By Ryan Decker
Week 2 in College Football was tougher than a lot of teams and their fans would’ve hoped for.
After Week 1 was filled with games that should’ve been, and were, exciting matchups, this past weekend’s slate of games initially left a lot to be desired.
That’s to be expected, though. There’s always one week were the FBS schools, many from Power 5 conferences, pay an FCS school, or a team from a non-Power 5 conference, to come to the Big Boy’s house and get their butts kicked.
Last Saturday looked like it was going to have a lot of those types of games.
No. 1 Alabama v. Western Kentucky; No. 2 Clemson v. Troy; No. 9 Georgia v. Nicholls St.; No. 18 Notre Dame v. Nevada; No. 21 LSU v. Jacksonville St.; No. 22 Oklahoma State v. Central Michigan.
All these examples of games that likely should’ve been blowouts where the ranked team has its third stringers in for the whole fourth quarter.
None of the aforementioned games were decided by more than 30 points. Two of those games were decided by one touchdown or less, and as I’m sure you’ve seen by now, Oklahoma State came out on the losing side.
Sure the play that knocked off the Cowboys should’ve never happened, but the fact that the game was that close is still shocking.
Even games featuring unranked teams from one of the major conferences playing against FCS schools got too close for comfort, one example of that being West Virginia v. Youngstown St.
Outside of Oklahoma State, the only other ranked team to go down was fellow Big 12 team No. 15 TCU, but the Horned Frogs were playing against an SEC opponent in Arkansas.
So considering that only one ranked team fell victim to the Week 2 trap, it seems a bit absurd to completely overreact to all the close games. At the end of the day, a win’s a win, right?
Not so fast.
After all, most of these games should not have been games at all. You can’t get by solely at looking at the positives.
Take WVU v. Youngstown State, a game I covered and therefore watched very closely. As was pointed out in smokingmusket.com article, the game wasn’t overly encouraging.
However, disagreeing with the article, it was certainly concerning.
WVU’s defense gave up 400 yards of offense – prompting defensive coordinator Tony Gibson to apologize to previous Mountaineer defensive players – and had it not been for a tip by Shelton Gibson to throw the ball deep, the West Virginia offense may have continued to sputter like it did for much of the opening half.
There were more accurate reactions to close calls in the poll and power rankings.
Clemson fell to No. 5 in this week’s AP Top 25 poll after spending the first two weeks as the No. 2 team in the country. The Tigers also fell out of the top spot in the ACC power rankings, and could fall even further if they don’t have a strong showing this weekend against South Carolina St.
Notably, the Tigers offense needs to improve. Especially considering inside their own conference appear to be two of the top offenses in the nation in Florida St. and Louisville.
Oklahoma State’s loss not only dropped the Cowboys out of the Top 25, but it also dropped them to number 6 in the Big 12 power rankings.
Neither Clemson or OSU’s fall in the rankings are overreactions. Both fit the crime of not showing up for games you should win handedly.
Attempting not to overreact was part of the discussion of the Big 12 mailbag, in which Big 12 writers comment on questions from fans.
The Big 12 Conference as a whole has come under fire during the first two weeks of the season as possibly being the weakest it has ever been, but as Max Olson pointed out, it’s too early to foresee that just now and that losses by OSU and TCU have swayed public opinion a lot.
Although it’s easy to overreact to each outcome of your favorite team’s games, it’s good to keep in mind that it’s a long season. The entire thing isn’t defined by one game, especially at this point in the campaign.