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There’s a one-word theme that ran throughout college football this weekend: disappointment. You can sense the sadness seeping from South Bend, Tallahassee and Norman, can’t you? You can feel the feel the foreboding lingering over Knoxville, Oxford, Eugene, and downtown Los Angeles too, right? Inhale deeply enough, and you’ll even capture the confusion in Austin.

Happily, times are as abnormal as ever in Baton Rouge, where our weekly trip to Chaos Country begins [pick one: (a) again or (b) as usual].

  1. LSU – A little clock mismanagement at the end of the first half. A little clock mismanagement late in the second half. A nearly-blown 20-point lead. In other words, just another typical day in Hatland, only now the natives are losing their shit.
  2. Florida State – Speaking of LSU, sayyyy Jimbo, is Baton Rouge starting to look a little more interesting about now? Sayyyy ‘Noles fan, are you starting to feel a sense of creeping dread about Jimbo reconsidering B.R. about now?
  3. Tennessee – Speaking of a sense of creeping dread, after an…ahem…unsatisfying tuneup, it’s rivalry week! That chill running across America’s spine isn’t global cooling; it’s just the overflow from Knox Vegas’ impending sense of trainwreck.
  4. Oklahoma – Speaking of modes of transportation, the Good Ship Stoops is getting closer to capsizing as it continues to disappoint the natives in Norman as the Sooners went boom against another top-flight opponent. Now that Texas might (or might not) be back on track, things are getting real interesting, aren’t they?
  5. Oregon – Things might also be getting more interesting in Eugene, now that the Chip Kelly train has been out of the station for a while. Tell the truth: it does your heart good to see the Ducks too-cool-to-kick-the-single act finally come back to bite them on the butt, doesn’t it?
  6. Texas – You did not just do that, did you? But…but…everything was going so well. Cal just got worked by San Diego State. What could you possibly have been…never mind. We’ll just sit back and watch the Texas-sized letdown, pleased with the fact that everything is bigger there.
  7. Ole Mess – It’s just like watching Tennessee last year. Y’all best to stick to single digit leads for the rest of the year.
  8. USC – Well, that sure was a gutty little loss, not getting thoroughly bludgeoned by Stanford…and here the Men Of Troy thought there were no moral victories in football. No doubt, the always even-tempered Trojan fan base will avoid soiling themselves over the thought of One-Win Clay replacing Seven-Win Sark.
  9. Wisconsin – That LSU win may not have been as good as you thought, huh? On the other hand, that clock you hear ticking is pointing the way to a great opportunity…or an incendiary schedule that’s about to blow up on you. The next three weeks provide you the rare prospect of posting very impressive wins against both Michigan schools and Ohio State, and warming up with a tight win over Georgia State it the, uh, perfect way to prepare for that meat grinder.
  10. Army – It takes some serious badasses to upend the dominant theme of the week, and are there any bigger badasses than America’s soldiers and the young folks training to join them? We think not. We say it all the time: chaos doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Putting up 66 points on…anyone? On track to go 7-0? This just might be a very satisfying season in West Point. Don’t go nuts yet – not until the streak ends – but the light at the end of the tunnel might just be the sun breaking through.
  11. Notre Dame – For it’s one…two…uh, just two strikes you’re out in the old college football playoff.
  12. Auburn – There seems to be more chaos per capita in America’s Conference than anywhere else. (Shocking, eh?) And now, it’s almost time to tell Gus to get gone. If only they didn’t take this stuff so seriously. (Just kidding. Dang, we’re glad they take this stuff so seriously.)
  13. Fresno State – Remember when Tim DeRuyter was the hot name for every non-marquee Power Five coaching gig? He’s about to be the hot name for every Big Sky coaching gig.
  14. Virginia – Either Mike London left a much bigger mess than anyone knew – and considering how well he recruited, that’s hard to believe – or the Bronco hire might not have been the Hoos best call.
  15. Kentucky – Giving up 42 points to New Mexico State is not a good luck for, well, anyone. It’s a particularly bad look for a team on the verge.
  16. Boston College – Ooh, an FCS program next week – a really bad one! The Eagles are going to be the worst 2-2 disaster in the history of college football. Heck, with this schedule, they could easily be the worst 3-2 team ever…before ending up 3-9 (or 2-10).
  17. Charlotte – Again, why are you here? You could be down in the SoCon, rather than debasing yourselves against teams that went 1-11 last year.
  18. The Rice M.O.B. – Hey, Marching Owl Band – we know you’re trying desperately to be like the Stanford band, but here’s a thought: there are a handful of things you don’t make fun of. Rape happens to be one of those things. You couldn’t find anything else about Baylor to mock? A university from a city whose name all but invites abuse and that features a well-known (and really good) greasy spoon called Health Camp? And here we thought y’all were Stanford-level geniuses.
  19. Iowa – Last year most certainly was not an illusion. Nope, not at all. How ya feelin’ about that extension you just gave Kirk Ferentz, Hawks? Anyway, not to worry, last year was totally the real deal, and it won’t be misleading when you wipe out Rutgers and Northwestern either. Not one bit.
  20. The Idgits Calling The Iowa-NDSU Game – About that tired fourth quarter OHMIGODTHISCOULDBETHEMOSTAMAZINGUPSETSINCEAPPSTATE rap: have you all not been watching the past six seasons? Kirk Ferentz compared the Bison to a B1G squad? No freaking kidding. They’d be a mid-level team in every power conference except – maybe – the SEC.