Week 4 college football preview, Heisman watch

What’s a twenty first century college football season with out somebody pouring it out for a rivalry on the cusp of departing the scene?

And so it got here to move this week for the Bedlam sequence, a bedrock recreation for Oklahoma and Oklahoma State since earlier than Oklahoma was even a state. (The colleges met 3 times earlier than the Sooner State’s admission on Nov. 16, 1907).

Shot: A report from Action Network’s Brett McMurphy {that a} sequence that has been performed repeatedly since 1910 — surviving a number of pandemics and world wars — will come to a halt when Oklahoma enters the SEC in 2025.

Chaser: Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy calling a spade a spade whereas studying from ready notes.

“Bedlam is historical past,” Gundy instructed reporters. “We all know that. We’ve identified that. Because OU selected to observe Texas and the cash to the SEC. It’s okay.”

Gundy was a teensy bit self-serving in his supply, however his total level stands: Oklahoma took the cash and ran. Left unstated is one other fact: Oklahoma State absolutely would have finished the identical if the chance introduced itself.

Two issues are price mentioning right here. One is that if each Oklahoma and Oklahoma State had been actually dedicated to the sequence, they might toss apart scheduling philosophies, cancel contracts with different colleges and play the sport every September in the event that they selected. Of course, they don’t seem to be the primary colleges to choose in opposition to a unbroken rivalry.

In reality, McMurphy rattled off a couple of, a gaggle that included Texas-Arkansas (an outdated Southwest Conference rivalry) and Texas-Texas A&M (a much-mourned Lone Star State rivalry on hiatus since 2011). Both are an excellent wager to renew instantly when the Longhorns transfer to the SEC in 2025 with Oklahoma.

All of which implies there’s some hope for Bedlam. It’s only one convention transfer from choosing again up. Maybe it is a decade or three away, however the ever-shifting tectonic plates of college sports activities might carry them again collectively ultimately. One factor’s for positive: Money, not logic, will spur the reunion.

After promising to use a “New Leadership Model” that at all times appeared extra applicable for an MBA candidate than an NFL prospect, stumbling into sizzling water with the NCAA throughout the pandemic and seeing a training workers expertise large turnover, Arizona State parted with Herm Edwards on Sunday for the cardinal sin of dropping to Eastern Michigan.

That improvement is concerning the least wonky factor to occur in Edwards’s tenure, which even because it started appeared like extra of a curious lab experiment whose major profit was that it had by no means been tried earlier than than a really logical strategy.

But do not take my phrase for it in 2022. Take my phrase for it from 2018.

Let’s ignore the information releases plagued by enterprise jargon and state the fundamentals concerning the Herm Edwards rent: He’s a 64-year-old who hasn’t coached wherever since 2008 and hasn’t labored within the college recreation since 1989. “Innovative” is the upbeat spin for the rent. (Okay, the enterprise jargon could not be utterly averted.) “Unconventional” most likely is the fairest evaluation.

That mentioned, the Sun Devils are 67-60 over the previous decade, and so they regressed after back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2013 and 2014. Sure, it is a threat. But generally threat is critical for a program that most likely must be somewhat totally different to attain sustained high-end success.

Arizona State went 6-7, 5-7 and 7-6 over the past three seasons. It could be amusing — and believable — if the Sun Devils ended up in that neighborhood once more in Edwards’ first season.

Well, Edwards rattled off a 7-6 out of the chute, then put collectively a pair of 8-5s round a 2-2 pandemic season. The Sun Devils went 4-0 in opposition to Arizona (which is nice) and 22-20 in opposition to everybody else (which is forgettable and features a 1-2 begin this 12 months).

Kansas is 3-0. Yeah, Kansas is 3-0. That’s proper, Kansas is 3-0.

It’s becoming, actually. Arizona State is a program that’s the definition of undistinguished just about since Jake Plummer’s college profession ended. The Sun Devils have 4 top-25 Associated Press ballot finishes within the final 24 seasons. They’ve landed within the high 10 precisely one time within the final 15 years, the week of Nov. 9, 2014.

Yes, there was a 9-3 in 2004, a 10-3 in 2007 and back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2013-2014. The Sun Devils have not often flirted with being horrible within the final quarter-century; low tide was a 4-8 run in 2009. But they’ve not often confirmed all that attention-grabbing, both.

The puzzler is why. It’s not as if Arizona State is bereft of football historical past, even when its greatest days had been earlier than it joined the Pac-10/Pac-12. It won’t have the quick entry to expertise of a Southern California, however it’s in a serious metro space (Phoenix) in a fast-growing state (though not as quickly over the past decade).

Yes, college football is a zero-sum recreation, however the Sun Devils most likely ought to have some larger — and extra sustainable — peaks than they’ve loved. It would not require a enterprise college textbook to determine that out.

