How significant is the transfer portal in college foortball? On the opening week of the season, 48% of the starting quarterbacks were transfers. Are you kidding me?
That statistic says everything that is wrong with the rule, which was changed to allow college players to transfer and immediately be eligible to play for their new school. This gives new meaning to the old "if I ain't playing, I ain't staying" mantra. The winners in the portal appear to be Washington and USC, which have plugged holes at quarterback with transfers Michael Penix Jr. and Caleb Wiliams.
It's the Big 3 ... and the rest
It's still the big three at the top (Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State) and then that next tier of several undefeated teams. The gap is large. No. 4 Clemson is still showing signs of vulnerability. While it defeated Wake Forest in OT (41-35), the gap in talent is too large to have such a competitive game. The Tigers defense has always been their strength and Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman riddled the secondary for 337 yards and six touchdowns. Yes, six touchdowns. The guy is a legit NFL player who has all the tools to succeed at the next level. Unfortunately, he doesn't play defense.
Fines for celebrating? Get real
The Texas Longhorns, as we told you, are not back. They lost to Texas Tech last week, 37-34, in OT. Yes, they are missing their starting quarterback in Quin Ewers but they never should lose to Texas Tech. The Red Raiders responded by storming the field as if defeating No. 1 Georgia. (Texas was No. 22.) Because it is a violation to storm the field, the NCAA fined Texas Tech $50,000. Wow! I understand the NCAA wants to prevent a dangerous situation but do you think any student in the stands at that game thought "I better not rush the field because our university might get fined?" Yeah, right. If universities were serious about safety, they could prevent this simply by building
a moat around the field.
Give Deion his chance!
◘With head coaching openings at Georgia Tech, Arizona State, and many more to come, it's time Deion Sanders of Jackson State be considered. Not only for his proven ability to recruit and coach but also for the instant explosion of energy and electricity he brings to the table. His image and brand would attract all the top recruits but it remains to be seen whether he's interested in moving up a level.
◘Michigan State gave coach Mel Tucker a 10-year, $95-million contract last year for resurrecting the Spartan program. After running just 45 offensive plays and rushing for just 38 yards in a 34-7 loss at home to Minnesota, this team looks completely disorganized. What a difference a year makes!
Same old Miami blues
Remember Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, the next Hurricane savior? He was benched last week during the Hurricanes embarrassing home loss to Middle Tennessee, 45-31. Hype doesn't mean success. That's why they play the games. What further magnified the loss was that Hard Rock Stadium was about one-third full, highlighting Miami's well-known reputation of having the most fair-weather fans. They show up only when the team is winning, which hasn't been much lately. The Mario Cristobal era is off to a rocky start.
On the field
No 7 Kentucky (4-0) +6.5 at No. 12 Mississippi (4-0): A huge game for both teams. Kentucky is getting a lot of respect with its high ranking and it has a special quarterback in Will Levis. Coach Mark Stoops has built a stable, competitive program in Lexington. Ole Miss' Lane Kiffin has another transfer at quarterback in Jaxson Dart (yes, another USC transfer) and the game is in Oxford. But I am buying into the Wildcat formula and they already have beaten Florida. Take the points for a probable close game.
No. 22 Wake Forest (3-1) at No. 23 Florida State (4-0) -7: Can you believe the Seminoles are undefeated and ranked for the first time in four years? It's a good test for them at home. Expect the Deamon Deacons to be in a funk after that devastating loss last week to Clemson. Noles roll!
No. 10 NC State (4-0) at No. 5 Clemson (4-0) -6.5: I've already "watched" this game. It was four years ago and both teams were undefeated The Wolfpack were trying to show the college football world that they had made the jump to the big time and upset the Tigers on their home turf. Instead, they got blown out, 41-7. As much as Clemson is not as strong as that team was, NC State disappoints at the most opportunistic moments. Expect a repeat. Tigers roll!
No. 9 Oklahoma State (4-0)+2.5 at No. 16 Baylor (3-1): Two real good teams. As OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders goes, so do the Pokes. Tough game on the road that will be decided by one score. Classic Big 12 battle. Cowboys pull it out.
No. 2 Alabama (4-0) at No. 20 Arkansas (3-1) +17: The Razorbacks lost a heartbreaker to Texas A&M last week on a missed field goal in the final seconds, 23-21. I don't know how they stop 'Bama's quarterback Bryce Young, who is getting comfortable lately, throwing for over 300 yards per game while completing more than 68% of his passes. His young receivers are talented and developing. Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson had a crucial fumble against the Aggies, costing his team a touchdown and giving Texas A&M its own touchdown. He cannot turn the ball over against Alabama for the Razorbacks to have any chance. Coach Sam Pittman has changed the culture at Arkansas. The Razorbacks play inspired football and have shown an ability to compete at any level. This will be the biggest game in Fayetteville since 2010 when both teams were also ranked and undefeated. 'Bama has won five titles since while Arkansas disappeared from the national stage. I was there for that one and will be there for this one. Take the points and see what happens.
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This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Ken Schreiber's 5 things you should know about college football this week