Clemson, Iowa State out of race; 4-0 Oklahoma a mirage


North Carolina leads this week’s Distress Index after a 45-22 loss to Georgia Tech. Listed here are the others that made the index, a weekly measurement of knee-jerk reactions primarily based on what every fan base simply watched.


Clemson: In the event that they’re being trustworthy, Clemson followers ought to have seen this coming. As a lot because the Tigers had implanted themselves within the School Soccer Playoff subject for six straight seasons, nothing lasts eternally if you happen to don’t evolve and your expertise degree dips. This model of Clemson doesn’t have a generational quarterback, doesn’t have offensive line and doesn’t have among the finest working backs in ACC historical past anymore. Add it up, and also you’ve received a workforce that’s now 2-2 after a totally deserved 27-21 double-overtime loss to NC State.

The Tigers had 214 yards of offense and simply 10 first downs within the recreation — a far cry from the sort of output we’re used to seeing from them with the likes of Deshaun Watson, Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne. However whether or not it’s a run of poor recruiting or a failure to evolve their system, it’s been obvious from Week 1 that their offense merely isn’t working. And the value for that’s falling out of the playoff race earlier than the tip of September, a place Clemson followers won’t be thrilled about after such an unbelievable run of success.

WINNERS, LOSERS: UCLA, Texas achieve floor; Minnesota embarrassed

COLLEGE FOOTBALL GRADES: Excessive marks for flag planting, Skittles break

Oklahoma: Within the lengthy and storied historical past of the Distress Index, there has by no means been a 4-0 workforce touchdown in such a distinguished place. However Oklahoma is a particular case after a 16-13 win over West Virginia that continues a development of underwhelming performances this season in opposition to mediocre opponents. It received so dangerous Saturday night time that quarterback Spencer Rattler was repeatedly booed and followers chanted “We would like Caleb,” referring to extremely touted freshman Caleb Williams.

The Sooners haven’t been significantly nice to look at this season, particularly for followers who grew accustomed to the free-flowing offense Lincoln Riley was capable of run with Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts. However Oklahoma’s issues aren’t restricted to the quarterback place — good day, mediocre offensive line play — and are most likely too widespread at this level to anticipate a fast turnaround.

One attention-grabbing subplot to watch is how the frustration with Rattler manifests from a reputation, picture and likeness standpoint. Rattler has taken full benefit of the brand new NCAA rule that enables athletes to market themselves, signing endorsement offers with the Elevating Cane’s quick meals chain and a Norman-area automotive dealership that posted tweets not too long ago suggesting it had fastened Rattler up with two totally different vehicles. Whereas that’s a fantastic factor for him, that is all very new for faculty sports activities — together with how followers react when a school athlete who sells them merchandise isn’t performing as much as expectations on the sphere.

Iowa State: Being the fashionable underdog in school soccer is a whole lot of enjoyable — till you’re truly anticipated to outperform your historical past. When Matt Campbell received Iowa State to the purpose the place it was going to the Alamo Bowl and the Tenting World Bowl, followers had been ecstatic. For a program with out a lot sustained success, going 8-5 yearly was a totally new degree of competence and one which no person took with no consideration.

However by making the Large 12 championship recreation final season and profitable the Fiesta Bowl, the bar was raised. Campbell, who was arguably the most popular coach in all of soccer, determined to remain and coach this workforce. With a lot expertise returning, all the pieces lined up for quarterback Brock Purdy and working again Breece Corridor to steer the Cyclones to never-before-seen heights. As an alternative, Iowa State appears like a workforce which may have over-performed throughout a bizarre COVID-19 season and is now crashing again to Earth at 2-2.

By typical Iowa State requirements, none of that is dangerous — together with Saturday’s 31-29 loss to Baylor when the Cyclones couldn’t make a 2-point conversion within the last minute. However when the fantasy of an all-time season dies within the first month, on high of being caught in a diminished Large 12 Convention because of the impending departures of Texas and Oklahoma, let’s simply say 2021 isn’t precisely understanding the best way Iowa State followers envisioned.

Texas Tech: You already know a coach is on shaky floor when the athletics director has to announce that he’s coming again. However that’s precisely what Kirby Hocutt did after Matt Wells’ second season with the Pink Raiders — together with the requisite employees shake-up, together with the firing of offensive coordinator David Yost. Understanding what was at stake this 12 months, Wells additionally tried to rebuild the roster with some transfers — which appeared prefer it was working for essentially the most half via three weeks. However Saturday in opposition to Texas was a prove-it sort of recreation, significantly when Wells began saying, “Now it’s private” as one thing of a mantra response to the Longhorns and Oklahoma leaving the Large 12 for the SEC.

It might need been private to Wells, however it clearly wasn’t that non-public to Texas Tech’s gamers, who misplaced 70-35 and didn’t play one lick of protection in opposition to a Longhorns workforce that had 639 yards and transformed 10-of-14 on third down. The Pink Raiders’ schedule will get actually powerful after Halloween, so it’s not hyperbole to recommend that Wells’ tenure extending past this season may relaxation on the subsequent two video games in opposition to West Virginia and TCU.


