Two weeks are in the books as the most anticipated week of college football officially hits us in week three. But we can’t merely judge the entire season off two short weeks, can we?
Teams often improve the most from week one to two, and now that we’ve seen two games from each team– except for Alabama – here’s what you shouldn’t overreact to heading into week three:
Alabama’s slow start: Everyone seemingly expects Alabama to dominate at every single position, but week one showed us the Tide may be somewhat vulnerable along the offensive line. What can we expect this week? Texas A&M isn’t Virginia Tech, and their front seven shouldn’t cause as much havoc as the Hokies did. We are underestimating Tech’s defense, and we’re overreacting to the dysfunction along Bama’s O-line. The Tide’s offense didn’t muster much over 200 total yards of offense, and the running game didn’t even reach 100 yards. But it all goes back to the O-line, and replacing three All-Americans is tougher than most think, despite the Johnny five-stars ready to be plugged in. The O-line play will improve, improving the both the running game and the passing game.
South Carolina’s defense: Steve Spurrier overreacted, but we’re not. How many quarterbacks left on the schedule can exploit personnel issues on defense like Georgia? Maybe Vandy’s Austyn Carta-Samuels, Mizzou’s James Franklin and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd. That’s it. So, to overreact to a weak performance against a top five offense in college football is premature. Lorenzo Ward and actual playing time will help develop the inexperienced linebackers, and the secondary won’t face a challenge like Aaron Murray until Clemson.
Tennessee’s 2-0 start: The Butch Jones era is thriving in Knoxville after two weeks. He’s rebranding the program, and they’re off to a 2-0 start…just like the last two bowl-less years. No doubt Jones is the guy, but let’s pump the breaks on the Vols winning seven or eight. Instead, let’s not even overreact to the Oregon outcome this weekend. Florida is the more accurate measuring stick in two weeks. There is reason for optimism, but make it guarded, because navigating one of the toughest schedules in the country will prove very difficult with average QB play.
Florida’s loss to Miami: Man, was the offense forgettable Saturday against Miami. Jeff Driskel is average at best; I get that. No team is set up to win with five turnovers, acknowledging Driskel was part of the turnover problem. Florida won 11 with Driskel last season by taking care of the ball and running it 75 percent of the time – or more. In fact, Florida was the 12th best offense last season in the SEC. Is it time to push the panic button? Let’s get through the Tennessee game and week four before we write the Gators completely off. Florida was all but eliminated from the national championship picture with the Miami loss, but the Gators have to get back to playing – and winning – ugly under Muschamp. The limitations at QB should prevent Florida from putting the ball in Driskel’s hands to win the game. Instead, they should use the athlete they have at QB running the ball and put it in the running game’s hands. That defense could be the best in college football.
Related: Here’s how to beat Florida
LSU’s offense: You’re quick to tell me that LSU beat an average TCU team and a cupcake in UAB; that’s what they’re supposed to do, right? Right. But last year’s LSU team may not beat TCU, and it doesn’t score 50-plus against UAB. I’m not overreacting to how good LSU is on offense, and I’m not overreacting to how good Zach Mettenberger has become. But LSU looks that good right now, and it would be hard-pressed not to argue they aren’t the favorites in the SEC after two weeks.
Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports