With another week of college football done, and the Wisconsin Badgers not playing again, it’s time to take a look around the rest of the Big Ten Conference, and the country, and see what our writers thought about things.
Rock, Tyler, Ryan and Belz chime in here:
Is BYU one of the four best teams in the country?
Rock: I can’t put them in the top-4, but they’re a lot closer than you’d expect. I can’t see them lower than seventh. They have legit NFL talent at a bunch of positions and their QB Zach Wilson’s got a cannon. They haven’t played a tough team…but honestly, there haven’t been a bunch of top 5 teams playing other ranked teams so far. They’re no worse than most season’s four th playoff slot sacrificial lamb.
Tyler: Not a chance. I’ve been anti BYU all year so maybe I am biased, but I really don’t think they are as good as they’ve looked. Beating Boise State bad changes that a little, but outside of that their schedule has been nobodies.
Ryan: I don’t think so. Boise State was the first ranked opponent they faced all season, and while they beat them soundly, BSU hadn’t really played anyone either. I don’t think BYU’s resume holds up when looking at the top teams in the country.
Belz: I don’t personally think so. They have a very good offense and have looked great all season long, but their strength of schedule is not what you traditionally see from a top-four team. The beat down of Boise State this week is by far their best win, but it takes a lot more than beating Texas State and UTSA on a weekly basis to earn a playoff spot.
Who is the worst team in the Big Ten right now?
Rock: It’s Illinois. The other two defeated teams had bright spots. Penn State hung with Indiana, and even briefly took a lead. Nebraska just doesn’t have the horses to last a full 60 minute football game with Northwestern yet, and collapsed against the mighty Wildcats. Illinois has had nothing to hang their hat on.
Tyler: I think you have to say Illinois at this point. Rutgers has a W and covered against tOSU so that’s basically two wins right there.
Ryan: Illinois. They haven’t looked even remotely good all season.
Belz: Illinois. I think Penn State would take them in a head-to-head contest, so for now the Illini get the nod.
Will CFP voters punish Clemson for losing to Notre Dame even though Trevor Lawrence didn’t play? Do you think the Tigers will win a potential rematch in the ACC Title game with Lawrence under center?
Rock: I’d punish Clemson for quarantining him on the sideline and pulling down his mask to talk to teammates.
Tyler: I don’t think you’ll see them punished. Clemson will be right there and take on ND again to win. This just allows the ACC and their adopted child to get two teams in. Puke.
Ryan: I don’t think they will punish them too much. I think they will drop out of the top 4, but they will stay within striking distance.
Belz: Clemson will probably remain in the top-five, and I think the Tigers will return the favor in the ACC Championship. Like Tyler mentioned, I think that this makes the likelihood of Notre Dame making the playoff exponentially more likely as things stand.
Who were you most impressed by in the B1G this week?
Rock: I didn’t watch much of Maryland thumping Penn State so I’ll go with Indiana. There was a moment early in the 4th that Indiana threw three incompletions, and I started getting a bad feeling about time management coming to bite them. Michigan threw a pick, Indiana scored a put-away touchdown, and then started running out the clock. The Hoosiers have a solid football team that’s probably a step behind a (fully healthy) Wisconsin.
Tyler: I would say Indiana as well. A lot of people thought this is where the magic kinda wore off for them but they stuck it to Michigan pretty good. I thought they’d knock off PSU or Michigan but didn’t think they’d beat them both. They’re a good team.
Ryan: Indiana. The Hoosiers just keep winning and beat Michigan by 17. I’m sure no one thought their Nov. 21 tilt with OSU would determine the B1G East, but it is looking like it most likely will.
Belz: I picked against Indiana heading into this week, and they proved me wrong against Michigan. The Hoosiers continue to win, and are probably the second best team in the B1G East.
Besides Graham Mertz, do you have a dark horse Heisman candidate that you like?
Rock: With the shifted schedules, and how some teams have played eight games and others played one, I’m having a hard time coming up with a shortlist of candidates. Mac Jones of Alabama & BYU’s Zach Wilson would probably be the favorites? Whatever, Heismans are stupid. If they weren’t stupid Jonathan Taylor would have one, so therefore they are stupid.
Tyler: I think Kyle Trask will be a guy in the running now that the Gators are back up and running. Mac Jones looks like the favorite right now. Lawrence will be up there, Justin Fields will be up there, but right now I think it’s all QB’s in the running.
Ryan: It’s hard to say with the varying number of games that teams have played, but two guys that stick out to me, other than the most likely winners (Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence), are Kyle Trask and Zach WIlson. Both Trask and Wilson have been slinging it this season and their teams are playing well enough for them to be finalists.
Belz: I think Justin Fields or Mac Jones are in the lead right now, but Trask and Wilson are probably just behind them in the pecking order. I like what I have seen from Breece Hall (Iowa State RB) and DeVonta Smith/Najee Harris (Alabama WR/RB) as the most likely non-quarterbacks to be in the discussion as well.