College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 5 As it Should Be

Welcome to the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 5 As it Should Be. Finally some stability in the Top 10. It takes about 3-4 weeks for the rankings to settle in and we have a really good idea who the best teams in the country are. I'll tell you the rules of the rankings next, but first we need to celebrate the amazing week 3 in college football. I pray that all you reading this stay healthy and enjoy this season. Now on the the rules.

Welcome to the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 5 As it Should Be. Finally some stability in the Top 10. It takes about 3-4 weeks for the rankings to settle in and we have a really good idea who the best teams in the country are. Last week saw a couple of Top 10 teams IDLE and a huge riser. This week, is separation Saturday. We will truly find out which teams are here for a good time, and which ones are here for a long time. I pray that all you reading this stay healthy and enjoy this season. Now on the the rules.

The Rules: No Bias, No Bull College Football Rankings Week 5

There is no more unbiased ranking out there than Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 5. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. These rankings are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. After the preseason rankings, only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games.

I re-rank the top 10 every Sunday from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information. So make sure to come back every Sunday. For reference, you can check College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 4 .

Rankings should be fair and unbiased, but that’s not the world we live in when preseason polls ultimately affect the final rankings.

Top 10 College Football Rankings Week 5:

Next Up: Notre Dame, BYU, Oklahoma, Michigan, Fresno State

10. Michigan State (4-0)

Last Week: 23-20 (W) vs Nebraska

Some of the media was down on MSU because they didn’t earn enough “style points against Nebraska. The reality is Scott Frost has his team playing much better and they gave Oklahoma a real fight too. No team goes through the season without playing some close games. The Spartans are fast, well-coached, and have a few nice wins under their belt, while being dominant at times.

9. Ohio State Buckeyes (3-1)

Last Week: 59-7 (W) vs Akron

No CJ Stroud at QB, no problem for the Buckeyes. Fans have been displeased with the results on the field this season. But that is a result of fans being spoiled. They want to blow everyone out despite the opponent of circumstances surrounding their team. But life doesn’t work like that. Neither does football. OSU is still the most explosive offense in college football.

8. Ole Miss (3-0)

Last Week: IDLE

Lane Kiffin lives by the motto “all publicity is good publicity” model. He understands that Ole Miss is not demanding the national attention without him trolling USC fans, Nick Saban, or responding to Michael Wilbon. His team has looked extremely good through three games, but the rubber meets the road against Alabama this week.

7. Cincinnati (3-0)

Last Week: IDLE

Cinci believes they are a big dog and can compete with Power 5 teams week in and week out. Here is there opportunity. In their last game they beat Big Ten opponent Indiana. Now they follow that up with a visit to Notre Dame. If they can win this game and look good, they could be on their was to their first College Football Playoff.

Check out our Pac-12 Football Podcast, Pac-12 Apostles:

6. Iowa (4-0)

Last Week: 24-14 (W) vs Colorado State

I appreciate watching Iowa play, and honestly at this point I believe the Hawkeyes will come back down to reality and will be a 10-2 or 9-3 team. Their future schedule doesn’t include Michigan, Michigan State, or Ohio State. That means if they can beat Penn State and Wisconsin and not lose to a lesser opponent, they could find themselves owning space in the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings all year.

5. Arkansas (4-0)

Last Week: 20-10 (W) vs Texas A&M @ AT&T Stadium

Wins over Texas and Texas A&M look real good right now. The Hogs dominated bothe football games. There are injury concerns about the Arkansas QB Jefferson. After he went out last week, their offense was essentially only able to hold on for dear life. If he is not available vs Georgia the Razorbacks has ZERO shot of winning. Georgia is more talented, so if Arkansas wins we know who the better coach is.

4. Penn State (4-0)

Last Week: 38-17 (W) vs Villanova

Penn State played Villanova. That is a basketball school. You would have expected the score to be a bit more lopsided than that, but it looked like a big win hangover, however, the Nittany Lions were never in any danger and were up 38-3 in the 4th quarter when the reserves gave up a couple of touchdowns.

3. Georgia Bulldogs (4-0)

Last Week: 62-0 (W) vs Vanderbilt

We finally get to see Georgia against a team that appears to be good offensively. Clemson is NOT a great team this year offensively. The Georgia defense looks phenomenal but are we sure they are the greatest thing since sliced bread when they haven’t played a great offense yet. That is the sole reason the Bulldogs sit at #3 instead of #1. THe criteria says they should be #3, but my gut says #1.

2. Oregon Ducks (4-0)

Last Week: 41-19 (W) vs Arizona

The Oregon Ducks are leading the nation is turnover margin. They have forced 13 turnovers on the season while only giving up one turnover. That is a recipe for winning games and dominating opponents. Now we wait for another signature offensive performance like we saw at Ohio State.

1. Alabama (4-0)

Last Week: 63-14 (W) vs So. Miss

Domination.Even though Nick Saban and everyone watching can see this team is not as good as last year, they still are dominating like the best team in college football. It appears they may get pushed to their defensive limit against Ole Miss. However, the real question is can this offense be stopped? We shall we.

