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College Football Monday - Week 5
Alabama, Ohio St, Louisville, Michigan & Clemson Hold Top 5 Rankings
LSU Fires HC Les Miles After Wild Loss to Auburn
Team of Week - tie Wisconsin/Tennessee
Offensive Player of Week - WR Ryan Switzer - North Carolina
Defensive Player of Week - LB T.J. Watt - Wisconsin
Photo - QB Josh Dobbs - Tennessee
Upcoming Weekly Matchups - Louisville at Clemson, Michigan Hosts Wisconsin, Stanford faces Washington, Tennessee at Georgia in major conference matchups
This upcoming Saturday will provide key early answers to conference titles in all the top five conferences. There are a few matchups of unbeatens, Louisville/Clemson, Michigan/Wisconsin and Stanford/Washington that will reduce the number of undefeated clubs and create leadership in the ACC, Big Ten and Pac 12 conferences.
This past weekend saw the initial firings with HC Les Miles of LSU and Ron Turner of Florida International the first coaches to get the axe. The Tigers’ Les Miles was in his 12th season that includes a national title. The LSU program though, regressed in recent years with no double digit win season since the 2013 schedule. Along with Miles, OC Cam Cameron was terminated after their continuous offensive problems once again that limited the Tigers in big situations. The Tigers arguably have had the best talent in the nation over a ten-year period. With only 2 SEC titles to show for it, Miles was under constant pressure the past few seasons. When compared to Alabama’s four national titles recently, Miles was constantly scrutinized related to QB development and game management. OC Cameron failed to reverse the ongoing offense inconsistencies. The total reliance on talented tailback Leonard Fournette has failed to deliver in the most critical matchups, especially Alabama where they have lost four consecutive seasons. This despite their annual highly rated recruiting classes and deep and talented NFL Draft groups. The expectations have been huge in Baton Rouge and the competition has been very tough in the talented SEC West that creates weekly major challenges. Miles raised the bar and then failed to maintain the level of play in the best conference in D1. He may have his pick of any D1 team this offseason and could resurface in the SEC as early as next season.
Notre Dame fired DC Brian VanGorder after an ugly loss 38-35 to Duke. The Irish defense ranks #104 after last week’s loss that has been instrumental in their poor 1-3 record. Their secondary has struggled with little pass pressure from their young defense and front line. They lost a few key players during the offseason that left the depth weak and only inexperienced players in key roles. The Irish will be hard pressed to win 8 games this season, only a respectable number in South Bend. Young QB DeShone Kizer will have to mature quickly to right this ship that has been hot and cold this season. Next up Syracuse at MetLife.
Michigan bashed a faltering Penn St. 49-10 and remains undefeated (4-0). The Wolverines host undefeated Wisconsin (4-0) this week that will shape the Big Ten divisional races. They are benefitting from the two highly talented recruiting classes under Jim Harbaugh. Penn St. has floundered as a middle of the pack slightly above a .500 record, the past four seasons. They host their next three Big Ten matchups vs Minnesota, Maryland and Ohio St. which might define their direction in the conference and Eastern division. Penn St. gets little consideration in the Top 25 annually and has been only a borderline top 50 club in recent years. In their prior home game vs Temple, they shamelessly unveiled a Joe Paterno statue with mixed responses from the media and fans. Penn St.’s lack of accountability and denial in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case has been a total disgrace. Their recent ceremony of the new Paterno statue is another example of the arrogance and power that sports institutions use to avoid accountability that supports a dishonest system for self-serving purposes.
Alabama has been again a dominant force in the SEC this September and remains the solid #1 team in the national rankings. They face a tough October with road games at Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M around a trip to Baton Rouge and the LSU Tigers. They have man handled opponents weekly and produced another strong performance with a 48-0 drilling of Kent St. HC Nick Saban has the 4-0 Tide ready to challenge and win another SEC West title. In his 10th season at Alabama, Saban has a 109-18 record that includes three national titles. Overall, he has a 195-60-1 record, including one national championship with LSU. That’s numbers that rival long time Bama and SEC legend, HC Bear Bryant who won six national titles. Four of those titles were split with AP and Coaches Polls selecting separate national champs for decades prior to the BCS Championship series.
Games of the Week - Louisville (4-0) at Clemson (4-0)
Frank Coyle is a long time scout with nationwide ties with coaches, scouts and player agents. He is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites