Story Poster
Photo by Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Texas A&M Football

Around CFB: Distinguished or extinguished? Checking in on preseason expectations

November 9, 2021
4,239

In college football, September is a time for speculation. November is a time for confirmation.

With that in mind let’s reflect back on the preseason Associated Press poll to look at the teams that are distinguished and those that have been extinguished.

Translation: Let’s review which teams are most disappointing, which are exceeding expectations and those that are just about right.

Distinguished

Georgia: The Bulldogs opened at No. 5. They’re now 9-0, have held every opponent to 13 points or less and are a unanimous choice at No. 1.

Michigan State: The Spartans opened unranked. They were worthier after their first eight games, which included a come-from-behind victory over Michigan. Even after falling to Purdue, Michigan State is 8-1 and ranked No. 8.

Michigan: The Wolverines also started unranked. They’re now 8-1 and No. 9 after blowing a big lead to Michigan State.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman has led the Demon Deacons to one of the best seasons in school history. 

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys were listed first on “others receiving votes” in the preseason rankings. So, there’s that. Maybe the schedule has been soft, but Oklahoma State has moved up to No. 10 with an 8-1 record.

Wake Forest: Wake Forest wasn’t even listed among “others receiving votes.” A dynamic offense has resulted in an 8-1 record and No. 13 rankings. The ACC is weak. But, hey, it’s Wake Forest.

Extinguished

North Carolina: The Tar Heels opened No. 10. Now 5-4 and unranked. They will get in a second-tier bowl game, but nothing more.

Florida: The Gators lost to South Carolina. Reread that. Florida was No 13 to start but is now 4-5. They need to win two of three against Samford, Missouri and Florida State to be bowl eligible. The Gators figure to accomplish that. Of course, they figured to beat South Carolina.

Indiana: Ranked No. 17 to start the season, the Hoosiers are unranked at 2-7. Woof.

Clemson: The Tigers opened ranked No. 3. They lost to Georgia. No shame there. Then, they struggled to beat Georgia Tech and Syracuse and lost to NC State and Pitt. They won’t win the ACC Atlantic Division race. They are bowl eligible, but that’s little consolation for a team that started in the top five.

Texas: The Longhorns were ranked No. 15 going into their second game. They were blown out by Arkansas. Three straight victories over Rice, Texas Tech and TCU launched them back into the rankings. Texas was back. Then, they blew a big lead and lost to Oklahoma. Losses to Oklahoma State, Baylor and Iowa State followed. The Longhorns are 4-5 and could fail to attain bowl eligibility. Five losses killed Texas’ hopes of finishing ranked in the polls. You might say the four-game losing streak was a poll assassin.

Just about right

Injuries to starting quarterback Haynes King and throughout the offensive line led to losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State. The Aggies have since recovered and are on a four-game winning streak that includes victories over Alabama and Auburn.

Oklahoma: The Sooners are ranked No. 2 after opening No. 4. They’re probably not that good, but a tissue-thin schedule ensures double-digit victories.

Ohio State: The 8-1 Buckeyes have dropped two spots since opening at No. 4.

Texas A&M: Injuries to starting quarterback Haynes King and throughout the offensive line led to losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State. The Aggies have since recovered and are on a four-game winning streak that includes victories over Alabama and Auburn. They dropped from an original No. 6 ranking to out of the polls and are now back up to No. 11.

Alabama: Seemingly every year Alabama opens No. 1. The Tide have just one loss. That was on the road against No. 11 A&M via a game-winning field goal. The No. 3 current ranking is reasonable.

Iowa: Originally ranked No. 18, the Hawkeyes climbed as high as No. 2. Consecutive losses to Purdue and Wisconsin dropped them out of the Top 20. A win over Northwestern brought Iowa back to No. 19.

Heisman watch (If my vote was due today)

1. Kenneth Walker, Michigan State, RB: Even in an upset loss to Purdue, Walker rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown. He leads the nation with 1,340 rushing yards and has run for 15 touchdowns.

2. Bryce Young, Alabama, QB: In a much-closer-than-expected 20-14 victory over LSU, Young passed for 302 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, he’s thrown for 2,755 yards, while completing almost 75 percent of his throws. He has 28 touchdown passes and just three interceptions.

3. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, QB: Stroud passed for 405 yards and two touchdowns in a 26-17 victory over Nebraska. He’s passed for 2,675 yards and 25 touchdowns with five interceptions.

William Howard-USA TODAY Sports
Pickett is currently in the top three of the ACC for total yards, completion percentage and touchdowns. 

4. Matt Corral, Ole Miss, QB: Corral completed 20 of 27 passes for 324 yards and a touchdown in a 27-14 victory over Liberty. Overall, he’s passed for 2,527 yards and 16 touchdowns with two interceptions. He’s also 528 yards and 10 TDs.

5. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh, QB: In the last two games, Pickett has thrown for 935 yards and six touchdowns. He had 416 passing yards and three TDs in a 54-29 victory over Duke last week. Overall, Pickett has passed for 3,171 yards and 29 touchdowns with three interceptions.

Predicted playoff participants

1. Georgia: The Bulldogs defense has allowed just 52 points all season.

2. Ohio State: If the Buckeyes finish with consecutive wins over Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan and in the Big Ten championship game they will have too many big wins to be rated lower.

3. Oklahoma: The Sooners always get a pass despite weak schedules. They aren’t impressive but probably won’t lose in the anemic Big 12.

4. Cincinnati: A two-loss Alabama, Texas A&M or Oregon would be more deserving, but the committee likely would bow to political pressure to include the Bearcats if they’re undefeated.

Games to watch

No. 19 NC State at No. 9 Wake Forest: A de facto championship game in the ACC Atlantic Division. Wake Forest has a high-scoring offense. NC State is sound on defense.

No. 10 Notre Dame at Virginia: The Cavaliers at home look like the greatest remaining test for one-loss Notre Dame.

No. 7 Michigan at Penn State: Wolverines have lost three of last four against the Nits and typically struggle at Happy Valley.

No. 14 Texas A&M at No. 16 Ole Miss: The Aggies seek a fifth straight victory, but nothing ever comes easy for them in Oxford.

No. 20 Minnesota at No. 22 Iowa: Gophers and Hawkeyes are part of a 4-2 logjam with Wisconsin and Purdue in the Big Ten West race. The winner remains in contention.

Discussion from...

Around CFB: Distinguished or extinguished? Checking in on preseason expectations

2,485 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 7 mo ago by ChiefHaus
manlyaggie
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Olin, I hope you are not being prophetic saying A&M will lose to Ole Miss... I think you meant we lost to Arkansas and Miss State...
Meximan
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Are y'all SURE y'all don't need a new set of eyes proofreading articles?!
redjalapeno-87
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Meximan said:

Are y'all SURE y'all don't need a new set of eyes proofreading articles?!

Proofreaders? TexAgs ain't got time for that!
ChiefHaus
How long do you want to ignore this user?
You might say the four-game losing streak was a poll assassin.
Refresh
Page 1 of 1
 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.