Things I Think We Learned: CFB ‘22 Week Five

This college football season keeps getting crazier and crazier. It almost feels like 2007, minus the rise of social media consuming our lives and tribalizing us, and the optimism of the mid 2000s, and Jefferson Pilot games. Which is probably the greatest loss mentioned. Anyway, I’d like to say we’re at a place where we kind of have an idea of who is good and who is not, but we ain’t. Some things I saw this past weekend you may have too:

– I don’t know what happened, but Arkansas looks to have peaked for this season. I get the impression that the way they lost to A&M has really taken the wind out of their sails. If that didn’t, cutting a 28-point lead against Alabama down to five only to lose by 23 surely had to. I truly believed that this team was going to finish second in the west, but after that unraveling against Alabama, they may be in trouble.

– Alabama looked like the Alabama we expected, playing a typical Alabama “scare” game: blow an opponent out early, then show a faint sign of weakness when Heisman-winning quarterback goes down, let the opponent and everyone else have a faint glimmer of hope by letting said opponent cut the lead to single digits, only to have their second-string quarterback take over on an amazing play when the Tide’s back was against the wall, blow out ensues and all hope crushed. Hope you guys are ready for another Tide title, because this is going to be the game that’s the catalyst for what’s to come. It just had “season defining game” written all over it—as far as Alabama in the Saban era goes.

– To paraphrase a good friend, “A&M gone A&M.” It’s hard to tell who seems drunker: the team with all the ups and downs this season, the fans watching it, or the boosters who paid for it. What a mess. I’m not impressed and called this before the season. I’m not sure they beat another SEC school this season—and yes, I know Auburn is on their schedule. That game may end in a tie after eight scoreless overtimes. Oh and don’t look now, but you’re traveling to the perennial powerhouse you gave all the bulletin board material to by beating them last year and THEN talking smack about their coach this weekend. This is going to be absolutely an ugly contest, and honestly, will probably be a humiliation game.

– Kudos to Mississippi State, as they’re quietly having a solid season. Will called it on our SEC Preview that he thought they’d finish second in the West, and it’s looking like that may be true. If only they didn’t let LSU come back, they’d have an outside shot at Atlanta this December. There’s still a lot of football left to play, but the Bulldogs are impressive thus far.

– Speaking of LSU, it’s almost like they don’t know how to play football in the first half of a game. They looked lost against State, scored just three against Florida State in their opener, and got smoked by Auburn, all in the first half. Granted, they rallied and answered by winning all but the Florida State game, but you have to think this can’t last and they be a winning football team. Then again, it could be worse.

– Like Auburn, who apparently can’t score in the second half of a game. I had said that I thought that the LSU-Auburn game would be the battle of who finishes last in the West this year, but as luck would have it, LSU sits first in the West, and Auburn isn’t even tied for last. That would be Arkansas. Things are not good on the Plains, very not good. Not scoring in the second half is not ideal. Blowing double-digit leads in your previous two contests is really not ideal. The Penn State-Mizzou-LSU stretch has been rough for the Tigers, and that was supposed to be some of the easier part of the schedule. Now, a road trip to Athens looms large. Head Coach Bryan Harsin has to win this game, or the other rivalry game to keep his job. Has to. If this one gets ugly, and the Iron Bowl does too, I think he’s gone before the bowl game—pending there is one.

– But don’t think Georgia has this one locked up. The Bulldogs looked about like we thought they would the last two games, struggling with both *checks notes* Kent State and Missouri?! The Dawgs have to bounce back, and quickly, because they face a desperate team and coach Saturday in Auburn and Harsin. They should get past the Tigers somewhat easily, but this will be the first major test for this group. If they can clear Auburn with their health and nerves intact, I think we’ll have a better gauge of just who this squad is.

– TCU showed some muscle this past weekend, smoking Oklahoma. I’m afraid the Horned Frogs (what a cool mascot) may upset the 5-0 Kansas Jayhawks feel good story of the year this weekend too.

That’s all I’ve got, see you next week!

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