CFB week 11: LSU & Joe Burrow prove they’re #1

November 9th, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton

Joe Burrow led LSU to a victory in Alabama

Today confirmed two things — LSU are the best team in the country and Joe Burrow is the best player.

It’s unquestionable. It can’t be challenged. It’s been trending that way for a few weeks and all today did was confirm it.

Burrow is the best draft eligible quarterback for 2020. If you need a QB and you’re picking first overall, you take him.

That’s not an overreaction to one game either. For weeks now we’ve been projecting Burrow as the superior player. Today was merely confirmation and validation.

Clearly Tua Tagovailoa wasn’t 100% healthy in this game. He also played pretty well at times. Burrow was clearly the superior player, however.

Without him at quarterback this LSU team isn’t anything special. With him they’ve gone to Texas and won, they’ve gone to Florida and won and they defeated Auburn at home. All were top-10 teams at the time. Now they’ve gone into Alabama and ended their long unbeaten home record.

It’s all about Burrow.

There were no flaws in his game. He was a surgeon in terms of accuracy. His poise and awareness in the pocket is exceptional. He’s not a major athlete or running quarterback — yet his ability to dodge pressure, keep his eyes downfield and deliver a well-thrown ball is top-level. When he needs to make a gain with his legs he can do it and he had several crucial runs in the game. He’s also highly competitive and elevated his team to a huge 46-41 win.

His back-shoulder throw on his first touchdown was absolutely perfect. His throw to Thaddeus Moss working against Trevon Diggs — with almost no margin for error by the right pylon — was a thing of beauty.

He throws with touch and accuracy at every level and when he needs to get on his skates and extend plays he can do that too.

The only thing missing is a huge arm. Even then, he’s very much in the ‘good not great’ category. It isn’t a weakness. Isn’t a problem. Ever since week one he’s looked like an emerging talent. The Texas game gave us a flash of quality we didn’t see in 2018. Now, he’s shown he’s the real deal.

After today he’ll be at the top of most mock drafts and he’ll certainly be at the front of the line for the Heisman. Without Burrow none of this would be possible for LSU. They have good players but not on the same scale as Alabama. Their quarterback has taken them to a new level this season.

Every time Alabama scored, he had an answer. Every touchdown drive asked a question of Burrow. How are you going to respond? Can you deal with the pressure?

Each question was answered emphatically. His expression never changed throughout four bruising quarters. He was calm and collected and deadly in the pocket.

What about Tagovailoa?

He didn’t have a bad game. He had some significant errors that we’ll come on to. He also benefited from some huge gifts that padded out his stats.

He’s a quality prospect and one that warrants top-10 consideration in the draft. He will have an opportunity to have a good NFL career if he lands in the right setting with a team willing to play to his strengths.

That said, he was vaulted way above reality during the summer and the whole ‘Tank for Tua’ movement was premature at best. Miami Dolphins fans, without any hope in 2019, latched on to him as a potential saviour. He was the reason to keep going during a hopeless 2019 season.

The reality is he’s not a saviour. A few years ago everyone overanalysed Deshaun Watson because he stayed for his final year in Clemson. The reverse seems to be happening with Tua. For too long people overlooked the issues because he was winning and the stats were great.

Today we saw a regular issue rearing it’s ugly head.

LSU scored right before half-time, leaving a few seconds on the clock. Alabama really should’ve cut their losses and took a knee. Instead they came out throwing. Tagovailoa has a serious issue looking off safeties and too often he gets baited into turnovers. It happened against Georgia and Mississippi State and it happened again here. He locked on to his target right down the middle of the field, didn’t sense the safety lurking in the long grass and threw an easy interception.

Compare that to Burrow. He’s running through his progressions. You see him reading the defense, manipulating the safety. He didn’t come close to throwing a pick today. Tua has had three interceptions that are all identical this year. At the next level when things get quicker and he isn’t presented with an outstanding array of weapons and a strong O-line — is he going to be able to go through his reads and avoid turnovers?

He also has a tendency to throw high and behind. His injured ankle perhaps hampered his mechanics today but this isn’t the first time he’s looked a bit streaky. He’s quite robotic in his delivery.

After that avoidable pick, Burrow needed one play to turn it into a 33-13 game at the half. He ended with 31/39 passing for 393 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 64 yards on 13 carries. His only turnover was a forced fumble on a blitz by Xavier McKinney. There was little he could do about it.

Tagovailoa finished 21/40 passing for 418 yards and four touchdowns plus the pick. He also had a bizarre fumble on a red zone run on Alabama’s first drive. Untouched and in open space he simply dropped the ball.

Tua’s numbers were boosted by some poor defensive decisions by the LSU coaches. Tagovailoa’s first touchdown was a gift. The sideline distracted talented cornerback Derek Stingley by trying to change the play at the last minute. As Stingley took his instruction with his head turned to the coaches, the ball was snapped. It allowed DeVonta Smith to sprint by Stingley for an easy 64 yard, wide-open touchdown.

