Kevin’s Keen College Football Observations – Week 5

Kevin’s Keen College Football Observations – Week 5

(Philadelphia, Pa) — It’s weekends like this that make a college football playoff such a necessity. When 3 of the top 10 lose to unranked teams, and 8 ranked teams lose overall, something must be done. Once again it is such a shame that the greatest sport on the planet gets decided by computers. It is the dumbest system of all time. It just goes to show that preseason rankings are absolutely pointless, and that in 2008 any team can beat any team. USC loses to an Oregon St. team that has already lost to Stanford and at Penn St. by 31. Georgia is appointed the preseason #1 and goes down 31-0 at the half at home on Saturday. Florida had BCS aspirations but I’m not sure how they can make it now losing in The Swamp to an Ole Miss program that hasn’t even been to a bowl since Eli Manning. Add the 20 wins by non-BCS programs over BCS programs and I would say enough is enough. Don’t be fooled, a playoff system would be easier than the money mongering NCAA lets on, and a college football playoff would earn higher ratings than the regular bowl games. The fringe fans would watch more because one and done playoff systems are the most exciting. Everything rides on one game. Please NCAA do something about this!!!

Props for the Mountain West Conference – Last week I mentioned that I thought the Mountain West was the 4th best conference in the country this year. Turns out I was wrong, they are actually third. Only the SEC and Big 12 are better top to bottom this season. In fact, the champion of this league this year should get an automatic BCS berth. At this point what has ANYONE in the ACC do to deserve a bid, and we are still only in September. Besides South Florida and Penn St., what has anyone done in the Big East or Big Ten to deserve a BCS bid? A lot is riding on these two teams continuing their good early play. With USC losing to Oregon St., what has any team in the Pac-10 do deserve a bid? It has been clear every week of the year that this conference is deeper from beginning to end than the aforementioned conferences. BYU or Utah would firmly deserve their BCS bids if they were to run the table. Both have looked very good thus far and have done something that most of the “major” programs have not…played a true road game. A good game to watch this weekend is the Oregon St. at Utah match up. It would be interesting to see the reaction to a Utes win. Of course the pundits would say that Oregon St. just came off a big win and had a letdown. By the end of the year the Mountain West will have more teams in the Top 10 than the Pac-10, Big Ten, Big East, and ACC conferences.

Spartans running back needs more carries — What is Michigan St. trying to do to Javon Ringer’s draft rating? So far in 2008 Ringer has averaged 37.4 carries a game, including 40 per game over the last 4. Assuming he plays every game, and the Spartans make a bowl, he is on pace for 486 carries. That’s an awful lot for a senior running back. Because of the shorter careers for running backs, they are the one position that I understand why they leave school early. At this rate Ringer has a chance to have more carries this season than he did in his first 3 combined. Entering this year Ringer had 453 career rushes which is 33 less than his projected total for just this season. He is a good player but I would shy away from his wear and tear. Just like Ray Rice from last year, Ringer may fall apart even sooner at the next level because of his carry load in college, and for Ringer it’s just one season.

Wisconsin falls short — Most seasons it would be ok to lose to Michigan in the Big House. However, in 2008 with the Wolverines very young and inexperienced, it is not ok. And when you have a 19-0 lead at the half, and hold Michigan to 21 total yards and 5 turnovers in the first half, it is completely embarrassing. This is exactly what Wisconsin did on Saturday. It’s not surprising to see the Badgers getting knocked off, they were way overrated heading into this season, but this is not acceptable. This is supposed to be one of the better teams in the Big Ten and they lose the conference opener to a team that will probably struggle to make a bowl game. For the last time do not believe in this team until they at least get some brass and schedule a decent out of conference foe. You may say that they played Fresno St., but the Bulldogs haven’t exactly beaten anyone all that exciting either. A 1-3 Rutgers team, a 1-3 UCLA team, or a Toledo team (that just lost to Florida International at home) does not qualify. Good luck next year Wisky!

Where has the Badgers’ Hill Gone?? — Speaking of Wisconsin, what has happened to P.J. Hill over the last 3 games? After tearing up Akron for 210 yards on 26 carries in the season opener Hill has averaged only 79.7 yards per game and a paltry 3.6 yards per carry. For a team that cannot throw this is not a good sign. He is a big guy and can be tough to bring down, but he is very easy to stop. Not slow down, but stop. Since the Badgers have no passing game, future opponents are going to stack the box and shut down the run. The rest of the season could get very frustrating for Wisconsin. With a very weak Big Ten they still could get to 9 wins, but the method to stop this team has been drawn.

