They’re the unbeaten teams that have taken the college football season by storm. Are they for real, and can they sustain the success?
Of course Alabama is 4-0.
Or course Georgia, Oklahoma, and Ohio State are unbeaten, but Wisconsin was supposed to be 4-0 with ease, too, and that didn’t happen.
It’s not that easy.
And there’s a massive difference between 3-0 and 4-0. Just ask Minnesota, Boston College and Oregon.
3-0, and maybe there’s an FCS layup, a cupcake, and a decent win. But 4-0 means there’s a win over someone who’s good, and almost certainly a decent road victory.
Only 16 teams have hit the 4-0 mark – which ones are for real?
North Texas managed to pull off a win at Arkansas and is looking fantastic. It’s going to be favored the rest of the way with a showdown against Florida Atlantic in mid-November the biggest battle.
Cincinnati shocked a bad UCLA team to start the season, and now it’s playing like a factor in the American Athletic Conference race. It gets 4-0 USF in mid-November, and road games at Temple and UCF, but it’s been a great start for Luke Fickell’s second year.
Those are two of the better stories so far, but who are the five biggest shockers? Can they sustain the success?
5. Buffalo Bulls
It’s actually not that insane that UB is here coming off a 6-6 season, but for a program that’s had so many ups-and-downs over the last several years, it’s been a dream start.
The Bulls came into the season with a whole lot of talent and the upside to win the MAC – we chose them to take down the conference – but they still had to go on the road to beat Temple. Before blowing that off, the Owls blew out Maryland a few weeks ago.
Beating Eastern Michigan might not seem like a big deal, but the Eagles took out Purdue in West Lafayette.
And yes, beating Rutgers might not seem like anything to throw a parade over, but that’s still a Big Ten team, and UB destroyed it 42-13 on the road.
It all starts with a fabulous offense led by pro prospect QB Tyree Jackson, who’s bombing away to Anthony Johnson, KJ Osborn, and a strong receiving corps. It’s working because of the line that has yet to allow a sack all year.
The D isn’t a rock, but it’s taking the ball away and is fantastic on third downs. It’s doing the job to let the O be the star.
But now UB has to deal with the Army offense that gave Oklahoma so many fits. In MAC play, it still has to go to Toledo and Ohio, and Akron won’t be a breeze at home.
The Bulls – at the very least – are going to be strong enough all season long to be a factor in the conference title chase, but there will be a few losses along the way. This won’t be Western Michigan of a few years ago, but it’s going to continue to be fun, and a ten-win campaign is more than possible.