Then in the fourth quarter with LSU possessing a two-score lead and Alabama needing a miracle, for some reason they opted to go man-for-man in coverage and not play prevent defense. Smith ran a go-route and beat Stingley for speed by the left sideline. Tagovailoa threw a hopeful heave downfield and Smith made a fantastic play for an 85 yard score. It was a ridiculous play-call by LSU and it could’ve cost them. That’s essentially two touchdowns and 149 yards gifted to Alabama on those two plays alone.

This was billed as a key game in the National Championship, Heisman and #1 pick race. The winners were LSU and Burrow in every facet.

Overall the game lived up to expectations with the long list of future NFL players taking their turn to shine.

DeVonta Smith ended with seven catches for 213 yards thanks to the two touchdown gifts. He did also have a vital fourth down conversion on a slant. He’s probably the most underrated player on Alabama’s team and as we’ve been saying for a while — he deserves a lot more attention.

Smith and Jerry Jeudy also had some drops today. Smith had a botched reception on a short throw in an attempt to set up a screen. Jeudy had two drops that eliminated potential touchdowns. One was a terrific deep throw by Tagovailoa, the other a shorter range throw in the red zone. Jeudy made up for the second one with a scoring catch on the next play. He finished with five catches for 71 yards and the score.

Henry Ruggs was mostly kept in check but he started the game with a terrific 26-yard reception. Ruggs has speed to burn but he’s also excellent at catching the ball away from his body. He plucked the ball out of the air to secure a difficult catch for a first down. He ended with three catches for 68 yards.

Alabama safety Xavier McKinney had a good day. He had a major impact as a blitzer attacking the LOS and collected two sacks and 2.5 TFL’s. He forced the Burrow fumble. He blocked an extra point. He also failed to tackle Clyde Edwards-Helaire on his way to a touchdown — with CEH delivering a brutal spin-move to get free. Open-field tackling has long been an issue for McKinney and while it was nice to see him work effectively as a blitzer — he’s not going to be doing that most downs in the NFL.

Speaking of Edwards-Helaire — he and Najee Harris both put on a show. Originally it was Harris running around and over defenders, cutting into gaps and scoring a fantastic receiving touchdown on a wheel route. Then CEH took over with his best Darren Sproles meets Maurice Jones-Drew impression. He’s a bundle of power and speed. He iced the game with a beast-mode run, carrying 5-6 defenders for a first down. Both players significantly boosted their stock today. Harris finished with 146 yards on 19 carries, three catches for 44 yards and two total touchdowns. CEH had 103 yards on 20 carries, nine receptions for 77 yards and four total touchdowns. He delivered an excellent post-game interview too — well spoken and playing with a chip on his shoulder.

The 2020 draft is going to be full of quality at the running back position.

Kristian Fulton had a better day than fellow corner Trevon Diggs. Fulton did a terrific job breaking up a throw to Ruggs. He stayed with his man and reached his arm out to separate ball from receiver. It was an excellent read, he showed patience not to make contact too early. It was a textbook piece of coverage and he avoided errors elsewhere.

It felt like Diggs was having a bad game early on but really it was just Burrow’s brilliance. Later on though he was guilty of a few botched tackles on CEH and he gave up a key first down and a touchdown by focusing on trying to rip the ball out rather than making the tackle.

With 4:50 left in the first half, pass rusher Terrell Lewis showed a great get-off on and delivered a superb punch to the right tackle to create a B-gap opening to force Burrow out of the pocket. From there, Raekwon Davis sprinted from the right hash to the sideline to force him out of bounds for a loss of yardage. Unfortunately there weren’t many other splash plays from the duo although Lewis caught the McKinney forced fumble. He was credited with only half a TFL but three QB hurries.

Safety Grant Delpit had a relatively quiet game but played through a bad ankle.

K’Lavon Chaisson did a nice job working in space. On one instance he read a wide receiver screen to bring DeVonta Smith down and force a punt. Chaisson ran a 4.69 at SPARQ. He only had two sacks coming into the game and 4.5 TFL’s but he had 3.5 TFL’s in this game alone. He might provide some value in the middle or later rounds.

Elsewhere…

— Minnesota beat Penn State 31-26 in an exciting BIG-10 game, with two receivers shining. Tyler Johnson has been in my top-50 throughout and he showed why today. He finished with seven catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. On the score, he ran a route down the right sideline in 1v1 coverage. Johnson tracked the ball superbly and despite having one arm pulled back by the defender, he made an improbable completion by pinning the ball to his helmet with his free arm. He then tip-toed the sideline and somehow stayed in bounds for a 38 yard touchdown. It was an incredible play. The other reception he had that stood out came with 8:32 left in the game. He ran a slant from the slot on 2nd and 8 and the ball was thrown behind. He simply adjusted on the move to make a difficult grab look easy for a completion and a first down.

Rashad Bateman, somehow, still outshone Johnson. The sophomore (who’s also a team captain) was simply unstoppable. He also had seven catches but for 203 yards and a touchdown. Every target he received in the game led to a first down or a touchdown. He was sudden, elusive, he got open with easy and he made difficult catches look easy. He’s definitely a player to monitor.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield Jr had two interceptions to take his season tally to seven. We all know his dad’s career in Minnesota (and he had a very brief spell in Seattle). He has a big decision to make about potentially turning pro. He’s a redshirt sophomore. He likely won’t have a season like this again and who knows where P.J. Fleck will be coaching next year? It might be best to bite the bullet. Could he be a solid slot corner at the next level?

