Week 5 gave us a much more interesting slate of games compared to Week 4. Big-time conference matchups, multiple top 25 teams squaring-off against one another and games with potential BCS implications kept us entertained all Saturday long.
With a majority of the cupcake portions of the schedule behind us, it’s time to dive in and watch some major college football for the next eight weeks.
Here is what we learned from the fifth week of the season.
USC is done messing around
In four seasons at USC, Kiffin recorded a 28-15 record but was criticized for his arrogance in interviews, questionable play-calling on the field and lack of leadership in the locker room. There was a clear-cut message sent on Sunday morning after Kiffin’s firing: it’s time for USC to start winning again.
Oklahoma is in charge of the Big 12
After the Sooners took down Notre Dame in South Bend, it became quite clear that Oklahoma is the team to beat in the Big 12 this year.
With a solid defensive presence and a balanced offensive attack, Oklahoma is sitting in the driver’s seat of the conference, as the Big 12 appears to be falling on a downward spiral. Coming into Saturday, many would have said that Oklahoma State was the favorite this season, but a 30-21 loss to West Virginia put a temporary damper on the Cowboys’ parade.
There is still a long way to go and the Sooners still have to travel to Baylor and Oklahoma State later this season, but the eye test says the Big 12 is Oklahoma’s to lose.
Darrell Hazell needs to rethink some things
An abysmal performance in this weekend’s Homecoming game against Northern Illinois left Purdue fans feeling uneasy about the remainder of the season. Losing 55-24 on your home turf against a MAC opponent isn’t exactly how you win over fans.
Quarterback Rob Henry was benched at the midway point of Saturday’s contest, making way for freshman Danny Etling. Though the Etling wasn’t perfect, he has the potential to be a solid starter for the Boilermakers in the near future.
Hazell will need to rethink some of his strategy and decide whether to give playing time to some of his younger talent for experience or whether he wants to try to right the ship with the juniors and seniors on the roster.
Aaron Murray is climbing up the Heisman ladder
Georgia’s senior quarterback has been fun to watch since the season started, but thanks to guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Jadaveon Clowney, and Johnny Manziel, he hasn’t gotten much respect in early Heisman Trophy polls.
Following a 298-yard, four-touchdown performance in a 44-41 win over LSU, it’s time to give the fifth-year senior a little love. Murray’s numbers haven’t been staggering, but his game-management skills and ability to come through in the clutch should give him some recognition on the Heisman watch list.
With eight games remaining and Todd Gurley temporarily out due to a sprained ankle, Murray still has plenty of time to leave his mark on the college football world and make a case for being the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner.
LSU is still in the SEC hunt
In any other conference, one loss doesn’t set you back too much throughout the course of the season. In the SEC though, one loss can make all the difference.
In Saturday’s incredible, highlight-filled contest, LSU came out on the losing end, but the Tigers proved they are still in the hunt for an SEC championship and a potential spot in the national championship.
Losing by three points on the road to another top 10 foe isn’t anything to be discouraged about, unless you play in the toughest conference in America. The Tigers have a tough slate of upcoming games as they have to travel to Ole Miss and Alabama before hosting Texas A&M, so the task is not an easy one for Les Miles and his team. If we’ve learned anything during the Mad Hatter’s era at LSU, it’s to never count out the Tigers.