Colorado, Notre Dame losses lead college football Week 4 overreactions


An action-packed week of college football games like the one we just witnessed was bound to inspire a slew of responses from professional and amateur analysts alike. Once again, we’re here to take a step back and attempt to provide a big-picture view of some of the weekend’s most meaningful events.

Naturally, the first of our top five overreactions involves the program that has dominated the news for the first month of the 2023 campaign. We’ll then look at the state of the team on the wrong end of the most memorable ending of the week. Finally, we’ll whip around several power-five conferences that might be a wee bit skewed. Here then are the top overreactions from Week 4.

The Colorado hype is over/just getting started

It seems there’s no middle ground. Either the beatdown Oregon administered to the Buffaloes is proof that whatever Deion Sanders is doing at CU isn’t sustainable, or as the coach said after the game it was a mere blip and the buildup to championship level will continue.

As several of us have been writing and saying for several weeks here on these pages, there is in fact truth in the middle. Is Colorado better? That isn’t in question. Are the Buffs elite? Definitely not.

Colorado will probably lose several more games this season in its final run through a very top-heavy Pac-12. But there are winnable games remaining on the schedule as well. Next week’s home date with Southern California probably isn’t one of them, but then again the Trojans weren’t exactly lights out on the defensive side of the ball either this week.

Ultimately, will we keep paying attention? Oh yeah, the show will go on as long as Deion stays in Boulder.

That was the most devastating loss in Notre Dame football history

It’s going to sting for a while. There’s no disputing that. The Ohio State win was there for the taking, and the Fighting Irish missed several opportunities to close it out. The fact that it ended with such a glaring defensive mishap only adds to the frustration.

The season is far from over for the Irish, but that would have been a nice one to have in the bank. Now the next three weeks are all must wins if Notre Dame is to maintain any path to the last four-team playoff. The Irish got a bit of help from those next three opponents, all of whom are unbeaten to date. The bad news is Notre Dame is going to be the hunted in tough road environments for the next two weeks, starting at Duke with “College GameDay” coming to Durham for the first time. A trip to Louisville follows, where the Cardinals could conceivably be ranked if they win at North Carolina State next week. After that for Notre Dame is the annual date with Southern California. Had the Irish held on against the Buckeyes, they could afford a loss in one of those upcoming contests, but not now. Without the benefit of a conference championship, Notre Dame needs every quality win it can get, and after the USC game, there’s nobody else on the schedule that will move the needle (yes, even the trip to Clemson). So no, all is not lost, but the Irish need to get off the canvas in a hurry, or what might have been a truly special season might be just pretty good.

UP AND DOWN: Winners and losers from Week 4 in college football

MISERY INDEX: Mississippi misses golden opportunity at Alabama

The Big Ten needs to cancel its championship game

We keep picking on the Big Ten West, but Iowa’s White Out whitewash at the hands of Penn State, as well as the lackluster performance of the rest of the division, doesn’t provide much hope that the conference finale will be little more than a formality for whichever member of the top-10 trio emerges from the East.

There might be a ray of hope from the West coming from Wisconsin, whose lone loss at Washington State is hardly a bad one with the Cougars surging. If the Badgers can make it to 6-1 when their home date with Ohio State rolls around at the end of October, we might yet have some drama for the final month.

So does the SEC

Not so long ago, the SEC West was the toughest division in the Bowl Subdivision. This year, no team in the division is particularly scary. Yes, that even includes Alabama, which did enough to get by Ole Miss but certainly doesn’t look like it could hang a 50 burger as Crimson Tide teams of recent vintage could. In terms of talent the best team of the group is probably LSU, but even the Tigers needed to survive a back-and-forth shootout with Arkansas.

The league’s nightmare scenario, as we discussed in this space last week, would be if the survivor from the West with at least two losses somehow puts it all together in the conference championship game and topples likely East champ Georgia*, potentially sabotaging the conference’s playoff case.

It’s still possible, of course, that somebody from the West runs the table, which would make that team a still viable candidate come championship weekend. Obviously the game will go on, as will the Big Ten final, but we can only hope at this juncture that those games are interesting.

*Yes, we know Kentucky and Missouri are also still unbeaten from the East, but the Bulldogs remain the favorites until proven otherwise.

The Big 12 newcomers aren’t ready for Power Five

The quartet of new additions to the Big 12 made their conference debuts over the last two weekends, and it didn’t go especially well for any of them. Houston started off last weekend with a rough showing at home against TCU. This week, Cincinnati, Central Florida and Brigham Young also dropped their Big 12 openers by double digits. The Bearcats were kept out of the end zone by Oklahoma, and UCF and BYU were both outscored in the Sunflower State.

We’ll go out on a limb, however, and assume none of the newbies will be completely shut out in their new league. BYU and Cincinnati already have wins against other Power Five schools, and there are a number of Big 12 squads that are, to be polite, struggling to put points on the board.


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