For Penn State, Yetur Gross-Matos had one of his all-too frequent disappearing acts. K.J. Hamler was Penn State’s only consistent receiving threat. He consistently got open, finished with seven catches for 119 yards and had a nice kick-return called back. However, he was bullied in the red zone. Jalen Reagor and Henry Ruggs play above their size in the red zone and do an excellent job boxing out defenders or leaping to high-point the ball. Hamler doesn’t do this and it’s why he’s below both players on my board.

— I’ve been sceptical about Jacob Eason all year and that’s being validated recently. He’s getting worse, not better. He makes strange decisions, is starting to turn the ball over and he isn’t elevating Washington. He’s not played much college football at all and he certainly doesn’t look ready for the NFL. He has the physical tools but he’s nowhere near ready in terms of decision making, pocket awareness and anticipation. He threw another pick-six against Oregon State on a two-interception night. If Eason is regressing, tight end Hunter Bryant is looking better and better. He was a top SPARQ performer and he looks like the real deal as a move-TE with the potential to do some blocking too. He had a beastly 50 yard completion that should’ve been a score but was called back on a hold. He finished with five catches for 90 yards. He looks like a top-45 prospect.

— Another week, another hammering dished out by Ohio State. They destroyed Maryland 73-14 despite losing Chase Young to a likely four-game suspension. J.K. Dobbins had 12 carries for 90 yards and two touchdowns before getting a breather. He also had a catch for eight yards. Binjimen Victor had three catches for 36 yards and a score. K.J. Hill managed four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. Victor and Hill could provide some later round value and both are very athletic. Dobbins should be a top-45 pick.

— Jalen Reagor was surprisingly quiet as TCU lost to Baylor 29-23 in overtime. He was limited to one catch for eight yards and two runs for four yards.

— Colorado and Laviska Shenault have had a tough year. Today they had a better day, defeating Stanford 16-13 with Shenault managing eight catches for 91 yards. He also had a run for five yards. Shenault left the game in the first half to head to the locker room. He does get banged up.

— Jonathan Taylor ran for 250 yards on 31 carries as Wisconsin defeated Iowa 24-22. He also had a catch for eight yards. Tight end Jake Ferguson managed two catches for 19 yards. A.J. Epenesa recorded a sack in the game.

— Michael Pittman Jr. had another big day for USC with 146 yards on 13 receptions. Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk had five catches for 51 yards and a score. Eno Benjamin was bottled up for 52 yards on 20 carries but also added 48 yards on seven catches. USC won the game 31-26.

— Clemson took apart NC State 55-10. Tee Higgins had four catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. Travis Etienne recorded 112 yards on 14 carries, three catches for 31 yards and had three total touchdowns.

— Ceedee Lamb had one of his trademark incredible YAC touchdowns as Oklahoma squeezed by Iowa State 42-41. Lamb increasingly looks like Cordarelle Patterson with actual receiving skills and he finished with 167 yards on eight catches and two scores.

— Julian Okwara suffered a fractured ankle as Notre Dame beat Duke 38-7. His season is clearly over but it remains to be seen how this will impact his draft stock. Will he be ready to work out before the draft?

— South Carolina beat Georgia a few weeks ago. This weekend they lost 20-15 at home to Appalachian State. Javon Kinlaw shared a sack and a TFL.

— Utah State quarterback Jordan Love has had such a poor year he might return to college next season (transfer to Oklahoma?). He had a bounce back game this weekend though in a 37-35 win at Fresno State. Love threw for 388 yards and had two touchdowns. He also had 30 rushing yards on six carries.

— You’ve got to love the Georgia O-line. Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson could both go in top fifteen or twenty. D’Andre Swift had 83 rushing yards on 12 carries as they beat Missouri 27-0. Lawrence Cager had 93 yards on six carries.

If you missed my interview with Dave Wyman yesterday you can check it out here…

100 Responses to “CFB week 11: LSU & Joe Burrow prove they’re #1”

  1. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    The offensive skill positions are just loaded this year. Some excellent WR and RB prospects are gonna be Day 2 steals

  2. FrogsAlum says:

    Long Time reader first time commenter, have you had a chance to check out Sewo Olonilua (6′ 3″ 240) or Darius Anderson (5′ 11″ 212) both RBs from TCU? As a horned frogs alum they form an intriguing 1-2 punch in the backfield with Sewo being the power back and Darius bringing the speed. Sewo seems particularly interesting for his size/speed combo and consistent ability to gain the hard 3-5 yards. Given TCU’s small market I haven’t seen much press regarding them, but again I do think they are a unique tandem with some possible mid/late round value. On another note, TCU also has some athletes on defense specifically Jeff Gladney (6′ 190) who shadowed Denzel Mims, and even giving up some size, kept him in check for the majority of the game. Reagor is obviously the crown jewel of the team but TCU has some other players who could be worth a look in the later rounds.

    • Sea Mode says:

      I looked into Sewo briefly a while back because he is a freak among freaks athletically, but I wasn’t convinced how much of a “football player” he is. Kind of like Kalen Ballage a couple years ago?

