Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Here are the opinions du jour.
- Marshall University’s football program needs to schedule more opponents from the state of Kentucky.
Forget Fort Knox. The gold mine for the Thundering Herd would be playing every Kentucky-based school it possibly could fit onto its schedule.
Just check out the Commonwealth’s collegiate football success thus far in the 2020 season. Four programs — University of Kentucky, Louisville, Western Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky — have combined for a 4-11 record.
Each school has one win.
That’s all, one.
Western Kentucky’s record is 1-3 after Marshall did some mountain-top removal on the Hilltoppers during a 38-14 demolition Saturday night in Bowling Green, Ky.
Louisville is 1-3 with losses to the Miami Hurricanes, 47-34; Pittsburgh, 23-20; and Georgia Tech, 46-27. Who did Louisville beat? Who else? Western Kentucky, 35-21.
The UK Wildcats are 1-2 with losses to Auburn, 29-13 and Ole Miss, 42-41, before getting their first win of the season, courtesy of Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” offense at Mississippi State. The so-called “Air Raid” got shot down, 24-2, after throwing six interceptions.
It would have been a shutout if UK hadn’t snapped the ball over the punter’s head for a safety.
Even so, Kentucky’s first win wasn’t much to write home about. It was more like a “Dear John” letter. Quarterback Terry Wilson completed only eight of 20 passes for 73 yards and a TD. Wilson also led the ‘Cats in rushing with 50 yards on 13 carries.
And don’t forget Eastern Kentucky. Marshall demoted the Colonels, 59-0, and, then, West Virginia University hammered EKU, 56-10. The Colonels did manage to beat The Citadel, 37-14, but, then, lost to Houston Baptist, 33-30.
As for the state of Kentucky’s other two FCS programs — Morehead State and Murray State — the Pioneer League suspended the 2020 season, which stopped the Eagles from playing, and the Ohio Valley Conference also suspended its season, which put an end to the Racers’ season.
Since Marshall already has a 2-0 record against Kentucky-based teams, all the Herd needs is a chance to pull a hat-trick with wins over Kentucky and/or Louisville.
At this point, Marshall might be favored in both games. After all, the Herd did beat Western Kentucky much worse than Louisville did.
It just goes to prove the grass isn’t always bluer on the other side of the state line.
- Should Marshall’s impressive victory over Western Kentucky have boosted the Herd back into the Associated Press Top 25?
Yet, it didn’t.
Instead, Marshall actually was No. 26 in a 25-team poll. It’s true. Southern Cal, which hasn’t even played a game was ranked No. 25 with 124 points. That allowed the Trojans to edge the Herd by 19 points and grab the final spot in the poll.
That meant Marshall was technically No. 26 with 105 points. If it’s any solace the Herd did finish higher than Oklahoma, who had 71 points.
The only Group of Five schools that were ranked included Cincinnati at No. 8, SMU at No. 17 and Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 21.
There is some good news, however. CBS Sports has its own College Football Power Rankings and it doesn’t include schools from the Big Ten and Pac-12 until member schools actually start playing.
That allowed Marshall to be ranked No. 23, just ahead of No. 24 Boston College and No. 25 Coastal Carolina.
So, at least, the Herd is ranked in one poll.