Check back next Sunday morning for the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 4.

College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 4 As it Should Be

College Football ranking week 4

Welcome to the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 4 As it Should Be. Apparently, only a few teams want to stay in the Top 10. I almost feel like I’m stacking Jenga blocks only to have my 2-year-old knock them down. Teams that we thought we could count on look suspect while others are consistent. I think we are in for a very chaotic 2021 season. There is NO team that looks unbeatable. This season is the exact reason we need playoff expansion to eight teams instead of 12. No team should get a first round bye. We would see all sorts of upsets. I cannot believe we are 25% done with the regular season already. Now I’m sad. For those of you new here, I created these rankings to give fans a real Top 10, free from media and conference bias. I’ll tell you the rules of the rankings next, but first we need to celebrate the amazing week 3 in college football. I pray that all you reading this stay healthy and enjoy this season. Now on the the rules.

The Rules: No Bias, No Bull College Football Rankings Week 4

There is no more unbiased ranking out there than Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 4. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. These rankings are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. After the preseason rankings, only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games.

I re-rank the top 10 every Sunday from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information. So make sure to come back every Sunday. For reference, you can check College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 3 .

Rankings should be fair and unbiased, but that’s not the world we live in when preseason polls ultimately affect the final rankings.

Top 10 College Football Rankings Week 4:

Next Up: Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Michigan, Clemson

10. Oklahoma (3-0)

Last Week: 23-16 (W) vs Nebraska

I have no clue what to truly make of this team. They are winning games but haven’t looked great at all. Spencer Rattler was touted as a Heisman hopeful in the preseason but has not lived up to the hype.

9. Michigan State (3-0)

Last Week: 38-17 (W) @ Miami

This is not your father’s Michigan State team. Mel Tucker has rebuilt this roster and mentality in short order. They has speed at their skill positions and a good young QB in Payton Thorne. Through three games they have a ton of explosive plays and have the makings of a Big Ten contender.

Ohio State Rose Bowl Trailer

8. Ohio State Buckeyes (2-1)

Last Week: 41-20 (W) vs Tulsa

This team is fascinating to watch. They have all the talent in the world and score a lot of points each week but something just isn’t clicking. Their young QB CJ Stroud is having an up and down start to the season much like this defense.

7. Ole Miss (3-0)

Last Week: 61-21 (W) vs Tulane

Lane Kiffin has Ole Miss rolling. Their defense may still be shaky but it’s much improved from last season. But this offense… sweet baby Jesus it is fun to watch. It is like watching Chip Kelly at Oregon. Fast, explosive, and efficient execution.

6. Cincinnati (3-0)

Last Week: 38-24 (W) vs Indiana

All three games this season the Bearcats have started slow, but end up blowing everybody out. They got their first real test this week in Indiana. We will find out if Cinci is a playoff contender or not in two weeks against Notre Dame.

Check out our Pac-12 Football Podcast, Pac-12 Apostles:

5. Iowa (3-0)

Last Week: 30-7 (W) vs Kent State

The Hawkeyes deserve to be here because of what they have done on the field. I cannot envision a world in which they are top five to finish the season but up to now, this is where they belong. Other rankings have other teams ranked higher because of recruiting rankings or perceived strength when on field results are the only thing that should matter.

4. Penn State (3-0)

Last Week: 28-20 (W) vs Auburn

So much for the James Franklin to USC rumors being a distraction. Penn State got a huge win against Auburn at home. WIth Ohio State looking vulnerable on defense, could this be the year the Nittany Lions knock off the kings of the B1G?

3. Georgia Bulldogs (3-0)

Last Week: 40-13 (W) vs South Carolina

Georgia just might be the most complete team in the SEC. Their defense looks great but they have yet to play a good offense. Clemson is clearly on the struggle bus offensively, so the jury is still out on how good Georgia is… and the Tigers won’t even get another test until at least Oct. 9th against Auburn.

2. Oregon Ducks (3-0)

Last Week: 48-7 (W) vs Stony Brook

I know the little guys need the money for their athletic departments but I don’t have to like these games. But at least Oregon, unlike most SEC teams, only has one of these non-competitive games instead of two or three.

1. Alabama (3-0)

Last Week: 31-29 (W) @ Florida

What happened to the Crimson Tide at halftime? For two quarters they dominated Florida, but then came a lackluster 1.5 quarters. However, once Florida got close, the light came on for ‘Bama, and they did Bama things to close out the game. I will say this team is not an immovable object at #1 anymore.

Check back next Sunday morning for the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 4.

College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 3 As it Should Be

College Football ranking week 3

Welcome to the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 3 As it Should Be. Major shake ups in the rankings. We witnessed a heavyweight title fight in Columbus, a beatdown in Ames, and rock fight in Boulder that all impacted the rankings. Damn I love college football because we are reminded every weekend that the results on paper ≠ results on the field. For those of you new here, I created these rankings to give fans a real Top 10, free from media and conference bias. I’ll tell you the rules of the rankings next, but first we need to celebrate the amazing week 3 in college football. I pray that all you reading this stay healthy and enjoy this season. Now on the the rules.

