6 notes from a college football weekend

Arguably, the second week of the 2022 college football season was sport at its best.

There were close and competitive confrontations between ranked teams and/or traditional powers. There were many upheavals in the top 25 teams. Even FCS teams got in on the action, winning matches while getting paid.

It’s still early days, but parity looked like almost a week’s worth of thing. Oh, and the training loop started again, too.

It was just a busy weekend.

Here are six takeaways from the latest college football game.


BYU has a chance to do something special

Yaren Hall (3) hands BYU Cougars a pass as BYU and Baylor play at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, September 10, 2022.

Scott J Winterton, The Desert News

BYU’s victory over the then-no. The 9th seed Baylor – the Bears are now 17th – wasn’t pretty, but he was impressive.

The 12th seed Cougars defeated the Big 12 champion, overcame major obstacles along the way, and saw perhaps the best individual performance from their defense in Elisa Toyaki’s tenure as defensive coordinator.

Quarterback Garen Hall was excellent, and the Cougars have a new star future in Chase Roberts. Credit should be given to both offensive and defensive lines as well. BYU was as big and strong as the Power Five Conference Champion.

And now, in the wake of the win, the Cougars have a chance to do something special.

Next is No. 25 Oregon at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. Anyone suggesting that this would not be a difficult game is fooling themselves.

But win that game, and things will go well with BYU.

Notre Dame seems more vulnerable than ever. Wyoming, Utah and Boise all declined. Number 10 Arkansas comes to Provo, and while the Cougars should go to Stanford, the Cardinal hasn’t really been a threat for a few years now.

It’s too early to suggest that BYU may not beat or hit six bowls for the New Year, but after consecutive double-digit winning seasons, it looks like this year has a chance to be the best in the Kalani Sitake era.


Utah is not going anywhere

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Utah Utes tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) runs the ball for touchdown while playing the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 10, 2022.

Ben B Brown, Desert News

What a difference a week makes.

After losing to Florida in the first week, things weren’t quite on the same page for Utis, not with the high expectations Utah had entered the season.

Last Saturday’s game against Southern Utah gave Yotis the chance to reset and release some frustration, and they’ve never done so.

There is no need to rework the 73-7 victory. Utah was dominant and did what the elite teams could do – handle poor competition with ease.

There are still question marks surrounding Utes.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham noted somewhat after Saturday’s win.

“We have things to rectify, there’s no doubt about that,” he told Deseret News. “A game like this has the same value (our second team) as it does (our first team), which gets a great rating. The second ‘O’ played the entirety of the second half. The first ‘D’ played one string in the second half and the two were the rest of the way.” .

Utah still has to prove itself against the top teams in Pac-12 and avoid any and all turmoil along the way if it can still hope to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

But the Utes seem to be part of a great team, and at least no worse than last year when they won their first Pac-12 Championship for the program.


Utah may be in trouble

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Weber State wide receiver Ty MacPherson (1) picks up a 9-yard touchdown pass as Utah State’s Michael Anyanowu (22) defends during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, September 10, 2022, in Logan, Utah.

Elie Lucero, Herald Journal via The Associated Press

Things are not going well in Logan now.

After feuding with UConn in the season opener, the Aggies were blown up in back-to-back games, against Alabama and Weber State.

The Wildcats were simply better than Saturday’s Aggies in just about every way.

They have outdone us. It’s that simple, said Blake Anderson, coach of Utah State. “They played cover the material man and we struggled to open up. They played better in individual situations than we did.”

To be completely outnumbered by an FCS opponent does not bode well for Utah going forward.

The Aggies should play the improved UNLV team next, followed by No. 12 BYU and then Air Force.

There are games to be won in the table — in Colorado, Wyoming and Hawaii, versus New Mexico, UNLV and San Jose State — but in its current form, six wins and the emergence of a bowl game don’t all seem likely to the Aggies.

Not if they don’t get better quickly.

“We have to learn from that, be decisive in the open week and find where we can improve because at the moment we are not a very good football team,” Anderson said.


