College football Week 4 roundup with the 5 things that matter, winners and losers, overrated and underrated aspects to the weekend, and what it all means
College Football Week 4 Roundup
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– Beating Sparty One Really Big Thing
– Georgia-Kent State Most Overrated Thing
– Cincinnati is good? Most Underrated Thing
– Who’s the 4th CFP team? What It All Means, Week 4
Winners & Losers From Week 4
Winner: James Madison
Who leads the nation in run defense? By a mile it’s the newbie to the FBS world.
James Madison is allowing just 28 yards per game. Appalachian State ran over Texas A&M for 181 yards in its 17-14 win a few weeks ago. It ran for just 63 in its 32-28 home loss to the Dukes.
By the way, JMU – who also destroyed the Middle Tennessee team that just beat Miami – is still unbeaten. Texas A&M isn’t.
We were right there with you, Tulane.
The Green Wave started the season 3-0 with a great win at Kansas State. We would’ve loved to have ranked them over K-State, and then Oklahoma – who lost to the Wildcats this weekend – and make them a national thing, but …
Southern Miss 27, Tulane 24.
Winner: Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei & Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman
Everyone wants to bench DJ Uiagalelei for super-recruit Cade Klubnik, and everyone want to blame him – at least partially – for Clemson’s offensive woes.
All he did against Wake Forest was potentially save the season, throwing for 371 yards and five touchdowns with no picks. He also ran for 52 yards in the 51-45 double overtime win.
Sam Hartman came back a few weeks ago from his blood clotting issue, and he almost pulled it off against the Tigers. He threw for 337 yards and six touchdowns without an interception.
Loser: UMass passing game
Without getting too deep into it, you have to be awful at throwing the football to have a passer rating lower than 90. UConn threw 17 picks and didn’t go down the field last year, and it was the nation’s least efficient attack with a 92.32 rating. 2020 Bowling Green and 2019 Northwestern finished in the 80s.
After four games, UMass has completed 47% of its passes for 240 yards with one touchdown and six interceptions for a rating of 62.5.
Winner: Air Force running game
Air Force led the nation with 328 rushing yards per game last season. That’s what it does. It led the nation in 2020, was second behind Navy in 2019, was third in 2018, fourth in 2017, and it keeps going from there.
Minnesota is second in the nation averaging 295 rushing yards per game. Air Force? After hitting Nevada for 461 yards and the third five-touchdown game of the four so far, it’s averaging 412 rushing yards per game.
Loser: Colorado run defense
It’s no fun to keep hammering on Colorado. It’s one of the nation’s most beautiful schools, everyone around the football program is great, and this team is really, really struggling against the run.
Hawaii is having problems. It’s giving up 261 rushing yards per game – the second-most in the nation.
Colorado has allowed 1,293 rushing yards in four games. It’s giving up 323 yards an outing, allowing seven yards per carry, and gave up 16 touchdowns. That’s more yards than eight teams allowed in 13 or more games in all of 2021.
Winner: Michigan RB Blake Corum
He’s not the best back in college football right now – shhhhhh, it’s not popular to go here in a Bijan world, but Chase Brown of Illinois has been wonderful. However, Corum is on the hottest run with a nation-leading nine touchdowns.
He got one in each of the first two games and came up with five in the win over UConn – but that’s UConn. Against Maryland, with the team needing a steady force, he carried it 30 times for 243 yards and two scores in the win.
Loser: Houston penalties
Penalties aren’t the whole reason why Houston has been one of the stranger disappointments of the young 2022 season, but they’re not a plus.
It managed to slip past Rice, but it gave away 110 yards on ten penalties in the process. That way hardly an outsider with ten or more sins committed in each of the first four games.
Next up: Tulane. It’s been flagged just 15 times in four game for 120 yards. Houston gave up 121 yards in penalties a few weeks ago in the loss to Texas Tech.
NEXT: The really big Week 4 thing was …
The Really Big Week 4 Thing Was …
Just how good is Michigan State?
That matters, because there are two unbeaten teams out there who now look like potential world-beaters because of what they did against the Spartans.
Washington was fine in wins over Kent State and Portland State, and then BOOM.
Michael Penix Jr. looked like a Heisman candidate, the offense was unstoppable, and the defense held up great in a 39-28 against Michigan State in a game that wasn’t even close to being as good as the final score.
The Huskies beat Stanford 40-22, they’ve got a relatively favorable schedule ahead – no USC, no Utah – and it all might come down to this Friday’s trip to UCLA and the mid-November date at Oregon before finishing up with Washington State.
But this week, it was Minnesota that was incredible.
Washington got Michigan State in Seattle, there was the time change, the long flight, and all the parts of making that big trip.
Minnesota went into East Lansing, made biscuits, ate them, and didn’t leave any for the Spartans.
It was 14-0 in the first quarter. It was 34-0 with 20 seconds to play before Michigan State came up with a sad college try touchdown pass.
The Gophers outgained the Spartans 508 yards to 240, forced three takeaways, allowed just 38 rushing yards, and totally dominated in every way.
And now, look at the schedule: Purdue, at Illinois, at Penn State, Rutgers, at Nebraska, Northwestern, Iowa, and at Wisconsin.
