama (644 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs passing; 144 yards, 2 TDs rushing). Thrown a few interceptions in a 63-7 Louisiana-Monroe bludgeon. That knocks the defending Heisman winner out of first place, but plenty of opportunities to rack up big numbers still await. (NB: 1)

3. QB Caleb Williams, Southern California (874 yards, 8 TDs, 0 passing INTs; 73 yards, 2 rushing TDs). Wasn’t as effective against Fresno State as he was in the Trojans’ first two games but still completed 25 of 37 games for 284 yards and two touchdowns. USC will be fine if these are slightly staggered outings from Williams. (NB: 3)

4. QB Stetson Bennett IV, Georgia (952 yards, 5 TDs, 0 passing INTs; 31 yards, 3 rushing TDs). Whatever avenue there is for this candidacy has to do with other top QBs failing (which hasn’t happened yet) and Bennett posting solid, error-free numbers while the Bulldogs keep rolling (which happened). (NB: 5)

Georgia can break your spirit. Just look at the empty stands in South Carolina.

5. QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington (1,079 yards, 10 TDs, 1 INT pass; 31 rushing yards). Penix recorded his career-best passing efficiency rating in 2019, when Kalen DeBoer was his offensive coordinator at Indiana. Now reunited with the Huskies’ new head coach in Seattle — and, more importantly, healthy — he dissected Michigan State for 397 yards and four touchdowns last week. (NB: Not classified)

6. LB Will Anderson, Alabama (15 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT). It’s more like that. Anderson had the day off against Texas but delivered an interception return for a touchdown against Louisiana-Monroe. Anderson was arguably the best player in the country last season, and he could improve on his fifth-place finish at Heisman from 2021. (LW: NR)

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