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College football Week 3 takeaways: Is Pac-12 better than SEC?

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A week of horrendous games on paper still provided fireworks for college football. As September winds down, it’s pretty clear which teams had the best months and who is riding high with fall approaching. Here are our takeaways from the third week of the season, one that didn’t have one game featuring two top 25 teams.

1. Colorado scored an epic win…with an awful loss

Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes struggled with a far inferior Colorado State Rams team, but it’s an in-state rivalry. With College GameDay in attendance, Shedeur Sanders directed a 98-yard game-tying touchdown drive, and the Buffaloes then won it in the second overtime. However, Travis Hunter is out for a few weeks due to injury after a cheap shot in the game.

2. Pac-12 as a whole still looks dominant

Colorado is the story of college football, but almost the entire Pac-12 is thriving. It has eight teams in the top 25, and all of them are undefeated. The Washington Huskies after they beat the Michigan State Spartans 41-7. Elite quarterback play is carrying them with Michael Penix Jr. at Washington, Sanders at CU and Caleb Williams at USC.

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3. SEC is wide open

Speaking of QB play, mediocrity continues for the premiere conference in college football. This time, the Arkansas Razorbacks fell to the BYU Cougars. With the Florida Gators beating UT, it just looks worse. The Alabama Crimson Tide have played three quarterbacks, and the Georgia Bulldogs and Tennessee Vols are struggling in that department too. But…

4. Missouri’s kicker bailed out Eli Drinkwitz

Welcome to the team with the best Power Five win in the league. The Missouri Tigers beat the Kansas State Wildcats 30-27 off of a 61-YARD FIELD GOAL from Harrison Mevis. However, Eliah Drinkwitz almost blew it by accidentally taking a delay of game, which made the field goal 61 yards in the first place. Coaching incompetence was bailed out once again.

6. Texas, Oklahoma are back to carrying the Big 12

Yes, there was BYU’s win. Also, the Oklahoma Sooners haven’t been tested. However, OU is dominating, and the Texas Longhorns continued dominating after their big win at Bama. The rest of the league looked awful. Notably, the Iowa State Cyclones lost to the Ohio Bobcats, The Miami (Ohio) RedHawks beat the Cincinnati Bearcats, and the South Alabama Jaguars beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

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5. Mike Gundy joins Dabo Swinney as coaches falling behind

A reason to believe the Clemson Tigers are done under Dabo Swinney is his vocal opposition to NIL and his active opposition to the transfer portal. Gundy hasn’t been vocal about it, but he hasn’t been able to hide his resentment of the two. The coach Tennessee chased after twice just lost 33-7 to South Alabama. That was an ugly look.

7. FSU survives

Don’t panic. The Florida State Seminoles were up 31-16 on the Boston College Eagles in a game that would always be sloppy given what’s in store for Mike Norvell’s team next week, and they almost choked it away trying to just get out of their with a win. They’re still undefeated, and now they get to play the season-defining game at the Clemson Tigers.

8. Finally! College football really begins this week.

FSU and Clemson is part of an elite slate of games. We haven’t mentioned the Big Ten because nobody’s played anybody, but the Ohio State Buckeyes face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this week, and the Penn State Nittany Lions play the Iowa Hawkeyes. Seven games feature two top 25 teams. College football must fix this imbalance because after no games last week, now there will be too many to flip through.

9. College football Heisman race

1. Michael Penix Jr., QB – Washington

2. Shedeur Sanders, QB – Colorado

3. Sam Hartman, QB – Notre Dame

4. Caleb Williams, QB – USC

5. Cameron Ward, QB – Washington State

Yes, Penix surpassed Sanders in the Heisman race this week for how superb his game was. Sam Hartman and Caleb Williams aren’t going anywhere, and Cameron Ward now has nearly 1,000 total yards, 11 total touchdowns and 0 interceptions, so the quarterback play in the state of Washington is just thriving right now.

10. College football Top 10

1. Texas

2. Florida State

3. Colorado

4. Utah

5. Miami

6. Ole Miss

7. North Carolina

8. Washington

9. Georgia

10. Oklahoma

Remember, these rankings are based on record and schedule strength to this point with a combination of style points. They AREN’T power rankings. Texas and Florida State still have the best wins, Colorado has beaten two Power Five teams, and the Ole Miss Rebels beat a Power Five team and the best Group of Five team. Meanwhile, with Florida winning, the Utah Utes have a top 25 win.

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