The Chaos in College Football

The Chaos in College Football

Alexander Stuppel, Sports Columnist

Only four weeks into the College Football season, there have been a vast amount of losses in the AP Top 25. In fact, this year holds a new record for the most losses ever for AP top 25 teams. There have been exactly twenty-five losses by teams that have been ranked which is practically unheard of. Knowing that the AP poll started in 1936, this stat adds extra craziness to an already highly anticipated season since fans are back at full capacity. Expecting there will be even more losses this Saturday, college football is heading into a wide-open race for who will make the College Football Playoff and win the championship.

Looking at the past 10 years, this season, in particular, has the chance to offer a new change in the landscape of the sport. The University of Alabama has had a dynasty for about a decade, winning six of the championships in the past twelve years. But this year, they aren’t looking as dominant as usual. Only two weeks ago, they took a trip down to Gainesville, Florida to face the Gators. The Crimson Tide dominated in the first quarter, but the rest of the game was a different story. The Gators dominated the run game, rushing for a total of 244 yards, and stopped Alabama on several drives in the last three-quarters of the game. The clash ended in a close two-point win for Alabama (31-29), but if the Gators kicker had made the extra point he missed, the game would have gone into overtime. What I am leaning towards is that Alabama is more vulnerable than they have been in the past. With a top fifteen match-up against Ole Miss this weekend, it will be a true test of their team.

Another usual contender that has not played to their usual potential is the Clemson Tigers. In the last five years, they have disrupted Alabama’s dominance in the College Football Playoff, winning two national championships in that span. However, their star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, entered his name into the NFL Draft this past year and was drafted number one overall. With a new starter at that position, D.J. Uiagalelei, their offense has been as stagnant as possible. Scoring an unusual 21.8 points per game, they have not looked like a top twenty-five team. If anything, they are at best average so far this season. Another reason why the door is open for a team like Penn State, Oregon, Florida, Cincinnati, or Notre Dame.

The last team that should be mentioned in this uncommon football season is Ohio State. Similar to Clemson, their star quarterback from the year before, Justin Fields, was drafted by the Chicago Bears eleventh overall. This left head coach Ryan Day to adapt to his new freshman quarterback, C.J. Stroud. So far, they have had narrow wins versus Minnesota and Tulsa. But the ultimate reason why they have to be mentioned is their loss against Oregon, which is now number three in the country. They allowed way too many rushing yards, were not efficient on third down, and had numerous unnecessary penalty yards. As of now, they are ranked number eleven behind Florida, and if they can fix these disciplinary, defensive, and third-down issues, they can still make some noise at the end of the season. That is, however, if they can beat Michigan (which has not been a problem the last ten years) and win the Big Ten Conference.

Overall, this college football season has the chance to be one of the most exciting ever, or one of the most disappointing ever (depending on your favorite team). Whatever happens, the history of traditions is what makes college football such a great sport to be a fan of and be able to play. Hopefully, we see a new school, other than Alabama, achieve the status of ‘champion’. As of today, it seems like undefeated Georgia has the best shot to claim that title, but who knows due to how unpredictable the sport can be.

 

Works Cited:

“NCAA College Football Teams, Scores, Stats, News, Standings, Rumors – College Football.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, https://www.espn.com/college-football/. 

RUSSOAP , RALPH D. “Steady Dose of Same Reason for College Football Playoff Expansion.” Madison.com, 3 Dec. 2018, https://madison.com/sports/college/football/steady-dose-of-same-reason-for-college-football-playoff-expansion/article_db265ac8-c348-5db1-a096-df066ad3d369.html. 

Staff, The Athletic. “College Football Scores: Clemson Falls to No. 25 in AP Poll; Notre Dame, Arkansas Win Big; Oregon State Beats USC in La.” The Athletic, The Athletic, 26 Sept. 2021, https://theathletic.com/live-blogs/college-football-scores-live-updates-todays-schedule-for-top-25-teams-including-notre-dame-wisconsin-and-alabama/1mhTVCnpnQCA.