The Big 12 has a very strong top, and a very poor middle/ bottom
The top two teams in the Big 12 this weekend were dominant. Oklahoma destroyed Missouri State 48-0, and Texas waxed UTEP 59-3. Both played weak opponents, but beat them handily and proved they were good football teams who were ready to play a season. Oklahoma State, who is the third best team in the Big 12, did not play, but I expect them to be good as well. West Virginia also looked good this week beating Eastern Kentucky 56-10, but I do not expect the Mountaineers to be a contender in this conference. Baylor and TCU also did not play because of postponements, so they escape the coming criticism that the rest of the league will be hearing. Now for the rest of the conference, Texas Tech won 35-33 against Houston Baptist, and FCS opponent. Texas Tech comes out of this weekend looking the best compared to Kansas, Iowa State, and Kansas State. Kansas got blown out 38-23 by Coastal Carolina, who finished second to last in the Sun Belt last year. What’s even worse is this is the second year in a row Kansas has lost to Coastal Carolina. Kansas State followed the trend by losing 35-31 to Arkansas State, another Sun Belt opponent. They did lose on a touchdown pass with 17 seconds left, but this is a middle of the pack Big 12 opponent losing to a middle of the pack Sun Belt opponent. It is not acceptable. And lastly Iowa State dropped an egg against Louisiana, yet another Sun Belt team, losing the game 31-14. Highly touted Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy was 16-35 for 145 yards 1 interception and 0 touchdowns. He was absolutely atrocious, and to make matters worse, Louisiana scored two special teams touchdowns. Texas tech, Iowa State, Kansas State, and Kansas embarrassed themselves this week and embarrassed there conference.
The ACC is going to be interesting this year, but Clemson is really, really good
The ACC had a good weekend this week, with four inter- league games. In out of conference play ACC squads went 3-0, as Miami pulled away from UAB, Louisville beat Western Kentucky, and Pitt handled Austin Peay with ease. In conference play, Notre Dame vs Duke ended 27-13 in favor of the Fighting Irish, Georgia Tech beat Florida State 16- 13, North Carolina dominated Syracuse 31-6, and Clemson cruised past Wake Forest 37-13. The Notre Dame and Georgia Tech games were interesting and seemed like they could go either way – the Irish only led by four entering the fourth quarter, and Georgia Tech overcome a 10-0 deficit and two blocked kicks to top the Seminoles. North Carolina was so much better then Syracuse, and a 21-point fourth quarter exemplified that and put the game in the bag. Meanwhile, the #1 team in the country did what they were supposed to against Wake Forest – crush them.
This league looks to be really competitive for the second spot behind Clemson. There are a handful of teams that showed this weekend they are capable. Clemson is easily the best team in this league, and showed why against Wake Forest. With their offense led by the best and most experienced quarterback/running-back duo I’ve ever seen in Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, the Tigers are the most complete team in both the ACC and the country.
The Sun Belt had possibly its best weekend ever
Four Sun Belt teams won this week, three against Big 12 opponents, and one against a Conference USA opponent. Also, South Alabama was close to beating a strong AAC team in Tulane. This conference showed to be stronger then expected, and they looked really impressive in one of the best weekends in conference history. The Sun Belt has become the “Fun Belt” conference officially. Appalachian State is still the best team, overcoming a slow start to beat Charlotte 35-20, but Louisiana (31-14 upset of #23 Iowa State) is very good, and there are other teams that could keep things interesting. For the first time ever, I can say I was impressed with the Sun Belt.