A couple of top 25 teams went down in week 2 with TCU and Oklahoma State. Georgia and Clemson struggled mightily in wins. Other than that, not a whole bunch happened in the top 25. Here are 10 takeaways from week 2.
1. It was the Big 12’s turn to take it on the chin. Oklahoma State and TCU both lost in dramatic fashion, which is huge because those are two of their better teams. Throw in the fact that Texas Tech gave up a whopping 68 points in a loss to Arizona State and Kansas and Iowa State lost by a combined 58 points, it was a really rough week for the conference.
2. When will these young kids learn that it is not all about you? Kenny Hill was fantastic for TCU accounting for 470 yards against Arkansas, but his “throat slash” after his team tied the game late likely cost the Frogs the game. The penalty costs his team a valuable 15 yards and allowed Arkansas to have great field position to drive down and score the tying touchdown in regulation. You scored the touchdown, why do the slash, knowing you are 99% likely to draw a flag? Silly, stupid, and selfish.
3. After Alabama, who is the second best team? I have no idea right now. Clemson has looked very shaky to say the least. Ohio State nor Michigan has been challenged. Florida State looked vulnerable in week 1 and will be in for a battle Saturday against Louisville. Houston still has the Oklahoma win. It is up for grabs for second-best right now.
4. Lamar Jackson has been the best player so far, period! Through two games, Jackson has 13 total touchdowns. He ran for 199 yards against Syracuse on Friday with four rushing touchdowns! Coach Bobby Petrino was really high on him last season, and now we are seeing why. A special dual-threat quarterback. He will have a stiff test against Florida State, but if he were to play well and win, he should be the Heisman front-runner.
5. Jalen Hurts has that look of being the “man” at Alabama. He played very solid Saturday throwing for 287 yards and two touchdowns. He continued to connect on some big plays in the passing game which can give him nothing but confidence going into a crucial road game against Ole Miss. How will he handle a very tough environment? I have a feeling offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will have something in store for the Rebels’ defense with Hurts calling signals.
6. Tennessee’s defense will carry them this season. Yes, they fell down 14-0 to Virginia Tech, but the defense clamped down and shut down the Hokies’ offense forcing five turnovers and limiting them to 196 yards over the last three quarters. I still think the Vols’ offense has improvements to make, so the defense will have to continue to play well.
7. The Pac-12 North looks to be the flag-bearer for the conference. Stanford and Washington are in the top 10 and Oregon is in the top 25. All three teams have looked solid so far, and with the early struggles of USC and UCLA, the conference may need those three North teams to continue their strong play if the Pac-12 wants to have a chance to have representation in the Playoff.
8. Arkansas is going to be a thorn in the side of the SEC. Bret Bielema is building a very competitive team in Fayetteville. After a rough first season, the Hogs have won 7 and 8 games the last two seasons. Within the last two years, they have beaten LSU and Ole Miss and have made life tough for Alabama (lost by 1 last year). Arkansas, now with a win over TCU, is ranked. They get Texas State this week with Texas A&M the week after. A 4-0 start is very possible.
9. BYU missed out on a chance to be undefeated against the Pac-12. Their defense caused six turnovers on Saturday against Utah in the “Holy War”, but could not capitalize and lost 20-19. Two parts of this game stood out to me: Two BYU players were ejected for targeting on very questionable calls to say the least, and BYU’s decision to go for the win after scoring to make it 20-19. I love the idea of going for two by coach Sitake, but the play call by offensive coordinator Ty Detmer was a bit puzzling with QB Taysom Hill running a QB draw. Would have liked to see Hill with a run-pass option in that situation.
10. Props to North Carolina A&T. The Aggies had never beaten a FBS opponent, but that changed after beating Kent State on Saturday night/ Sunday morning. They weathered a two-hour delay, went through three quarterbacks and four overtimes to beat the Golden Flashes 39-36. Truly a great moment for HBCU Football.