The Top 25 Disruptions are back in force, and we’re better off than that

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Washington State’s Nakia Watson (25) gets a touchdown pass with Wisconsin State’s Kamo’i Latu (13) during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, September 10, 2022, in Madison, Wisconsin. Washington State won 17-14.

Morey Gash, news agency

Nothing is better in college football than turmoil, and there are no better surprises than those in the top 25 teams.

There were many of the first 25 disruptions on Saturday, some shocking and some less so.

  • Now, unseeded Notre Dame has lost at home to Marshall and former US FA quarterback Henry Columbia. The Irish fighters were clearly overestimated to enter the season, but no one expected the Thunder Flock to lose.
  • then no. 6 Texas A&M landed in Appalachia. The Sun Belt isn’t getting the recognition it deserves – at the moment, there’s no better conference for the Group of Five, and that includes AAC, which still has three future Big 12 programs – and the Mountaineers should be ranked. In the meantime, it looks like Aggies is destined to remain the program as full of potential as they never do anything.
  • Tennessee Beats topped in one of the best games of the weekend. Volunteers is a rising program while Pete remains one of the top programs at ACC. More such games are needed without conferences from now on.
  • Mike Leach may not be at Pullman anymore, but Washington State remains a serious opponent any week. The Cougars went to Wisconsin and they bothered then – no. 19 Badger. Will Washington State Compete in the Pac-12? Probably not, but cougars always seem to be able to create some chaos.
  • Texas Tech won an overtime victory over that time – no. 25 Houston. The Cougars were once thought to be one of the best G5 teams to enter the year, and that may still be the case. The future of Big 12 looks more and more competitive, though, after close matches between BYU, Baylor, Texas Tech and Houston.

Is FCS trying to take over?

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Defensive End Webber State Nou Silesin (47) celebrates the team’s victory over Utah State in an NCAA college football game Saturday, September 10, 2022, in Logan, Utah.

Elie Lucero, Herald Journal via The Associated Press

It wasn’t just the top 25 shows that bothered Saturday. Multiple teams of FCS have taken down FBS opponents.

In Utah, the obvious was Weber over Utah. The Wildcats claimed their first FBS win since 1993, claiming it might be the defining win of the Jay Hill era in the process.

They weren’t alone though.

  • Eastern Kentucky defeated Bowling Green in overtime.
  • The Holy Cross disturbs the buffalo.
  • The University of the Incarnate Word, a private Catholic school in San Antonio with an enrollment of just under 5,000, defeated Nevada in Reno.

Throwing a pair of FCS on the FBS teams earlier in the season—William and Mary on the Charlotte and Delaware on the Navy—and pay-to-play matches haven’t gone well for more than a few teams this year.

The gap between the FCS and the Group of Five looks smaller than ever, and not just because of the aforementioned disorders.

James Madison made the jump from FCS to FBS this year, and now the Dukes are 2-0 with dominant wins over Middle Tennessee and Norfolk State. The Sun Belt competition has yet to start, but so far there has been no indication that James Madison can’t compete for the top of the conference in his first year at FBS level.


Is there anything harder to get than hiring a coach?

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Nebraska coach Scott Frost is on the sidelines as his team plays against South Georgia during the second half of a college football game on Saturday, September 10, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. The Georgia South team defeated Nebraska 45-42.

Rebecca S. Gratz, news agency

Scott Frost is no longer the head coach of the Nebraska Club.

It wasn’t long ago when Frost was one of, if not the most sought-after coaches in college football, a candidate for open jobs at Florida and UCLA.

It was seen by many as an unmissable training opportunity, and when Nebraska took over, there was legitimate optimism that he could return the Cornhuskers to some semblance of glory.

Only it turned out that this was not accurate at all.

Likewise, Dan Mullen was seen as a great hire in Florida around the same time that Frost took the Nebraska job. Mullen is now a college football television analyst.

Jim Mora Jr. was fired from UCLA after moving from 46 to 30 over six seasons. His replacement, Chip Kelly, is 20-25 overall with the Bruins in two games in his fifth season in Los Angeles.

Yes, successful coaches are hired all the time, but more and more, it seems like it’s complete and total luck when schools hire the right coach.