There are problems – going to Happy Valley and Camp Randall could screw things up, and watch out for Purdue and Illinois – but there’s no Ohio State, and there’s no Michigan.
Maybe the last two weeks were a sign that the Gophers and Huskies are destined to meet in the Rose Bowl?
Or maybe Michigan State just isn’t that great.
At least for now, Minnesota and Washington fans are enjoying assuming the former.
NEXT: The most overrated thing was …
The Most Overrated Thing Was …
Oh no, Georgia only won by 17 over a MAC team … swarm … SWARM!
Brock Bowers – a tight end, and a great one – ran for a 75-yard touchdown on the second play of the game. Georgia never trailed, it wasn’t in any real danger, and it won easily in a 39-22 win over Kent State.
And no Georgia’s national championship hopes are apparently dashed.
Ohio State put 77 on Toledo two weeks ago and scored 52 on Wisconsin because it apparently didn’t feel like scoring 62. It has been fantastic so far.
Alabama bounced back after the Texas close call to destroy a few awful teams, and others without the giant national expectations – Minnesota, Syracuse, UCLA – are doing just fine.
But Georgia didn’t totally annihilate Kent State? There’s always basketball season.
Georgia destroyed a fabulous Oregon team. It destroyed a strong South Carolina. It started the season 3-0 with about as flawless a run as anyone could’ve possibly asked for.
It rolled up 529 yards of total offense last week, connected on 7-of-12 third down tries, and it had a strong balance to keep it all moving.
Yeah, it turned it over three times. Yeah, the defense gave up a big play to a team known for coming up with big plays. It wasn’t a perfect game, and there are certainly things to work on, but it’s as if the college football world is taking this one unfocused effort as a sign that Georgia is now somehow vulnerable.
Now, if there’s a problem a Missouri this week, or if there are any hiccups against Auburn or Vanderbilt to follow, then we’ll talk.
Until then, see you in Los Angeles on January 9th.
NEXT: The most underrated thing was …
The Most Underrated Thing Was …
Is Cincinnati good again?
The split-second the final gun went off and a strong Arkansas team survived Cincinnati 31-24 in the season opener, America totally memory dumped the team that made it to the College Football Playoff last year.
And why not? There was a total overhaul of talent, and the repeat playoff shot was over before the season started.
Beating Kennesaw State and Miami University barely generated a sideways glance, and then Indiana came to town.
Yeah, it’s just Indiana, but it was 3-0, had a nice comeback win over a solid Illinois team, and it’s still the Big Ten coming into Cincinnati’s house.
There were no issues, it was 38-10 at halftime, Ben Bryant threw for 354 yards and four scores, and the defense did its part in the 45-24 win.
Again, no, this isn’t the 2021 Cincinnati team. There was no running game against IU, and this team isn’t close to as talented.
The Mountain West has been a disaster, the MAC is over, Conference USA never got started, and the Sun Belt is busy picking itself apart. That leaves the door open for the New Year’s Six slot that has to go to the top CFP-ranked Group of Five champion there for Cincinnati’s taking.
At the very least, this win over Indiana set a tone. Going to UCF on October 29th might be a big deal, and it’s still possible the American Athletic Conference championship might mean something.
Cincinnati is just okay. This year, for that New Year’s Six spot, that might be enough.
NEXT: What It All Means: Week 4
What It All Means: Week 4
Seriously. who’s that fourth team for the College Football Playoff now?
Obviously there are several teams out there with a great shot of ending up in the four team tournament, and let’s not just assume Ohio State, Georgia, and Alabama are 100% rock-solid sure things.
Remember, the CFP has yet to take a two-loss team. Ohio State looks amazing, but could it lose at Penn State? Could it stumble if there’s a key injury? Maybe, but …
Of course. Right now it’s malpractice to not assume OSU isn’t getting in, and the same goes for Georgia – more on that in the next blurb.
The assumption is that Alabama is in that mix, too, but there are a whole bunch of landmines to sidestep just to get to the SEC Championship. Would the CFP committee take Alabama if it loses once along the way and then drops the SEC title game to Georgia, or if the Dawgs lose once and then to Bama?
We have a while to figure that out. For now, fine – Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama.
Who’s the fourth? There isn’t one.
The Big 12 appears to be doing a fine job of seeing its way out of the spot – the conference is too strong this year from 1-to-10 for anyone to seemingly get through and be 12-1. Notre Dame is gone, the idea of BYU is shot, and the Group of Five isn’t in the mix this time around.
More than just finding that fourth team, can anyone else get in and be something more than a speed bump?
Maybe Washington. Maybe Minnesota. They’re playing great, and so is Tennessee, and so is Kentucky, and so is Penn State, but … nah.
Did USC look all that special to you against Oregon State? Okay, so you didn’t see it because you probably couldn’t, but no, it didn’t look like it can get through the schedule with just one loss.
Michigan sputtered a bit too much against Maryland – the first time it had to play someone with a pulse this year – and Clemson has massive issues at defensive backs and with its consistency at receiver.
Syracuse has been a wonderful story so far, UCLA might keep on winning, and Ole Miss has quietly been lurking, but …
There is no fourth team right now.
We’re only a month in, and there are still about a gajillion things that will still happen, but for now there’s no fourth wheel for this CFP bus.
It would be great if there’s one that can hold up and do its part.