Week 2 was a long one and I’m not talking about the burger! We all know I took out Notre Dame by moving them up to No. 4 in my rankings.
I’ve been hearing all season from Irish fans about how they’re underrated. But after their gutsy performance against No. 3 Ohio State, a 21-10 loss, they were up. They were competitive and physical against the talented Buckeyes in Columbus until the end. How am I rewarded? Loses to Marshall 26-21 at home. Unfortunately, they didn’t just lose. they were thoroughly trained, roused and outmatched. A disaster. The Marcus Freeman era is now off to an 0-3 start, and the Irish are all but done for any CFP national consideration for the rest of the year. Fuhgeddaboudit!
The Irish weren’t the only busts
But that wasn’t all. Appalachian State beat No. 6 Texas A & M, 17-14, in College Station? The Aggies and coach Jimbo Fisher are loaded with talent but need no effort. It’s a teaser in the SEC. How about Texas’ defense against No. 1 Alabama? Sure they lost at the buzzer, 20-19, on one court, but what an effort! Texas must return! NO! They lost their starting quarterback Quinn Evers and still have plenty of tough games ahead of them. This was their “bowl” game.
Finally, there was Georgia Southern’s 45-42 last minute win at Nebraska. The Huskers, the three-point favorite, had a chance to tie the game on the final play, but missed a field goal. But who cares? This can’t happen! That’s why manager Scott Frost was given the boot the next day. Nebraska would have saved $7.5 million by simply waiting two more weeks, but the stench on the field was so unbearable that there could be no waiting. 5-21 in one score games. 3-9 last season and 16-31 overall. It didn’t “fix” any problems. that was the problem. Frost played on Nebraska’s national championship teams and was the prodigal son when he was hired five years ago. Ultimately, it was an unmitigated disaster. We told you after the loss at Northwestern that he was coaching for his job every week, and we correctly predicted a loss that would do him. Good riddance!
All of this to say please forget the preseason rankings. They’re relatively worthless, unless you’re talking about the big three, Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State.
What we know:
◘Iowa lost to Iowa State, 10-7. In Week 1, the Hawkeyes produced a field goal and two safeties to defeat FCS South Dakota State, 7-3. In two games, they have scored more times than they have scored (16-14). Last year, their scoring offense ranked 99th out of 130, averaging just over 23 points per game. So who was their offensive coordinator? None other than Brian Ferentz. Yes, the son of Iowa Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz. Any other person in that position would have been fired a long time ago. Brian Ferentz has been the offensive coordinator since 2017. The word that comes to mind here is nepotism.
◘Fox’s “BIG NOON KICKOFF” was on campuses in an attempt to replicate ESPN’s “GameDay” atmosphere. The only problem is that they usually play their game at noon ET, when a third of the country is still waking up on the West Coast. Last week’s Alabama/Texas game should have been prime time under the lights for the entire country to watch. TV audiences would be ten times larger at launch and three times higher overall. Do they know what they are doing to maximize their audience? Obviously not.
On the field
No. 13 Miami (2-0) +7 at No. 24 Texas A&M (1-1): Why are the Aggies still ranked after last week’s 27-14 loss to Appalachian State? Shouldn’t the Mountaineers be in front of them? Miami is coming to town with hot quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. Or is he? He threw for 456 yards against inferior competition. This is the biggest game yet for new Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal, who aims to get Miami back to the top of the charts. Take the points but I see A&M prevailing.
No. 12 Brigham Young (2-0) at No. 25 Oregon (1-1): Why are the Ducks ranked? They have a long way to go after being blown out by Georgia, 49-3, in Week 1. The Cougars have a strong offensive line and defeated a solid No. 17 Baylor team in overtime, 26-20. Eugene is one of the toughest places to play, but it’s all about the Bo Nix show for the Ducks. If he plays well in the quarter, they win. If he doesn’t, well, you guessed it. Flip a coin.
No. 6 Oklahoma at Nebraska (1-2) +12: Why this game? History, tradition, fierce competition once upon a time. Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier, Greg Pruitt, Steve Owens, Turner Gill, Brian Bosworth, Keith Jackson. The list goes on and on. Two of the top 10 programs of all time. Best game ever: Thanksgiving, 1971, both undefeated in a Big Eight No. -31, with Pawtucket’s own Chris Schenkel on the ABC call. Now they are in different leagues and play maybe once every decade. So why is this remarkable? Because the Huskers just fired Frost and are now being coached by interim coach Mickey Joseph. Because it’s the 376th straight sellout at Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium dating back to 1962 and the first big test for new Sooners coach Brent Venables, that’s why I’ll be in Lincoln for kickoff. The Huskers not only cover, they win outright. Go Big Red!
Editor’s note: Due to an editing error, an earlier headline in this column said Notre Dame is 0-3. The Fighting Irish were 0-2 entering Saturday’s game, which they won.
This article originally appeared in The Providence Journal: Notre Dame football’s high ranking by Ken Schreiber is collapsing