      I’ve been seeing Gladney’s name pop up several times on Twitter the past couple weeks. Will be good to get a look in 1v1s at the Sr. Bowl.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Oh, and thanks for the inside scoop! Good to hear about different names from people who follow schools a bit more closely.

        • FrogsAlum says:

          Appreciate it. I tend to agree on the Sewo comp. Former 4 star who was supposed to dominate, but he has been more good than great. Especially when the aforementioned Anderson has actually started the majority of these past two years. Still someone I think who could put it together at the next level and carve out a nice role.

  3. Denver Hawker says:

    I’m biased for being there in person, but the thought Shenault was the most impressive athlete on the field. So quick and tough with the ball. They used him as a decoy quite a bit too. I can’t quite figure out exactly how he schemes in the NFL. He was featured on a ton of out routes in a close scoring game, showed burst and suddenness. My guess is he’s a mid R2 gamble for someone.

    Parkinson was dominant in my opinion. Made big plays, was doubled and still brought the ball in, drew PIs and sealed off blocking assignments. Could be a great TE for the Hawks with their R3, but could see him R2 also.

    Adebo and Montez were underwhelming.

    • Trevor says:

      Cool that you were there. I have liked Shenault since last year and think he will be an impact pro if he goes to the right team. Not sure he is a fit for the Hawks though.

    • D-OZ says:

      Parkinson= The most under-rated TE in this year’s class. See the Husky loss to Stanford. He was instrumental in Stanford’s win. He put on good weight in the off-season and it shows in his blocking and red zone production.
      I saw some good TE play yesterday. This year’s class is looking better all the time.

  4. Kingdome1976 says:

    I thought #90 on the LSU D-line was causing a bunch of havoc. His last name was Lawrence I believe. It seemed like Alabama didn’t have a monster in the middle quite like Lawrence.

  5. Oly420 says:

    Your work is always top notch Rob… but that Wyman interview is really something special. There’s a lot of media coverage and articles (bs) being fed to us every day and I definitely appreciate the change of pace. Thank you

  6. Volume12 says:

    Didn’t McKinney have almost 15 tackles?

    • Trevor says:

      Rob is right they used him a lot close to the line of scrimmage and blitzing but I thought he was easily the best player on that Bama defense today. I was not a fan of his like you have been but he is definitely growing on me. How do you think he will test?

    • Rob Staton says:

      He blitzed nearly every play. They just had him attack the LOS. It was a day to pad the stats.

  7. Trevor says:

    Watching Saban on the sidelines today I got a weird feeling that this will be his last year in Bama and that he will head to the NFL next year. I could see him coaching the Jets or Browns next year if they give him control to pick his GM etc like Pete.

  8. Kenny Sloth says:

    Mike Davis released by Bears

  9. New Guy says:

    DeVonta Smith seems like a Paul Richardson body type with Tyler Lockett’s moves. He can get open quick.

    A receiver group with Lockett, Metcalf, Gordon and Smith would be exciting next year.
    .

  10. Largent80 says:

    What an epic game to watch, best I’ve seen for quite a while. Edwards -Helaire was outstanding and the Beast Mode comparison is spot on.

  11. drewdawg11 says:

    Rob, I feel like you may have missed the 4-5 drops that Bryant had on Friday night. He was woefully inconsistent and Eason’s night would have looked dramatically better without the ten team drops. Hunter had a shot at several big plays and simply had an off night. He’s a talented kid for sure and I’ve watched every game he’s played at UW. He needs to find a new level of focus to reach his massive potential. He won’t run a great 40 and he won’t grow 3-5 inches before the combine so he really needs to be that automatic target who can make those plays.

    • D-OZ says:

      Bryant didn’t have that many drops. I thought he had a good game. One drop was a timing thing with him and Eason where the ball got into him that he wasn’t ready for.

  12. TJ says:

    Rob, any thoughts on Boise State DE Curtis Weaver? He is an excellent pass rusher and ESPN flashed a graphic that said he was McShay’s #18 prospect.

  13. D-OZ says:

    Weaver will go in the 1st.
    Man those Buckeys have some depth. No drop-off in pass-rush production minus Young.

  14. Volume12 says:

    Did anyone else think some of Jeudy’s drops hurt ‘Bama offense last night?

    Anfernee Jennings is finally healthy and looks good. Big, long, explosive get off, defends the run really well.

  15. Kenny Sloth says:

    Roll on, Columbia, Roll on

  16. RWIII says:

    I am watching the Chief’s offense. On their first two possessions Andy Reid dialed up THREE screen passes. ALL three screen plays worked to a T. Screen plays are very effective. Screen passes are also one of the most underrated play calls on offense. They move the chains, they SLOW DOWN the opposing pass rush. You keep possession of the football and keep your defense OFF the field.

    Another team that is very good with screen plays is New England. These screen passes have help New England win 6 Super Bowls. Would love to see more screen passes incorporated into the Seahawk offense.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not really sure our passing offense needs to do anything differently this year!

