Three-Point Stance: Best and worst of CFB weekend, LSU's woes
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with Saturday Shine and Saturday Shame from the weekend as well as trouble brewing in Baton Rouge.
So what is Saturday Shine and Saturday Shame? Essentially, it’s a look at the teams, and sometimes players, who should be proud or ashamed of their performances from the weekend. This includes Thursday and Friday games, of course. So let’s take a look at those that shined first.
Saquon Barkley: The best player in college football continues to make plays in every possible way. Stop him in the run game and he’ll beat you catching or even throwing the ball or in the return game. Indiana isn’t very good, but Barkley’s Heisman resume got a boost regardless.
Washington State: This was a great effort on offense and especially defense for the Cougars under Mike Leach. I expected USC to head to Pullman and throttle Wazzu, but instead this turned into one of the biggest wins in Washington State history. The team showed heart and was physical throughout.
Troy: On the road against LSU is hard enough, but when your roster is loaded with two-stars and kids no one else wanted, pulling off the upset is very impressive regardless of how awful LSU has become.
Clemson: Heading into Lane Stadium at night and coming away with a dominant victory is no easy task for anyone. Once again Clemson showed they are one of the top two teams in the country and that the defense is off the charts.
Miami: This Miami team is legit. Malik Rosier looks comfortable at quarterback, Mark Walton is a star and the defense is aggressive and nasty. I felt Miami was a year or two away from true playoff contention, but they could be ready now. Duke is no pushover, but the Canes destroyed them.
Nick Saban: Run it up, Nick. His team actually could have scored more, but he wanted a bit of revenge against the team that beat him a couple times in recent years and stole a few recruits away to boot. When Saban takes things personally, things get ugly, and Ole Miss saw that Saturday.
Georgia defense: I keep raving about this defense, and I love the way they played their hearts out to make sure they ended up with a shutout. That type of competitive nature and hunger bodes well and means the coaching staff is doing a great job. The Vols never had a prayer.
Jarrett Stidham: I called him overhyped coming into the season (and he was), but he’s starting to round into the form many felt they’d see from the start. He was very efficient against Mississippi State and looks more comfortable.
Kerryon Johnson: One of the best weapons in the SEC that perhaps no one pays attention to? Yep, this kid is a great athlete.
Texas Tech: I thought Oklahoma State would destroy the Red Raiders and possibly drop 60 on them. Instead the Cowboys had to scrap for the 41-34 win and Kliff Kingsbury has the defense much improved even when giving up nearly 600 yards of offense. This was a game Texas Tech would have lost by 30 last year as it showed heart.
Feleipe Franks: Luke Del Rio gets the call, gets hurt again and the benched Franks comes in and does enough to get the job done. I have no clue why Jim McElwain went away from Franks because I’ve never been a Del Rio fan and it could have killed his confidence. However, the kid showed great mental toughness.
Josh Adams: Where would Notre Dame be this season without Adams, who averaged nearly 20 yards a carry and two more scores. Miami (Ohio) isn’t good, but Adams keeps churning out big plays as Brandon Wimbush slowly gets comfortable passing.
Wisconsin defense: The offense was very average against Northwestern so the defense had to pull out this win. This is an aggressive and tough group.
Tanner Lee: He still scares the heck out of me sometimes when he locks in on his receivers, but after throwing so many pick sixes, it was good to see him have an efficient and turnover-free game in beating Illinois.
Texas defense: The defense is the strength of the team - who would have predicted that four games into the season with Tom Herman as head coach and after the Maryland game? Todd Orlando has done a great job.
Ed Orgeron: I didn’t like the hire from the start and said so, and now he should be squarely on the hot seat even in his first season. This loss to Troy is simply unimaginable. More below.
Butch Jones: His team wasn’t ready for Georgia, he lost the fans by the half (if he ever had them), and he made his own bed last week with his “fake news” comments and complaining about the negative media. He hasn’t even seen the beginning of negative after this performance as the media will dig in. If Alabama thumps the Vols badly in three weeks, he could be gone right after that.
Sam Darnold: I worried if he was a one-year wonder after last season, and so far that looks like the case. He’s not taking care of the football and doesn’t look like the unflappable quarterback he was in the Rose Bowl, does he? This is a shocking regression.
Dan Mullen: After his win over LSU, a team we now know is not good and poorly coached, everyone including me was singing his praises. Georgia and now Auburn put things back into perspective with back-to-back thumpings.
Larry Fedora: His team is now 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the ACC and not very competitive. The 33-7 drubbing against Georgia Tech was another example of a lack of depth on the roster and a horrible offense, and that falls on coaching. He was a hot name at one point for bigger jobs, but that has faded.
Florida State: This is not a great team, not even close. Yes, they’ve had a lot of injuries and playing with a freshman quarterback is tough, but at no time against Wake Forest did it feel like I was watching a bunch of four-stars and five-stars.
Texas offense: It was an ugly win over Iowa State, and the offense does not look great. They lack explosion at running back, and Shane Buechele is not taking the next step in his development, at least based on the small sample size so far.
3. ORGERON STUMBLES AT LSU
OK, let’s be real.
Ed Orgeron has a job that no one really wanted him to have as the head coach at LSU. Most LSU boosters, fans and whatever else wanted a guy named Tom Herman as the head coach and also wanted Jimbo Fisher in place back before they gave Les Miles one last chance.
And let’s be clear: Orgeron is a far cry from Herman and Fisher as a coach. When he was hired after his interim stint, I didn’t like the hire at all and wrote about it. I didn’t feel he was the guy who could take LSU to the next level and felt the Tigers did the SEC West a favor because they are truly the sleeping giant of the conference. They have the recruiting territory and players to win it all.
Yet we are talking about a home loss to Troy. So where does LSU go from here? Just five games into his true tenure, it’s clear that Orgeron is in over his head similar to the way I felt about Charlie Strong at Texas a few years back. So do they give Orgeron three years like Texas did with Strong with full knowledge it will be a colossal failure? Or do they cut ties after this season, eat crow and make a strong hire?
LSU fans, a rabid and loyal bunch, deserve the latter.