Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State appear to be class of faculty soccer once more

By Martin Rogers
FOX Sports activities Columnist

Maybe sport week media conferences in school soccer ought to include a warning that they’re purely for leisure worth. Learn an excessive amount of into them at your individual peril.

Days earlier than Notre Dame went right down to Marshall in a stunner, head coach Marcus Freeman oozed calm and confidence. You could not assist however imagine in him. Then … the Thundering Herd thundered.

Within the build-up to Texas A&M being despatched tumbling by Appalachian State, Jimbo Fisher spoke of poise and stability. That was convincing stuff, too. Then … the Mountaineers climbed highest.

These cases alone ought to be sufficient to warn anybody in opposition to shopping for in too deeply based mostly off something uttered pre-game, besides that listening to Ryan Day this week made it nearly inconceivable to not make an exception.

Discussing why some groups have been falling prey to lower-ranked, nonconference upstarts, the Ohio State head coach gave an emphatic and cold-blooded reply to why his personal staff would stay proof against stumbles.

“It really doesn’t have anything to do with the team we are playing,” Day advised reporters. “It doesn’t. It has everything to do with Ohio State. We’re Ohio State. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. It’s about the process. It’s about the way that we play. It doesn’t matter what the stage is. It doesn’t matter what’s going on.”

Georgia, Ohio State, and Clemson headline Joel Klatt’s High 10 groups for Week 2

Joel Klatt reveals his prime groups after Week 2 of faculty soccer.

Day’s staff will tackle Toledo on Saturday (FOX, 7 p.m. ET) and clearly have its eyes on the most important prize of all, a nationwide championship. Day did not appear to be a person terrified of getting turned over this weekend. Or that he’s even entertaining the chance. And that is the good separator on this yr’s school season.

Perhaps the early upsets ought to have served as a reminder of the idea that any canine can have its day and that even the loftiest of favorites will not be invincible. Nevertheless it did not actually work that manner.

As a substitute, it spawned the sensation that the perfect groups are the one ones who do not have to fret an excessive amount of about such shocks, and that this season goes to be one for the heavyweights.

Already the AP rankings replicate the fact that school soccer has two absolute monsters as its largest conferences and the scrumptious comfort that the highest two groups from every overtly detest one another.

SEC and Big Ten. Alabama and Georgia. Ohio State and Michigan. One, two, three and four in the country, as we get ready for things to become properly spicy.

RJ Young on why No. 1 Alabama might be overrated and Texas might be underrated

RJ Young on why No. 1 Alabama might be overrated and Texas might be underrated

RJ Young talks about why he thinks that the Alabama Crimson Tide might be at risk of not having the type of season that they are used to.

You’d better believe the likes of Oklahoma (which faces Nebraska on Saturday at noon ET on FOX) and Clemson will have something to say about the current status quo, and those programs have traditional might, too. But with the list of peripheral contenders trimmed – Notre Dame looked like a strong preseason No. 5 and A&M a solid No. 6 – this campaign is already starting to have a certain feel to it.

Alabama, having gotten past Texas and with Bryce Young arguably the sport’s best player, looks poised to be dominant again. Georgia, behind the inspiration of Stetson Bennett, is hellbent on retaining the national title. Day’s Ohio State means business just as much as the coach’s words indicate. 

Michigan has some convincing to do to show everyone that there is a genuine Big Four, with a handful of question marks surrounding Jim Harbaugh’s program – though J.J. McCarthy being selected as the permanent starting quarterback over Cade McNamara might have answered one.

“I see Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia and there’s a big separation until someone else starts coming on,” FOX analyst Urban Meyer told the Big Ten Network. “The Wolverines, I went back and I watched their video and the teams they’re playing are really struggling. And they obviously have the quarterback issue going on.” 

J.J. McCarthy wins the starting job for the Michigan Wolverines

J.J. McCarthy wins the starting job for the Michigan Wolverines

FOX Sports’ lead college football analyst Joel Klatt goes in-depth on the decision from coach Jim Harbaugh to choose J.J. McCarthy as the starting quarterback.

This feels like a very 2022 kind of situation. Just like how in many of the world’s leading soccer leagues the top teams are so big and powerful that they are always in contention, year after year, college football has a core of elites that are never far from the conversation.

It gives you a sense of how the season is going to go and offers an implied guarantee that there will be juicy matchups involving star-laden teams at the end of it.

Don’t expect something like 2007, possibly still my favorite college football season ever, when it felt like there were multiple upsets every weekend, when West Virginia came within a game of playing for the national title, when South Florida and Cal and Kansas and Boston College all spent time at No. 2, and the absolute upheaval was dizzyingly wonderful.

The game isn’t really built that way anymore, but it is also hard not to like rankings that have a meaty feel to them. 

The powerhouses have the status and the position and they’re there to be shot at, which is the whole point. 

When you’ve got the credentials, you have to be prepared to back them up. The words are nice. The actions speak louder.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter at @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the day by day e-newsletter.

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