      • Barry says:

        I want to agree with that but then I believe the Hawks are one of the bottom dwellers at converting ‘and short” in the league. Screens can keep a D off balance the same as the Iso we used to run back with Lynch and Wilson.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think we need to probably accept that Russell isn’t very good at screens. It’s a staple of the game and we never do it. They do every other staple. His height probably means a disadvantage in those plays.

          • Barry says:

            It sounds stupid of me but I forgot the height factor and I know he has lane issues.

            I’m chuckling to myself currently thinking it’s too bad but I’d even like to see them try the flip plays that apparently can’t be called fumbles behind the LOS anymore.

    • Volume12 says:

      They also can be used in place of the running game. Something that Andy Reid has typically done going back to his days as HC of Philly.

  17. Volume12 says:

    What a wild day. Upset Sunday.

    We always talk about the dearth of good O-lineman, but where did all the kickers go? Just watched the end of 2 games where both teams, KC & Buffalo, had a chance to send it to OT and KC’s kick was blocked and Hauschka has now missed 6 straight from 50 yds or more.

  18. KD says:

    I don’t care what anyone says, Lamar Jackson is the most exciting player in the NFL, period. Guy is just so much fun to watch.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He is very exciting. He was great in college and now doing the same in the NFL. In fact, he can get even better.

      Although he did just hammer the Bengals.

    • Trevor says:

      Jackson, Mahomes, Watson and Kyler Murray are such an exciting new wave of QBs coming up right now. I think Russ was a bit of a trend setter for all of them in a way.

    • Volume12 says:

      Hes not just a QB who runs well. He’s a QB who might be the best RB in the league.

    • Matt says:

      I’m interested to see how long this lasts with him. Defenses will catch up. Injuries will happen. Does he have the ability to become a more nuanced passer? Will he mentally be able to adapt to different looks on defense?

      I think there is zero doubt that Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in the NFL. I was very skeptical of what they could do with Lamar – I remember listening to his interviews and thinking how is this kid going to function in the NFL? To both Harbaugh and Lamar’s credit – they are playing to his strengths right now.

      As we have all seen, being a consistently great QB is extraordinarily difficult. We’ve seen young guys explode then vanish. I don’t know how this plays out with Lamar, but in the meantime it is exciting to watch.

  19. Kenny Sloth says:

    Fought and Won! Sounders are Cup Champions

  20. Andrewp says:

    Not sure I’d anoint LSU clear #1. tOSU looked damn good and had not played a chopped liver.

    Regardless, there is a top-3: the aforementioned two and Clemson. What really sucks is to be the numbers 2-3 and have to play each other, while number one gets what will likely equate to a tuneup game.

    • Bigten says:

      Was really looking forward to seeing Ohio states DBs against the bama WRs. Not sure that is going to happen now. LSU has some talent there tho too and a superior QB. Should be a fun game!!

    • Volume12 says:

      It’s why Im not a fan of expanding the college playoffs. Ain’t no way that the #8 seed or whatever is beating one of the top 2 teams.

      • wallaSean says:

        I would love to see a six or seven team playoff, conference champs or 1 loss teams only. Christmas eve, New Years Eve and Monday night after wild Card weekend.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I’m happy to stick with four as long as teams like Notre Dame don’t get in instead of Georgia like last year.

          • Justin Mullikin says:

            I get where you are coming from, but the W-L Record has to matter. Win your conference and you have a good shot. Make it through the SEC with one loss and still loose your conference and you have a good shot. 2 losses though. I’m not sure. I get that Georgia has better players, but the record has to matter.

            • Rob Staton says:

              For sure. I just think in some cases you have to consider the situation though. Georgia had an epic game against #1 Alabama and lost to another SEC powerhouse. They looked like the real deal. Notre Dame had a powder-puff schedule and didn’t look remotely like a contender. Their best wins were against Michigan and Syracuse. And they were predictably blown out by Clemson.

              • Kingdome1976 says:

                This is exactly why there needs to be an 8 team playoff. Almost every year some ND type team will get in instead of a much better team that most people would rather see in the playoffs. If you have 8 teams every year than EVERY team we would want to see that year we will get to see.

      • Paul Cook says:

        I am definitely in the expansion of the college football playoffs camp. I don’t care if the current system yields a true champion or not. All power 5 conference champions should make it. Absolutely. It makes conference games/playoffs even more meaningful. You win a power 5 conference, you’re in. No questions asked. Then you add a couple of wild card teams, and possibly the best team from a non power 5 conference, you seed them 1 through 8, and you make the 7 biggest bowl games part of the playoff rotation.

        This is a no-brainer, IMO. And it’s where it’s headed. Like it or not.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Ohio State hasn’t beaten anyone of note.

      LSU has beaten Texas, Florida and Alabama on the road.

      • Justin Mullikin says:

        I actually like the 4 team playoff. It will be interesting to see what is going to happen to that #4 spot assuming the top 3 win out and there is a one loss Pac 12 champ, one loss big 12 champ, and Alabama.

      • charlietheunicorn says:

        When you convincingly beat the pants off of Alabama. You should be the #1 ranked team.

      • AndrewP says:

        Cinci 42-10
        Indiana 51-10
        Nebraska 48-7 (Gameday in Lincoln)
        MSU 34-10
        Wiscy 38-10

        You can nitpick each of the above as you wish. Each were, or are now, top-25 teams. Or, had reason to be primed to go.

