With another week of College Football in the books, some of the elite teams have begun to separate themselves from the pack while other, out of nowhere contenders have solidified themselves as a threat. Let’s take a look at who’s trending up and who’s trending down in the early going.
Stock Up: TCU
No team made a more definitive statement this past Saturday than the Horned Frogs. The Big-12 is a deep conference and Gary Patterson’s side has a lot of work to do before it can lay claim as the best in the land but what a great start they’re off to. Now sitting at 4-0, TCU just throttled Oklahoma State to the tune of a 44-31 beat down. They out coached and outworked the Cowboys on the field in week four and in doing so, legitimatized their claim as a Big-12 contender. Things aren’t going to be easy moving forward as they still have to play a red hot Oklahoma squad later in the fall, not to mention they follow this recent win over OSU with a tough match-up against West Virginia, but it’s hard not to like what’s happening in Fort Worth at the moment.
Stock Down: Florida
The Gators pulled off a victory this weekend in Lexington, moving their record to 2-1, but it’s not often a team looks so unconvincing in a win. Florida took advantage of two egregious blown overages in the Kentucky secondary to pull off a nail-biting, 28-27 victory. Don’t be fooled though, this team is in shambles. The preseason suspensions that ravaged the depth chart still loom ominously over the club, while the quarterback situation remains as explosive as ever. Florida could easily be 0-3 right now if not for Kentucky’s choke job this weekend and a hail mary winner the week before against Tennessee. The SEC East isn’t an elite division but at least Georgia is starting to show their teeth and South Carolina seems to be on the upswing. If the Gators want to make it three division titles in a row, they’ll have to rely on more than luck moving forward.
Stock Up: Georgia
Speaking of the Bulldogs, they seem to be the real deal after four weeks of competition. Their massacre of Mississippi State was only slightly less impressive than TCU’s win, which makes it the second most impressive outing of the weekend. The cliche’s that surround this program and the immense amount of talent that it has year in and year out are true, but that never does much good if the talent cannot be harnessed by the coaching staff. Well, Kirby Smart has shown tremendous improvement so far in his second season between the hedges and, with a weakish division, the Bulldogs are the clear favorites to capture the East crown. Do they have enough to pull off an upset against the Crimson Tide in the SEC title game if they can make it that far? That remains to be seen, but if Georgia wins a few more games in the same dominating fashion as this past weekend, the “We Want Bama” chants may start echoing throughout Sandford Stadium.
Stock Down: Nebraska
Things continue to get uglier for the Cornhuskers as their worrisome 27-17 win over Rutgers has done nothing to quell the rumors that Mike Riley’s time as head coach is coming to a close. Last week Nebraska fired their athletic director, the same man responsible for hiring Riley, and the teams response was to allow Rutgers to come within ten points of pulling off the upset. This is the same Rutgers side that lost to Eastern Michigan earlier in the year. After a few years of adjusting to the Big-Ten, the assumption was that Nebraska might start to regain their dynastic form from the 1990’s, or something close to it, but they continue to fall farther behind their contemporaries in the West. If Nebraska can’t find a way to get around eight wins, and they have embarrassing showings against Ohio State, Iowa and Wisconsin, the school could be looking for a new coach in 2018.