Tuesday Takeaways 9/20
1. Don’t Sleep on the “Basketball Schools”
Let’s play a game. Headed into Week Four of college football season, what do these seven “basketball schools” have in common?
Give Up? How about that they’re all undefeated. That’s right, these perennial powerhouses of basketball and usual doormats of the college football universe are all off to HOT starts this season.
Some of these of course were to be expected. You have Mack Brown running the show at UNC, and Mark Stoops has been slowly turning around that Kentucky program, so those shouldn’t surprise you. But Duke? Syracuse? Kansas?! These programs are off to hot starts with no signs of slowing down.
Duke’s schedule hasn’t been anything crazy, but given that they easily beat Temple and handled the Big 10’s Northwestern, they deserve some credit.
Syracuse knocked off Louisville opening week, and beat Purdue in what might have been the “game of the week” in Week Three.
The Kansas Jayhawks, whose win total was previously listed at 2.5 for the entire season, has wins against West Virginia, and knocked off preseason top 25 Houston.
However, all good things must come to an end when Duke and Kansas will go head to head in Week Four, but keep an eye out for these seven programs. If these schools all end up bowl eligible come December, it’ll be time to start putting some respect on the name of these football programs.
2. ALABAMA... I Mean Georgia
We’re only three weeks into the season, and I addressed this after Week One, but the time may have come for Alabama to pass the crown.
Georgia not only beats teams – they embarrass them. Everything that we’ve thought about Alabama for the last decade is now what we should believe about Georgia.
Stetson Bennett is putting up numbers we haven’t seen since Patrick Mahomes and looking like CFB’s top QB this season. The defense that was due for a drop off after losing players to the NFL somehow improved – they didn’t rebuild, they reloaded.
Kirby Smart has built something in Athens that people will be talking about for a long time, and we anticipate watching the Dawgs go for several more national titles in the foreseeable future.
3. Time to give the PAC 12 real respect.
For the last few months, the PAC 12 has been the laughing stock of college football, and admittedly, I was a critic too. In Week One, Utah and Oregon both lost to SEC schools on national TV, and things were looking rough. BUT you have to give credit where credit’s due.
Since Week One, the PAC 12 has quietly become a force to be reckoned with. If you note some of the wins they’ve managed, it’s time to consider the PAC 12 may be the second best conference right now. (We know this sentiment won't last once the playoff conversation starts, but at least I can suggest it now.)
- USC looks like a powerhouse
- Washington has a legitimate quarterback in Michael Penix Jr, and embarrassed a once-considered Top 10 Michigan State
- Washington State went on the road to beat Wisconsin
- Oregon bounced back in a big way and dominated BYU
- Utah is STILL one of the best teams in the country, despite the loss to Florida
- Oregon State is no slouch
- UCLA is undefeated (they don’t look great, but still)
The PAC 12 is deep and they deserve some national respect for what they’ve done so far.
4. The future of the NFL is in good hands.
Look at this list of quarterbacks:
Buckle up, fam – I think we’ve got some good years of NFL ahead of us.
5. The Detroit Lions should be everyone’s second favorite team.. (outside of Green Bay, Minnesota and Chicago fans, of course)
There are very few times in sports that the loveable loser franchises can captivate a country. The Chicago Cubs. The Boston Red Sox. The Buffalo Bills of the 90’s. Similar to those franchises, this Detroit Lions team has the makeup of a team that makes it hard to root against them.
Head coach Dan Campbell is a man of the people. He’s emotional, he’s down to earth and more than anything, he just seems like a funny human. The Detroit fan base in itself is likable. They understand their franchise has been irrelevant for the better part of their existence, but year after year, they still show up and believe hard. Even quarterback Jarrod Goff is likable. He was shipped out of Los Angeles, only to watch his replacement have instant Super Bowl success after one season. It’s hard not to root for a guy like that.
I believe Detroit will have captured the hearts of America by the end of season. Good luck to ‘em!