Winner: Georgia QB Stetson Bennett
We came into the season hyping Jamie Newman and JT Daniels, even D’Wan Mathis to an extent, but the spring #4, Stetson Bennett, has been aces through two games. Bennett led the Dawgs to a 27-6 win over a top-ten Auburn team on Saturday. Bennett is a Georgia QB, very much in the Jake Fromm prototype, so he won’t be the offense-changer Newman was expected to be, but he’s good, and he can lead this Georgia team to the College Football Playoff.
After Tulsa took College Football Playoff darkhorse Oklahoma State to the wire in their first game, the big takeaway was that the Pokes might not be very good. It turns out what we should’ve taken away is that this Tulsa team might be a contender in the AAC. The Golden Hurricane knocked off UCF for the fourth straight time on Saturday, breaking the Golden Knights’ long home winning streak. With Cincinnati in two weeks, we’ll see if this really is a potential AAC champion.
Loser: The Big 12
Oklahoma lost two games in a row for the first time since 1998, Texas lost to TCU, 2019 Big 12 runner-up Baylor lost to West Virginia. It was a rough day for the conference, whose best team is Oklahoma State… probably? The Pokes are solid, but not nearly good enough to run the table. I think the Big 12’s playoff hopes are dwindling.
Loser: The State of Texas (sans SMU)
Excluding the intra-state TCU vs Texas matchup, the Lone Star State’s College Football teams went 1-6 on Saturday. Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M got blown out by Alabama, Texas Tech, Baylor, UTSA, and Abilene Christian all lost, even a North Texas squad that looked to have some potential came up short against a bad Southern Miss team. Only Sonny Dykes’ SMU Mustangs carried the day, knocking off #25 Memphis 30-27.
Winner: Alabama QB Mac Jones
Tua Tagovailoa’s replacement didn’t have the same hype, but he’s been dynamite. Jones threw for 435 yards and four touchdowns against Texas A&M on Saturday, and the Tide look to be a favorite to make the College Football Playoff yet again.
Loser: Auburn QB Bo Nix
I’ve been a Bo Nix hater since the start, the Auburn QB has flashed, but is largely too inconsistent to ever be counted on as a National Title level QB. He proved it again on Saturday. After a good start to the year against Kentucky, Nix was 3/18 on passes of over 10 yards against Georgia according to an analysis done by Pro Football Focus. Ouch.
For the first time since October of 2017, three years ago, Arkansas beat a Power Five team, and at that, it was a ranked team, as the Razorbacks took down Mike Leach’s Mississippi State Bulldogs, 21-14. WPS.
Loser: The Group of Five’s Playoff Chances
It seemed like this could be the year, with two power conferences opting out. Then the Big Ten decided to come back. The Pac-12 followed. Now, the G5 school with the most name recognition and talent, UCF, is out. Cincinnati is good, but without an unbeaten foe to go after and no power five non-conference games, it isn’t happening. The dream will have to wait a little longer.
Winner: BYU QB Zach Wilson
Wilson has been electric through three games, and his Cougars have a great shot to run the table and make a New Year’s Six bowl for the first time in program history. The QB has been the best in the G5 by a wide margin and should earn some Heisman hype.
Loser: North Dakota State QB Trey Lance
North Dakota State decided to play one game this fall, and highly touted NFL draft prospect Trey Lance got his chance to shine against Central Arkansas. He looked… fine; winning the game and making some plays with his feet but throwing his first career interception and plenty of inaccurate throws. Expect Lance to slide down NFL draft boards in the coming days.
The Ponies became the only 4-0 team in the country with a late 30-27 win over then-#25 Memphis on Saturday, and they look to be real contenders in the American this year. Sonny Dykes has had an awesome start to his tenure in Dallas.
Winner: Air Force
The Falcons have two weeks off before Moutain West play begins October 24th, but they got a nice tune-up on Saturday. Scratch that. They dominated Navy. Like, straight ran them out of the yard. The Falcons picked up their first win of the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy Series, a 40-7 win over the Midshipmen, who have had a crazy up-and-down year to date.
The Warhawks lost to a UTEP team thought to be the worst in the country last week, but this week might have been even worse, as driving, down five against Georgia Southern, ULM QB Colby Suits was stopped just shy of the goal line with no timeouts, time expired, and the WarHawks fell to 0-4. Heartbreaking.