Week 4 of the College Football season is officially in the books, and the dominant players and teams are beginning to separate from the rest of the pack. CSF breaks down last weekends action in the Week 4 Recap.
Sooners fall out of #1 spot: Once a Heisman front-runner, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones has been very average the last two weeks, throwing for 4 TD’s and 4 picks. The Sooners still won, but they didn’t exactly get the payback they were looking for against Mizzou, who upset OU last season in Columbia. Wins against Florida State and Mizzou, who are both 2-2 with no big wins against major programs, along with LSU’s dominance against top-tier competition allowed the Tigers to jump ahead of the Sooners in the AP Poll. Luckily for Sooner fans, LSU and Alabama square off in Tuscaloosa in a month, so one of those teams will drop a few spots.
LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu may be the best DB in the country: LSU and Alabama have the two best defenses in the country–and it’s not even close. The Tigers have forced 12 turnovers against top-flight competition, all away from Death Valley. Their defense is full of elite talent that will be playing on Sundays in the near future, but the guy that always seems to make the biggest plays on the biggest stages is cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. In last weekend’s bigtime match up against West Virginia, the sophomore DB had a key interception and a forced fumble, in which he literally ripped the ball right out of the hands of WV wideout Brad Starks. That makes twice that Mathieu has brought his A-game to a national television audience–in week one, he stripped the ball from Oregon punt returner Kenjon Barner and promptly took the fumble in for a touchdown, and the Ducks never recovered.
Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden continues to light it up: We anticipated a shoot out, and that’s exactly what we got last weekend, when Oklahoma State traveled to Texas A&M. Weeden threw for 438 yards (a new school record) and two TDs against the Aggies. The senior quarterback completed a whopping 47 passes in 60 attempts and spread the ball around nicely–he had three different receivers with ten or more catches, led by dynamic wideout Justin Blackmon, who had 11 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. Weeden currently leads the nation in passing yards per game with 398.0 per contest.
Florida could be back: After a disappointing 2010 season, first year head coach Will Muschamp has the Gators off to a 4-0 start, 2-0 in SEC play. Quarterback John Brantley looks much more comfortable in Charlie Weis’ pro-style attack versus Urban Meyer’s spread attack that made Tim Tebow a household name, although they didn’t need much passing last weekend against Kentucky, as both Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey rushed for over 100 yards a piece. More importantly, Muschamp has brought his attitude to the Gator defense, who created four turnovers last weekend. We’ll see just how far Florida has come very soon–the Gators host Alabama this weekend and travel to LSU next weekend.
The ACC is not good at tackle football: I’m not sure how the intramural flag football programs in the ACC are, but several programs proved their conference still isn’t ready for big boy football. After giving then #1 Oklahoma all they could handle, Florida State’s defense was gashed by the Clemson QB-WR combo of Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins. The ‘Noles gave up 455 yards to the Tigers, 366 coming through the air. FSU was supposed to be the ACC’s hope for a title-contender in 2011, but that’s not going to happen. Miami lost to Kansas State, NC State was destroyed by Cincinnati, and Maryland had the ugly knocked out of their uniforms by Temple 38-7. Until the ACC can beat quality out of conference opponents, they will not be taken seriously in the BCS title talk.