        I respect ya more than anyone, Rob. But, at its core, “anyone of note”, is just incorrect.

        “Not as good of a resume as LSUs”… That I can agree with. Your comment as is… nope.

        • Rob Staton says:

          In no way whatsoever is that a list of notable teams.

          Nebraska are 4-5 and in the second year of a massive rebuild. Michigan State are also 4-5. We’re talking about teams who might not even make a bowl game here.

          Indiana are nothing special and neither are Cincinnati. They have decent records but are we seriously listing them as teams of note? Teams that you can seriously use to make a case for someone being the top team in the country?

          Wisconsin are the only ones on that list and they still lost to Illinois.

          Texas (A)
          Florida (A)
          Alabama (A)

          Those are LSU’s wins of note. They also beat Auburn at home when they were still in the top-10.

          LSU’s resume is on a different level. It’s not simply ‘a bit better’. It’s miles better.

          • AndrewP says:

            Texas is on par with the ranked teams Ohio State has beaten. Auburn is the stronger argument.

            Ohio State can only play their schedule. They have annihilated it. They have pros at every level of both the O/D. It’s close.

            You yourself said tOSU was the team you wanted matched up Bama b/c with their secondary they might have a shot to slow the Tide’s WRs and thus have a shot to beat Bama. Their talent has not changed, in the secondary or overall. LSU has the recency bias to make it seem like it isn’t close. If Chase Young plays, it’s close.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Beating Texas on the road is on a par with beating Nebraska, Indiana and Michigan State?!

              Of course Ohio State can only play their schedule. None of this is a criticism of Ohio State.

              But how the heck are LSU not deserving the title of top team in college football? They just thumped Alabama in their own back yard — the first team to do it in years. They’ve gone to Texas and Florida and won. They beat Auburn. This isn’t recency bias. It’s simply looking at their record and acknowledging they’ve run a gauntlet. They are #1. They will be #1. They’ve played like #1. They have earned it and deserve it. And I’m sorry Andrew but Nebraska, Indiana and Michigan State are not anywhere near the same level.

              • AndrewP says:

                TBC, my rankings would be:
                LSU
                tOSU
                Clemson
                Who cares they’re getting crushed

                I think LSU has shown they deserve to be #1. ‘Clearly’, no. Ohio State has played a competitive schedule and absolutely looked like men amongst boys.

                Oh, and Texas is mediocre. They got their early ranking b/c they pummeled a UGA that gave zero Fs last January and the media wanted them anointed.

      • McZ says:

        Plus, Ohio State has a true endgame, when Penn comes to town.
        And with any margin of error gone, Penn will play their arses off.

  21. Aaron says:

    Rams lose…hahaha!!! Big win for the Hawks going into MNF.

    • cha says:

      *trying SO HARD not to gloat at Wonderboy and the SB Hangover*

      I’m not succeeding. I’m just so glad we’ve stopped hearing about how they’re the new vanguard of the NFL.

  22. Trevor says:

    Minkah Fitzpatrick as a Dolphin = solid player

    Minkah Fitzpatrick as a Steeler = all pro level player

    • BobbyK says:

      They’re playing him where he wants to play.

    • Simo says:

      This is really looking like a solid trade for Pitt. He’s clearly R1 talent and proven player at that! Steelers are playing much better now as well, glad we faced them early.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      After settling in…. he has upgraded / elevated the whole Steeler defense.
      The defense could win a championship, the offense…. not so much.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Minkah’s playing very well for sure. Although the Twitter love-fest after the Rams game didn’t really take into account his two big plays were a scooped fumble for an easy TD and a pick that landed right in his hands thanks to a superb Joe Haden deflection.

      Haden was the MVP in that game, along with the pass rush.

      The Rams looked woeful.

      If we had half of Pittsburgh’s defensive effectiveness we’d be a contender.

      • Trevor says:

        I agree with your points Rob and Haden was awesome. I just think that before the trade for Fitzpatrick that Steelers D was just playing average at best. It shows the kind of impact that one elite playmaker in tehswcodary can make.

        That’s is why I would have gladly given up 2 1st round picks+ for a guy like Jamal Adams and I would do the same to get in a position to draft Grant Delpit this year.

        Along with pass rush it is the thing this defense really lacks. They need a stud game changer in the backend badly IMO and in Pete’s scheme it is even more critical.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think Minkah’s impact is being overstated slightly. I think that Steelers defense is legit and so it should be. They spent a high pick on a linebacker. They’ve invested money and picks across their DL and secondary. Now they’ve used another high pick on Minkah. They filled a hole with the trade and now have something akin to a complete defensive group. I don’t think Minkah has transformed anything. He’s simply added to it — and now they don’t have many weaknesses.

          Inserting him into Seattle’s defense would be totally different. He would be playing behind a useless pass rush for a start. I like Adams and Delpit but there’s no point trading loads of picks for them if the pass rush still stinks.

          • Trevor says:

            I agree but there are several veteran free agent pass rush options and I just don’t see those same quality options in the secondary. If they resign Clowney and add a guy like Dante Fowler then add a impact player in the secondary then this defense looks a lot different.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Sure, but you’re talking about spending multiple high picks on an unknown quantity. That’s miles different to Minkah or Jamal who have played in the league.

