Winner: Stetson Bennett 

Even the strongest supporters for Stetson Bennett could not have seen this coming; especially on the stage that was set Saturday night. Not many experts gave Stetson the respect he deserved, but to be fair he was facing a former 5-star QB in Bo Nix who was a candidate for breakout player of the year. But by the end of the night in Athens there was no question who was the better QB on the field. 

Bennett completed over 60% of his passes for 240 yards and 1 TD, while not committing a single turnover in his first official start. This was the 1st Top-10 matchup of the 2020 season and there were many doubts about the Bulldogs after their lackluster performance in Fayetteville the previous week, but Stetson showed up and proved everybody wrong.

Take the throw above as an example of Bennett’s potential, in which he showed deadly accuracy on a difficult outside throw to Pickens for his sole touchdown of the night. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Bennett graded out at 82.2 against pressure and completed over 50% of his passes when pressured. This is not what you expect from a 1st year starter in the biggest game of the year. Any doubts about this team’s potential was answered and the Stetson Bennett era began for the Georgia Bulldogs.

 

Loser: Bo Nix’s Development 

On the other side, was a former 5-star recruit, who was looking to erase his demons on the road against tough competition from 2019. Instead, Bo Nix may have had the worst performance of his short career as Auburn’s quarterback. Just refer to the tweet below from PFF, which shows how well Nix fared pushing the ball down field for the Tigers. Those stats are not going to cut it in the cutthroat SEC and Nix has seemed to regress in his patience in the pocket and his accuracy on the road in tough environments. 

Nix seemed to be on an upswing after his impressive Week 4 performance against Kentucky, but this Georgia defense is talented and did not offer many breaks for Nix. Nix struggled against pressure, in which he completed 27.8% of his passes for 35 yards, & 1 INT when pressured by the Bulldogs. Nix consistently panicked in the pocket and made poor decisions with the ball, which is never a recipe for success in the SEC. Nix has yet to show he can be an elite QB in the biggest moments and his lack of development could end up costing HC Gus Malzahn his job. 

 

Winner: Top-25 Upsets

2020 has not been the year any of us have hoped for, but if there is one silver lining it’s that it has brought much needed parity to College Football this season and that was never more evident than in Week 5. We saw 6 Top-25 teams upset by unranked opponents and a total of 8 ranked teams losing their matchup this weekend. It started early with Texas being upset by in-state rival TCU; who has had the Longhorns number, winning 7 of the last 9 matchups now. We will come back to the Longhorns soon, but the upsets were still plentiful in the BIG-12.

The Oklahoma Sooners are now off to a historically bad start after falling to Iowa State in Ames this weekend. This was the 1st time the Sooners have lost back to back games since 1999 and also the 1st time since the mid-90’s that the Sooners have started 0-2 in conference play. Things are getting tough in Norman, but it does not lighten up due to the Red River Showdown looming this weekend.

We also saw two AAC teams fall to unranked teams, in Memphis & UCF. Memphis lost to in-conference foe SMU in Dallas after falling behind 24-3 to the Mustangs early in the 2nd quarter and staging a comeback that came one possession short. On the other hand, UCF found themselves up 23-5 late in the 2nd quarter before allowing Tulsa to outscore them 24-3 in the 2nd half. The AAC now looks to Cincinnati as their only playoff contender, but that still seems to be a longshot.

Finally, we had NC State roll into Pittsburgh and upset the undefeated Pitt Panthers. Devin Leary threw 4 TDs, which included the game-winner with 23 seconds left to seal the upset win. The Pitt defense could not find any help for Kenny Pickett and the defense fell apart down the stretch for the Panthers.

It was a tough weekend for a few fanbases out there; but regardless, for most College Football fans this weekend it was an outstanding weekend. We all root for chaos and Week 5 finally delivered enough to keep even the average fans entertained all day.

 

Loser: Mike Leach’s Choke Job

Mike Leach has a history here and we all were blinded by KJ Costello’s performance to see it coming. Leach may be one of the best coaches in the country in pulling off upsets in College Football, but may be the worst when it comes to following weeks when his team always seems to collapse. Has Leach never heard of the 24-hour rule? Maybe not, but Mississippi State learned the hard way about overlooking opponents after a huge win. 

Refer to the tweet above about how KJ Costello responded after setting the SEC record for passing yards in Baton Rouge last week. Costello may have put up another 300-yard game, but 3 costly INTs shifted the momentum for the Razorbacks and allowed them to pull off the upset. No running game left Costello out to dry and the Bulldogs defense forgot they could stop Felipe Franks and the Razorbacks. 

Mike Leach thought he proved doubters wrong last week with a ridiculous opening performance against LSU. A loss like this will have doubters screaming that his “Air Raid” attack will never work in the SEC and he does not belong in this conference. Leach still has to play Alabama, Georgia, & Auburn so the jury is still out on his “Air Raid,” but the questions are there after this weekend.

 

Winner: Oklahoma State’s Defense  

Yes, Chubba Hubbard & Tylan Wallace got every bit of offseason praise they deserved, but it has been the Oklahoma State defense that have carried the Cowboys thus far in 2020. This Oklahoma State defense has allowed under 300 yards per game, 9 points per game, & under 100 rushing yards a game. This was not predicted by many experts, but this defense has too much talent at all 3 levels of the defense. 

This past week, the Cowboys held Kansas to 7% on 3rd down conversions and under 200 total yards of offense. I do not care that Kansas may be one of the worst teams in the country right now, because holding a team to under 4 yards per completion and 2.5 yards per rush is dominant against anybody. It all starts with Amen Ogbongbemiga, who has racked up over 20 tackles & 1.5 sacks this season, but it does not end with him either. Malcolm Rodriguez, Devin Harper, & Calvin Bundage all have double digit tackles and have combined for 5.5 sacks. 

This Cowboys defense has been elite and ranks #7 in the entire country in total defense. Mike Gundy needs to fix the struggles on the offensive side of the ball, but Jim Knowles has this team playing at a historic level for Oklahoma State.

 

Loser: Texas (Will they ever be back?) 

My “I told you so” tour continues and we get to break down the epic collapse of the Texas Longhorns.  I told you guys that the Longhorns were going to choke this one away, but the way they did it is why the Longhorns may never be back. “Effort plays” by TCU won the game for the Horned Frogs, so let’s take a look. The first play came late in the 4th quarter when Keaontay Ingram exploded for a 52 yard gain, but was chased down by a TCU defender. This prevented a touchdown and gave the TCU defense a chance to win the game and they made the plays to win. On 1st & Goal, Keaontay Ingram leaped over the pile, but George Ellis III recovered the fumble for the Horned Frogs .

This game sums up why Texas may never be back, no matter how loud the players or fans yell that they are. TCU has the Longhorns number and owns this series, while Oklahoma has owned the Red River Showdown, & let’s not forget Oklahoma State owning their series recently. How can a team be back when three teams in their conference own the recent series? Oklahoma State has won 7 of the last 10 games against the Longhorns, TCU has now won 7 of the last 9, while Oklahoma has won 8 of the last 11 against the Longhorns. So, will the Longhorns ever be back? That is a question that will have to wait until next season, because right now…. No, Texas is not back.

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