Time to recognize some teams who have distinguished themselves so far in this young season. Both in good and horrific ways.
Cannon fodder award: Georgia State
Georgia State is in its second year as a FBS school yet the program has clearly gotten off to a rough start. Georgia State has dropped two games on the season to FCS squads. FCS teams that should have smaller budgets and should have inferior players. Problem is that has not been the case for GSU. The Panthers are ranked at No. 216 in Sagarin ratings out 252 D-1 schools. Did I mention only 125 of those are FBS? GSU is therefore the lowest ranked FBS school in the nation behind football powerhouses like FCS Yale. Ouch. It’s one thing to say you’re not smart enough to go to Yale. It’s another thing to tell kids in the football crazed southeast you’re not athletic enough to beat Yale on the field. This tweet from Georgia State athletics sums the high point of the season as Georgia State kicked a field to go into overtime with FCS Jacksonville State at home.
The field goal is good and the clock will run out as we have a game tied at 26-26. It’s overtime in the Ga Dome! #JSUvsGSU
— GSU Athletics (@GSUPanthers) September 21, 2013
Panther pride! Losing in overtime to a team you should beat at home.
Public Enemy award: Clemson
The Tigers are 3-0 and are ranked No. 3 in the nation but are somehow No. 14 in Sagarin. That’s behind Georgia (No. 5) a team it defeated on opening week. Clemson appears to be the real deal and looked great in its win at North Carolina State. Quarterback Tajh Boyd is a Heisman frontrunner and the defense has been solid. Clemson just might bring the ACC back to glory in football. You know, if you forget the SEC exists.
Mediocrity award: Syracuse
Syracuse is 2-2 and is No. 62 in Sagarin. That’s right in the middle of the FBS teams. Syracuse has lost to the teams it was suppose to lose too (Penn State and Northwestern) and beat the teams it was suppose to beat (Tulane and Wagner). Syracuse will face a tougher schedule in ACC play so staying at .500 come Thanksgiving is doubtful. Until then Orange fans should rejoice. Your team is not bad. It’s just striving for mediocrity!
Bear Market team award: West Virginia
West Virginia lost a lot of firepower in the NFL draft (Tavon Austin and Geno Smith) so it’s not surprising it’s a regression year. But losing 37-0 to Maryland is a big red flag. The fact West Virginia’s only wins are against Georgia State (we know the story there) and FCS William and Mary is an even bigger red flag. Time to sell on the Mountaineers.
Bull Market team award: Northwestern
Northwestern is 4-0 but only ranked at No. 41 in Sagarin. Being off Saturday, Northwestern gets two weeks to prepare for Ohio State at home. It’s a perfect trap game for Ohio State on Oct. 5. All it’s attention is set on Wisconsin this Saturday night. If you want to jump on the Wildcat’s bandwagon now is the time to do it.
Best player you’ve never heard of: Jimmy Garoppolo Eastern Illinois quarterback.
Garoppolo is making a name for himself with his insane stats. The senior quarterback has 20 touchdown passes already through four games. He had 30 all of last year! He led FCS Eastern Illinois to a 40-19 thrashing at FBS San Diego State and nearly defeated MAC defending champion Northern Illinois last Saturday. Get to know this kid. He’ll save your fantasy football team a year from now. The “Fear the FCS” hash tag is not bad either.