There might be giants in college football season but even they are vulnerable. In an era of seemingly invincible teams demolishing opponents and winning national championships by double digits, the college football gods have provided us a reprieve from the murder machines of Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney. Just two weeks after Alabama looked invulnerable, Florida reminded us all once again that even the greatest coach of all time is mortal.
The 31-29 victory for No. 1 Alabama at Florida counts the same as a 45-3 demolition of the Gators but the result in The Swamp certainly feels different today, doesn’t it? Alabama cruised into Week 3 as the clear-cut No. 1 in the nation but Florida revealed the weaknesses in the Tide’s trenches and the youth movement on offense still in need of maturation.
A glance at the scores across college football might not send a shiver down the spines of the elite today, but it should. No team in the top 10 lost but watch the games closely and listen for the muffled hiccups in Columbus, Norman, Tuscaloosa, Clemson, Athens and Eugene. No one has a perfect bill of health.
Clemson beat hapless Georgia Tech by six; Oklahoma survived yes, survived against Nebraska; Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown was injured against Stony Brook; even in a blowout, Georgia’s defense had issues defending South Carolina’s smaller and faster receivers.
Yes, the symptoms continue to worsen across the sport. The nationally-ranked teams below the “elite” fell or experienced scares Saturday. Nineteen ranked teams have lost in the span of three weeks, the most ever in the AP poll era.
We haven’t quite reached 2007 levels of panic among the elite, but you can feel chaos looming. Not all of the nation’s best will fall, but all have already stumbled. The only question is whether insanity will set in, just as it did in 2007, when the Nos. 1 and 2 teams lost 11 times in a span of 56 days.