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4 things to know from college football's Saturday, Sept. 19, plus big game results

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Let's all say nice things about Notre Dame, let's all say nothing at all about Leonard Fournette, let's listen to Kliff Kingsbury talk s*** about Bret Bielema, and let's acknowledge Ole Miss beat Bama yet again.

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Ole Miss beat Alabama again.
by Rodger Sherman

Another year, another Ole Miss win over Alabama. Ho hum. Why even bother playing the games anymore in this lopsided rivalry?*

Quarterback Chad Kelly, receiver Laquon Treadwell, the Nkemdiche brothers on defense, and plenty of other Rebels made huge plays. But bless Alabama for floating this win into Ole Miss' arms, with three interceptions by its not-so-great quarterbacks, Jacob Coker and surprise starter Cooper Bateman. Alabama's fumbly return team set the Rebels up with two short fields they turned into two scores.

Alabama even let a ball bounce off its damn face for a 73-yard score.

But Alabama isn't dead until you nail the coffin shut, and even then you should try hermetically sealing it and burying it under an anvil. The Tide rolled back from a three-score deficit and had a couple of drives with a chance to beat the Rebels.

And even last year, Ole Miss' win didn't kill the Playoff-bound Tide. As poorly as Alabama played, part of me fears a team that can screw up so many times and still nearly beat a very good team.

I'd follow up with discussion of how Ole Miss' win over Bama compares with last year's Ole Miss win over Bama and what it means for the rest of their season, but ... well, why bother? Ole Miss beat Bama last year and beat Bama this year and will probably beat Bama every year, because that is just what happens.

*The all-time series record on the field is 51-10-2, Alabama. This is the first time Ole Miss has ever beaten Bama twice in a row.

Let's appreciate what Notre Dame is doing.
by Kevin Trahan

The Irish have lost five starters to injury, including quarterback Malik Zaire. Unless something miraculous happens, they'll probably be down another contributor, as safety Drue Tranquill went down with a knee injury on a celebration, of all things.

And just as it was too early to count Ohio State out last year when J.T. Barrett went down, it's too early to say the Irish are out of this race.

Notre Dame isn't changing its identity. The Irish are still going to take shots downfield with redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer, and they're still going to play swarming defense with their wealth of defensive stars. All that was on display in Saturday's 30-22 win over No. 14 Georgia Tech.

In a year when nobody looks particularly dominant yet, Notre Dame might have been the best team in the country with all of its players healthy. And somehow, that's still possible. Jaylon Smith is still college football's best linebacker. Will Fuller is still college football's best receiver. Receiver-turned-running back C.J. Prosise rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns against the Yellow Jackets. The offensive line is one of the country's best.

The schedule is tough, but manageable. The two toughest teams left — Clemson and USC — looked very beatable this week.

The Irish have the offensive firepower, combined with the athleticism on defense, to try for a dream season. As is the case with any undefeated run, all they need is a little luck. You'd think they're due for it by now.

Leonard Fournette is your new Heisman frontrunner.
by Kevin Trahan

When an Auburn safety said stopping LSU running back Leonard Fournette would be "not that difficult, that much of a challenge," we knew he would eat his words. But we didn't know it would be like this.

It wasn't just the numbers, although the 19/228/3 line was jaw dropping. It was how Fournette completely dominated. You knew this was going to be a long day for Will Muschamp's defense when a Fournette 71-yarder came on the first play from scrimmage. He basically threw one defender over his back:

He could have gotten 300-plus yards, if he'd had to; he left early, and his teammates ran for 183 of their own.

We won't see another performance like that this year. We'll see yardage totals like it, but possibly nothing that physically dominating. Fournette is now the player to beat for the Heisman Trophy, and he should be playing in the NFL right now.

Football is so hard, even Ohio State looks bad at it.
by Pete Volk

The offseason is very long. During that time, it's easy to forget one hard truth about college football: nearly every team is bad, especially at the beginning of the season.

This sport is full of teenagers, and with teenagers come mistakes.

Look no further than No. 1 Ohio State. The Buckeyes return most every notable player from the 2014 national title-winning squad, including three of the best quarterbacks in the country. They entered the season as the first unanimous preseason AP No. 1 ever, and might have the best player in the country on the defensive line.

That same Ohio State turned the ball over five times Saturday against Northern Illinois and was called for seven penalties. Against a MAC team! Even champions are rusty this time of year.

Without offensive coordinator Tom Herman, Ohio State's offense has struggled to find a rhythm through three games, culminating with Saturday's 20-13 win as 34.5-point home favorites. Heisman contender Cardale Jones threw two interceptions on nine attempts before being pulled for fellow Heisman contender J.T. Barrett, who threw an interception of his own.

This is just one example. If your team is worse than Ohio State (and it almost certainly is), fret not! Things will probably get better!

Big Week 3 results


Texas lost to Cal on a missed extra pointa man named Corn ended a 23-point Cornhuskers comeback, Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury said Arkansas' Bret Bielema "just got his ass kicked," Florida extended its Kentucky streak to almost three decadesIowa beat Pitt on a 57-yard field goalColorado is state champNavy's first-ever conference game is a blowout of ECU, and Memphis beats Bowling Green in the day's biggest mid-major battle.

Seriously, though: Kingsbury said Bielema "just got his ass kicked."


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