The Rules: No Bias, No Bull College Football Rankings Week 3

There is no more unbiased ranking out there than Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 3. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. These rankings are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. After the preseason rankings, only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games.

I re-rank the top 10 every Sunday from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information. So make sure to come back every Sunday. For reference, you can check College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 2 .

Rankings should be fair and unbiased, but that’s not the world we live in when preseason polls ultimately affect the final rankings.

Top 10 College Football Rankings Week 3:

Next Up: Penn State, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Florida

10. Notre Dame (2-0)

Last Week: 32-29 (W) vs Toledo

This Notre Dame team feels a lot like the 2012-13 team that played against Alabama in the National Championship. They won so many games by the hairs on their chinny chin chin. At the end of the season they were 12-0 but everyone knew 1-loss Oregon was a better team. But the BCS computers chose the undefeated team. People better start hoping they lose otherwise we will see them in the top 4 again.

9. Clemson (1-1)

Last Week: 49-3 (W) vs South Carolina State

Dabo Swinney got his team to rebound after the Georgia loss. We still have questions about the development of DJ Uiagalelei at quarterback. If he can be a premiere QB the sky is the limit for the Clemson team. However, they need to root for UNC, Virginia Tech, and Miami to win out until they play.

8. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-1)

Last Week: 28-35 (W) vs Oregon

The Buckeyes have to get their defense figured out. The bad news is Oregon exposed a flaw in their red zone defense. The good news is that few teams will be able to score with CJ Stroud, Chris Olave, and company. They will still have a chance to compete for the B1G championship and get into the college football playoff.

7. Cincinnati (2-0)

Last Week: 42-7 (W) vs Murray State

The Bearcats have outscored their opponents 91-21 through two games. I spent the most time figuring out where to rank them. Their dominance is clear but their schedule is not impressive. As more teams get into the meat of their schedule it will be extremely hard for Cinci to stay ranked above them unless they blow everyone out and beat Notre Dame.

Check out our Pac-12 Football Podcast, Pac-12 Apostles:

6. Oklahoma (2-0)

Last Week: 76-0 (W) vs Western Carolina

The Sooners rebounded nicely after a scare against Tulane. I still give some grace in that game because everything was thrown off. Tulane had to travel to Norman to play a game that was relocated because of the hurricane Ida. There were so many emotions and inspired play by the Green Wave that Oklahoma just had to weather the storm and they did.

5. Iowa (2-0)

Last Week: 27-17 (W) vs Iowa State

This was supposed to be the year Iowa State took the power from Iowa, but the Hawkeyes had other plans. They dominated and out executed a very well-coached football team. I am not sure if Iowa has the horses to be a legit contender, but we cannot discount their great play and quality wins through 2 games.

4. Georgia Bulldogs (2-0)

Last Week: 56-7 (W) vs UAB

Georgia took UAB behind the woodshed without JT Daniels. It is pretty easy for Kirby Smart to play the brand of football he likes against lesser competition. He went all conservative against Clemson. The Bulldogs did come away with the win, but until he goes full Bruce Arians “no risk it, no biscuit” there won’t be any championship banners hanging in Athens.

3. UCLA (2-0)

Last Week: IDLE

A week off didn’t change anything. They still have 2 dominating performances already this year. I can’t wait to see how they handle Fresno State this weekend. If they dominate it won’t be hard for the Bruins to continue to move up in the rankings.

2. Oregon Ducks (2-0)

Last Week: 35-28 (W) @ Ohio State

Oregon has put the nation on notice. They are back in the national championship conversation again after a 5 year absence .A lot of people outside of Oregon are calling their victory over Ohio State an upset. They were the better team and dominated the game. But… Ohio State is legit.

1. Alabama (2-0)

Last Week: 48-14 (W) vs Mercer

Where is Mercer located? I googled it so you didn’t have to. It is in Macon, Georgia. I had a tougher task locating Mercer than Bryce Young, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide had on the field this weekend. No schedule or quality wins points but the domination from the Miami game continued through week 2.

Check back next Sunday morning for the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 3.

College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 2 As it Should Be

College Football Rankings Week 2

Welcome to the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 2 As it Should Be. For those of you new here, I created these rankings to give fans a real Top 10, free from media and conference bias. I’ll tell you the rules of the rankings next, but first we need to celebrate the amazing week 1 in college football. We got big name brand matchups, upsets, and some feel good stories. But that wasn’t the most exciting part. Having fans back in the stands brought an energy through the screen that we hadn’t seen since the 2019 season. I pray that all you reading this stay healthy and enjoy this season. Now on the the rules.

The Rules: No Bias, No Bull College Football Rankings Week 2

There is no more unbiased ranking out there than Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 2. I get criticized from time to time by people who only want to see the college football world through the lens of the AP Poll. These rankings are not going to look like the AP Poll. Open your eyes to see a different view of evaluating the top 10. Most polls including the College Football Playoff Committee give college blueblood teams a massive “benefit of the doubt.” I don’t believe in that. Teams are ranked by the correct criteria: quality wins, schedule played, and dominance. After the preseason rankings, only games played matter. No consideration is given for future games.

