With Ohio State taking a break and on a bye this week, the Stock Market report will focus on other teams in college football and how we feel about them with September ending.
This is not necessarily all about making the playoffs, but just these teams that might be having a better or worse year than expected.
Let’s get into it.
Ohio State: I think the best teams in the country are Georgia and Ohio State. I think Texas, Michigan, and Florida State are right behind them. The Buckeyes did not seem to have their best game in South Bend and still were able to pull out a win against a legitimate Notre Dame team. Marvin Harrison Jr. does not seem to have a long-term injury which is important.
October is not easy for the Buckeyes, as they take on Maryland and Penn State and travel to Wisconsin. The college football community as a whole will learn a lot about the Buckeyes during this stretch, and if they get to November still undefeated, you have to believe any doubt would be erased about this team. I would at least hope so.
Texas: Stop me if you have heard this. Texas is back. However, if they aren’t back this season, it would actually be more surprising than if they are not.
Quinn Ewers looks great, and Xavier Worthy and AD Mitchell are on the Harrison/Egbuka and Coleman/Wilson level. The defense has played up to this point, and the only actual concern is, will Texas revert back to the Texas we have come to know at some point this season? This week is an interesting challenge as they will be taking on Oklahoma. That game will tell us a lot about this Texas team, as Oklahoma is easily the best offense they will have faced to this point.
Florida State: I like Florida State a lot. However, I really like its schedule more. They had a difficult start to the season, taking on LSU and Clemson in two of its first three games, and since they got through that schedule unscathed, they are rewarded with a pretty easy schedule the rest of the way. They do still have to play Duke and Miami, but both are at home and the status of Duke quarterback Riley Leonard as this is being written.
With games against LSU, Clemson, Duke, and Miami, plus a trip to the ACC Championship game presumably, the Seminoles can likely afford to lose a game and still might be in the Playoff. Plus, Jordan Travis is fantastic, and Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman might be the best receiving duo in the country not residing in Columbus.
Big Ten West: Can we pass a bill today eliminating Big Ten Divisions so that the Big Ten Championship game can include two of Ohio State, Michigan, or Penn State? For what it is worth, I believe Maryland would be the best team in the West if they were in it.
Wisconsin has looked as average as possible, Iowa still can’t score, and now its starting quarterback is hurt (In all seriousness, prayers up to Cade McNamara and hoping for a speedy recovery), and all the other teams are seriously flawed. I have no idea who will come out of this division, and maybe over the next two months, one of these teams will separate themselves, but winning this division is just an invite to get smoked by whoever will represent the Big Ten East.
Buy: Oklahoma. I am saying to buy Oklahoma and Texas in this article, so something will have to give this weekend when they play each other. Oklahoma had a down season last year, but with Dillon Gabriel coming back and Brett Venables getting another season under his belt as the head coach, it was inevitable they would bounce back well.
I am not sure this is a playoff team, but I think they will see Texas again in the Big 12 Championship in December.
Buy: Notre Dame. Duke is legit. I have to say that before people start saying, “Well, they barely beat Duke”. Notre Dame went into Duke in one of the biggest games of the decade for the Blue Devils and survived its best effort. They are one play away from being a top-three team in the country. Notre Dame still has to play USC and Clemson, and they are not out of the Playoff picture in the slightest.
Sell: USC. I have been back and forth on this one all season. On one hand, we all know that you need a defense to win a championship. However, USC has an offense that operates on a level that feels like it can score 60 on any given Saturday.
But I still believe you have to be able to stop teams to win, and USC has not proven they can do that consistently. Caleb Williams is a crazy talent, and there really isn’t a defense that can slow him down. But they are putting a lot of pressure on him to go out and score 50 points a game because the defense has yet to prove they can stop anyone, much less Washington and Oregon.