Minnesota: Yearly, there are Energy 5 groups that take dangerous losses. However no person will take a worse loss in 2021 than the Gophers by some means getting beat at dwelling by Bowling Inexperienced, 14-10. Earlier than Saturday, Bowling Inexperienced had not crushed an FBS opponent since Nov. 2, 2019, in opposition to Akron — a streak of 10 straight losses. The Falcons haven’t had a profitable season since 2015 when Dino Babers was the coach and promptly left for Syracuse. Just some weeks in the past, they misplaced 38-6 at Tennessee. And but, regardless of being 31-point favorites, veteran Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan accomplished 5-of-13 passes for 59 yards with two interceptions. He additionally misplaced a fumble. It’s completely baffling, however Minnesota’s 11-2 season in 2019 when it completed within the high 10 is beginning to seem to be a very long time in the past.

Auburn: No person would accuse Auburn followers of being nuanced and complex in the best way they consider their very own workforce, however they’re actually skilled sufficient to know that not all wins are value celebrating. The one advantage of escaping in opposition to Georgia State on Saturday, 34-24, is that Auburn did not lose the sport — which it completely may have till quarterback TJ Finley improvised for a game-winning 10-yard landing go on fourth-and-9 with 45 seconds left.

Till that play, the place it appeared like Finley was dancing and spinning into bother till he miraculously received free to seek out an open receiver, Auburn was terrible in opposition to a Georgia State workforce that had beforehand misplaced by a mixed 75 factors to Military and North Carolina. The truth for Auburn is that this was an evenly performed recreation with a workforce from the Solar Belt, which doesn’t bode effectively for video games in opposition to the likes of Alabama and Georgia.

With the offense trying gradual and clunky, first-year Auburn coach Bryan Harsin selected to bench quarterback Bo Nix (13-of-27, 156 yards) for Finley, an LSU switch who did effectively on the 98-yard drive to win the sport however didn’t gentle the world on hearth. Only a week after a stable efficiency in a loss to Penn State, it might now be thought-about considerably of an upset if the Tigers are center of the pack within the SEC.

TCU: Gary Patterson has been among the finest coaches of his era. He is the one purpose TCU received into the Large 12 after wandering within the convention wilderness for 16 years following the breakup of the Southwest Convention. There’s a statue of him in entrance of Amon Carter Stadium. However the requires Patterson to step apart — together with from inside his personal fan base — are solely going to accentuate after a 42-34 loss to SMU. It’s the primary time since 1992 and 1993 that TCU has misplaced back-to-back video games to the Mustangs, however greater than that, it symbolizes a program that is not what it was once. During the last three-plus seasons, TCU is 20-18 and hasn’t actually made a lot of an influence within the Large 12.

For quite a lot of causes, together with a revolving door of offensive coordinators and a drop-off within the high quality of protection that Patterson is chargeable for, this simply isn’t the identical TCU. As an alternative of routinely beating groups like SMU, now the Horned Frogs lose and complain about how the victors rub it of their faces. Subsequent week, the Horned Frogs play Texas — the one workforce they’ve dominated recently, profitable seven of the final 9. If TCU doesn’t present up for that one, it’ll be time for some frank conversations in regards to the course of this system.

Wisconsin: The straightforward narrative Saturday was that the Badgers selected the flawed quarterback after they invested in Graham Mertz as an alternative of Jack Coan, who transferred to Notre Dame and led his workforce to a 41-13 victory over Wisconsin on Saturday. However truthfully, each of them are fairly common school quarterbacks. And if any program has confirmed the power to win at a excessive degree with common school quarterbacks, it’s Wisconsin.

However the Badgers’ points are deeper than that. Proper now, they seem like on a reasonably miserable trajectory from a workforce that no person likes to play to a workforce that isn’t actually a lot of a risk if in case you have respectable pace and talent. After ending within the high 15 3 times in his first 5 years, Paul Chryst is 5-7 in his final 12 video games. The Badgers have typically been disagreeable to look at underneath Chryst. But when they lose at dwelling to Michigan subsequent week, they are going to be rendered utterly ineffective, too.

UNLV: There are by no means any actual expectations positioned on this program, however how exhausting is it to win one recreation? We could discover out with the Rebels, provided that they haven’t carried out it since Nov. 30, 2019 in a season finale in opposition to rival Nevada. 5 days earlier than that recreation, UNLV fired Tony Sanchez, the previous coach at highschool powerhouse Bishop Gorman who had gone 20-40 with the Rebels. He was changed by Marcus Arroyo, the previous offensive coordinator at Oregon, who’s now 0-10 as a head coach.

To be honest, Arroyo needed to cope with COVID-19 in his first season and a troublesome schedule to begin 2021 together with Arizona State, Iowa State, Fresno State and FCS powerhouse Jap Washington. However issues aren’t getting a lot simpler from a schedule standpoint, with valuable few alternatives this season for Arroyo to get his first win. Maybe UNLV can beat San Jose State, New Mexico or Hawaii. In any other case, Arroyo could possibly be going into Yr 3 with a traditionally poor file.


“Tradition tweak – begin with uniforms…significantly” – Inside Carolina (UNC)

“We’re going to have a dropping season this 12 months” – Tiger Illustrated (Clemson)

“We could not even get a bowl recreation!” – Cyclone Fanatic (Iowa State)

“Was that the worst win in Auburn historical past?” – Auburn Undercover

“That is the one which broke me” – Contained in the Pink Raiders (Texas Tech)

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: School soccer: Clemson, Iowa State out of race; Oklahoma a mirage:



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