NCAA Football: Top 15 Lessons We Learned From Week 10
NCAA Football: 15 Lessons We Learned From Week 10
College Football is a crazy sport. There is nothing quite like the environment of a college football game. Sitting alongside 80,000 screaming fans and cheering on your alma mater is one of the greatest feelings in the world. There truly is nothing more satisfying than watching your school win a game that locks them in the BCS hunt.
Another week of the college football season has come and gone, but not without the excitement it promised.
Late in the season, no team is safe, and everyone must earn its right to become a national or conference champion. As the season goes on, the intensity of each game rises.
A number of games at this point in the season can make or break a team’s season. A win could put them in a BCS bowl, while a loss will seal what many would consider a disappointing season. For the not-so-lucky teams, they could be playing for pride, or to save a coach’s job.
Regardless of each team’s objectives, it makes for some pretty exciting football nonetheless. In week 10 we saw overtime games, upsets, blowouts and controversy. If you can name it, we saw it. Alabama narrowly escaped LSU in Baton Rouge; Michigan State battled with officials in a loss to Nebraska in East Lansing; TCU went for two in OT against WVU to steal the win in Morgantown; and many other high intensity games played out during week 10.
Every week the season seems to teach us something new, and week 10 was no different. Here are the 15 Lessons We Learned From Week 10.
No Team is Invincible
If there’s one thing this week taught us, it’s that no team is safe from an upset. There is no such thing as an unbeatable team. The mighty Crimson Tide was nearly upset against LSU.
While they didn’t lose, it goes to show that someone could potentially beat them. There is no such thing as a team that can’t lose. Even No. 1 Alabama had to come from behind to win, and if they trailed, they are capable of losing.
No. 2 Kansas State’s game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys was a little bit closer than they would have liked as well, and the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish nearly stumbled against the unranked Pittsburgh Panthers in overtime.
Any Player Can Breakout a Heisman Performance in Any Given Week
Week 10 showed us that in any given week, any player can break out an amazing performance.
Oregon RB Kenjon Barner ran for 123 yards on 15 carries and had 2 TDs against the No. 17 USC Trojans.
Georgia Bulldogs QB Aaron Murray was 21-of-28, with 384 yds passing and 4 TDs against Ole Miss.
Kansas State Wildcats DB Allen Chapman had 3 interceptions and a TD against Oklahoma State.
Every week there can be breakout performances from players that are under the radar.
Notre Dame Could Finally Win A National Championship Again
After years of complaining about the BCS system, and feeling left out in the rankings, Notre Dame is finally in a position to compete for a National Title.
What this weekend has shown me, is that Notre Dame is for real. They almost stumbled, but finished the game and took care of business. Now, there is a strong chance they will be competing in the National Championship in January.
Preseason Polls Really Don't Mean Anything
While watching college football this weekend, I noticed that a number of teams that started with a fairly high preseason ranking are no longer ranked, and are frankly having awful seasons.
The Michigan State Spartans were ranked preseason No. 13 in the AP Poll. They are now unranked with a record of 5-5.
The Michigan Wolverines were ranked preseason No. 8. They are now unranked with a record of 6-3.
The West Virginia Mountaineers were ranked preseason No. 11, and are now unranked with a record of 5-3.
The Arkansas Razorbacks were ranked No. 10, and are now unranked with a record of 4-5.
The Virginia Tech Hokies were ranked No. 16, and are now unranked with a record of 4-5.
These are just a few that come to mind.
This just serves as a reminder that the preseason polls are just a prediction. There is no way to truly know how a season will turn out.
Homefield Advantage is Overrated
There is definitely such a thing as home field advantage in college football. However, it does not guarantee a team a win.
But a number of teams lost at home this weekend.
Washington beat California on the road.
No. 16 Texas A&M beat No. 15 Mississippi State in Mississippi.
Pittsburgh nearly beat No. 3 Notre Dame in South Bend.
No. 23 Texas beat No. 18 Texas Tech in Lubbock.
No. 20 Nebraska beat Michigan State in East Lansing.
No. 4 Oregon beat No. 17 USC in California.