I re-rank the top 10 every Sunday from scratch. The previous week’s rankings do not factor into the next week. So, the rankings will change, sometimes drastically every week because we will have new information. So make sure to come back every Sunday. For reference, you can check College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 1.

Rankings should be fair and unbiased, but that’s not the world we live in when preseason polls ultimately affect the final rankings.

Top 10 College Football Rankings Week 2:

Next Up: Clemson, Iowa State, USC, Florida

10. Oregon Ducks (1-0)

Last Week: 31-24 (W) vs Fresno State

The Ducks had a great first and fourth quarter against Fresno State. But the middle two quarters left a lot to be desired from the Oregon offense. We will ultimately see what this team is made of this week as they head to Columbus to take on Ohio State.

9. Cincinnati (1-0)

Last Week: 49-14 (W) vs Miami (OH)

Desmond Ridder showed out against Miami (OH). Cincinnati’s schedule doesn’t allow for them to get very many quality win, so it will be hard for them to climb very high in the poll. But they were dominant last week and should be this week against Murray State as well.

8. Oklahoma (1-0)

Last Week: 40-35 (W) vs Tulane

The Sooners were real close to being a victim last weekend. Tulane recovered an onside kick with about 2 minutes left in the game down five but couldn’t get the win. The reason OU is ranked even in the top 10 after that game is because of the emotions and situation surrounding the game. It was moved to norman because Tulane was displaced because of the hurricane. There won’t be a scare this week against Western Carolina.

7. Texas A&M (1-0)

Last Week: 41-10 (W) vs Kent State

In my rankings, you do not get credit for quality wins or schedule when you beat a bad teams. However, you do receive points for dominance when you blow them out of the water. This week will be a step up in competition as the Aggies head to Boulder, CO to play the Buffaloes.

Check out our Pac-12 Football Podcast, Pac-12 Apostles:

6. Iowa (1-0)

Last Week: 34-6 (W) vs Indiana

I had to do a double take when I saw Iowa scored 34 points vs Indiana until I saw Riley Moss had two pick-six TDs. That was an extremely impressive performance by the Hawkeyes. Next up Iowa State.

5. Notre Dame (1-1)

Last Week: 41-38 (W) vs Florida State

FSU vs Notre Dame was the game of the year so far. The Irish offense looks more explosive than we have seen it in a long time. They have speed at key position and a physical defense. Playoffs again?

4. UCLA (2-0)

Last Week: 38-27 (W) vs LSU

There is no denying what this team has put on tape. Through 2 games, the Bruins defense and OL look physical and fast. Chip Kelly’s team harassed LSU all game on the way to a dominating performance.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0)

Last Week: 45-31 (W) @ Minnesota

It you want big plays, you showed up at the right place. The Buckeyes scored four TDs from 30+ against Minnesota. That sort of explosion keeps opposing coaches up at night. Huge matchup against Oregon this week.

2. Georgia Bulldogs (1-0)

Last Week: 10-3 (W) vs Clemson

We will have to wait until this weekend to see if the Bulldogs can score their first offensive touchdown. Their matchup against Clemson was an absolute rock fight offensively. However, the Georgia defense was fighting with a bazooka. They may be the fastest defense we saw in week 1.

1. Alabama (1-0)

Last Week: 44-13 (W) vs Miami

Alabama deserves the #1 spot of the College Football Top 10 Rankings As It Should Be. They dominated Miami in every way possible. Bryce Young is now the Crimson Tide QB and the offense looks just as good as when Mac Jones or Tua was QB.

Check back next Sunday morning for the College Football Top 10 Power Rankings Week 2.

BYU’s Corporate Walk-On Scholarships Changed The Game, For Better or Worse

I’m sure by now you’ve seen the video of BYU football partnering with Built Bar to secure Name, Image and Likeness deals for all 36 walk-ons for the equivalent of their tuition costs. If you haven’t, take a moment to watch below:

This is incredible, and could be a life altering leg up for many of these young men. When you watch an event like this unfold, it’s hard to believe the NCAA spent decades not only standing in the way of corporations entering into mutually beneficial partnerships with the athletes, but doing all they could to make sure this money filtered directly into their “non-profit” offices to fund their operational budget and administrative staffs.

The initial reaction from college football fans all over the country seemed to be excitement, not only for these young men, but for all the possibilities that may have been unlocked for their school’s athletes as well.

“It’s a Brave New World! Companies can gain viral publicity ensuring that walk-ons aren’t stuck getting student loan repayments auto-debited well into their 50’s! My team might be able to hold onto some talent that develops into something special!”

Well, as Lee Corso might say, Not so fast my friend.

It might not seem like there’s a lot of parity in college football, with Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Ohio State all jockeying for position at the top, but the one thing that keeps hope alive for everybody that exists just outside the perennially elite rung of NCAA football teams is a little thing called scholarship limits.

