TD’s Takeaways- Week 4

The Sooners were off, but there was no shortage of action on a fantastic college football weekend! Here’s what stood out to me.

Gig ’em Aggies!

am-arkansas
The victorious QB!

Yes, that is a Texas A&M Aggies polo. No, I don’t have any shame wearing it! For one season, I’m an Aggie fan for one reason: Trevor Knight. Only for Tavares O’Willinghamn would the current and former residents of Ann Arbor Dr. drive to roadtrip to Dallas for a reunion. Of personal note, I cannot put into words how proud I was to watch my best friend and longtime roommate lead his team to quite an impressive victory. Fans have no idea the ups and downs my man has gone through the past few years, and he’s handled it all with nothing but class! Now he’s reaping the rewards for that perseverance, and he deserves every bit of it.

Besides me being an unabashed Trevor homer, I was objectively very impressed with A&M. Not just with the outcome of the game, but with HOW they won. They pulled away in the second half, and they did it by running the ball and stopping the run. This is a team that was highly criticized throughout the offseason for their inability to accomplish both of those tasks in 2015. To be able to win in the running game against an Arkansas team that is known for its physicality is no small feat. In the first four weeks of the season, the Aggies have proved that they are a good football team. Now, in the next month, we will find out just how good they are. First a road trip to South Carolina that they will be heavily favored in. Then they are back home to host Tennessee in Showdown #1, before they rest up on their bye week, then take on Bama in Showdown #2. A month from now, we will know more about the Aggies!

 Preseason Predictions

The first four weeks of the season proved once again a fact that college football fans know to be true: Preseason predictions mean nothing. Three teams that were in the AP preseason top 10 have now completely dropped out of the poll with 7 losses between the three of them (OU, LSU, Notre Dame). Meanwhile, two teams currently in the AP top ten were not even ranked in the preseason (Wisconsin and A&M). Furthermore, teams like Louisville and Houston that were in the middle of the preseason poll are now cemented near the top. Four of the top ten teams in the nation were ranked 15th or lower to start the year! What does this mean to me? It’s impossible to predict how good a team will be on paper. You can look at returning starters and recruiting classes and all the other indicators, but those factors don’t tell the whole story. Intangible qualities like chemistry and leadership, as well as the offseason development of individual players (i.e. Lamar Jackson), are not revealed until the ball kicks off in September.

Beware! The current poll should not be regarded as law either! A good group of teams with poor OOC schedules have still not been tested whatsoever. Some teams that have fallen out will assuredly be back, while others that are currently highly ranked will lose some games and maybe even fall out of the poll. It’s still too soon to tell! In the next month, several teams go through absolutely brutal scheduling stretches, such as Tennessee (@UGA, @TAMU, Bama), Clemson (Louisville, @FSU), and Wisconsin (@Michigan, Ohio St, @Iowa, Nebraska). For a lot of teams, this is where the rubber meets the road!

The Coaching Carousel Gets Started Early

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The Mad Hatter

Just four games into the season, and major coaching changes have already been made, with more to come. Les Miles was summarily fired after LSU lost a heartbreaker to Auburn while struggling mightily offensively once again. Les Miles is without a doubt a heck of a coach, and he has had an incredible run with the Tigers. As much as I hate what it says about the nature of the coaching profession, I also understand why LSU made the decision that they did. LSU has been as talented if not more talented than every other team in the nation the past few years, and they haven’t won to the level that has come to be expected there. Miles will definitely be at the helm of another elite program in the near future, and both sides will be just fine in the long run.

What I am more interested in is the repercussive effect is has on the rest of the college football world. Rumors are already swirling regarding the candidacy of Tom Herman, Art Briles, and Jimbo Fisher. Everyone will deny having made contact, but who knows what’s really going on behind the scenes. A sub plot is how this changes the recruiting landscape. There is no doubt that many of LSU’s top commits will reopen their commitment, which will lead to a redistribution of talent that could have a significant impact.

 

Now, I will settle in for the night and tune in to watch the first presidential debate! Regardless of how you feel about the candidates, pray for the future of our nation!

God bless,

TD

 

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