Welcome back to VIBE CHECK, the post where we monitor and assess the weekly pulse of college football. Each week, we’ll grade a handful of teams based on their on-field performance, off-field shenanigans (good and bad!), message board chatter, and more. This is very (read: not at all) scientific and should be taken very (read: not at all) seriously.
Week 3 is in the rearview mirror, and there were seemingly two options for games: utter blowout or nail-biting squeaker. There were some outrageous scores — Michigan blanked UConn 59-0 — and a walk-off Hail Mary.
Let’s check in with this week’s vibes, shall we?
You Love to See It: Basketball Schools
The NCAA basketball season doesn’t start for another six weeks or so, but if you look at some of the remaining undefeated teams, things could get confusing.
Here are some of the 3-0 squads in 2022:
- North Carolina
Let’s. Get. Weird.
Straight Up Not Having a Good Time: College GameDay
ESPN’s College GameDay is still the broadcast by which all other pre-game shows are measured, and this isn’t a knock on that. The crew is heading to Knoxville, Tennessee for the ranked matchup between the No. 11 Vols and the No. 20 Florida Gators.
I get it! That’s not a terrible choice. BUT IT WAS THE COWARD’S CHOICE.
As mentioned above, both Duke and Kansas are undefeated. Turns out, the Blue Devils are traveling to Lawrence to face the Jayhawks this Saturday. College GameDay has never been to KU, Kansas has one of the most fun quarterbacks in the country with Jalon Daniels and the administration expects a sellout for the game.
Sure, an 11 a.m. kick on FS1 isn’t the usual pick for ESPN’s tailgate pregame, but it’s undoubtedly the most fun pick. Choosing an SEC game in this instance feels like deciding to go to Starbucks when you’re visiting Europe. You know that you’re going to get pretty consistent quality, and it’s a safe pick, but it’s always going to be there.
Go to the local cafe instead! Who knows when you’ll have another chance to go back.
Huge missed opportunity to get real weird.
You Love to See It: The Contenders
What a wild output of scoring in Week 3. The top four teams — Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan — outscored opponents 247-35. No. 4 Michigan blanked UConn 55-0. FIFTY-FIVE TO ZERO! The top four weren’t alone, however.
Fourteen of the top 25 teams scored at least 40 points. Four of those team scored over 60 points. Ohio State put up 77 on Toledo. It was a weekend of offensive fireworks. To be fair, a lot of these games were against mismatched teams, but it’s still putting everyone on notice.
You Love to See It but also Straight Up Not Having a Good Time: USC and the Pac-12
It feels a little like if the Pac-12 wants to get a spot in the College Football Playoff spot for the first time since 2017, it might come down to the Trojans. USC is off to a hot start at 3-0 and scoring at least 40 points in all three victories. They’ll have to go undefeated to have a shot at the playoffs, and it seems very doable with the remaining schedule. That’s great!
There’s just one problem: It’s likely USC only plays one ranked team the rest of the season, and no one inside the top-10.
Currently, No. 13 Utah is the only ranked team left on the Trojans’ schedule. What had looked like a potential season defining opportunity against preseason No. 5-Notre Dame has turned into a “don’t lose that if you want to have any shot.”
There is a chance two 2-1 teams make a run, however. The Utes dropped their season opener at Florida, but could get ranked wins against the aforementioned USC and No. 15 Oregon to bolster their resume. Oregon was dismantled by Georgia to open the season, but they’re certainly not going to be the last good team that falters against the reigning champs. The Ducks have the most chances with a ranked win over BYU already on the ledger and two more ranked opponents — Washington and Utah — left to play.
Will any of that be enough to squeak in over a Big 12 or ACC champ or second Big Ten team?
You Love to See It: Chase Brice
Appalachian State (and the Fun Belt) has been a mainstay early this season in VIBE CHECK, and that’s not changing this week. The Mountaineers hosted College GameDay, and the fans did not disappoint. Things looked bleak late against Troy, but App State QB Chase Brice wasn’t quite done. A Hail Mary as time expired gave the home team the win, and if you somehow haven’t seen it, here it is again:
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 17, 2022
Brice, a bit of a college football journeyman who has made stops at Clemson and Duke before landing in Boone, was understandably elated at coming up with the huge play.
He was also a gentleman:
App State QB Chase Brice was an absolute gentleman following the Hail Mary miracle against Troy, helping fans safely storm the field to celebrate 👏
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 22, 2022
The vibes are immaculate.