No. 1 Alabama beat No. 5 LSU in Baton Rouge.
That’s just to name a few.
Officials Have Too Much Influence Over The Outcome of Games
Yea, I’m talking about the Michigan State game. There were two very questionable calls late in the game that cost the Spartans a chance to win.
First, an interception return for a TD that would have sealed the game was called back for a personal foul. Then, the biggest call of the game came when a Michigan State defender was called for pass interference which appeared to be good defense.
Whether or not this directly affected the outcome of the game is questionable, but it did impact momentum. This happens far too frequently in the NCAA.
No Team or Player is Safe From Injuries
This week showed yet again that no team can avoid injuries. Kansas State QB, and previous Heisman Front-Runner, Collin Klein went down with an injury this week, and may not be 100 percent for next week’s game.
In addition to Klein, Georgia lost WR Marlon Brown for the rest of the season.
Sometimes It's Better to Be Lucky Than Good
This week in college football had a number of games decided by luck rather than talent.
Nebraska got some help from officials, while TCU went for a two point conversion down one in overtime against WVU. Notre Dame beat Pitt on a last chance play, and Alabama survived LSU.
Sometimes in college football, it’s better to be lucky than good.
Kickers as a Whole Are Underperforming
As a whole unit, NCAA Division I Kickers have underperformed.
No. 4 Oregon’s Kicker, Rob Beard, has made 4 FGs out of 8 attempted.
No. 3 Notre Dame’s Kicker, Kyle Brindza has made 17 out of 23 attempted.
No. 5 Georgia’s Kicker, Marshall Morgan has made 6 out of 9 attempted, and missed 4 extra points this season.
That’s just three of the top five teams in the country. It gets worse as the team's ranking goes down. There are exceptions, but for the most part, kickers need to step it up.
No NCAA Football Team Could Beat a Pro Team. Ever.
Week 10 showed that all of the talk about Alabama being able to beat an NFL team is ridiculous. The difference in size and speed between NFL players and College players is far too great to even be having this conversation.
Alabama has maybe five or six players on the team that will go pro. The Buffalo Bills have more 50 players that are pro.
Alabama has not lost a game yet, but looked vulnerable against LSU. If they had trouble with LSU, they wouldn’t stand a chance against a pro team.
Athletic Directors Do Not Tolerate Losing
University of Kentucky Head Coach, Joker Phillips was essentially fired yesterday, as the school announced he will not be returning after the season.
The Wildcats are 1-9 on the season, and 12-23 during Phillips’ reign at the school.
This is simply not good enough to cut it in the NCAA.
The Heisman Will Not Be Decided Until the End of the Season
Week 10 showed a new front-runner in the Heisman chase. This is the fourth that the front-runner for the Heisman changed.
At the beginning of the season USC QB Matt Barkley was the talk to win it, then WVU QB Geno Smith stole the spotlight, before KSU QB Collin Klein took it from him, and now Alabama QB A. J. Mccarron is said to have the advantage.
This just shows us that we won’t know who will win the Heisman until the last week of the regular season. It’s anybody’s game.
Oregon Looks Better Than Notre Dame
The argument can definitely be made after last week’s games that Oregon looks like a much stronger team than Notre Dame at the moment.
Notre Dame struggled to beat an unranked Pitt team, at home. Oregon demolished the No. 17 USC Trojans, away.
Alabama Can Be Beaten
Alabama is still undefeated, and still the national championship favorite at number one in all polls. However, they trailed LSU late in the fourth quarter, and made a great comeback to win.
This indicates vulnerability. It is still highly unlikely that the Crimson Tide loses, but it’s something to take note of. If they can trail, they can lose.
There is Nothing More Exciting Than College Overtime
I was lucky enough to be in attendance of the WVU/TCU OT game yesterday in Morgantown. It really made me realize that there is nothing quite like the intensity of college football overtime.
Nothing comes close in comparison to knowing every play could win or lose the game.
It’s also the most fair overtime I’ve seen in any sports, in the sense that both teams have a chance to win, which creates for added drama with double, even triple overtimes.