  23. Paul Cook says:

    Nice survey of the college week’s action and the talent. There were a handful of real good games of import, LSU and Alabama, Minnesota and Penn State, Oklahoma and Iowa State, Iowa and Wisconsin…football is great.

    • McZ says:

      I watched Penn @ Minnesota. It was not that Penn was excruciably bad, it was Tanner Morgan torching down a very competent secondary, having a OL, that gets better and batter. Still, Penn to a huge degree, defeated themselves.

  24. Barry says:

    Burrow’s physical skills are at best a B+ and thats not a slam to himat all. He’s exciting, decisive, in control and his mental game seems to be a A+. Very exciting prospect.

  25. BobbyK says:

    Dolphins coaches didn’t get the memo they were supposed to tank from the owner and GM. Good job keeping that team focused while shuffling the deck against them this year. Granted, it’s gonna cost them best QB prospect in the draft. Good for ’19, bad for 2020-2035 if Burrow becomes a franchise QB. I am impressed with the Dolphins though as this season progresses though.

    • McZ says:

      Are we really sure, that they have ended the Rosen project? They slowly learn how to keep their O on field, now think this already growing D wih Chase Young leading the pack… enticing. With Wilkins, Young and Charlton, their DL would be competitive.

      The only “problem” is, there are other 2-7 or 2-8 teams.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think the Dolphins are showing the kind of fight and spirit that would fire me up a lot more as a fan than the idea of tanking for a QB of the future.

      Miami — go and get Philip Rivers. Play the long game.

  26. Donovan says:

    Michael Bennett can still get after the QB

  27. CaptainJack says:

    Hey rob what do you think of moving Penny and taking a running back early like Taylor Etienne or Dobbins? I love Carson but I still would love a one-two punch situation at Running Back.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Not early. I think if a good offer for Penny was forthcoming we’d have seen it before the deadline so moving him is probably unrealistic. If they did, there’s enough good runners in this class to wait until later. I’d even say just bring back Mike Davis in that scenario.

      • Kingdome1976 says:

        I’m Carson’s #1 fan but I still get uneasy thinking that Penny would have to take workload if something happens to him. Even getting Davis back wouldn’t be enough IMO.

        We need a Nick Chubb like back who can really take the load like Carson. I know Chubb was a second rounder but don’t be surprised if spend a second on a back.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Mike Davis never let this team down when he started. And it’s too soon to judge Penny, we’ve never seen him in the lead back role.

          Another high pick at RB would be overkill.

          • Matt says:

            What if a really good, workhorse like RB was available with our 2nd-2nd round pick? I think I’d be fine with it in all honesty. I love Carson but don’t want this team to spend money on him.

            And while it’s still early on Penny – I just don’t see it with him (never did, in all honesty). I think Penny can be relatively successful, but this team really does rally around a physical running game – would like to see a bruiser added if the opportunity presented itself.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I just don’t see the need for another high round RB. They have Carson. They could bring back Davis. And if they need to add another because they deal Penny, just go and find a guy later on.

              • Matt says:

                Fair enough. So in what Round would you feel comfortable adding a RB in 2020?

                And do you want to see Carson resigned?

              • GoHawksDani says:

                But you’d draft a WR…with them having Lockett, DK, potentially Gordon, still have Moore and some other guys too who could emerge.
                I wouldn’t draft an RB in the top2 rounds, but I wouldn’t draft a WR either.
                If I’d have to draft one of those two, I’d much more likely draft an RB.
                It’s a no brainer for me: They want to run the ball. Carson can be somewhat of a workhorse, but it’s better if he runs 20 times than 30 times. If they draft an RB and Carson is better that RB can still have 5-15 touches/game. Carson have an injury history. Penny is 10% hot and 90% cold. Homer is nowhere to be seen. I love Davis, but he’s a general RB, who is OK at every aspect, but won’t dominate games or win games for you.
                Give me a Kamara (or even a Coleman or D. Johnson) and I’m fine with an RB pick.

                This team and the fans love Lockett. No-one will take snaps from him. DK is an exciting guy. I’d put him out there as much as possible. Taking snaps from him would stomp on his growth.
                I think the Hawks play a ton of 2 TE sets with Fant who is basically the 6th lineman. Unless it is a clear passing situation, they also have an RB on the field. So putting out a 3rd WR is hard for them. You can pull the RB but then you won’t run much (unless sweeps/screens/WR runs). You can pull Fant but that hurts the passpro and run blocking a lot. You can pull the other TE, but the TE passing game is pretty good, and the other TE can help a ton in the run game and passpro too.

                I won’t be mad if they draft a WR early, but I doubt it’ll matter much (unless Lockett/DK goes down) and on some 2&10, 3&5+ situation.

                But I wouldn’t be mad if they’d draft an RB early either.

