College Football Playoff Week 2 Review

posted September 15, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Brad Hayes

It was supposed to be a fairly quiet week with no top 25 matchups and many top teams lining up against considerably weaker opponents.  However, college football proved once and again that it never fails to disappoint.  Intriguing rivalry games that went down to the wire, top teams struggling to get past “cupcakes,” and a matchup at Bristol Motor Speedway in front of a record-breaking crowd of more than 156,000 fans headlined another wild week in NCAA football.

 

Playoff Favorites

Rankings reflective of AP poll

(1) Alabama Crimson Tide

Last Week’s Ranking:  #1

Record:  2-0

Week 2 Result:  WIN, 38-10 vs. Western Kentucky (1-1)

Week 3 Matchup:  Sept. 17 at #19 Ole Miss (1-1)

Making his first career start, freshman Jalen Hurts picked up right where he left off against USC, passing for 287 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-point victory over the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky.  The Tide started slow, staggering out to a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter, but in true Crimson Tide fashion, the defense, aided by Eddie Jackson’s 55-yard pick-six, jumpstarted a dominant second half. After Nick Saban’s “ass-chewing” of offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, expect the Crimson Tide to show more of their cards offensively as they look to avenge two straight losses against Ole Miss this Saturday in Oxford.

 

(2) Florida State Seminoles                                               

Last Week’s Ranking:  #3

Record:  2-0

Week 2 Result:  WIN, 52-8 vs. Charleston Southern (1-2)

Week 3 Matchup:  Sept. 17 at #10 Louisville (2-0) 

Coming off a short week following a thrilling comeback against Ole Miss, the Seminoles showed no sign of fatigue, easily handling Charleston Southern 52-8.  Deondre Francois again turned in a convincing outing, throwing for 262 yards and three touchdowns, as Florida State built a 28-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.  Dalvin Cook tacked on another 83 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, but a knee injury (torn meniscus) to star safety Derwin James will leave ‘Noles secondary vulnerable heading into this week’s huge early season ACC clash against Louisville.

 

(3) Ohio State Buckeyes                                                   

Last Week’s Ranking:  #4

Record:  2-0

Week 2 Result:  WIN, 48-3 vs. Tulsa (1-1)

Week 3 Matchup:  Sept. 17 at #14 Oklahoma (1-1)

Offense was definitely not the story, at least in the first half, for Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes.  Mustering out to a 6-3 lead with the second quarter dwindling down, a pair of interceptions returned touchdowns by Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore quickly propelled OSU to a 17-point advantage at the halfway mark.  J.T. Barrett and the offense finally got the ball rolling, adding four straight rushing touchdowns to finish the day with 268 yards on the ground.  A defense that has not allowed a touchdown in the first two games faces their first real test when they travel to Norman to face off against Baker Mayfield’s high-powered Oklahoma offense.

 

(4) Michigan Wolverines

Last Week’s Ranking:  #5

Record:  2-0

Week 2 Result:  WIN, 51-14 vs. UCF (1-1)

Week 3 Matchup:  Sept. 17 vs. Colorado (2-0)

A week after smashing Hawaii 63-3, Jim Harbaugh’s team again came out firing.  Behind Wilton Speight’s 312 passing yards and four touchdowns, the Wolverines cruised to a 37-point victory Saturday over UCF.  Jake Butt also added two TD receptions as the Wolverines have now won their first two games by a total of 97 points.  Heading into a matchup against an underwhelming Colorado Buffaloes team, the maize-and-blue should continue to keep rolling.

 

On the Outside Looking In

(5) Clemson Tigers                                                             

Last Week’s Ranking:  #2

Record:  2-0

Week 2 Result:  WIN, 30-24 vs. Troy (1-1)

Week 3 Matchup:  Sept. 17 vs. South Carolina State (0-2)

Simply put, the Tigers are not a playoff team after the first two weeks of the college football season.  After struggling to survive last week against Auburn, Deshaun Watson and company did little to impress again Saturday, edging out a pesky Troy team by only six.  Although Dabo Swinney’s bunch accounted for 414 yards of total offense, key turnovers, including two interceptions by Watson, continue to hold back this team.  The good news is that the Tigers are 2-0, but with conference play right around the corner, problems need to be addressed to prevent a further slide down the polls.

 

(6) Houston Cougars

Last Week’s Ranking:  #6

Record:  2-0

Week 2 Result:  WIN, 42-0 vs. Lamar (0-2)

Week 3 Matchup:  Sept. 15 at Cincinnati (2-0)

No Greg Ward Jr.?  No problem!  After upsetting Oklahoma and injuring his shoulder in the process, the Cougars’ star quarterback sat out Saturday’s game, allowing backup Kyle Postma to take his place.  Houston did not miss a beat, rushing for 381 yards and shutting out Lamar 42-0.  Tom Herman’s guys are on a roll—the only thing proven to slow them down so far has been the weather, with a 3 1/2-hour lightning delay last Saturday.

 

(7) Stanford Cardinal

Last Week’s Ranking:  #7

Record:  1-0

Week 2 Result:  BYE

Week 3 Matchup:  Sept. 17 vs. USC (1-1)

The Cardinal, led by Christian McCaffrey, got off to a 1-0 start before their bye week.  With extra practice time to prepare for an important early season matchup against conference foe USC, David Shaw’s team looks to continue their success under new quarterback Ryan Burns.

 

(8) Washington Huskies

Last Week’s Ranking:  #8

Record:  2-0

Week 2 Result:  WIN, 59-14 vs. Idaho (1-1)

Week 3 Matchup:  Sept. 17 vs. Portland State (1-1)

En route to leading the Huskies to a second consecutive blowout victory, Jake Browning threw for 294 yards and five touchdowns again without seeing the field in the fourth quarter.  Head Coach Chris Petersen’s offense has been red hot dating back to November of last season, resulting in the Huskies’ highest ranking in 15 years.  The true test will come in two weeks when conference play kicks off, but “UDub” is a sneaky team. 

 

Rest of the Rankings

9

Wisconsin

2-0

10

Louisville

2-0

11

Texas

2-0

12

Michigan State

1-0

13

Iowa

2-0

14

Oklahoma

1-1

15

Tennessee

2-0

16

Georgia

2-0

17

Texas A&M

2-0

18

Notre Dame

1-1

19

Ole Miss

1-1

20

LSU

1-1

21

Baylor

2-0

22

Oregon

2-0

23

Florida

2-0

24

Arkansas

2-0

25

Miami

2-0

 

 

Brad Hayes is a junior at Penn State University majoring in broadcast journalism.  To contact him, email bradhayes10@outlook.com