The Monday After: Pumping the brakes on Josh Allen, Nebraska seat getting hot
A look back at the weekend that was in college football
While everybody was debating one another on those names, I decided to get a head start on the names they'd be arguing over 12 months later. I wrote a Friday Five on the top college quarterbacks that would be receiving all the draft hype in 2018. I knew the most likely names, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anybody, so I asked an NFL scout I know if there were any smaller school quarterbacks I needed to know about for my story.
He told me about Wyoming's Josh Allen.
Now, I was a bit surprised by this. I knew who Josh Allen was as a player, as I had seen play a few times. From what I recalled, he never impressed me much when I did see him, and I shared this information with my scout friend. He then told me that it didn't matter. With Allen's size, arm, mobility and familiarity with a pro-style offense, he projected as somebody who could succeed at the NFL level.
After that, I stood back and watched as the Allen hype began to blossom after the NFL Draft and through the rest of the offseason. I heard the same things my friend had told me about Allen coming from different places, and as the 2017 season approached, the hype only grew.
Less than a month into the season, it's probably time we pump the brakes on the Josh Allen hype train. Allen and Wyoming went against Oregon on Saturday, and Allen did not play well. He completed only nine of his 24 passes for 64 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. That performance came a couple of weeks after a poor performance against Iowa as well.
In the last two years, Allen has now started three games against Power Five opponents, and the results will cause you to shield your eyes. He has completed only 50 percent of his passes (48 for 96) for 427 yards (4.48 yards per attempt, 8.89 per completion) with one touchdown and eight interceptions. While all those numbers are ugly, it's the last two that are truly scary.
Things haven't been much better against other competition, either. In his career against Mountain West opponents, Allen's TD/INT ratio is much better at 20/7, but he's still completed only 53.8 percent of his passes in those contests. Allen has started 11 games in his career against FBS teams with winning records. In those 11 games, he has a completion percentage of 53.3, throwing for 2,258 yards (6.99 yards per attempt), 15 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
I don't want to be unfair to Allen here, as he never asked for any of this attention, but at some point, performance has to take precedence over projection. It's certainly possible that Allen can improve and go on to have an NFL career, but if the current product is a first-round pick while NFL teams aren't sold on guys like Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield, well, that basically tells you everything you need to know about the NFL product right now, doesn't it?
Hot Seat of the Week
Welcome to the wrong spotlight, Mike Riley.
Nebraska lost to Northern Illinois at home on Saturday, and while losing a home game against a MAC opponent is a rite of passage in the Big Ten, fans don't appreciate it much. The lack of appreciation is multiplied with the loss comes a week after a road loss against Oregon. Nebraska currently sits at 1-2 with its lone victory being a seven-point win at home against Arkansas State.
In other words, there isn't a lot to be happy about in Lincoln right now. Following the loss, Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst called the loss "unacceptable." He continued: "They have to do better. The players have to do better, and they have to prepare for next week. Nobody is feeling sorry for anybody. There are no excuses to be made."
Eichorst is feeling the heat a bit himself, of course. After all, he's the one that decided to fire Bo Pelini following a 9-3 season in 2014. In seven seasons at Nebraska, Pelini had gone 67-27, never winning fewer than nine games or more than 10 in a single season. Of course, Pelini also had some personality flaws. So he was shoved out the door, and Eichorst brought in Riley, a coach who had done remarkable things at Oregon State but hadn't done any of them since 2008. His Beavers teams were 37-38 from 2009-14.
Following Saturday's loss to Northern Illinois, Riley is now 16-13 at Nebraska. Saturday's loss also leaves Nebraska at 1-2 for only the third time since 1961. Riley has been in charge at Nebraska for two of those seasons, as the Huskers opened 2015 at 1-2 and finished the year 6-7 (that sixth win coming in the Foster Farms Bowl after Nebraska received a bowl bid as a 5-7 team).
There's still time for Nebraska to turn the season around as conference play hasn't started yet, but there isn't a lot of reason to be optimistic at this point. Things aren't going in the right direction in Lincoln, and at some point, somebody's going to decide to find a new one.
Tweet of the Week
Losing on a last-second touchdown to your rival is bad enough, but to have your rival's punter -- also our SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Week -- burying you on Twitter shortly afterward just takes things to another level. Florida's Johnny Townsend dunked Tennessee into its turnover trash can here.
Meaningless Fun of the Week
The folks over at Reddit have come up with a fun idea for the 2017 season called The College Football Imperialism Map. How it works is pretty simple. When the 2017 season began, each FBS team owned part of the United States. If you were the closest FBS team to a county, that county was yours.
If you lose a game, however, you lose your territory. On the other side of that, if you beat a team, you then take their territory and hold on to all of it until somebody beats you and takes it.
In the end, none of it means anything, but it's still fun to keep track of during the year. Here's where things stand after Week 3.
Random Ranking of the Week
The most annoying things fans use to talk trash to other fans.
1. National titles won over 40 years ago
2. Arrest records
3. Attendance shaming
4. NCAA violations
5. How many players their school has in the NFL
Assimilation of the Week
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and when traveling across the country to watch your team lose to Cal in Berkeley, do as the Berkeleyians (?) do.
Vape life, bro.
Stat of the Week
That cannot be easy to do, yet it most definitely was on Saturday.
AP Voters of the Week
When the AP Top 25 came out on Sunday afternoon, I was disappointed but not surprised to see LSU still ranked at No. 25. I'm just one of those weirdos who believe that a team probably shouldn't be considered one of the top 25 teams in the country after it loses by 30 points to a team that wasn't ranked.
Well, Mississippi State is now at No. 17 and deservedly so, but there are other teams that deserve that No. 25 spot right now. Hell, if you're desperate to have another SEC team on your ballot, you could have thrown either Kentucky or Vanderbilt on there over LSU.
Of course, while I don't agree with LSU being ranked, at least it's defensible. If I were to debate the 36 AP voters who had LSU on their ballot, they each could come up with valid points as to why. Where I cross the line, however, is with the five voters who not only had LSU on their ballot but had the Tigers ahead of the Mississippi State team that just kicked its ass.
Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun had LSU at No. 16 on his ballot, eight spots ahead of Mississippi State at No. 24. Of course, Pat also put both Kentucky (No. 19) and Vanderbilt (No. 21) on his ballot, too. In fact, Pat had seven SEC teams on his ballot, though only Alabama in the top 10.
Still, putting LSU eight spots ahead of Mississippi State seems a lot less than ideal.
Dooley wasn't alone, though. Terry Hutchens of CNHI Sports Indiana also had LSU at No. 16 and Mississippi State at ... actually he didn't rank Mississippi State at all. I'm not sure what the thought process is there.
The other three voters to rank LSU ahead of Mississippi State this week were Steve Patterson (Quad City Times), Grace Raynor (The Post and Courier) and Jonny Miller (WBZ NewsRadio 1030 in Boston). Much like Hutchens, neither Patterson or Miller ranked Mississippi State at all. At least Raynor was kind enough to include the Bulldogs.
Still, these five have some explaining to do.
Of course, the AP voter who may have the most explaining to do is Parrish Alford of the Daily Journal. Alford was one of three voters to have Stanford on their ballot this week even though the Cardinal are now 1-2 and just lost to San Diego State. Alford stands out a bit because he still has Stanford ranked No. 15 and didn't have the Aztecs anywhere on his ballot.
I guess somebody went to bed early Saturday night making assumptions.
College Football Playoff Projection of the Week
Until the next Monday After!
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