Another week of college football is in the books. Saturday brought plenty of excitement for fans, and also some clarity about the quality of teams. Who are the contenders? Who are the pretenders? And is the Sun Belt the superior conference?
Tennessee is for real
Florida may not be the toughest competition this year, but Tennessee proved their worth with a win over the Gators at Neyland Stadium. The Volunteers beat Florida in a tight 38-33 contest in front of a packed house, and quarterback Hendon Hooker shined in the spotlight. After transferring from Virginia Tech, Hooker has lit up defenses with his strong arm and pinpoint accuracy.
Although it’s still early in the season, Georgia might just have some competition in the SEC East. In his second year at the helm, head coach Josh Heupel has Tennessee on the right track. Alabama and Georgia loom large, but an upset victory isn’t completely out of the question. Hooker, Heupel, and the rest of the team will be tested in the coming weeks, but it’s looking bright for the Volunteers so far.
Texas isn’t back
When Texas took Alabama down to the wire, it seemed like they might have a good thing going in Austin. However, a 37-34 loss to Texas Tech killed the momentum they had. While Texas’ offense is solid, even without Quinn Ewers, the defense is lackluster. The Red Raiders gained 479 total yards against the Longhorns.
Defense wins championships: until Texas can fix that, they won’t be winning any trophies.
The Sun Belt is the most entertaining conference
Earlier this season, App State took down Texas A&M and Marshall defeated Notre Dame. Georgia Southern beat Nebraska and sent Scott Frost on the first flight out of town. Naturally, those teams would be the top dogs in the conference. But the rest of the Sun Belt had other plans, as that paradigm was overturned in week 4.
James Madison, a newly promoted FCS team, stormed back from a 28-3 deficit to beat App State. Troy dominated Marshall at home. Old Dominion narrowly beat Arkansas State despite beating Virginia Tech a few weeks ago.
Chaos has reigned in the Sun Belt, and it’s really exciting. Anybody can beat anybody week to week, and the race for the conference championship might be one of the most exciting in the nation.
[…] As I wrote yesterday, Tennessee looks legit. Hendon Hooker is the perfect quarterback to lead the team as they face a critical stretch of the schedule. Their real litmus test will come soon against Alabama. […]
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