Sometimes a loss reveals more than a win.  2 examples of this are Florida’s narrow loss to Alabama and Auburn’s loss to Penn St.  The Gators were down quickly 21-3 in the 1st Quarter to a Tide team that looked hell bent on blowing away the 14’ point spread.  But a funny thing happened along the way to a rout.  Florida’s defense forced 3 straight 3 and outs and the offense found a way to run the ball.  And run the ball they did, for 258 yards, averaging over 6 yards per clip.  Florida came into the game with the number 1 rushing offense in the country, but that was against cupcakes, not a defense that was thought to be Alabama’s best in 10 years.
What was more troubling for Nick Saban’s troops was that they were often in position to make a play, but simply didn’t.  There is an old adage in coaching…all you can do is put them in the right spot to make a play, the player has to make the play, and too often, Tide defenders did not.

Also, credit Emory Jones, who, without the threat of being pulled for Super Soph Anthony Richardson, who was too dinged to go, Jones turned in his best performance of his career.  In the end, Alabama did come up with one critical stop on the ground, and that was on the 2 point conversation that would have tied the game.
Florida came into this game ranked #11 in the country, and to be honest, they should move UP.  If I were beginning a poll right now, based on the 1st 3 games of the season, they’d be a Top 5 team, with fellow SEC teams Alabama and Georgia.

 

As for Auburn, they showed they could hang with what is a very good Penn St. team.  In fact, right now, Penn St. is the best team in the Big 10, with wins over Wisconsin on the road, and at home against the Tigers.  They began the day one spot behind 1 loss Ohio St., since, you know, Ohio St. began the season ranked in the top 3.  But another sketchy performance by the Buckeyes in their win over Tulsa; don’t be fooled by the final score, and to these eyes, Penn St. is the better team.  We’ll know more on October 30th when the Buckeyes host the Nittany Lions.

 

But Auburn went toe to toe with the hosts in Happy Valley, and even trolled the White Out by breaking out white facemasks in an attempt to make it their own.  The Tigers ran the ball well, Bo Nix was solid, but Penn St. was just a little better.  Both sides were better than the officiating, which was horrific.  Again, Auburn came into the game #22, and to be honest, should move up a bit.

Two other games of note…Nebraska hung with Oklahoma throughout the game in Norman, falling by just 7.  Friday, I wrote about the Sooners issues on Defense, and the Huskers are better than people think…and what’s up with Clemson?  14-6 over a weak Georgia Tech team in Death Valley.  The Tigers offense has some serious issues that need to be worked out if they expect to make another CFB Playoff!

The bottom line is, the Polls are all jacked up and hopefully, the voters will disregard their pre-season opinions, and start over.  Ole Miss, Penn St., Michigan St., Auburn and Florida are better than expected.  Ohio St., Notre Dame, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, Cincinnati…all may be over their skis a bit.