                I’d be the happiest if:
                A, they’d get lucky and be able to draft some talented DL early
                B, Draft a pretty good TE (Dissly is awesome and Russ is pretty good with TEs, but Will is hurt a lot and Dickson, Fant might be gone next year)
                C, trade the hell out of the first 2 rounds, get a sh*tton of picks in round 3-6 and try to hit jackpot with some TEs, DEs, EDGEs, DTs, kicker, OGs, OTs, FBs

                • Rob Staton says:

                  Yes I would draft a WR. They have Lockett and DK. Gordon hasn’t proven anything, let alone his ability to stick for more than 5 mins without a suspension.

                  Wilson deserves as many weapons as possible. And the strength of the next draft is WR.

                  Simple.

    • TJ says:

      Why would they move Penny and why are so many fans ready to move on? He plays well whenever he gets into the game and Seattle has good depth at an important position. Remember 2 years ago when they had NO capable RBs and were a horrible running team? Without Penny, the Hawks are just one Carson injury away from being back in that same position.

      • Matt says:

        I think it’s 2 things with Penny – one in his control, one out of his control.

        1. I think fans were pissed about an RB in Round 1. Not saying I agree with that, but I can understand it. Unfortunately for Penny, he didn’t have any control of that.

        2. Penny hasn’t had a great start to his career (not bad either). The injuries have been frustrating especially since that was the justification of taking him over Chubb, Michel, etc. Also, his running style isn’t exactly awe-inspiring. This team is coming off Marshawn Lynch and now Chris Carson who absolutely truck people. A zone running slasher isn’t as sexy as a 230LB Adonis running people over.

        Penny’s cost is already sunk, for the most part. I am not ready to move on from Penny but I’m also not running away from recouping some value for him. Seahawks took a gamble in R1 and it didn’t work out. There were rumors of him being offered a 3rd rounder…I would have taken that, in all honesty. So again, not looking to dump him but am open to getting something of value for him (moot at this point in the year, obviously).

        • Von says:

          I don’t think Penny has been given enough reps to know what he can really do. That being said, I’m sure the FO thought, if we can get a 3rd now, why can’t we get one before the draft? Keep the depth this year, trade and grab a 3rd, them draft his replacement.

          • Matt says:

            So, I think you’re point is totally fair, but I also think it probably implies that Penny could be good but isn’t good enough to siphon carries off Carson. This team really does have motivation to give Penny every opportunity to do so…and he hasn’t. That’s nothing to necessarily scoff at because Carson is really good.

            I think the reality is that it was an unfortunate insurance policy we bought. We anticipated the worst possible outcome and it just didn’t happen. And like any insurance, “it’s a waste of money” until you actually need it. Just a weird scenario that I don’t think is treated fairly by most folks. Was it a wasted pick? I guess in a sense, you could make that argument. Is it really a massive setback/waste? No, because you just never know if/when Carson goes down.

        • GoHawksDani says:

          I agree with you Matt, and also I think most people are pissed with how well most other RBs who were drafted after Penny are doing in the league: Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, RoJo not lived up to the hype but he’s not worse than Penny either, Kerryon Johnson (bit of a down year now but last year’s 5,4 avg is not bad with 641 total yards, Freeman is worse than Penny, but not by a huge margin and drafted in the late 3rd, Chase Edmonds used sparingly (R4) but pretty solid and has similar stats than Penny. Same goes for Jordan Wilkins (only 87 touches and 1 TD, but 501 yards and 5,8 avg in the last 2 years), Justin Jackson (R7) is somewhat same to Wilkins.

          Penny is a solid RB. But for that production we could get an RB in round 3-5. And we could’ve picked 2 better RBs. And on a personal note: I’m not a fan of RBs who either run for 20 yards or for -2. I like a more “static” RB who might not run for 60 yards ever, but always gets 2-3 yards and most of the time gets between 4 and 7 yards

  28. D-OZ says:

    I for one am not ready to move on from Penny. I think we be seeing more of him from now on. It’s a long season and Carson has battled hard in the first half while getting a lot of wear and tear. I will say it’s time for Penny to share some more of the load. GO HAWKS!!!!

  29. Ben Ft. Worth says:

    https://youtu.be/38YIiZG1-dY

    https://youtu.be/HQeAXyngAdI

    Doesn’t get any better than that right there!!!

  30. Trevor says:

    This game against SF reminds me of when the Hawks headed to NE back in 2017 for MNF. The Hawks were winning but struggling against teams they should not have been and the Pats were rolling. Everything pointed towards the Hawks getting steam rolled.

    Then the Hawks went out and dominated with Prosise have his one true moment in the sun.

    I hope tonight is the same type of stunner on the National stage and I wonder who will be that guy who steps up.

    All I know is that tonight we will find out if the Hawks are a contender or complete fraud at 7-2. What I have seen so far this year on tape tells me SF should smoke the Hawks but my gut tells me the Hawks with Pete at the helm and Russ under Center usually excel in these type of spots.

    31-27 Hawks

  31. Sea Mode says:

    Good little window into how much PC decides and how much the coordinators do. Lots more of a collaborative dialogue than any overrides from PC (at least from what is shown). “Do you wanna go fast here?”, “gotta pressure them on this down”, etc.

    lol Roos at 4:30…

    Pete Carroll Mic’d Up Week 9 vs Buccaneers
    https://youtu.be/NGJdXJSmNSI

  32. CaptainJack says:

    Ansah is just absolutely terrible