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Week 1 Playoff and Heisman Watch

1. Clemson Tigers (1-0)

Last Week: W – @ Auburn – 19-13

Clemson

Auburn is the furthest thing you can get from a cupcake to open the season and for Clemson to go there and hold them off at the end like they did only had to get you believing in them. Deshaun Watson was nowhere near his best in the game, but Wayne Gallman was spectacular, showcasing the multiple ways the Tigers can win. They proved that they can go travel to hostile environments and come away with big wins. They are still the favorites early in the season.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0)

Last Week: W – USC – 52-6 (Neutral Field)

Alabama

There are a ton of new players in place but the same great coach is there. Why should we have ever doubted the Crimson Tide, that looks silly considering how they absolutely dominated a Top 20 team. Of course it was the first game of a new era for the Trojans but they still have talent. It just didn’t look that way against Alabama. Both Jalen Hurts and Blake Barnett was very efficient under center while Damien Harris clearly made his statement that he is the next great Alabama running back. And that defense, with so many new faces all over the place, what a performance.

3. Stanford Cardinal (1-0)

Last Week: W – Kansas State – 26-13

Stanford

Kansas State was their gritty and well-coached selves and really pushed the Cardinal but Christian McCaffrey is just on a whole different level. McCaffrey rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns, grabbed two touchdowns and once again showed off his ability returning the ball. When he’s in space he’s going to make electrifying plays and that makes Stanford a very, very dangerous team every time they are out on the field.

4. Michigan Wolverines (1-0)

Last Week: W – Hawai’i – 63-3

Michigan

This is far from the dangerous Hawai’i teams back from the Colt Brennan era, but still, 63-3 rings loud. Very clearly, great football s back in the big house under Jim Harbaugh and the explosiveness that offense has and the power and ability to impose their will that defense has makes the Wolverines a clear threat to win the Big Ten and with Oklahoma getting beaten up by Houston, the Big 12 drops out of the playoffs right now while the Big Ten gets back in, in our projections.

Rose Bowl: Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0) vs. Washington Huskies (1-0)

All the losses didn’t matter at all for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Sure, Bowling Green is not the greatest of competition, but JT Barrett scored six touchdowns and the Buckeyes rolled over them 77-10. Mike Weber led a dominant rushing attack with 136 yards. As a team the Buckeyes ran for a ridiculous 359 yards and three touchdowns.

Washington State quarterback Jake Browning threw three touchdowns against Rutgers with John Ross coming down with two of them. The Huskies also forced three turnovers and allowed only 4.2 yards per pass. Against stuffer competition that won’t stand but with the Pac-12 connection to the Rose Bowl the Huskies are clearly the No. 2 behind Stanford.

Sugar Bowl: Ole Miss Rebels (0-1) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0)

It wouldn’t be fair to hold a 45-34 loss at Florida State against the Rebels. They were supposed to lose that game anyway. In that game, they proved they were one of the best teams in the country and after the terrible loss LSU suffered to the Badgers and struggles from the Tennessee Volunteers, the Rebels gutsy effort against Florida State shines. Chad Kelly threw four touchdowns for 313 yards.

Is it really fair to have the Oklahoma Sooners even drop out of the Sugar Bowl after their loss to a ranked team? The Sooners really looked out-classed in the game and while their in-state rival Oklahoma State did not play remotely good competition, the Cowboys did what they were expected to do and that was run away for an easy win over a cupcake opponent. They scored just about every way a team can too, with two fumble returns for touchdowns in the game as well.

Orange Bowl: Florida State Seminoles (1-0) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-1)

What Florida State did coming back against Ole Miss was remarkable and in the second half redshirt freshman Deondre Francois showed he can be a true game-changer. After a rocky start Francois threw for 419 yards and two touchdowns. Heisman hopeful Dalvin cook has 192 total yards. Are they one of the best four teams in the country? Right now they probably are, but the reality is, only the ACC Champion is going to make the playoffs and we have Clemson in.

Notre Dame’s loss at Texas is not going to look all that bad by the end of the year and you can imagine that as early as next week they are going to give up on the two quarterback experiment and settle on DeShone Kizer after his six touchdown performance against the Longhorns. Of course they have some very tough tests ahead, including games against Michigan State, Stanford and USC, but if they get through those games and suffer perhaps only one more loss this year the Fighting Irish have to be selected to one of these bowl games.

Cotton Bowl Bowl: Texas Longhorns (1-0) vs. Houston Cougars (1-0)

Texas football is back. Their week one win over Notre Dame might prove to be the game of the year. It was just high-quality football the entire time. Shane Buechele was very good running the show and Tyrone Swoopes showed off his explosive ability. Eventually the team is going to have to settle on one of them under center but to beat a top 10 team like Notre Dame with that tremendous of a performance shows they are a clear threat in the Big 12.

Houston’s beating of Oklahoma was one of the most impressive upsets of the first week of the college football season. The Cougars were better than the Sooners in every area of the game. Greg Ward Jr’s explosive ability led to 321 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Houston put every power team on notice and are clearly the best “Group of Five” team.

Dropping Out

LSU

LSU Tigers (L – @ Wisconsin – 16-14): The final score doesn’t show how one-sided this game was. LSU’s offense was miserable and at no point in the game did they look like they were the better team. The heat under Les Miles’ seat just got turned way up.

Oklahoma Sooners (L – @ Houston – 33-23): The Sooners got out to a nice start but after that it was all Houston. The Sooners really struggled against a Cougars team that just proved to be the better team. At times the Sooners just looked unprepared to hand Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. The Sooners got nothing going on the ground, totaling just 70 yards.

Utah Utes (W – Southern Utah – 24-0): The Utes will have every chance to get back into a bowl game but their 24-0 win over a cupcake wasn’t enough to prevent them from being jumped by the Washington Huskies for a spot in the Rose Bowl.

On the Cusp

Georgia

Michigan State Spartans (W – Furman – 28-13): This is classic Michigan State; winning without looking all that pretty against a team they should have completely rolled over. The Spartans are still a good team, though, and Tyler O’Connor clearly took over quarterback well with three touchdowns in the game.

Georgia Bulldogs (W – @ North Carolina – 33-24): Nick Chubb looked incredible in his return from his big knee surgery, rushing for 222 yards and two touchdowns and showing big bursts of explosiveness. The Kirby Smart era started with a nice road win against a ranked team.

Heisman Watch

JT BarrettJT Barrett – QB, Ohio State

21/31 (67.7%), 349 Pass Yards, 6 Pass TDs, 1 INT, 30 Rush Yards (5.0 YPC), 1 Rush TD

Christian McCaffrey – RB, Stanford

126 Rush Yards (5.7 YPC), 2 Rush TDs, 7 Rec, 40 Rec Yards (5.7 YPC), 16 PR Yards, 28 KR Yards

Deshone Kizer – QB, Notre Dame

15/24 (63.5%), 215 Pass Yards, 5 Pass TDs, 0 INTs, 77 Rush Yards (5.9 YPC), 1 Rush TD

Nick Chubb- RB Georgia

222 Rush Yards (6.9 YPC), 2 Rush TDs

Deondre Francois – QB. Florida State

33/52 (63.5%), 419 Pass Yards, 2 Pass TDs, 59 Rush Yards (6.6 YPC)

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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