Syracuse beat Florida State for the first time in decades in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The temperature on the field reached into the 90s. Carrier, which invented air conditioning, has finally found a way to A/C the place, but not until 2022. It appears coach Jimbo Fisher, high stepping it out of Tallahassee last year to coach Texas A&M, left the cupboard bare for new coach Willie Taggart. Syracuse, as did Virginia Tech in also beating the Noles, appeared faster than FSU, something we are not used to seeing. Throw in a close win over Samford and one begins to see the tough road ahead in Tallahassee.
Notre Dame is undefeated at 3-0, with two of those victories single touchdown wins, one over “Group of Five” Ball State, 24-16, and another over Vanderbilt, 22-17. The Irish appear to be able to turn it on when they need it, but too often put themselves in precarious positions in danger of losing. They need more desire on defense and the long passing game has to step up. In their first game, against Michigan, the Irish played well in beating the Wolverines, 24-17. Three one touchdown wins to start the season sends up some flares with Stanford and Virginia Tech on the horizon.
Michigan, another former power, has its own problems. They haven’t beaten a top 25 team on the road in 12 years. The loss to the Irish added to that ominous record. Maybe they should change airlines. Maybe they should arrive on the opponent’s campus on Monday and hold classes in a field house for five days. I mean that’s a pretty long stretch. They have great talent as usual but it is not evident yet with their only victories Western Michigan and SMU, two lesser foes. Notre Dame presented a wonderful opportunity to break the curse but it didn’t happen. With Wisconsin, Penn State and Ohio State down the road, the Maize and Blue had better step up, or be stepped over.
Nebraska is another enigma. Buttressed by the return of former Cornhusker quarterback Scott Frost as its new head coach, and surrounded by 73,000 red-clad boosters, they laid two eggs in losing to Colorado and Troy State in their first two home games. Everybody expects Frost to turn the team around and return to all those ten and eleven victory seasons Nebraska fans had become accustomed to. Last year Frost was 15-0 at UCF. I suspect there was little recruiting done in the last year by the former Nebraska staff. Frost will be given ample time to turn things around and I predict he will.
Not all of the former powers have lost the ability to win. Alabama beat Mississippi, 62-7, a year after beating them, 66-3. That’s 128-10 over two years for those of you counting at home. Better Ole’ Miss play Mississippi State twice and never Alabama.