With yet another wild college football season underway, Week 3 is in the books, and there has been no shortage of fireworks. From Miami getting blown out by LSU in Week 1 to Arizona State proving that the Herm Edwards experiment was worth the risk with a huge upset of then No. 15 ranked Michigan State in Week 2, the national rankings have been anything but steady.
As we head into Week 4, here is our list of the top 3 ‘Studs’ and the top 3 ‘Duds’ of the 2018 College Football season (so far).
Did your team make the cut? Let’s take a look.
Top 3 Studs
Kicking off our list of three of this year’s studs is No. 25 BYU. One of this season’s biggest surprises, the Cougars have two huge upset wins over the Arizona Wildcats, and previously No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers to go along with a tough three-point loss to Cal in Week 2. For an independent school like BYU to be in the top 25 is a huge deal in the eyes of many, as it should be considering how well this team has been coached through the first three games.
The Cougars have battled key injuries also every week it seems, yet they have continued to rise to the occasion. It will be important to see if BYU can continue to show up and not get complacent after a big win like they did when they beat Arizona in week one because after facing a McNeese St. team that is 3-0 in Week 4, the Cougars are set to visit No. 10 ranked Washington in Week 5.
Next, on our list, we have No. 6 LSU Tigers. While many expected LSU to be a good team, not many can say they saw this coming. Defeating two top ten opponents through the first three weeks, in a blowout over Miami in Week 1, and a narrow one-point win over Auburn this past week, the Tigers have looked like legitimate playoff contenders so far.
Joe Burrow proved he’s for real this past week against Auburn, and when you pair that with one of the nation’s top defenses you get quite the scary team. With a getaway game this week against LA Tech, the Tigers will have to follow that up with back to back tough games against Ole Miss and Florida before hosting the No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs in their next big test of the season.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Rounding out our list of surprising studs is No. 14 Mississippi State. While the Bulldogs haven’t really been tested this season outside of a 31-10 win over Kansas State, they have played well through the first three weeks, and find themselves ranked in the top 15 teams in the nation. While some wonder how deserving they are of such a high ranking, the remainder of their schedule will certainly test their mettle as they head to Kentucky to face a tough 3-0 Wildcat team who already took down formerly ranked Florida.
Speaking of Florida, the Bulldogs follow that game up by hosting the Gators in week five before having to face ranked opponents four of the next five weeks in Auburn, LSU, Texas A&M, and defending national champions Alabama. Whether Mississippi State’s success will continue remains to be seen, but you can expect them to continue to make noise in the rankings as the season progresses.
Top 3 Duds
On to the top 3 duds of the 2018 season so far, we’ll start with an Arizona Wildcat team that just hasn’t been able to find success so far. After a stunning upset against unranked BYU in Week 1 and a blowout loss against Houston in Week 2, the Wildcats just don’t look like a team ready to contend this year.
With big games still left to play, the Wildcats could potentially salvage the season if they win out, but with what we’ve seen so far, it is tough to see that happening.
Next on our list is the Michigan Wolverines who seemingly enter every season with expectations of being one of the top nationally ranked team. After a huge loss to Notre Dame in week one, the No. 19 Wolverines have managed to bounce back with two straight wins against Western Michigan and SMU, but will not have an opportunity to make a big jump in their rankings until Week 7 when they host No. 18 Wisconsin.
After that their only remaining ranked matchups are against Michigan State, Penn State, and Ohio State in the last game of the season. The Wolverines will have to continue this winning streak if they want to have any chance at competing for a playoff spot.
Florida State Seminoles
The last team on our list is one that not many saw coming in Florida State. Entering the season as the No. 19 team, the Seminoles suffered huge blowout losses to Virginia Tech in week one and Syracuse in Week 3, scoring just a combined 10 points in both games. With their only win coming against Samford and only being a 10 point victory, the ‘Noles just don’t seem to have it this year.
Struggling on both sides of the ball, the chances of this team making any noise this season seems slim to none.
That being said, you never can tell in the world of college football, and if the first three weeks are any indication, it should be quite the season. Be sure to tune in for week four and let us know how your team currently sits in the comments below.