WaterCooler Talk: Week 8

With week eight of the college football season behind us, I wanted to take a look back and give my hot takes on some of the big stories of the past weekend and a quick preview of the exciting week nine games that start tonight and continue through Saturday evening.

Paul’s Hot Takes

Last Thursday night, UCLA had a big time win over #20 California 40-24. This game had a ton of prospects that dynasty and devy fantasy players should have been watching. The star of the game was freshman sensation Josh Rosen, who completed 34-47 for 399 yards and 3 three touchdowns. Rosen was aided by the performance of two of his wide receivers that produced big time stats in Thomas Duarte (10-141-1) and Devin Fuller (7-100-2). On the other side, even in defeat Jared Goff produced, completing 32-53 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns. If someone asked me right now, to name the two quarterbacks currently playing college football who I think will be the best professionals, my answer would be the two names from this game. While Goff will most likely be a top 10 pick in next year’s draft, it will be fun to watch closely Rosen’s development over the next few years before he is eligible to come out.

While some people still may be unsure of just how good Clemson is, last week’s 58-0 win in Miami definitely sent a message throughout the college football landscape. While they were favored to win the game most expected the game to remain close throughout. Instead early touchdowns by star quarterback Deshaun Watson and Wayne Gallman set the tone for the easy victory. Gallman is a player to keep an eye on as he has rushed for over 100 yards in four of the last five games and seems to be improving each week. At 6’1” and 215 pounds, he possesses good size, speed and vision.

While Baylor defeated Iowa State 45-27, the big story of the game was the season ending neck injury to Baylor’s star quarterback, Seth Russell. Russell was one of the favorites for the Heisman trophy and had his team in prime position to make the playoffs and be a real threat for the National Championship. Now the keys to the offense will go to freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Our own Matt Caraccio recently put out some tweets saying he believes that Stidham can deliver for Baylor and he believes the offense will continue to be a highly efficient and dangerous. He believes Stidham can still lead Baylor to a victory over TCU and a spot in the playoffs.

Coming off the poor loss to Texas the week before, Oklahoma took out their frustrations on Texas Tech defeating them by a score of 63-27. After starting the season very poorly, Samaje Perine finally had a game that reminded me of his great freshman campaign last year. Perine rushed the ball 23 times, for 201 yards and four touchdowns. He looked more decisive this week running the ball, and showed good power and vision. I was very high on Perine coming into the season, so it was nice to see him have a big weak, even though it was against a poor run defense. If Perine can build off of this game, he can get his name back into the mix as being one of the top underclassmen running backs being discussed with the likes of Dalvin Cook and Royce Freeman after the two big names of Leonard Fournette and Nick Chubb.

Another week, another shocking ending that will be remembered forever. This time it was Florida State at Georgia Tech that gave us the dramatic finish. With the score tied at 16, Roberto Aguayo, one of the best kickers in the country attempted a 58 yard field goal to win the game for FSU. Instead of winning the game, the field goal attempt was blocked and returned for a touchdown. The loss was crushing for FSU as they will be likely now have no chance at making the playoffs for the second year in a row.

While not as shocking as the end of the FSU and Georgia Tech game, one of the more stunning developments of the weekend was USC crushing Utah 42-24 and ending the undefeated season of Utah. USC did a great job of containing one of my favorite players in the country, running back, Devontae Booker, to only 62 yards rushing and 49 yards receiving. The stars of the game for USC were JuJu Smith-Schuster, who caught eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdown and Ronald Jones II, who rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown. With all the drama surrounding USC this year, it was nice to see them rise up at home and deliver a big win, which will have lasting ramifications on the college football landscape.

While Ohio State winning 49-7 over Rutgers was not big news, the play of JT Barrett was. Barrett was named the starting quarterback last week and responded by throwing for 223 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for another 101 yards and two additional touchdowns. With Barrett at the helm, and looking like the player that was dominating college football before his injury last year, Ohio State is looking even more dangerous as we head into the final month of the regular season.


Projected Playoff Teams

  1. Ohio State
  2. TCU
  3. Alabama
  4. Clemson

Week 9 games to look forward to:

West Virgina @ #5 TCU

#12 Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech

Georgia @ #11 Florida

#21 Temple @ #9 Notre Dame

#3 Clemson @ NC State