You can only take an average of 25 scholarship players per year, and hold a limit of 85 overall scholarship players on the roster. When Alabama secures their recruiting class, which has been ranked 7th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st over the last 4 years, they’re not getting all the players that want to spend their college years getting chewed out by Nick Saban. They’re only getting a fraction of the aspiring Crimson Tide.

Now imagine that Alabama wasn’t encumbered by that 25 annual scholarship limit, or 85 overall scholarship limit at all. Imagine that any prospect that wanted to go to Alabama could do so, because a generous alumni was suddenly allowed to fully fund their football and educational experience, independent from the NCAA’s scholarship limit.

Well, you don’t have to imagine, because that’s where we’re at now. There is absolutely nothing stopping Nike-fueled Oregon, or oil wealth-soaked Texas, or the same boosters who bought Nick Saban’s house from ensuring that Alabama has the funding to secure Corporate Walk-On Scholarships for upwards of 40+ four-star or above recruits in any given class.

LeBron James’ super-teamification of sports has made its way to college football, and while BYU’s viral moment was both heart-warming, and a step in the right direction to break the grip of the NCAA over the ability to keep college athletes away from their own market value, we’re now left to ask the question… is parity officially dead?

George Wrighster and I get into all of that and more on this week’s episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast. Make sure and give it a listen.

Have a take you’d like us to read and address in a future article or on a future show? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll address your take.

UnafraidShow Quick Take: Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy Still Belongs to Reggie Bush

Reggie Bush gave his 2005 Heisman trophy back in 2012 following several years of NCAA investigations into the allegations that sports agent Lloyd Lake and business partner Michael Michaels gave Bush gifts that included hotel stays, a rent-free home for his family, and a limousine ride and suit for the 2005 Heisman Trophy ceremony.

Lake had expectations that Bush would return the favor by being his meal ticket, and when that didn’t happen, Lake sued Bush for $300,000 and cooperated with the NCAA investigation.

Now that the NCAA has relented on the idea, though they were forced to do so, that players are able to capitalize on their Name, Image and Likeness while in school, and make money off their notoriety, Reggie Bush wants his Heisman Trophy back.

His request has been denied.

But at UnafraidShow, we know exactly who that trophy belongs to:

Reggie Bush doesn’t need to be in physical possession of the Heisman Trophy for us to acknowledge who it belongs to. His 2,218 yards from scrimmage, and 9.4 yards per touch that season electrified college football fans everywhere, and fueled an undefeated Pac-10 season that capped off 23-consecutive conference wins.

The trophy is not only his, but because of the NCAA contending that it isn’t his, much like with the Baseball Hall of Fame keeping Pete Rose on the outside looking in, the first name we’re going to think of every time we hear the word Heisman is Reginald Alfred Bush Jr.

Here are his highlights to remind you of exactly what the NCAA is trying to make you forget:

Here are some of the better takes out in the Twittersphere:

And, for fun, here’s this wild take as well:

UnafraidShow Quick Take: The Pac-12 Needs to Capitalize on Texas and Oklahoma’s Unhappiness with the Big 12

The news of University of Texas and University of Oklahoma’s exploration of leaving the Big 12 rocked the college football world, especially with the news that their preferred destination is the SEC- the home of 11 of the last 15 National Champions. But what if the SEC wasn’t the only possible destination? What if the Pac-12 would actually be a better play?

Texas is no stranger to flirting with the possibility of conference hopping, but is the SEC the best home for them? The SEC is likely not as open to the idea of the Longhorn Network taking away from the overall shared pot of gold, and rival Texas A&M is certainly displeased with the idea of losing the exclusivity of being able to recruit as the state’s only SEC representative.

The Pac-12 would definitely be more open to the idea of acquiescing to some of the demands of Oklahoma and Texas, and the west coast is a fertile recruiting ground that the Sooners and Longhorns have both taken advantage of (see Heisman contenders Spencer Rattler and Bijan Robinson from the state of Arizona).

Here’s UnafraidShow boss man George Wrighster weighing in on the possibilities:

Pac-12 Football Seasons: 2020 Colorado Buffaloes Game 3

Sam Noyer Colorado Buffaloes 2020

Through their first two games of the 2020 college football season, the Colorado Buffaloes offense carried them. The Buffs bucked that trend, however, as they relied on a strong defensive performance. Because of this performance, they were able to win 20-10 victory against San Diego State on Saturday at Folsom Field.

Colorado Buffaloes Use Ball Control Offense to Take Lead

A few days ago, the Buffaloes were prepping for a huge Pac-12 South matchup against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Coliseum. USC could not play this week, as they are dealing with COVID-19 cases within their program. Despite the Buffaloes not being able to play Pac-12 competition for the second straight week, they were ready to play the Aztecs.

