Three-Point Stance: This week's standouts, flops in college football
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 a look at the hot seat that is getting hotter for Jim McElwain.
1. SATURDAY SHINE
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…
J.T. Barrett – Its 22 touchdowns with no turnovers since the Oklahoma debacle. The competition hasn’t been good, but is he creeping his way back into the Heisman discussion? He could be.
LSU's defense – The Tigers came up big in the second half and stuffed a potent Auburn group. The adjustments were excellent and they played with anger and pride, the way LSU defense is supposed to play.
Miami – The Hurricanes find a way to win and overcome obstacles, a true sign of a team coming into its own. Something about this team tells me they will be in every game until the end, because they never look rattled.
Syracuse offense – Eric Dungey is a tough kid who makes something out of nothing, and its fun to watch how quickly Dino Babers' offense gets plays off. Syracuse never took the foot off the gas and wore out Clemson, which is not easy to do.
Arizona State – The Sun Devils won a defensive battle. I repeat, Arizona State won a defensive battle. Despite Washington’s awful performance, you have to hand it to the ASU players: They rose to the occasion.
Georgia run game – It continues to roll onward (and over opponents) with three backs who could all be starting elsewhere in the SEC.
AJ Dillon – Who? He’s the Boston College running back who rushed for nearly 300 yards and threw a Louisville defender like a rag doll in the highlight of the weekend in the upset win. Oh, and he’s just a true freshman.
Oklahoma and Texas – How dare I put these two together, right? This game could have gotten out of hand, but Texas wouldn’t let it happen and it could have slipped away from Oklahoma, but the Sooners held strong. A great game in a great rivalry. A must win for OU and a morale victory for Texas in Year One of Tom Herman.
Florida offense – It’s a joke, more below.
James Washington – The best receiver in the country? He could be, and his 235 yards receiving could have been more had they targeted him more often. He couldn’t be stopped.
Karan Higdon – The offensive line was awful pass blocking and just average run blocking, but he found room and made the biggest plays of the day for Michigan.
Boise State – The Broncos reminded everyone why they are still one of the best Group of Five programs out there with an upset win over San Diego State.
Scott Frost – His team is undefeated and fans in Lincoln, Neb., want him back home.
Bryce Love – Everyone knows he’s getting the ball, but he can’t be stopped.
NC State – The defense is underrated and the offense has some serious weapons. At 4-0, N.C. State now sits atop the ACC standings in the Atlantic division. If anyone says they predicted that before the season, they have to be lying.
Virginia – They just keep on winning games when you expect them to falter.
Khalil Tate – Another 200 yard rushing game at quarterback. That’s ridiculous.
2. SATURDAY SHAME
Clemson – Losing on the road to Syracuse should not happen, not for a team considered to be the second best in the country, behind Alabama. Things aren’t dead yet for Clemson and its playoff hopes, but this is worse than the Pitt loss last year.
Washington offense – How can you let that Arizona State defense shut you down so easily? The ASU defense is awful, but looked like the '86 Bears out there against what is supposed to be a loaded Huskies squad.
Georgia defense – It’s not a great deal of shame, as Mizzou has offensive talent, but the secondary is supposed to be the strength, and they looked shaky, which is a scary sign against a team others have shut down.
Mark Richt – The onside kick to start the second half was buffoonery and led to an easy score for Georgia Tech. Never a great game coach, Richt needs to avoid out-thinking himself.
Nebraska – Remember when playing at Nebraska at night was scary for opponents? It’s not anymore, as Wisconsin and now Ohio State have proven that the Huskers can’t beat a good team in the Big Ten, not even close.
Auburn – They had this game in the bag. They were dominating in every aspect, but made horrible halftime adjustments and couldn’t figure out how to move the ball in the second half after doing so with ease in the first half. When you get outcoached by Ed Orgeron, there’s trouble.
Indiana play calling – Those overtime play calls were awful, simply awful.
Tennessee – Another flat performance and some head-scratching play calls at the end of the game. With a mobile quarterback under center finally, why keep him tethered in the pocket? Even with a favorable clock the Vols couldn’t get it done.
UNC athletics – The NCAA let you off the hook, which was shameful enough, but a 1-6 football team is even uglier.
Kansas – You haven’t shown you belong on the field with anyone yet, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
UCLA defense – These two should not be in the same sentence, as there appears to be no such thing.
Josh Rosen – Three interceptions against a poor Arizona defense. This wasn’t Desert Swarm you were facing.
OFF THE MCELWAIN TRAIN
OK, Jim McElwain, I’ve been defending you a bit, but that has come to an end. I’ve been critical of your recruiting and the ability of your staff to land key prospects, but I’ve defended your on-field coaching ability because you’ve won back-to-back SEC East titles. I assumed it would take some time for your offensive genius to shine through as you gathered your own players.
The only thing uglier than the Gators' uniforms Saturday against Texas A&M was the team's play on offense. Remember, Kevin Sumlin is supposed to be the guy on the Hot Seat here, but his team is now 5-2 (3-1 in the SEC) while Florida drops to 3-3 overall, with wins over Kentucky and Tennessee that could be deemed lucky.
Until the offense starts showing improvement, and it hasn’t, I am no longer defending your job security. I’m sure you’re hurt and saddened, right? I don’t care how many players are suspended or hurt: A Florida football team should not look this inept on offense. Right, Will Muschamp? Right.