College Football Today: Could the Cowboys Corral a Top 25 Spot?
Collin Oliver (30) is a force on D for OSU. (Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press)
Ohio State has named QB Kyle McCord the starter for the rest of the season; UConn will also need a new starting QB after Joe Fagnano suffered a season-ending shoulder injury; and Texas QB Quinn Ewers came up huge in the fourth quarter to lead the Longhorns over the Crimson Tide.
Walk of shame time… it’s been way too long since we last covered College football, but here are some other storylines we’re following as we await Week Three.
OK State Starts Strong
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are off to a solid start (2-0) but remain a tough team to back, having gone 1-1 ATS this season after a 6-7 mark in 2022.
Overall, OK State went just 7-6 last year, its worst mark since 2018, and while it has a ways to go still, the fact that the team earned one vote in the most recent AP Top 25 poll is a testament to program’s promise to do much better this season.
Keying the Cowboy defense is defensive end/edge Collin Oliver, a likely top 175 draft prospect for 2024. After a somewhat quiet season debut, the junior enjoyed a big game in Week Two vs. ASU, recording a team-best two tackles for losses plus OSU’s only recorded pass defended. Oliver is a serious speed merchant at the edge, and NFL teams are always on the lookout for players who possess the traits he has. Plus, his sack last year against the Sooners (see video below) etched him into Cowboy lore forever and certainly earned him the love of his teammates.
Georgia Stoked for First Conference Game
Moving a little higher on the charts, the Georgia Bulldogs remain the top-ranked team in the country and are currently +230 faves to win the National Championship for the third straight year as per FanDuel.
So, as usual, everything seems peachy in Georgia.
However, given the quality of competition the Bulldogs faced in their first two games, it’s hard to get a true read on how good they are. That will (sort of) change this weekend when Georgia plays its first conference game against South Carolina.
We mean, it’s not like the Gamecocks (1-1) pose a serious threat here, but as an SEC rival, there’s just more relevance to this game, so you know the Bulldogs will be coming to play. And of course, the top ranking isn’t the only thing on the line in this one; now that Alabama lost a home game, Georgia’s 20-game home winning streak is currently the longest in the country.
What most interests us about this game is finding out how much action Georgia tight end Brock Bowers will get. He’s only received seven touches over the first two games, but don’t let that light workload fool you; this dude is projected to go very high in the 2024 NFL Draft, perhaps as early as No. 3. Keep in mind that when Kyle Pitts went fourth overall in 2021, it marked the highest a TE had ever been picked.
Bowers has the receiving and blocking tools to become the next George Kittle, so he definitely needs to be on your radar in dynasty formats.
D.J. James Flashes Game-Changing Skills
Still in the SEC, the undefeated Auburn Tigers represent yet another conference powerhouse, but they still have a few schools to surpass to work their way into the top 25.
Auburn held on for a 14-10 win over Cal last week, but QB Payton Thorne‘s effort didn’t exactly inspire a ton of confidence (one lost fumble, one pick and just 94 yards passing).
No, it was mostly the defense that won this game for the Tigers, headlined by a key fourth quarter endzone interception by cornerback D.J. James that basically sealed the deal.
James, projected as a late second round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, was making his season debut after being named to the All-SEC second team last year. He’s expected to develop into a solid pro CB2 in time.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
American rock band Blondie formed in 1974 and — beyond a 15-year break (1982-1997) — has been active since. In 1980, they released their fifth album, Autoamerican, which included the single “Rapture,” one of the band’s biggest hits ever, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 100.