Early Takeaways From the College Football Season


Jalen Hurts is a standout at Oklahoma, but can he take his play to the next level in 2019? (Courtesy of Flickr)

Alexander Wolz, Contributing Writer

I am usually not one to make reactions so early into a season, but it’s hard not to make an exception for college football. With two weeks in the books, it is fair to evaluate where things are and predict where they will be in December. There have been big wins and some big upsets, so I want to take the time to highlight some of the key stories after the first two weeks of the College Football Season.

Clemson has not shown the same offensive dominance we are used to seeing, but they have been an absolute force on the defensive end, shutting down Texas A&M in a game that had some upset potential, especially after Clemson’s escape last year. With Syracuse struggling mightily against Maryland and no other threats in sight, Clemson should have a clear path to the College Football Playoff. I have a hard time seeing Clemson put up another perfect season, but it has become even harder to imagine anyone on the schedule taking down the Tigers.

Alabama, as expected, has taken care of some overmatched opponents. Ohio State has been surprisingly unstoppable, holding a talented Cincinnati team scoreless. Jalen Hurts has looked incredible at Oklahoma, and Georgia has had a comfortable start as expected. Florida overcame the struggles against Miami, with Feleipe Franks having the game he needed to restore some faith in the Gators.

Michigan overcame a scare against Army, but so did Oklahoma last year, and they ended up in the playoff. With Washington’s loss to California for the second straight year, it seems likely that Utah and Oregon will meet for the Pac-12 Championship, with the winner presumably having a chance at the Playoff. And perhaps most notably, LSU’s Joe Burrow threw for over 400 yards to get a win against the Longhorns. The nation is crowded with talented teams, and in terms of who will earn a spot in the Playoff, it will come down to who can win the big conference games later in the season

After what happened last year against Clemson, it is hard to imagine Alabama not making a return to avenge their loss in the Championship.
Jalen Hurts has looked far better than expected, and I like Oklahoma’s schedule a lot; they will just have to jump over the hurdle against Texas.
Notre Dame will play Michigan and Georgia, and if they can win one of those games and take care of business against Stanford, USC and Virginia, they will have a strong argument for the Playoff with one of the tougher schedules in the nation.
If Oregon can win the rest of the year, they will only have one loss to Auburn in a game in which they were predominantly the better side, and that should bode well for their chances at the Playoff.

I know it seems unlikely, but two perfect seasons are hard to come by, and I see an unsuspecting loss happening for Clemson, one which will look especially poor considering the lack of strength in the ACC.
The SEC is simply too crowded to produce more than one team. Georgia could very well be in the Playoff, but an SEC Championship loss to Alabama will likely be the deciding factor in missing the Playoff.