1. Ole Miss will score fewer than 70 points in a game at some point soon.
This is disappointing to hear, but we are sorry. There are many reasons for this.
First of all, even the 2013 Seminoles did not do this, averaging just 51.6 points a game on their way to an FBS scoring record. Second of all, Ole Miss scored 70-plus points against UT Martin and Fresno State, two schools incapable of keeping up with half of the Rebels' roster in a straight line once, much less for an entire game. Third: scoring 70 points twice or more is something only four teams have done since 2000.
Scoring massive piles of points, even in blowouts against wretchedly overmatched competition, is still a good sign. It means Chad Kelly can operate the offense on a dry run against papier-mache defenders. Regional competitors Arkansas and Auburn failed this test; Ole Miss will play those teams later this year.
This also puts Ole Miss in some charmed company. Those other teams to score 70 multiple times in a season: 2004 Texas Tech, 2010 Wisconsin, and 2013 Baylor. Baylor did it four times, which even under these terms seems excessive, but finished 11-2. Texas Tech went 8-4 thanks in part to giving up 30-plus points five times, while Wisconsin finished 11-2. Those Badgers had the honor of putting up 82 points on Indiana and getting so far into the depth chart that the fifth-string quarterback was taking snaps. Remember: it's not running up the score if they let you walk leisurely into the end zone.
So Ole Miss would have to be historically anomalous to finish worse than a zero-defensed 2004 Texas Tech, especially with Robert Nkemdiche lurking on the defensive line. (And sometimes the backfield? You're so weird sometimes, Ole Miss.) It's not perfect company, but it's definitely not bad company.
2. Ohio State's schedule makes the Buckeyes a lock to-
STOOOOOOPPPPPPPPP. There are no locks, because that's not how human error works. Listen, all you need for a college football team to implode are a few key factors arriving at the same doorway at the same time.
It's not like the Buckeyes can be inherently superior the minute they step onto a field. No, this is a team sport, and that means all another team needs is a.) luck and b.) the exact low ebb of Ohio State's attentions and powers.
A team doesn't have to be good to beat Ohio State. It would really help, but it's not like that piece of toffee you broke your tooth on had a plan to be great that day. No, it just hit the right spot at the right time by being there and letting misaligned elements do the work.
Did I just describe Maryland as a piece of cheap candy that can get caught in your teeth? Do you have a better, clearer description of Maryland right now after it lost to Bowling Green?* Maybe you do, but what Ohio State might do to botch an otherwise turbulence-free forecast to the Michigan and Michigan State games at the end of the schedule involves a huge mistake in which the other partner is at best a reluctant accomplice.
To lose, the Buckeyes have to scuttle their own ship, something that only happens every single year in college football.
*Marshmallows? Fluffernutters? The Randy Edsall of candies is a mystery.
3. It's too early to panic.
WRONG. There are so many reasons to panic. Everett Golson has looked positively mediocre at quarterback for Florida State. Notre Dame just lost starting quarterback Malik Zaire to a leg injury, and even though backup DeShone Kizer threw a game-winning TD in relief, you should still be concerned about your backup being called to full-time duty after two games.
LSU barely squeaked past Mississippi State, Oregon outright lost to Michigan State, and Alabama still hasn't totally decided on a quarterback. Neither has UGA, and what it's showed doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in the Bulldogs being anything but a thump-and-punt team. (Which might be good enough to win the SEC East, if that means anything.) UCLA and Notre Dame both lean on beating Virginia for credibility, or in other words, writing, "Paid off a loan to our dude Steve once," under their credit history.
Clemson hasn't played anyone of note, and neither has Ole Miss. Ohio State is rotating two quarterbacks. Auburn almost lost to Jacksonville State, and former dark horse title contender Arkansas looks like Stanford with lower academic standards. (To be fair: it's easier for Stanford to get into Stanford than score a touchdown in the red zone.) Even in a win, Michigan State's Connor Cook made some ghastly mistakes against Oregon.
You want us to depend on Texas A&M or UCLA, something we've all done before with disastrous results? Or Baylor or TCU? No, it's much easier to just accept that no one is demonstrably great. You'll have to live with that and the lingering sense of panic.
You'll laugh either way in eight weeks, when a.) your team has become pretty good or b.) the wheels have fallen off, and you're drinking heavily to cope. (Again.)
4. The hardest thing to be is a UVA fan right now.
The evidence is as follows (and interviewed here by our Virginia blog):
Two losses, with the last one being a straight dick-kicking last-minute TD by Notre Dame's backup QB. I dunno. I'd understand anything at this point, right down to canceling the football program and doubling down on equestrian sports. Which would be a very UVA thing, so go ahead.
In a world of pain, I'm not going to stop you from grabbing whatever you call a painkiller.
5. Oklahoma back?
Eh, they didn't go anywhere. The 8-5 2014 Sooners lost three games by single digits, both because their offense lost the ability to pass and their defense decided to lapse at the most inopportune of times.
Fix those up, and you get a 10- or 11-win team that probably still finishes with a whimper in the bowl, but still ends up looking like any other Bob Stoops team. They're capable of winning 10 games consistently, missing on certain talent they used to get on the regular, and generally doing very well against the SEC nonetheless.
There's something to be said for looking as derelict as Oklahoma looked for three quarters against Tennessee, yet saving the game. There's also something to be said about struggling against an SEC East team, ever, in the year 2015, and it's: "That's not real good."