After a hard weekend of wrangling two of our five wonderful grandsons, I have returned with this week’s SwampSwami.com Top 25 College Football rankings for the week ending Saturday, October 16.
The 2021 college football season has now officially passed the halfway mark. The 130 large college football programs called the BCS have provided many thrills and a few big surprises already.
Before the season began, CBS Sports selected to air the Alabama at Texas A&M game in early October. These teams were considered top-five programs with Bama rated #1 and the Aggies at #5 in most preseason polls.
Though Alabama came to College Station still ranked as the #1 team in the land, the Texas Aggies were a lowly 2-2 after having dropped a road game at Arkansas and then being ambushed the week before the Alabama game – at home – by Mississippi State. The Aggies had fallen all the way out of the Top 25 before their game with the Crimson Tide less than two weeks ago.
In the most surprising upset of this season, Texas A&M dominated early, fell behind late, and rallied with ten straight points in the final minutes of the game to give CBS a great show and Alabama their first loss in 19 straight games.
In another stunner, the Oregon Ducks came into the Big Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio and dispatched the home-standing Ohio State Buckeyes in week #1 of the regular season. Both teams are now 5-1 on the year and are seeking to win the remainder of their games to become one of the four teams entering the season-ending BCS playoffs.
Through week #4 of the season, the Big Ten Conference featured four unbeaten teams not-named-Ohio State this year. Iowa, Penn State, Michigan State, and Michigan all were a perfect 4-0 two weeks ago. Iowa would give Penn State its first loss, but then the Hawkeyes were demolished at home just a week later by upstart 4-2 Purdue. Michigan and Michigan State will play each other in two weeks.
If you like underdogs…
Look no further than these two undefeated teams. 6-0 Coastal Carolina from lovely Myrtle Beach, South Carolina will play on ESPN2 in a rare Wednesday night football game as they visit Sunbelt Conference’ resident bully named Appalachian State (4-2) in mountainous Boone, North Carolina. As the saying goes, “One (Coastal Carolina) if by sea, and two (App State) if by air”. This game will be played at 3,333 feet above sea level. I have elevated expectations for this mid-week match-up!
Ever heard of UTSA? No, it is not an insurance company! The University of Texas in San Antonio Roadrunners are now a sterling 7-0 and leading Conference USA. This school didn’t even have a college football program until ten years ago! UTSA’s nickname of Roadrunners seems quite appropriate given how quickly this program has been rising. I wonder if Acme (Brick, that is) is a sponsor of the Roadrunners radio network!
If you’re looking for disappointments, there are only two remaining teams (out of 130) who are winless at this juncture. The Pac-12’s Arizona Wildcats and UNLV of the Mountain West are both 0-6. Each will face a tough task in winning a single game the remainder of the season as both schedules feature several opponents with winning records at this time.
One Louisiana college football team stunned the nation on Saturday night, while the other one canned a national championship coach the next day. The ULM Warhawks from Monroe were 32 point underdogs – at home – to the 5-1 Liberty Flames. Liberty featured dual threat quarterback Milik Willis, a top Heisman Trophy hopeful. ULM kept Willis in check and, despite the odds, the plucky Warhawks kicked a 53-yard field goal to spring a 31-28 upset win to move to 3-3 on the year. ULM’s win was the largest point spread overcome by a home underdog (nationally) in eight years. Nicely done, Warhawks!
Fans of the college football team located 200 miles to the south had two big upsets to deal with this weekend. LSU moved their football record to 4-3 with an exciting 49-42 win over Florida. Unfortunately for LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, his time as leader of the Bayou Bengals ended on Sunday after it was announced that he will not return in 2022. Coach O will receive a contract buyout worth nearly $17 million to help soothe his pain, though! “O” yeah!
Let’s now unveil this week’s Swampswami.com College Football Top 25 teams!