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Woody's Weekly Things: Florida, Paul Johnson, NC State, Colorado

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Jakobi Meyers
Jakobi Meyers (AP Images)

RELATED: Previewing the biggest matchups in October

Even before I started working at, I would spend my Saturdays watching as many college football games as possible. Now that I have interacted with most current college football players, it gives Saturday’s a different perspective. Each week, I will watch as many games as possible and share my thoughts in this space, examining weird moments and sharing some throwback recruiting stories as well.


Florida’s hot start

It’s easy to preach patience when a new coach takes over, but at a college football power like Florida, it’s easier said than done. Luckily for Dan Mullen, he has the Gators 5-1 and already has a signature win in Saturday’s upset of LSU. Mullen’s work with quarterback Feliepe Franks has been obvious and he continues to show signs of improvement every week. The Gators' defense is dominant as always and looks loaded with NFL talent once again. But nobody could have predicted that the team would be ranked in the top 15 and in contention for the SEC East crown. Mullen’s start shows that maybe the Gators' 2017 lost season was just that, a lost year. The question now is not only if the Gators can keep it going, but how much impact it could have on the recruiting trail in the last two months before the early signing period.

Declaring conference playoff hopes dead

We’re halfway through the season, making it OK for pundits to declare playoff hopes for conferences officially dead. If you’re keeping track, the Pac-12’s hopes are dead and basically have been since Washington lost in Week 1 and it appears that the Big 12’s hopes are also dead now that Oklahoma has lost. Throw out the fact that Colorado is still undefeated while Washington and Oregon each have one loss and the Big 12 still has an undefeated team in the top 10 in West Virginia. The best part about college football, especially in the playoff era, is that crazy stuff can happen in November and teams that seem totally dead suddenly have new life. It’s not likely that either conference gets a team in, but to declare the playoff basically set with several weeks left in the season is as weird as it gets.

Paul Johnson holds a grudge and runs up the score

While most of you probably weren’t staying up late to watch the end of the Georgia Tech/Louisville game on Friday night, college football Twitter was abuzz as the Yellow Jackets continued to score late in the game. The final ended up at 66-31, thanks in part to three fourth quarter scores from Georgia Tech. For those checking the box scores, it seems like just another team that couldn’t handle the Yellow Jackets' option attack, but a deeper dive shows some coach beef dating back years. Once the coach at Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson ran the option offense with great success and eventually moved on to Navy. His successor, Mike Sewak, ran the same offense before being fired after the 2005 season, opening the door for Brian Van Gorder (now Louisville’s defensive coordinator) to take over at Georgia Southern. Van Gorder ditched the option offense, saying he was going to bring the team into the 21st century. The Eagles went 3-8 in Van Gorder’s only season, only validating Johnson’s offensive scheme. The beef has carried on and Johnson might have finally put it to rest with massive blowout. Either way, as one of the pettiest people on the planet, I have nothing but respect for Johnson holding a grudge for more than a decade and taking it out on Van Gorder Friday night.

Ex-Ducks curse?

If you would have asked Oregon fans in December if they would rather have Mario Cristobal as head coach or one of Chip Kelly or Scott Frost, it’s pretty obvious that Cristobal would have been third on that list. But here we are, halfway through the season, and the Ducks are firmly ranked inside the AP Top 25 while both Frost and Kelly are still looking for their first wins at Nebraska and UCLA. It’s hard to say which start is more surprising, but both fan bases surely assumed that it wouldn’t be this bad. Instead both are staring historically bad seasons in the face. Add in Willie Taggart, the Ducks' coach in 2017, suffering another loss on Saturday, and the three head coaches with ties to Oregon are a combined 3-13. If Cristobal’s 4-1 start in Eugene shows anything, it’s that the best hire isn’t always the sexiest name on the market.

Undefeated NC State and Colorado

Another week, another win for the Wolfpack and Buffaloes, who are quietly sneaking up the polls. Neither team has exactly faced a murderers' row, but both faced capable conference opponents over the weekend in Boston College and Arizona State. Could either team make a Cinderella run and enter the playoff conversation? Each still has several hurdles to clear, but it’s not completely out of the question. Next week Colorado travel to USC for a stiff test, while NC State has the week off before an Oct. 20 showdown against Clemson.


Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. This Arizona touchdown from late Saturday night is a perfect example.

MADE ME SMART: Tyrel Dodson

The Texas A&M linebacker was in the headlines last week after an in-game dust up with head coach Jimbo Fisher, but on Saturday he was back in the news for his on-field play. The former four-star recruit had four tackles and one sack as well as one pass breakup in the Aggies' overtime victory over Kentucky. Despite landing at an SEC school, Dodson was so under the radar that he wasn’t even offered by in-state programs Vanderbilt and Tennessee. After three impact seasons in College Station despite multiple defensive coordinators and schemes, it’s clear several schools whiffed on their evaluations on Dodson.


NC State’s undefeated season is mentioned above and Meyers is a big reason why. This week he had another big game, catching 10 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. Meyers has emerged as one of the Pack’s go-to receivers on the year, with 30 receptions for 319 yards and one touchdown. Meyers was a two-star as a recruit but it’s hard to fault me too much, as he insisted he would play quarterback in college. In fact, Meyers was bound for Kent State as a quarterback until a late offer from the Wolf Pack changed his mind. After struggling to crack the depth chart at quarterback he was moved to wide receiver and it’s clear he’s more than outplayed his two-star ranking.


This is a new category but one that might be here to stay, in order to honor the big uglies of college football. This week’s moment goes to Temple defensive lineman Freddie Booth-Lloyd, who also moonlights as a running back for the Owls. In Saturday’s blowout victory over East Carolina, Booth-Lloyd got in the game and punched in a rushing touchdown, quite the sight for a man of his stature (6-foot-1, 330 pounds). Booth-Lloyd’s exploits have made him a popular Twitter figure, but it’s not the first time of his career. Booth-Lloyd was a viral track star in high school and it’s clear he still has elite athleticism for a player his size.


There were no new candidates this week and we might just have to make this category a tie between Rutgers' Chris Ash and Louisville’s Bobby Petrino until further notice. The Scarlet Knights lost by 21 points to Illinois, which looked like their most winnable game for the rest of the season. Louisville, meanwhile, got blown out by Georgia Tech as mentioned above.


Throw out the records when Michigan's directional schools get together. These two teams played quite the game, with Eastern Michigan leading in the third quarter only to watch Western open up 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. A late touchdown by the Eagles brought it to a three-point game with 20 seconds left. But Central Michigan recovered the onside kick to seal the game. Central Michigan is now 4-2 on the year, with the only losses coming to Power Five schools Syracuse and Michigan.