Part of the Yahoo Sports family, Rivals.com offers in-depth coverage of nearly every college program across the country. With local experts dialed into every move on campus, fans can get unparalleled coverage of their favorite teams.
Each week, we’ll talk to our reporters on the ground to get their thoughts on the biggest happenings during the college football season. This week, we look at:
Georgia’s big win over Notre Dame and what it means for the Dawgs’ playoff chances.
A resilient Texas team to see if this is the year the Longhorns are officially back.
Ann Arbor to examine what is next for struggling Michigan and head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Are Michigan fans fed up with Harbaugh yet?
A season that started with playoff dreams is now on the brink of disaster as Michigan continues to stumble its way through September. The Wolverines were embarrassed at Wisconsin on Saturday, a loss that comes on the heels of a home escape against Army.
Despite having two weeks to prepare for the Badgers, the Wolverines had no answers defensively for Jonathan Taylor and the new “speed and space” offense hasn’t come close to its billing this season.
Is this the beginning of the end for lightning-rod coach Jim Harbaugh? Or do the Wolverines faithful still have hope that he can get the school over the hump and back to national prominence?
We checked in the TheWolverine.com’s Austin Fox to get his take on the loss and what it means for Harbaugh and the Wolverines.
“The fact that Michigan lost to Wisconsin over the weekend wasn’t necessarily a surprise, but it was the way it lost that had fans so upset. The Wolverines showed absolutely no improvement on offense despite having a bye last week, were absolutely manhandled on the defensive front and — perhaps most disturbing of all — seemed to lack emotion, energy and pride all game long. U-M was underwhelming in its wins over Middle Tennessee State and Army as well, which has understandably led to a high level of frustration with head coach Jim Harbaugh from the Wolverine fan base. To say that they want him gone would be an overstatement, but the consistent sloppy and undisciplined performances have a portion of the fan base trending in that direction. Harbaugh’s clubs have shown immense improvement throughout past seasons at U-M (2015 perhaps being the best example), but Saturday’s blowout loss to the Badgers has many doubting whether this year’s team will be able to turn things around.”
Out of everything today, this bugged me the most. I don’t care if you’re down by 100, you don’t walk onto the field like that. Good or bad finish the game with a purpose. pic.twitter.com/WTvqCsZfaa— Jake Long (@JakeLong77) September 22, 2019
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Texas passes OK State test as Red River looms
After Texas beat Georgia in last season’s Sugar Bowl, quarterback Sam Ehlinger officially declared the Longhorns “back.” And while the definition of what “back” means can be debated, Ehlinger, coach Tom Herman and the rest of the Longhorns continue to check off boxes on the road to redemption. This past weekend, Texas held off Oklahoma State in a thrilling shootout and in the process snapped a five-game home losing streak to the Cowboys. While the Longhorns already have a loss, a run to the Big 12 championship could still put the team in the College Football Playoff.
We checked in with Orangebloods.com’s Anwar Richardson to get his thoughts on the Longhorns’ win and peek ahead to next month’s showdown with the Sooners.
“Texas was able to get a giant mullet off its back after a 36-30 victory against Oklahoma State at home on Saturday night. Cowboys coach Mike Gundy entered the game winning seven of the past nine meetings. Gundy had a four-game win streak against Texas, plus he had five straight victories in Austin. Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard finished with 138 rushing yards, but it took 37 carries for that to occur, and he averaged only 3.3 per carry. Meanwhile, Tylan Wallace had five receptions of 83 yards and no touchdowns. Redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders was impressive, but defensive coordinator Todd Orlando’s unit forced two interceptions.
“Oklahoma is the team to beat in the Big 12, but consider this for a moment: Texas had a seven-point loss against LSU, which does not look as bad when you consider Joe Burrow has emerged as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Texas also knocked off Oklahoma State, while dominating Louisiana Tech and Rice.
“Meanwhile, here is Oklahoma’s schedule prior to the Texas game: Houston, South Dakota, UCLA, Texas Tech and Kansas. As I wrote in my Sunday column on Orangebloods, Oklahoma will enter the game with an undefeated record, but untested, unlike Texas. That game could become a defining moment for Tom Herman’s program.
“Texas has a bye week before traveling to face West Virginia on Oct. 5, followed by Oklahoma on Oct. 12. If Texas wins the next two games, not only would Texas be in the driver's seat to win the Big 12 title, Herman's team will become a College Football Playoff candidate, and just know Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is capable of leading his team in that direction this season.”
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What hurdles still await Georgia?
It may have been closer than the experts expected, but Georgia used a strong second half to pull away from Notre Dame and hold on for a 23-17 victory. The ultimate goal for the Bulldogs is to win the SEC championship and make it back to the College Football Playoff. Coming into the year, it looked like the Irish would be the stiffest test on Georgia’s schedule. So is it smooth sailing the rest of the way?
We checked in with UGASports.com’s Anthony Dasher to get his take on which games might derail the Bulldogs’ road to Atlanta.
“Georgia’s win over Notre Dame might not have been by the margin that most expected, but nevertheless, it was a very solid victory for the Bulldogs. Head coach Kirby Smart wanted to see how his team would respond to being stressed and they answered it wonderfully, holding off a late charge by the Irish to win, 23-17. Moving forward, a couple of games stand out — Nov. 2 in Jacksonville against Florida and Nov. 16 at Auburn. The Gators will be tough but the Tigers will be a more difficult challenge. The game’s in Auburn, plus the Tigers’ defensive front is one of the country’s best and will be a very good test for the Bulldogs and their running game.”
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