Week Five of the college football season proved to be a wild one. Here are my three biggest surprises of the weekend.
Georgia’s Defense Could Be An All-Time Unit
Now, I know we hear statements like that nearly every season. “(Insert team name here) might have one of the best offenses/defenses we’ve ever seen.” I know it gets overused. This time, however, I think there is an extreme case to be made. Through their first five games, the Bulldogs have allowed a total of 23 points. Seven of those were on an interception return for a touchdown. That means that the defense is allowing 3.2 points per game.
Four of their five games have been against Power 5 schools, including two games against top 10 teams. They held third-ranked Clemson and eighth-ranked Arkansas to a combined three points. They are allowing just 180 yards per game, a bit of which has come after the starters have been pulled. What makes it more impressive is that they aren’t even turning their opponents over twice a game on average.
They are just straight up dominating every team they play. They only play a few more good offenses before a presumed matchup with Alabama in the SEC Championship so that they could make their case for a top defensive unit of all time.
Florida’s SEC Title Hopes Go Out The Window
The Gators started their SEC schedule in the harshest way possible, a matchup with Alabama. While they did fall to 0-1 to start conference play, there was a lot to like, and the hopes were still high for a spot in the SEC Championship. A missed two-point conversion with three minutes left proved to be the difference against the Crimson Tide. Although, to be that close with Alabama is nothing short of an outstanding performance.
However, those SEC Championship hopes are all but done for following a loss to Kentucky this past Saturday. After averaging 36 points per game through their first four contests, they managed just 13 points against the Wildcats. They took a three-point lead into halftime but managed just a field goal in the second half.
One loss is hard enough to overcome in the SEC. Two losses is a task that may be too tall for Florida. With Georgia looking like an absolute juggernaut, the odds of Florida beating the Bulldogs plus having someone else beat them are not all that high. If I had to put my money on it, I would say that Georgia won’t lose a regular-season game. So, Florida still had a glimmer of hope coming into the weekend; that glimmer has been all but blocked out at the hands of the Wildcats.
Oregon Stunned In Palo Alto
The Ducks were flying high coming into this weekend, starting a perfect 4-0. They had already knocked off Ohio State on the road and were looking to run the table on the way to their first CFP appearance since its inaugural year in 2015. Stanford had other plans. The Cardinal scored on the final play of regulation and then held the Ducks out of the endzone in overtime to seal the upset victory.
Seeing as the Pac-12 hasn’t been the powerhouse conference it once was, the road to the CFP got a little trickier for Oregon. They can still make it, as they only fell to eighth in the rankings, and three of the teams above them will play each other before the season’s end. It will undoubtedly take a perfect record from here on out, as the schedule isn’t tough enough to justify two losses. This loss to Stanford was a massive hit for the Ducks championship hopes.