But whoever’s subsequent faces a gap. NCAA penalties are most likely coming. Edwards went all-in on the switch portal amid this system’s tumult, so the present basis is shaky. The similar could possibly be mentioned concerning the Pac-12-Soon-To-Be-Minus-Two.

Arizona State’s “New Leadership Model” is historical past. Its penchant for struggling to get traction in football most likely is not. The Sun Devils nonetheless could be smart to be somewhat totally different shifting ahead. Just not that totally different.


Five with essentially the most at stake

A take a look at some groups with the possibility to show a lot in Week 4.

1. Tennessee. The No. 11 Volunteers (3-0) are the one staff within the SEC that performs Alabama, Florida and Georgia each season, and so they’ve dropped a mixed 16 in a row to these three since 2016. The first step for them in direction of actually being taken severely is thrashing any certainly one of that group. no 20 Florida (2-1, 0-1 SEC) rolls into Knoxville for Tennessee’s convention opener this week.

2. Wake Forest. Way again in 2008, the Demon Deacons beat Clemson, 12-7, on a Thursday evening in what proved to be Tommy Bowden’s remaining recreation answerable for the Tigers. Since then, Wake Forest is 0-for-Dabo. It’s no secret the ACC’s remaining Atlantic Division title will run by No. 5 Clemson. The No. 21 Demon Deacons (3-0) fended off Liberty final week, and can have to be higher to achieve sturdy positioning for a second consecutive Atlantic crown.

College football greatest bets: Clemson might be an excessive amount of for Wake Forest

3. Arkansas. The No. 10 Razorbacks weren’t particularly sharp in opposition to outdated buddy Bobby Petrino and Missouri State final week. But they’re nonetheless 3-0 heading into their annual date with No. 23 Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas. The Hogs play 4 of their subsequent 5 away from Fayetteville, and deciphering the Aggies’ protection could be a welcome signal heading right into a rigorous October.

the 4th Southern California and 4b. Oregon State. The No. 7 Trojans head to Corvallis to tackle the spunky Beavers in a matchup of 3-0 groups. It will not get many eyeballs on it outdoors the West Coast due to its Pac-12 Network placement, however it’s a tough contest for USC and a prove-it recreation for Oregon State, which finds itself as a part of the Pacific Northwest’s spectacular begin to the season.

5. Minnesota. The Gophers (3-0) aren’t a well-liked matter of dialog, no less than not but. Victories over New Mexico State, Western Illinois and a sad-sack Colorado staff will not assist anybody’s profile this 12 months. They head to a Michigan State bunch coming off a lackluster displaying at Washington, and beating the Spartans in East Lansing makes a run at a Big Ten West title a bit extra believable.

A weekly take a look at the race for college football’s favourite stiff-arming statue.

1. QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State (941 yards, 11 TDs, 0 INTs passing). Shredded Toledo for 367 yards and 5 touchdowns because the Buckeyes wrapped up nonconference play with a rout. (Last week: 2)

2. QB Bryce Young, Alabama (644 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs passing; 144 yards, 2 TDs speeding). Tossed a pair interceptions in a 63-7 bludgeoning of Louisiana-Monroe. That knocks the defending Heisman winner from the highest spot, however loads of alternatives to pile up large numbers nonetheless await. (LW: 1)

3. QB Caleb Williams, Southern California (874 yards, 8 TDs, 0 INTs passing; 73 yards, 2 TDs speeding). Wasn’t fairly as environment friendly in opposition to Fresno State as he was within the Trojans’ first two video games, however nonetheless accomplished 25 of 37 for 284 yards and two touchdowns. USC’s going to be positive if these are Williams’ barely off outings. (LW: 3)

4. QB Stetson Bennett IV, Georgia (952 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs passing; 31 yards, 3 TDs speeding). Whatever path exists for this candidacy is tied to different high-profile QBs flopping (which hasn’t occurred but) and Bennett placing up stable, mistake-free numbers whereas the Bulldogs preserve rolling (which has occurred). (LW: 5)

Georgia can break your spirit. Just take a look at South Carolina’s empty stands.

5. QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington (1,079 yards, 10 TDs, 1 INT passing; 31 yards speeding). Penix recorded his greatest profession passing effectivity score in 2019, when Kalen DeBoer was his offensive coordinator at Indiana. Now reunited with the brand new Huskies head coach in Seattle — and, extra importantly, wholesome — he dissected Michigan State for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns final week. (LW: Not ranked)

6. LB Will Anderson, Alabama (15 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT). That’s extra prefer it. Anderson had an off day in opposition to Texas, however delivered an interception return for a landing in opposition to Louisiana-Monroe. Anderson was arguably the most effective participant within the nation final season, and he might enhance on his fifth-place Heisman end from 2021. (LW: NR)

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