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Takeaways from College Football – Week Five


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Oct. 03, 2022 - 2:44 PM

Takeaways from College Football – Week Five

Mississippi State Athletics

# 17 Texas A&M, after barely escaping a loss last week against Arkansas, lost to the Fightin’ Cowbells of Mississippi State on the road, 42 – 24.

Eight teams in the Top 25 teams took a dive this week. Five were inevitable, as their loss was to another team in the Top 25. Three, however, were not: two were somewhat understandable, but the third was inexplicable.

Understandable: # 17 Texas A&M, after barely escaping a loss last week against Arkansas, lost to the Fightin’ Cowbells of Mississippi State on the road, 42 – 24. With Alabama looming next week, it’s going to be difficult for grossly-overpaid Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies to keep their heads above water the rest of the season.

Understandable: # 21 Minnesota lost to unranked Purdue, 20 – 10. Understandable in the sense that, well, they’re Minnesota.

Inexplicable: # 24 Pittsburgh lost – IN PITTSBURGH – to Georgia Tech, 26 – 21. The same Yellow Jacket team that fired its coach earlier in the week because – let’s face it – the team was horrible.

One takeaway from the game: last year’s ACC champion won’t be repeating this year.

As for the other five games:

  • # 22 Wake Forest took care of # 23 FSU in Tallahassee. The fact that a Seminole squad attempted an unnecessary two-point conversion because they didn’t think their kicker could convert the extra point after doesn’t bode well for a team hoping to return to prominence this season.
  • # 10 North Carolina State lost to # 5 Clemson, 30 – 20. It was the Wolfpack’s first Top 10 matchup in history, and from the looks of things, their last. I sort of implied something to that effect last week when I mentioned what a surprise it was to see them ranked in the Top 10.
  • # 2 Alabama beat # 20 Arkansas, 49 – 26, and they did it without their starting quarterback, Bryce Young, who left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury. It turns out they didn’t need him, thanks to three runs of 70+ yards – two of them for touchdowns – in the fourth quarter.
  • # 9 Oklahoma State took care of the FIghtin’ Bananas (if you saw their uniforms you’d understand) of # 16 Baylor, 36 – 25. Other than the bright yellow costumes, the game was otherwise pretty bland.
  • # 7 Kentucky, beginning their anticipated late-season swoon a few weeks early, fell to # 14 Ole Miss, 22 – 19. Wildcat quarterback Wayne Levis coughed up the ball on the team’s last two possessions, both deep in Rebel territory, putting a slight damper on his NFL aspirations.

In SEC games:

The good news for fans in Columbia: a win! South Carolina – 50, South Carolina State – 10. There is a rumor going around that State’s team was actually the Gamecock’s third string in disguise. Coach Shane Beamer failed to mention that in his post-game comments, however. Maybe he forgot. Now for the bad news: two more interceptions for QB Spencer Rattler, bringing his totals this season to four touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Remember, first one to reach 10 determines his fate for the rest of the season.

Good news in Missouri: the Tigers led the # 1 Georgia Bulldogs for the first 56 minutes of their game in Columbia (the other Columbia that’s in Missouri). The bad news: Georgia was ahead by four points when the clock hit :00. For a team that fired on all cylinders in every game during the regular season last year, that hasn’t been the case for the top team in the nation the last two weeks. Cause for concern, perhaps.

One thing I expected out of the LSU-Auburn game was a Tiger victory, and I was right: Tigers – 21, Tigers – 17. In a game matching two coaches with the same first name, the one who spells it wrong, Auburn’s Bryan Harsin, came out on the losing end. Meanwhile, the noose around LSU coach Brian Kelly’s neck is loosening up a bit. At least for the moment.

In the Big Ten:

The ‘Big Three’ in the Eastern Division – Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State – all won with ease and improved their records to 5 – 0.

In the Western Division, there is no clear cut ‘flavor of the month’ since the regular rotation of Wisconsin and Minnesota are both having theirs ups and downs this year. Right now, the best team in the west is anyone’s guess.

Meanwhile, three time zones away, over in the Pac-12:

Four teams remain undefeated in conference play: # 6 USC, UCLA (beating # 15 Washington), # 12 Utah, and # 13 Oregon. USC and UCLA are both 5 – 0 at this point, raising speculation that their rivalry game at the end of the season may be significant for the first time in over a generation.

Who knows: the Pac-12 Champion may even make it to the playoffs this season. Stranger things have happened out west. In 1984, the BYU Cougars finished their season undefeated with a win over a .500 Michigan team in the Holiday Bowl as early as December 21. Then, after the traditional New Year’s day bowl games, BYU was awarded the National Championship.

Speaking of 5 – 0:

Surprisingly, Kansas is undefeated as well after five games this season. ESPN is so impressed they’ve decided to have Gameday in Lawrence, Kansas, next week as the Jayhawks take on Texas Christian. However, don’t be surprised if Kansas doesn’t win another game the rest of the season. After TCU, they play (in order) Oklahoma, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas, and Kansas State. Remember, you heard it here first.

Speaking of TCU:

The Horned Frogs demolished # 18 Oklahoma, 55 – 24. In first-year Sooner coach Brent Venables defense, the team did lose their last two starting quarterbacks through the transfer portal to USC: Spencer Rattler to the one in South Carolina, and Caleb Williams to the one in Southern California.

HOWEVER, this is the same Brent Venables who was Clemson’s defensive coordinator for their National Championship teams in 2016 and 2018, which brings up this point: how in the world did Oklahoma surrender 41 points to TCU in the first half alone?

After last week’s loss to Kansas State (incidentally, Brent Venables’ alma mater), don’t be surprised in Oklahoma turns out to be the next Nebraska.

And we all know about the Huskers steady fall from grace over the last couple of decades. It’s possible that Venables could become the next Scott Frost.


Scott Ludwig lives, runs, and writes in Senoia. His latest book, SOUTHERN COMFORT is his second collection of 101 columns. His first, SOUTHERN CHARM, and all of his other books can be found on his author page on Amazon. He can be reached at magicludwig1@gmail.com