After yet another exhilarating weekend of college football, there is so much to digest before delving into yet another slate of riveting matchups next week. Here are my three foremost impressions received by the action that took place on Saturday:
1. Ohio St. is the real deal.
The 2nd ranked Buckeyes ran through their first five games in dominating fashion, and while they did take down ranked Oklahoma in Norman, many associated the fantastic start with the team’s weak schedule. On Saturday, Urban Meyer took his team to Madison to face #8 Wisconsin in what was sure to be a good chance for an upset, but the boys from Columbus had other ideas. In an absolute showdown, State emerged victorious in overtime after stopping the Badgers on 4th and goal to win, 30-23. What was most impressive about the win was how it was done, as the Buckeyes scored 24 points in the second half and overtime after being held to just 6 points at the intermission. Make no mistake, Wisconsin surely has one of the better defenses in the Big Ten and maybe the country, so State’s ability to rack up 411 total yards on offense is nothing short of exceptional. Meyer’s squad is without a doubt a playoff favorite, and barring a slip up, November 26th will be the most highly anticipated game of the year when #4 Michigan travels to the Horseshoe.
2. The Brian Kelly era at Notre Dame must come to an end.
The season from Hell persists on for ND fans as the Fighting Irish lost yet again to move to an abysmal 2-5 on the season. The loss, coming at the hands of the Stanford Cardinals in South Bend was one of the more aggravating defeats Kelly’s squad has suffered this year. After going up 10-0 in the first half and recording a win probability as high as 81.4% (espn.com), Notre Dame failed to score at all in the second half, losing 17-10. Certainly, Brian Kelly’s tenure as the Irish’s head coach has hit a low point, and Notre Dame should really consider relieving Coach Kelly of his duties. In already losing his 5th game this season Saturday, Kelly has now lost at least five games in 4/7 of his seasons coaching the storied football program, while only achieving double digit wins in two of those seven campaigns. At a school receiving cream-of-the-crop recruits and spending millions on facilities, there is no excuse for Kelly not to succeed. Expect him to be gone by the winter.
3. As of now, Kaaya is not a must-draft NFL prospect.
Entering the 2016 season, Miami Hurricanes’ QB Brad Kaaya was seen as a sleeper Heisman Trophy candidate and sure-fire top 5 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The 6’4” junior’s smooth throwing stroke and accurate ball placement surely makes quarterback-needy NFL GMs drool. Through six games, Kaaya has thrown for a solid 1,373 yards and 10 TDs with a 62% completion percentage and, at times, lived up to expectations. However, the ‘Canes’ hot 4-0 start came to a screeching halt, as Kaaya and company are now on a two game losing streak after going down at home to unranked North Carolina, 20-13. Miami’s gunslinger struggled to lead his talented offense into the endzone, as he completed just 16-31 passes for 224 yards and no touchdowns. Kaaya’s numbers may not be alarmingly poor, but his inability to win two of the biggest games of the Hurricane’s season at home is certainly something NFL scouts do not like to see. Brad definitely has some work to do in proving that he can not only be a fantastic talent, but also a winner. Kaaya has the capabilities to finish the season blazing hot, win 10+ games, and see his draft stock skyrocket to being a potential #1 overall pick, but as of today, he shouldn’t be considered in the top half of the first round.
by Tyler Webb