Takeaways from college football Week 10
Notre Dame is better than we thought
I was one of many who questioned the legitimacy of the Irish's undefeated record and then No. 4 ranking because of who they had played and some of the teams that they struggled against. They proved me and those others wrong with a phenomenal effort and a win over Clemson--handing the Tigers their first regular season loss since 2017. The running game paced the offense and allowed Ian Book to hit some deep shots down the field. The defense kept everything in front of them and limited the big plays. Yes, it was a depleted Clemson team, but it was still a hell of a showing by Notre Dame. This appears like it will be a rematch in the ACC Championship game.
Clemson will be fine.
Those of you who thought Clemson would come crashing down without Trevor Lawrence were wrong. They played well against a top 4 team despite key injuries. Lawrence should be back this week and put the Togers back in business. Even when he does go into the NFL, D.J. Uiagalelei showed he can be the next guy. In his two games, he exemplified great poise, especially against the Irish. He threw for 439 yards and had a hand in three scores on Saturday. It was clear to see why he was so highly recruited. A few freshmen and sophomores stepped up on defense as well. Clemson is in good hands this year and beyond.
Indiana is the second best team in the Big Ten East.
It's too early to crown them the second best team in the whole conference--especially since they haven't played any of the West's top teams-- but the 10th ranked Hoosiers are 3-0 and have looked like the far superior team in the past two games. They should get another win against Michigan State this weekend and will their biggest test of the season against the Buckeyes the following week. Indiana is also scheduled to play No. 13 Wisconsin the first week of December.
The Big 12 is still alive in the playoff chase--for now.
Oklahoma State got a scare from Kansas State over the weekend, but the Cowboys pulled out a second half comeback to propel themselves back to the top of the conference. The race appears to be coming down to them and Iowa State with Oklahoma and Texas waiting to take advantage of any slips. As long as the Cowboys keep winning, the conference still has a small chance at the playoff, but a second loss would almost surely eliminate them.
Say what you want about his off-filed past, Hugh Freeze can coach.
Freeze resigned as the head coach at Ole Miss in 2017 after a recruiting scandal hit the program. He is now the head coach at Liberty, which is in just its third season as an FBS program. Freeze has the Flames in the Top 25 for the first time in school history with a 7-0 record and wins over Virginia Tech and Syracuse.
It looks like the SEC will come down to Alabama and Florida
Barring any upsets, this looks like the SEC Championship matchup we will see. The Gators passed their test against Georgia with flying colors, even while missing TE Kyle Pitts for much of the game. I think Georgia's defense has been better than Alabama's for much of this season, so Kyle Trask and company may be able to give Saban's team a battle. If this is for sure the matchup, I see more of an offensively driven game than usual.
BYU deserves more credit.
You can only play who's on your schedule. The Cougars had to scramble for games because they are an independent team and don't have a conference to rely on. They have beaten every team so far and have looked good doing it. The biggest challenge was supposed to come Friday against Boise State, but the game wasn't even close. The Cougars got whatever they wanted a cruised past the Broncos 51-17. Time to give BYU the respect they deserve.
Oregon is the best team in the PAC-12.
Yes, they are the highest ranked PAC-12 team entering the season, but that's not why they're here. USC and Arizona State look like the next two up, but Oregon looked much better and much more consistent than both of those teams. The defense stepped up to hold Stanford to just 14 points despite replacing almost the entire secondary. Yes, Stanford was missing its top QB and WR, but being able to just plug players in like that is an advantage, We will know more as the season goes on, but Oregon is the class of the PAC-12 right now.
Back in MACtion
All 12 teams in the MAC returned on Wednesday night, providing us with our annual week night entertainment for the fall. The conference is playing a six game schedule and will be playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the next two weeks. There's no clear front runner in this conference, so buckle up.