UConn experience different ends of the spectrum — Talk about a good and bad weekend for Connecticut. After coming from behind to beat Louisville 26-21 on Friday night the Huskies improved to 5-0. Although none of their wins were overly impressive, they still looked like a team that could challenge for the Big East crown. That may have changed after losing starting QB Tyler Lorenzen and TE Steve Brouse for 6-8 weeks. These two losses will really hurt their chances at a New Year’s Day or BCS bowl. The Huskies have a great running back in Donald Brown, and a very underrated and aggressive defense, but losing a veteran quarterback like Lorenzen could be too much to overcome. Just as UConn is heading into conference play, the confidence that they were playing with will now be changed to desperation. Mistakes must now come at an absolute minimum if they want to have a shot at the conference title.

Was it Navy or an unprepared Demon Deacons team — Of all the upsets that occurred last weekend, the one that really caught my eye was Navy win over Wake Forest, at Wake. It’s been a long time since these Demon Deacons have looked so unprepared for a game. Head Coach Jim Grobe is one of the best coaches in the country and usually has his team to play, but they looked like they completely did not take Navy seriously. You may say that after they beat Florida St. in Doak Campbell a week before they were primed for a letdown, but this is exactly what Grobe has been able to avoid over the last few years. They did make a run in the second half, but could not make up that much ground. They have a huge match-up with Clemson on October 9th, and I would say that Grobe will have his team ready to go against the Tigers.  Wake Forest may have looked bad, but how about how good Navy looked. The Midshipmen were able to move the ball up and down the field against a good defense and were able to beat a ranked team for the first time since 1985. So a year after they ended a 44-game losing streak to Notre Dame, Navy now ends another long drought. This was a huge win for first year coach Ken Niumatalolo after taking over for Paul Johnson who left for Georgia Tech. With the schedule becoming a little softer it appears that Navy is guaranteed another bowl appearance.

PSU’s former star recruit is back — Derrick Williams came to Penn St. as the #1 recruit in the country in 2005. In his first 3 seasons he had some flashes, but never has been able to put it all together and live up to the hype. Nittany Lion fans are now hoping that his performance Saturday night against Illinois is the sign of things to come for the rest of his senior year. Williams caught 6 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown, ran another 6 times for 33 yards and a score, and averaged 44 yards on 3 kick returns, one of those he brought back to the house.  All told Williams accumulated 241 total yards and scored 3 scores in the 3 different ways. He looked like the fastest player on the field and played with a confidence not always seen out of him. One thing is for certain, he is too dangerous of a player to not get 15-20 touches a game.   

Northwestern is the big surprise of the Big Ten — Finally, as anyone noticed who is the second undefeated team in the Big Ten? How about those Wildcats of Northwestern. That’s right, Northwestern has gotten off to a 5-0 start for the first time since 1962. I know beating Southern Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Duke, and Syracuse isn’t the most impressive 5-0, but you do still have to win all those games. Besides, who had the Wildcats 5-0 at the end of September? Once again, with the conference being as bad as it is, and Ohio St. and Illinois traveling to Evanston, they have a chance to get back to a New Year’s bowl. Their road schedule is one of the easier slates in the Big Ten, and they don’t even have Penn St. or Wisconsin on the schedule. It’s still early, but Northwestern fans everywhere should start getting excited about their team. 


Kevin Hornung is the College Football Editor for Taking It to the House and a chief scout for Great Blue North Draft Report.  To talk college football with Kevin drop him an email at


Author: lloydvance

Lloyd Vance is a NFL Writer, Analyst, Draft Expert, Researcher, and Historian. He serves as a Editor for "Taking It to the House and he covers the NFL on a daily basis. He is an Accredited Member of NFL Media and Philadelphia Eagles Media. Member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA), Pro Football Researchers Association (PFRA), and The Maxwell Football Club

2 thoughts on “Kevin’s Keen College Football Observations – Week 5”

  1. Hello Sports Fans!! This is Corey “AKA” The Coach. I told you all last week that week 4 would be the week of usets. Week 5 is going to be the week of suprises. Michigan St. running back Javon Ringer, needs to pray for a healthy season. His coach is destroying his body with excessive carries. The young man is a gifted running back. However, too many carries can take it’s toll on the body and hurt his draft status!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: