Traditionally, the college football season begins to reveal its identity after week 4--only to change it again in weeks 5-12 like one of those villains in Scooby Doo (you suck, Fred, you pompous fop). Still, by now, we have a big enough sample size to establish the upper crust teams, allowing us to narrow our focus as we near the half-turn. Here are the narratives I believe will emerge from the Power 5 conferences this weekend.
There are three noteworthy games in the ACC this week, a bona fide bounty of Atlantic Coastal goodness: Miami @ Nebraska, Virginia @ BYU and Clemson @ Florida State. Let's take them one at a time, starting in Lincoln.
Miami v. Nebraska: This game is going to be awesome if you have a flux capacitor and desire to relive the early-mid 90s.
Virginia v. BYU: This game is interesting. The winner will be able to make a case that they're demonstrably better than Louisville. There's also a chance it could influence the national narrative.
Clemson v. Florida State: Let's dispense with the bullsh!ttery, shall we? Jameis Winston's one-half suspension is indefensible. I've taken the position several times on this site that dumb college athletes are dumb, whether it's Josh Shaw at USC or Hanna Whatshername at Syracuse. Additionally, I posit that this goes beyond college athletes. All college students who aren't nerds are total morons. Weren't you? I was. But. Jameis Winston, man. Even the dumbest dummy, you would think, after being publicly accused of sexual assault, would have, if not enough good sense then enough firm guidance, to stop him shouting "F#ck her right in the (redacted: vagina-y)" toward a group of people, and I don't care if he was "screaming a meme." It's about the accumulation. This is a guy who, on top of the very serious accusation of sexual assault, was filmed stealing crab legs from a Publix--before he stole soda from a Burger King (allegedly? I don't remember. If so, allegedly). How many terrible decisions must this guy make before we stop bestowing him with awards given to people who exhibit integrity (talk about allegedly).
POWER ASIDE: I can't imagine telling my grandfather I got in trouble for "screaming a meme." Willie Kaufman, a two-time Gold Gloves champ, would've made sure I was "spitting a spleen" for even uttering those words in his presence.
Now, to the narrative that will emerge: Winston's legend will only grow. Florida State will be losing at halftime. Winston will lead them back. So endeth the Heisman.
What a crap conference besides Oregon. Utah plays Michigan in a game which will happen. Those of you who know me know that Michigan is my "second team," meaning, look, I'm a Kentucky fan--first, foremost and forever. But I adopted Michigan a long time ago because Desmond Howard. But. There is absolutely nothing about this game worth writing about. I suppose losing it would strengthen the groundswell among Michigan fans to cut Brady Hoke loose--especially as whispers about Jim Harbaugh's return to his alma mater become slightly louder whispers. So, that's something for you to keep in mind when not watching this game, but I'm going to at least wait until the halfway mark of the season before I start seriously discussing coaching changes. As for how i think the game itself will turn out I welcome back Jebidiah Atkinson.
I'm not really sure how this works, but basically the whole conference is idle this week. OU plays WVU, but they're going to work them even though some people think they won't. They think that because they're stupid. There is, however, a huge game in Manhattan that will take place last night. Auburn goes to Kansas State in a game which hasn't happened yet, and even though some people think Auburn is ripe for an upset, I see things playing out a little differently. Check it out. I predict Kansas State will stun Auburn early, playing sound, fundamental Bill Snyder defense, which will stymie Gus Malzahn's explosive spread running attack. Then, and I know this is controversial, Auburn will go to the air. Nick Marshall, I predict, will throw between 230 and 232 yards for two touchdowns and one interception. Kansas State will hang around all game, but Auburn, in my opinion, will win 20-14, and afterward Gus Malzahn will say something like:
"Our guys found a way," Malzahn said. "I told them after the game, I think this could be a game that really helps us in the future, because we faced some major adversity tonight."
Sorry, B1G, this column is for national narratives.
There are several storylines that could emerge this week in the SEC. For instance, Florida could beat Alabama. But they won't, so I'm not going to talk about it. Also, Mississippi State, which I believe is a very good football team, could beat LSU in Death Valley. But they won't because it's at night. Plus, did I mention it's in Death Valley? So, yeah, no, sorry I'm not sorry for not talking about it. Other than that, I anticipate Auburn starting to make believers out of certain bloggers who have characterized them in the past as "a fraud" with "totally awesome uniforms, especially the white-on-whites," by beating Kansas State 20-14 in the Little Apple.
There you go, your emerging narratives from CFB: Week 4. Stay tuned for something completely different.