After SDSU went three-and-out on their first possession, the Buffaloes were able to use an effective run game on a 16-play march. Sophomore running back Jarek Broussard had two big runs of 19 and 16 yards to set the Buffs up for success on the drive. Colorado was able to use a good mix of running and passing to get into the red zone. Despite that, the Aztecs were able to force the Buffs into a 4th-and-goal at the one-yard line. On 4th-and goal, Sam Noyer was able to run the football in for a touchdown on a quarterback sweep. CU got the extra point and went up 7-0.

That first touchdown drive took the Buffaloes 6:05. Their second touchdown drive in the second quarter took 7:09. They showed that they can play a ball-control style of game and capitalize on opportunities. Shortening the game comes with its risks, but the Buffs were able to take advantage of their opportunities.

Bad Play Helped San Diego State Stay in the Game

However, one bad play can change the trajectory of the game when a team plays a ball-control style game. This bad play happened for the Buffaloes, as Sam Noyer threw his second interception of the season. San Diego State junior cornerback Darren Hall returned the interception 57 yards for a touchdown. The Buffs had dominated play, but only had a 14-7 lead.

The Buffaloes had to punt on their subsequent possession, giving the ball back to San Diego State. SDSU was able to drive down the field and kick a 48-yard field goal before halftime. The Buffaloes were the better team in the first half by far. Yet, they only had a four-point lead to show for it.

The defense came to play against the Aztecs. San Diego State had seven three-and-outs and turned the ball over on downs once. In total, the Buffaloes defense held SDSU to 155 total yards on offense.

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Buffaloes Able To Make Field Goals In Second Half, Aztecs Do Not

After the teams traded three-and-outs to start the second half, the Buffs had their third 10+-play drive of the game. This time, they would only manage a field goal, however. With not having many days to prepare for the Aztecs, being able to control time of possession was huge for the Buffaloes. They let the game be in their hands. The Buffaloes played like the favorites, even though San Diego State was able to stay in it.

The only real chance the Aztecs had in the second half was due to an error by the Buffsf. Senior linebacker Akil Jones was flagged for roughing the passer, and San Diego State was in field goal range early in the fourth quarter. However, sophomore Mark Perry came up with a huge block of a 50-yard field goal by Aztec kicker Matt Araiza.

Following the field goal miss, the Buffaloes took the ball 44 yards in nine plays. Jarek Broussard’s 26-yard run on this drive was a huge step towards winning the game. Evan Price’s 41-yard field goal gave the Buffaloes the two-possession lead at 20-10.

This lead was plenty for a defense who did not allow SDSU to score a touchdown all game. Colorado’s defense did not break as they forced SDSU into another field goal attempt. This time, Matt Araiza’s 44-yard kick went wide right.

The offense struggled to keep the football the rest of the game, but the defense stepped up. They forced SDSU to turn the football over on downs. On the last Aztec drive, the defense finally forced a turnover as junior safety Curtis Appleton II picked off SDSU quarterback Jordan Brookshire. The Buffaloes added another game into the win column as they have started out 3-0.

2020 Colorado Buffaloes Attain Bowl Eligibility

Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker beat a top-10 team on Saturday in the Spartans’ victory against Northwestern. He did not accomplish that feat in Boulder. Additionally, Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell has officially led the Buffs to bowl eligibility in his first year on the job. Tucker was unable to accomplish that feat during his time in Boulder in 2019.

Colorado Buffaloes fans should be ecstatic that despite the challenges that Dorrell has faced in 2020, he was able to lead this team to bowl eligibility. The Buffaloes still have plenty of work to do, and Dorrell talked about that in his postgame comments. In his introductory press conference in March, Dorrell talked about how he was going to be in Boulder “for the long haul”. He is taking that approach to the season also. There is still work to be done.

A Word on Targeting in College Football

Early in the game, there was a targeting call on Buffaloes cornerback Mekhi Blackmon that could have resulted in him being ejected from the game. Luckily, the referees overturned the call. However, the fact that a player can be ejected after their first unnecessary roughness hit is ridiculous. These plays are usually “bang-bang” or accidental. College players have limited opportunities to play in a college football game. It is ridiculous to punish them after they commit one accidental hit. The fact that Blackmon could have been ejected for a play where he was not leading with his head deliberately is very frustrating. It takes away from the game. The NCAA needs to do something about this rule because it is unfair to the players. It makes sense to eject players for repeated offenses, but they only get so many opportunities to put on a college uniform.

At 3-0, the Colorado Buffaloes take on the 0-3 Arizona Wildcats next week in Tucson in their fourth game of 2020. Colorado should be favored in this game. It is important for the Buffaloes to play a sound game and take care of business in a game they should win. They have a legitimate shot at making the Pac-12 championship game if they beat Arizona and Utah. Nonetheless, Buffaloes fans should be in a celebratory mood that the team has achieved bowl eligibility,

Pac-12 Football Seasons: 2020 Colorado Buffaloes Game 2 – Stanford

Whenever your quarterback is starting to get nicknames like “Noyer the Destroyer”, you know your team is in a good spot.

The Colorado Buffaloes have already exceeded outside expectations, as they improved to 2-0 on the season with a 35-32 victory over the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday. Even though the final score was closer than the game was for the majority of it, the Buffaloes were able to leave Stanford Stadium with the victory.

