College football top 25 scores, overreactions: The Big 12 is wide open, Alabama has another strong QB

Another week, another round of upsets across the college football landscape. On a Saturday that featured just 30 games, eight ranked teams lost, including four teams in the top 15 and two in the top 10. Of course, some of that is due to the limited number of teams playing right now and some of the games being top-25 matchups. Still, 2020 is shaping up to be a wild ride. 

Most weeks, it seems, you might be lucky just to get out with a W. 

For that reason, it’s too early to start making sweeping College Football Playoff proclamations. Sure, Clemson and Alabama, the top two ranked teams, look like they’re on another level. But who knows how things are going to go. The lack of spring practice and delayed start of the season clearly has had an impact on the week-to-week results. 

Despite so much uncertainty, there’s a lot we can take away from the action in Week 5. So let’s get to the overreactions. 

The Big 12 is wide open

This is not a normal year. You know this. I know this. You don’t need college football to show you, but it will anyway. In fact, the Big 12 will insist upon it. No. 18 Oklahoma lost its second straight Big 12 game — 37-30 to Iowa State — something that hasn’t happened in over two decades. Now, the Sooners are [/adjusts glasses] 1-2 overall and 0-for in the Big 12. I mean … what? It’s true that Oklahoma has problems: they can’t run the ball well, they don’t have a true game changer at wide receiver, Spencer Rattler has some growing to do and the defense has been bad. They have talent, yes, but apparently not enough to overcome all of that without getting nicked a couple of times. That opens the door for other teams to try to steal a Big 12 championship, which has gone through Norman in each of the last five years. Who will it be? At this rate, it’s probably most of the league — minus Kansas, of course. 

‘Texas is back’ can go away now

The 33-31 loss to TCU was a tough pill to swallow for No. 9 Texas. The thing is, it’s not like it’s one the Longhorns aren’t used to taking. Texas has now lost seven of its last nine to TCU. It’s also lost six games as an AP Top 25 team against unranked opponents since coach Tom Herman took over in 2017. This is what Texas is now. This is what they have been. One game, for better or worse, doesn’t determine whether Texas is back or not. We can joke about it — that’s fine — but Texas won’t be back until it strings together an actual championship season. Based on Saturday’s result, that’s still a ways away. 

Myself included. Suffice it to say I wasn’t particularly bullish on the former walk-on even after he came off the bench to get Georgia going in a Week 4 win over Arkansas. That’s changed following No. 4 Georgia’s 27-6 win over No. 7 Auburn. In truth, the Bulldogs didn’t need Bennett to win, but he certainly didn’t hurt with 240 yards passing and a touchdown. He was in command of the offense, led plenty of scoring drives and pushed the ball down the field nicely. He had help from a much-improved offensive line and Georgia won on first down at seven yards per play. Still, Bennett performed better than I and a lot of others thought he would. And given how special Georgia’s defense looks, and with the weapons around him, maybe Georgia doesn’t need a special talent at QB. 

The full Mike Leach experience

What, you thought beating the defending national champs with 600 yards passing was the full Mike Leach experience? Oh no. The full Mike Leach experience is beating the defending national champs with 600 yards passing and then losing to a program that hasn’t won a conference game in nearly three full calendar years. That’s exactly what happened with No. 16 Mississippi State dropping its second game of the year 21-14 to Arkansas. That’s a lot for Bulldogs fans to take in over the course of a week, but if you wanted to know what a Leach-led team feels like, this is it. 

Alabama QB Mac Jones is legit 

He was legit last year taking over for the injured Tua Tagovailoa and he sure looks legit through two games. Jones threw for 435 yards, four touchdowns and a pick in No. 2 Alabama’s 52-24 blowout of No. 13 Texas A&M. Granted, Jones has incredible talent to throw to, including a shiny new toy in John Metchie III. Could you or I make those deep, wide open throws? Maybe with a little bit of a running start while throwing out my shoulder, yes, but the fact remains Bama’s standout wide receivers need someone to get them the ball. They have that. Jones did well with the deep ball late last season and he’s been able to stretch the field so far. The Bryce Young offseason chatter was fun, but Jones is a cemented QB1, capable of leading this team to a national championship. 

Kyle Pitts is a Heisman candidate

Yes, a tight end. The Heisman Trophy race may as well be an even flashier Davey O’Brien Award for best quarterback. That’s what the Heisman has largely become: the best quarterback on one of the best teams in the country. That doesn’t always leave a lot of room for other players at complementary positions to break through. After two games, however, Pitts has emerged as arguably the top receiving target in college football. And with six touchdowns in eight quarters on a stacked offense, it may not be much of an argument. I don’t know that he’ll realistically win the award in such a quarterback-heavy race, but he’s on pace to at least earn a trip to New York. Can he keep it up over the course of the season, though?

FSU may have found its QB

And, no, it’s not freshman Chubba Purdy. Jordan Travis went from getting absolutely crushed on an awful interception against Miami last week to perhaps laying claim to the starting quarterback job. Florida State came from behind — yes, you read that right — to beat Jacksonville State 41-24. The Seminoles made a few changes offensively that worked. The running game averaged five yards a pop while Travis sprinkled in screens and quick passes. Still, 210 yards through the air and a touchdown will do. It’s better than what Florida State has been doing lately and that helps offset bad pass protection. 

Trey Lance shines in showcase game

It flew under the radar today, but North Dakota State played its only game of the year, a 39-28 win over Central Arkansas. It was a showcase moment for quarterback Trey Lance, who figures to be one of the first quarterbacks taken in next year’s draft. Lance doesn’t have the brand recognition of Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields, but he is the mold of today’s quarterback. Against the Bears, he accounted for 149 yards passing, 143 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Lance is clearly gifted, he just doesn’t have the overall body of work with only one full season under his belt from 2019. 

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