Synan Says, The Real Top 25 in College Football: Tulsa Hands UCF a Major Setback Once Again

UCF just can’t beat Tulsa–and even worse can’t get out of their own way.

The Knights simply could not overcome a slew of offensive penalties and, for the fourth time in a row, lost to a Tulsa team with no national profile and which has struggled in recent years.

The loss knocks UCF out of playoff contention and now Knights fans are forced to ask what if. What if the team could line up properly? What if they could wait until the ball is snapped before moving? What if they could stop turning the ball over?

To be honest, I missed much of the game. UCF took a commanding 23-5 lead. Since Clemson was on one TV and the thrilling Oklahoma and Iowa State game on the other, I tuned out to UCF, figuring the Knights were on their way to their 22nd straight home victory. Instead, UCF was outscored 22-3 in the second half and now once again have to look for a conference championship and an outside shot at a New Year’s Day (or whenever they will be played) bowl game.

You want respect Knights fans? Beat Tulsa!  I penalized Oklahoma State hard for barely beating Tulsa at the start of the season. That will change this week now that Tulsa has knocked off the mighty Knights.

One thing I was really looking forward to this week was not watching the train wreck Florida State has become.

With the Seminoles hosting lowly Jacksonville State (from Alabama if you did not know), I could take a break from seeing how truly bad they have become. It’s sad, even depressing, to see such a proud program dip so low. My plan ended midway through the second quarter when the score was Jacksonville State 21, FSU 7. While the Noles came back to win behind five straight touchdown drives, it is still painfully apparent this is not a good football team with a long rebuild ahead. Jacksonville State’s quarterback is actually really good, a Clemson transfer no less. Still, the Noles should have run over, around, and through a team from a lesser division but failed to do so.

Florida State simply does not have their quarterback right now. Jordan Travis came on in relief of beleaguered starter James Blackmon and played pretty well. Florida State fans have already seen that Travis is not the answer. Coach Mike Norvell needs to hit the recruiting trail hard and his top priorities must be a quarterback and the offensive line. Until those positions are upgraded, you can look for a lot more pain in Tallahassee.

My Gator friends keep telling me not to worry about Florida’s defense. Starters have been missing in the secondary. Lane Kiffin had a great plan for Ole Miss. I’m still a little concerned after watching the Gators hold on against a South Carolina team that just isn’t very dynamic on offense. The Gamecocks controlled the fourth quarter but could not score enough to challenge the Gators. Even though Florida won by two touchdowns, they did not look great in doing so. I am willing to consider Kyle Trask for the Heisman though. The Gator signal-caller was spectacular again on Saturday. From his play alone, the Gators look like national title contenders. It’s a difficult road in the SEC of course with the likes of Georgia and Alabama in the mix but Coach Dan Mullen is used to navigating his teams through tough divisions.

Wow! The “Air Raid” offense from Mike Leach offense flopped hard. Amazing upsets and shocking losses have been a mark of his tenures at Texas Tech and Washington State. Here we go again after Mississipi State lost to Arkansas 21-14. This is the first Arkansas win in the SEC in almost three seasons.

After a thrilling upset of Oklahoma by Iowa State, Oklahoma State is the only undefeated team in the Big 12. As it stands now, I see almost no path for a Big 12 team to get to the college football playoffs unless the Cowboys can run the table. They barely beat Tusla so the odds of them winning all of their games are pretty low.

Top for The Week Beginning October 4

1. GEORGIA (2-0) Auburn win is the most impressive I’ve seen by any team this year.

2. ALABAMA (2-0) They had the second-best win of the year when they thumped Texas A&M.

3. CLEMSON (3-0) Something is just a little off with a still great team.

4. MIAMI (3-0) Finally get a chance to prove it at Clemson on Saturday night in prime time.

5. FLORIDA (2-0) At Texas A&M next. I think the Aggies are overrated.

6. SMU (4-0) Beat a really good Memphis team with a late comeback.

7. BYU (3-0) Three opponents to date, three absolute beat downs.

8. NOTRE DAME (2-0) Their schedule has been easy to start the season. FSU is next.

9. VIRGINIA TECH (2-0) Blasted the NC State team that won at Pitt. Struggled with Duke though.

10. OKLAHOMA STATE (3-0) Tulsa win looks better now, right UCF fans?

11. TENNESSEE (2-0) They’re not really “back” yet, but have beaten two SEC teams.

12. NORTH CAROLINA (2-0) Had to stop a 2 point conversion to hold on at BC.

13. CINCINNATI (2-0) I’m not convinced yet.

14. LOUISIANA (3-0) They won at Iowa State, something Oklahoma could not do.

15. COASTAL CAROLINA (3-0) I love transitive argument. They thumped the Arkansas St. team that beat Kansas State that beat Oklahoma. Therefore?

16.  MISSISSIPPI STATE (1-1) Losing to Arkansas is a huge failure, but they still won at LSU.

17. AUBURN (1-1) Doesn’t surprise me they lost at Georgia but the margin was a shocker.

18. MARSHALL (2-0) Won over Appalachian State, then the next game was postponed.

19. LSU (1-1) Back on track after thumping Vanderbilt.

20. OHIO STATE (0-0) The Buckeyes deserve a ranking more than some garbage teams I saw this weekend.

21. OREGON (0-0) Lots of talent but do they have the coaching and will?

22. TULSA (1-1) One score loss at Oklahoma State, then stopped UCF 21 game home win streak.

23. WISCONSIN (0-0) Injury to QB could derail the season before it starts.

24. PENN STATE (0-0) I saw some bad losses Saturday but PSU did not have one of them.

25.  PITTSBURGH (3-1) Would rather have them here than Texas. Both are disappointing teams.

 

Reach Mike Synan at mike.synan@floridadaily.com.

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