Optimism for Colorado Offense Is Great After 35-32 Win Over Stanford

Sam Noyer played well after throwing an interception in the first quarter. He had two touchdown passes to wide receivers Dimitri Stanley and Brenden Rice, and added two scores on the ground. With his receivers, Noyer has showed consistent timing and the ability to involve multiple players in the passing game.

Additionally, the Buffaloes were able to get a lot of their young talent involved on Saturday. The previously mentioned Brenden Rice, a true freshman who is the son of Jerry Rice, caught his first career touchdown in the third quarter. Redshirt freshman La’Vontae Shenault, related to NFL rookie receiver and former Buffs star Laviska Shenault Jr., also caught his first pass of his Buffs career. Freshman running back Ashaad Clayton also saw his first carries in a Buffaloes uniform.

Getting everyone involved on offense was great to see. Even though they were not able to get into rhythm right away, Dimitri Stanley’s 55-yard touchdown reception later in the first quarter jumpstarted the offense. After taking that 7-3 lead, Noyer would add a rush touchdown in the second quarter to extend it to 14-3.

Despite Absences From Top Offensive Weapons, Dimitri Stanley and Jarek Broussard Have Stepped Up

Dimitri Stanley had six receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown. He stepped up big time with the absence of wide receiver K.D. Nixon for the second consecutive week. Karl Dorrell called him a dynamic player. It is vitally important for Stanley to continue his good play if Nixon continues to be out. Sam Noyer called Stanley “fearless” and lauded him for being able to make plays of all sorts.

Another player that has come up huge with the absence of expected starter Alex Fontenot has been redshirt sophomore running back Jarek Broussard. He had 121 rushing yards and became the first CU Buffs running back since 2005 to have 100 or more rushing yards in the first two games of the season (per CU Sports Information).

Colorado Defense Lets Stanford Back Into Game Late

The defense was effective, forcing four Stanford 3-and-outs during the game. They were holding them to field goals until late in the third quarter. Stanford’s passing game led by senior quarterback Davis Mills started to gash the Buffaloes secondary.

The Buffaloes were able to take a 35-16 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter after a Jaren Mangham touchdown run. However, the Cardinal were able to score two touchdowns late. It is frustrating that the defense let the lead get down to three points near the end. They also let UCLA back in the game last week after leading by 28 points in the second quarter.

The run defense was great, holding the Cardinal offense to 70 yards on 21 carries. However, the secondary struggled late, and the Cardinal took advantage of it. Fourth quarter defensive strategy may have had something to do with the comeback, but the Buffaloes simply have not finished effectively despite their 2-0 start.  

A 2-0 Start Is Great For A Buffaloes Team That Had No Outside Expectations

Karl Dorrell stated in his postgame comments that he wished the game finished more so on the Buffaloes’ terms. Despite the team not finishing the game on their terms necessarily, fans should be encouraged by what the Buffs have put on the field this season. “Noyer the Destroyer” has shown doubters that he can play well against Pac-12 competition. He has proven to be a threat as a running quarterback also. The Buffaloes have a ton of talent at the skill positions. Players have been able to show up when they are called upon on offense.

On defense, the Buffaloes have looked good in the early parts of games. If they are able to consistently play good defense, they can play with anyone in the Pac-12. Prognosticators projected the Buffaloes to not be anywhere close to 2-0 after the first two weeks. For Buffs fans, it feels great knowing that they have a good football team to watch in Boulder this season.

Pac-12 Football Seasons: 2020 Colorado Buffaloes Game 1

The usual “Sko Buffs” chants from Colorado Buffaloes fans did not reverberate across Folsom Field Saturday. Although 2020 will not allow Colorado Buffaloes fans to scream it together, they were chanting it from home. Despite playing in front of a very limited number of spectators due to COVID-19 protocols, Colorado held on for a 48-42 victory over the UCLA Bruins on Saturday.

Defense’s Opportunistic Turnovers Became Storyline for Buffaloes

Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer was the story leading into this game. The fifth-year senior had not started a game at quarterback since his senior year of high school. Buffaloes fans were wondering about how the quarterback would fill the void left by Steven Montez.

While Noyer was the story before the game, turnovers became the story once the game started. The Buffaloes capitalized off two UCLA turnovers to take an early 14-0 lead. Noyer did not have to carry the team, as the offensive line came ready to play. They created holes for running back Jarek Broussard. The sophomore got the first two rushing touchdowns of his career. It was exactly the start Karl Dorrell and the entire Colorado Buffaloes team needed in 2020.

More Opportunistic Turnovers Help Buffaloes Get 28-Point Lead

Once the Buffaloes built their lead, the UCLA offense started to figure out the Buffs’ defense. They allowed UCLA to score a touchdown on a screen pass to cut CU’s lead in half. This 28-yard touchdown for UCLA was a screen play on a 2nd-and-16. Defending the screen was a problem for the Buffaloes’ defense all night. Too many of these plays happened. If the Buffaloes want to win consistently this season, they must clean this aspect of their game up.

