Week 3 takeaways – Alabama still searching, Washington can’t miss

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Though the matchups for Week 3 didn’t soar off the web page coming into the weekend, there was loads of drama that left us with numerous questions as we glance ahead.

What’s going on within the SEC? Do we’ve a full-fledged quarterback controversy in Alabama? Are Michael Penix Jr. and the Washington passing assault actually this good? And the way excessive can the hysteria get surrounding Coach Prime and Colorado?

Our school soccer reporters take a look at these matters and extra with this week’s takeaways.

The SEC stays one massive thriller

It is most likely not sensible to supply up a information flash three weeks into any school soccer season. However right here goes nothing: The SEC seems fairly bizarre. To not diss Georgia and the Dawgs’ ring assortment over the past two years, however they regarded beatable for a lot of the South Carolina sport earlier than rallying within the second half at house. I am unsure there are any givens on the high of the league, as has been the case with Georgia, Alabama and LSU over the past 5 – 6 years. We have already seen some critical gnashing of enamel over the quarterback play, which is to be anticipated to some extent with so many new starters and others, comparable to Mississippi State’s Will Rogers, taking part in in a brand new offense.

Nowhere has there been extra angst over the quarterback spot than at Alabama. What does Nick Saban do now, after his swap to Tyler Buchner didn’t go nicely? Some near this system assume Saban will return to Jalen Milroe, which most likely makes essentially the most sense at this level.

Florida’s upset win over Tennessee on the Swamp cooled numerous the offseason hype surrounding Joe Milton III and the Vols, whereas LSU and Texas A&M get possibilities within the coming weeks to make amends for humbling losses to ACC foes within the first two weeks. Ole Miss is unbeaten however will get its first SEC take a look at this week at Alabama.

Some have urged that the SEC (gasp!) may even be not noted of the playoff. I do not see that taking place, however we may see some actual carnage with faculties beating up on one another and numerous the information trying comparable at season’s finish. It is what the remainder of the faculty soccer world has been ready for. — Chris Low

Penix deserves extra hype

Michael Penix Jr. solidified himself as a reputable Heisman candidate who ought to be getting as a lot hype as anybody after an unimaginable efficiency towards Michigan State on Saturday. Penix threw for 473 yards, 5 touchdowns and accomplished 77% of his passes in simply three quarters of UW’s 41-7 win. He grew to become the primary quarterback in Washington historical past to throw for 400 yards and three or extra touchdowns in every of the group’s first three video games. He has already thrown for 1,332 yards this season, which is essentially the most via a group’s first three video games of a season since 2016, when each Davis Webb and Patrick Mahomes reached that mark.

Penix may have the possibility to showcase his potential on the nationwide stage when his group performs Oregon, USC and Utah later this season. The sport towards USC will put him towards final season’s Heisman winner, Caleb Williams, and is certain to be an offensive duel value watching. — Tom VanHaaren

Washington’s receiver depth displaying

In fact, somebody must be on the opposite finish of all these Penix passes, and for the third straight week, a pair of Washington broad receivers went over the 100-yard mark in the identical sport. Rome Odunze (eight catches for 180 yards) and Ja’Lynn Polk (5 receptions for 118 yards and a TD) turned the trick Saturday.

The emergence of Polk (300 receiving yards) and tight finish Jack Westover, who had three landing catches towards the Spartans, behind Jalen McMillan and Odunze will permit coach Kalen DeBoer to maintain his foot on the fuel and proceed to make opposing defenses dizzy. Per week after 10 Huskies caught passes in a win over Tulsa, 9 receivers had receptions Saturday in East Lansing. That type of steadiness, which does not permit defenses an opportunity to breathe, may show pivotal because the Pac-12 gauntlet commences. — Blake Baumgartner

The Pac-12 is well the nation’s greatest league

Late Saturday evening, I used to be requested on ESPN radio whether or not the Pac-12 champion had an opportunity to make the CFP. A good query, given the league’s absence from the occasion since 2016, however the reply clearly is sure. The Pac-12 has backed up the offseason hype and established itself as simply the highest convention within the FBS. The disappointing begins by each the SEC and Large Ten consider, and a few ugly Pac-12 outcomes cannot be ignored, however the league deserves credit score for a way its high groups are performing.

For years, the Pac-12 botched the nonleague portion of its schedule, as its higher groups — 2019 Oregon, 2022 Utah — would lose to inferior opponents. This season, the Pac-12 largely has taken care of enterprise, beating Florida (Utah), Texas Tech (Oregon), Wisconsin (Washington State), TCU (Colorado), Michigan State (Washington) and others. Though the largest nonconference take a look at stays — USC at Notre Dame on Oct. 14 — the Pac-12 has minimized the harm and had its greatest groups typically look dominant. The league will beat up on one another, as at all times, however wins throughout the league will resonate extra due to what’s occurred outdoors of convention play. — Adam Rittenberg

Do not panic over sloppy September wins

Sure, the CFP choice committee actually pays consideration to how groups win, and it is clearly higher to deal with unranked competitors with some fashion. After a sluggish Saturday when many groups sputtered their technique to victory, although, it is value noting the group additionally acknowledges when contenders merely discover methods to win.

The query is that if the struggles are extra indicative of bigger issues (Alabama?), or if perhaps a group was trying forward (Florida State?), or just ran right into a gritty little man swinging for the fences (Texas?). No matter it was, it appeared to be contagious Saturday, and the ultimate scores did not reveal how shut a few of the video games had been at one level. Georgia was trailing South Carolina by 11 on the half. Texas was tied at 10 with Wyoming late within the third quarter. Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw a career-high three interceptions and was clinging to a 1-point lead on the half earlier than beating Bowling Inexperienced.

Generally, these performances may be extra spectacular than clobbering, say, NC Central, 59-7 (UCLA). Because of this the committee does not launch its first rating till Halloween — it is nonetheless too early to inform who’s a pretender. However Week 4 shall be way more revealing. Ohio State at Notre Dame. Colorado at Oregon. Florida State at Clemson. These video games will assist present us who to take significantly. — Heather Dinich

It is Deion Sanders’ world, we’re all simply residing in it

Saturday’s win over Colorado State did not simply really feel just like the marquee sport of the day. It was the sporting occasion of the weekend. Between the celebrities readily available and the hype main as much as the matchup towards a Colorado State group that was neither ranked nor on the radar of most school soccer followers, Deion Sanders & Co. had been the speak of the game as soon as once more. Then the sport started and Sanders’ son Shilo had an 80-yard pick-six, whereas his son Shedeur led the game-tying drive late within the fourth quarter that helped the Buffs safe an exciting win in additional time.

The whole lot was actually turning up Sanders. Three video games and three wins into the season, we’re reaching a degree the place it seems like every thing Sanders touches — from shades to interviews to pregame speeches and his complete roster — turns to gold. The injection of power Sanders has given the game since he started his teaching tenure at Jackson State and now in Boulder is not with out substance, which makes the approaching two weeks all of the extra compelling. Matchups towards Oregon in Eugene and USC at house will present the place Colorado actually stands, however regardless of the end result, one factor is for certain: Everybody shall be watching. — Paolo Uggetti

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