If you were told that the Dukes, Kentucky and Kansas were all 3-0, you might assume it’s mid-November and basketballs are flying in hoops.
Oh, but no! Blue Devils, Wildcats and Jayhawks combine 9-0 in soccer. Indiana is 3-0 too, and so are Syracuse, Maryland, Tulane and Rutgers! It’s a variety of soccer schools that do well in soccer, which is great for this sport. In fact, two of these teams meet next week, when the Duke travels to Lawrence, Kansas.
Meanwhile, the super conference that is the Big Ten took his chin in a few fits of non-conference. Orange beat Bordeaux, Washington defeated Michigan, Oklahoma bombed Nebraska and FCS Southern Illinois shocked the northwest, plus the Hoosiers needed extra time to beat western Kentucky. The Salukis became the first FCS team to beat the Power 5 this year, and they also walked away with a $550,000 security check.
Speaking of the underdogs, the Green Wave made it 3-0 with a win at Kansas State, and the Pac-12 earned two Top 25 wins on the same day for the first time since… 2013! This is a statistic to celebrate and admire if you’re out of the West (it speaks to the disappointments the conference has experienced over a decade in the sport).
Marcus Freeman He finally got his first win as Notre Dame coach (On Attempt #4), Hugh Friese’s decision to go after the win failed on a two-point conversion (Liberty dropped her first game) and Brian Harsin’s tenure on the Plains took a bigger turn for the worse (Penn State Tigers fell).
But enough, let’s get to our top 10. Following teammate Pat Fordy’s leadership, we’re rewarding those teams that in three weeks played the best performance against the best competition. If your team doesn’t “play nobody”, well, your team probably won’t be in the top ten.
Well, to the arrangement we go!
1- Georgia (3-0)
last game: beat South Carolina 48-7
Next match: Kent State (Saturday)
Georgia seems to be turning to the program that resides in Tuscaloosa, AA. Not only do Bulldogs defend the Juggernaut, they now seem to have just as much efficiency and explosive attacking. In this year’s Power 5 games, Dawgs scored 49 and 48 points. Against South Carolina, they didn’t have a rushing finish over 40 yards, but they had four rushing races with at least 32 yards. Quarterback Stetson Bennett only missed seven passes, hitting two TDs and 284 yards. UGA outperformed its top three competitors 130-10.
2 – Ohio State (3-0)
last game: Defeat Toledo 77-21
Next match: Wisconsin (Saturday)
There are better resumes in college football, yes. But the Buckeyes scored a major win over Notre Dame and have been dominant in the past two weeks over Group of 5 foes. QB CJ Stroud had just as much non-completion (five) on Saturday as he did on touchdown passes. Three receivers in Ohio also crossed the 100-yard mark.
3. USC (3-0)
last game: Fresno State House 45-17
Next match: in Oregon (Saturday)
The Transfer Portal Trojans haven’t missed many tunes this season. And although they never played any real quality competition, they dominate it: Rice, Stanford and Fresno. Behind QB Caleb Williams, the crime was a buzz. They scored 66 points, 41 points and 45 points. The new faces of Los Angeles – the quarterback, coach, running back, receiver – look just right.
4. Penn State (3-0)
last game: Auburn won 41-12
Next match: Central Michigan (Saturday)
In three weeks, Nittany Lions has two Power 5 wins on the road, better than most. Penn State won Purdue for the season opener Thursday night and then rolled over Auburn on the Plains. Sean Clifford is solid and the defense of coach James Franklin is salty. Ten of Auburn’s 12 rides ended in dips, with a spin or kick.
5. Alabama (3-0)
last game: Beat UL-Monroe 63-7
Next match: Vanderbilt (Saturday)
Nick Saban entered the locker room after his victory over Texas last week with a message to his team: Train hard and the game is easy. Whether practice was difficult or not, the game was definitely easy. Tide threw the same program that beat Saban in his first season in Tuscaloosa in 2007. QB Price Young threw picks but also threw three touchdowns.
6. Arkansas (3-0)
last game: beat Missouri 38-27
Next match: Texas A&M in Arlington (Saturday)
We know, we know. The Pigs struggled against former coach Bobby Petrino and the Bears. Missouri opened with a 17-0 lead and then led 27-17 before Arkansas returned with a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter. Arkansas is still in our top ten mostly because of its solid win over Cincinnati. We’ll know a lot more about Sam Bateman’s squad after next weekend’s game against Aegis.
7. Oklahoma (3-0)
last game: beat Nebraska 49-14
Next match: Kansas State (Saturday)
The Sooners meddle in our rankings after beating the Huskers on the road, their first game against a Power 5 opponent this season. Although Nebraska does not count as a good victory, Oklahoma’s dominance is sufficient. QB Dillon Gabriel threw for 230 yards and ran for 55 minutes and stifled Brent Venables Nebraska’s defense in the first game since. Shooting Scott Frost. OU forced a turn or kick on 11 of Nebraska’s straight possessions.
8. Kentucky (3-0)
last game: Youngstown State win 31-0
Next match: Northern Illinois (Saturday)
Mark Stubbs and his football school pushed aside the FCS Penguins and had a nice day from QB Will Levis (377 yards and two TDs). Youngstown had nine first touchdowns, was zero for 10 in third and didn’t break the 200-yard mark. Are cats real? We’ll find out soon. They travel to the Ole Miss on October 1, a game that’s shaping up to be a top 15 undefeated team encounter.
9. Tennessee (3-0)
last game: Akron won 63-6
Next match: Florida (Saturday)
Do folders return? Can. They are definitely playing better than they have played in years. Their road win at Pete is enough to get them into our top 10, but the real tests come over the next three weeks: Florida, at LSU and Alabama. Imagine what it would be like to clash Bama and Tennessee in Knoxville if the Vols could beat LSU and the Gators? It’s been a long time since Vols-Tide has gained some importance.
10- Kansas (3-0)
last game: Beat Houston 48-30
Next match: The Duke (Saturday)
sob! Jayhawks in the top ten? Do we have a lot to drink? Did we wake up in 2007? Three weeks into the season, Kansas won road matches over Team Power 5 (West Virginia) and soon-to-be Power 5 Team (Houston). Coach Lance Leibold has now won the same amount of games on the road this season (two) as the last five coaches at KU to win in their tenure at school.
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