Despite the defense playing very opportunistic, the offense showed great consistency throughout the entire game. The timing between Sam Noyer and a receiving corps that was missing senior K.D. Nixon looked great. This recipe led the Buffaloes to dominate most of the second quarter.

Credit: University of Colorado Athletics

After Noyer found Brady Russell for a touchdown, Derrion Rakestraw recovered a Dorian Thompson-Robinson fumble. Even though the Buffaloes could not capitalize on that drive, they recovered another fumble deep in UCLA territory on the Bruins’ next possession. Another Jarek Broussard score gave the Buffs a 28-7 lead. Broussard would have 100 rushing yards before halftime. If the Buffaloes can consistently produce on the ground, they will be able to compete against anyone in the Pac-12 this season.

UCLA would go three-and-out on the next possession. That led to the Buffs getting another rushing touchdown, this time from sophomore Jaren Mangham. The Buffaloes were 6.5-point underdogs, but they were winning 35-7 with 5:46 remaining in the second quarter.

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Despite Opportunistic Turnovers, Defense Got Exposed On Multiple Occasions

However, the defense would be exposed on the next possession. They gave up a 52-yard touchdown on a blown coverage. Momentum was creeping towards UCLA, as James Stefanou missed a 51-yard field goal attempt before halftime.

To start the second half, the Buffs’ defense would give up a 65-yard touchdown run to Dorian Thompson-Robinson. On the ensuing Buffs possession, UCLA blocked a field goal. The first bad break for the Buffs all game would turn even worse. UCLA would score a touchdown on another screen pass to make the game 35-28 with 10:10 left in the third quarter. In what was a bit less than 10 minutes of gameplay, UCLA was able to make a game out of what was looking like a CU rout.

The most encouraging thing about this game for Buffs fans was that the offense was putting up consistent production all game. They responded to the flurry of UCLA points by methodically marching down the field on the next drive. Noyer would get a 1-yard rush touchdown, and the Buffaloes led 42-28.

However, another possible deficiency on defense for the Buffs was exposed. They were getting numerous pass interference calls all night, and the majority of them were on freshman cornerback Christian Gonzalez. UCLA was targeting in the pass game all night. It was frustrating to see pass interference calls go against the Buffs, but they did not give up touchdowns because of them. Once again, the Bruins would score on a screen play to cut the lead to 42-35. These types of plays should not be able to work against a defense as often as they did for UCLA.

Special Teams Also Showed Deficiencies for Colorado Buffaloes In First Game of 2020

Nonetheless, one area that started to look better for the Buffaloes was their kicking game after missing two field goals in the first half. Evan Price replaced an injured James Stefanou for a 45-yard field goal at the end of the third quarter. After having low-scoring games at home in the second half of the 2019 season, the opening game of the 2020 season looked nothing like those games. Despite that, the Buffaloes were winning the game 45-35.

The game tightened up in the fourth quarter, as the Buffaloes’ defense stepped up and stopped UCLA on a 4th-and-1 from the CU 30-yard line. The Buffs’ offense was able to drive down the field, but UCLA’s defense was able to hold them to a field goal. With a 48-35 lead, the Buffaloes’ defense put UCLA into a 4th-and-11 situation from the CU 40. Once again, UCLA was not able to convert.

The Buffaloes had a chance to put the game away for good. However, UCLA would get their second blocked kick of the night, this time on a 44-yard attempt from Evan Price.

UCLA was able to drive down the field and score a touchdown with 1:45 left. Consequently, the Bruins had burned through all their timeouts already. Thus, CU was able to recover the onside kick and run out the clock. It wasn’t perfect, but being able to beat UCLA was a great way for Karl Dorrell to start his CU coaching tenure.

James Stefanou retired from football on Monday. He finished eighth on CU’s all-time scoring list with 199 points.

Colorado Buffaloes Defeat UCLA Bruins 48-42 In First Game of 2020 Season

Dorrell said that there was no added emotion going up against UCLA, which is his alma mater. He also coached there from 2003-07. It’s all business for Dorrell. This mindset is a great mindset for a team who is trying to go on an ascending path. He also said the team won without playing their best football. Despite the defensive inefficiencies, Dorrell stated the need to outscore opponents in the Pac-12.

The opponent CU will try to outscore next week will be the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford’s quarterback situation looks murky, as Davis Mills is currently in COVID-19 protocol. On defense, if the Buffaloes are able to limit penalties and big plays off of screens, they should have a good chance to win this game.

Last year, they beat Stanford 16-13. That win and the confidence the Buffs gained from it should carry over into the matchup this year. Do not expect the Buffaloes to put up 48 points against the Cardinal, but they should not give up 42 points to them either.

The Buffaloes are not far off from the majority of Pac-12 teams as far as their talent. Thus, the expectation should be for them to compete against whoever they play this season. They should be able to get the job done too, and they demonstrated that in their Week 1 win against UCLA.

James Stefanou Retires After Game