The top 25 held mostly steady this week after a week two of shuffling, and it’s probably going to stay pretty similar this week as well given that we’re in the “bye” week for most teams. The only team that managed to ply their way out of the top ten was Georgia, who failed to get over the Steve Spurrier hump yet again. It’s almost comical how often Spurrier beats the Bulldogs at this point, dating back to his Florida days.
Meanwhile, this could be a pretty telling week for two conferences: the ACC and the Big 12. Oklahoma and West Virginia play in what could be a deciding clash between the two. While West Virginia isn’t the undefeated team, Oklahoma is a bit untested despite having not lost yet. The Big 12 kind of needs an undefeated or one-loss team to take over if they want to make it to the college football playoff, and Baylor may end up being the last great hope.
The ACC also needs their juggernaut Florida State to beat Clemson without Jameis Winston in the first half, since he’s suspended. Clemson can sometimes play with FSU, and while this rendition of the Tigers doesn’t seem particularly dangerous, they’re still plenty talented. The ACC needs an undefeated team, and FSU is the likeliest candidate (Pitt and Duke aren’t going to get invited to any playoff). In a way, this is FSU’s only major test and they’re already down their best player.
Onto the rankings:
14 thoughts in 14 lines
Probably watching you a little more closely this weekend: Pittsburgh
Probably not watching you at all this weekend: Wake Forest
Thought you were good, you were: Baylor
Thought you were bad, you weren’t as bad: Kentucky
Game you couldn’t get a ticket for this week: Oklahoma vs West Virginia (7:30 PM on FOX)
Game no one wants a ticket for this week: Wake Forest v. Army
A little overrated: LSU
A little underrated: N.C. State
Lamb for slaughter: Eastern Michigan (vs Michigan State this week)
Smells like an upset: Virginia over BYU
Best power conference: SEC
Worst power conference: Big Ten
No need to panic: Georgia
Start freaking out: Iowa
So many feels for you in week 4: QBs and Concussions
It’s been a pretty interesting week in sports with the rash of domestic assault charges levied against prominent NFL players reaching a head, Jameis Winston reading too much 4chan (out loud), and Coach Edsall’s comments on game durations dominating headlines. But what quietly slipped through the headlines concerned an issue that was previously at the forefront of football controversy: concussions.
Two starting college quarterbacks have opted to walk away from football altogether after suffering a series of concussions through their respective careers. First, Connecticut QB Casey Cochran hug up the cleats (and his amazing mullet) after concussions knocked him out early in the season. Then on Wednesday, Texas’ starting quarterback David Ash also make the tough decision to abandon his football playing days in favor of health down the road.
I think we may finally be seeing a paradigm shift in football, starting at the lower levels of the game. Concussions are finally being viewed as what they are: life altering injuries that have unseen ramifications decades down the road. The research done at the professional level about the long-term impact of concussions on neurological performance is starting to sink in, and players are wisely deciding to quit while they’re ahead.
When have you ever heard of two starting quarterbacks at Division I colleges quitting because of a few concussions? It’s nearly unprecedented, but it’s an admiral thing to do nonetheless. Cochran and Ash are almost unofficial spokespeople for the movement to reconsider football in favor of being able to count when you’re older. Cochran may not have gotten much attention when he announced his decision, but Ash plays at Texas; when a Texas starter quits playing, everyone hears about it.
In a way, the sport needs that kind of publicity to let other kids know that it isn’t quitting when you quit while you’ve still got full mental capacity. It’s smart, which is what’s at risk when you try to play through a concussion.
College Football Haiku:
Jameis and Jimbo,
two biggest media trolls?
Story has crab legs.