The calendar is about to flip to October, so what better time to assess what we have learned after the first month of the college football season and a few things we still don’t know.
What we have learned …
- Alabama is the best team in the nation, not Florida or Texas.
- Auburn is a very good home team.
- Nick Saban is worth all the millions the Crimson Tide has invested in him.
- Gene Chizik is a better head coach than anyone gave him credit for.
- Terry Bowden could become a hot name in coaching circles again after his 5-0 start at North Alabama.
- Gus Malzahn is truly an offensive genius.
- The motor of Auburn assistant head coach Trooper Taylor never stops running.
- Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy should be part of the Heisman Trophy conversation.
- Chris Todd definitely was the right choice to be Auburn’s quarterback, even before throwing nine touchdown passes in the past two games.
- Jacksonville State quarterback Ryan Perrilloux would be among the top five quarterbacks for the 2010 NFL draft if not for off-the-field issues.
- Alabama’s stable of running backs – Mark Ingram, Roy Upchurch, Trent Richardson and Terry Grant – is the best in the nation.
- Auburn’s dynamic duo of senior Ben Tate and freshman Onterio McCalebb is just a notch below the Tide’s foursome.
- Tide sophomore receiver Julio Jones is a man among boys.
- Auburn’s receiving corps with wide outs Darvin Adams, Mario Fannin and Terrell Zachery and tight ends Tommy Trott and Philip Lutzenkirchen is a pleasant surprise.
- Alabama’s defense is the best in the nation, just ask Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett.
- The loss of linebacker Dont’a Hightower to a season-ending knee injury is a major blow for the Tide.
- Auburn’s defense still needs plenty of work, despite forcing 12 turnovers in four games.
- Troy is again the class of the Sun Belt Conference.
- UAB continues to fade into oblivion.
- The non-FBS schools in the state are pretty good – Jacksonville State (2-2 with losses to Georgia Tech and Florida State), Samford (2-2), North Alabama (5-0), Alabama A&M (3-1), Alabama State (3-1), North Alabama (5-0), Tuskegee (4-1), Miles (3-2), West Alabama (3-2), Birmingham-Southern (2-1), Huntingdon (3-1) and South Alabama (2-0).
Five things we still don't know ...
- Will anybody left on the schedule (including Ole Miss, LSU and Auburn) challenge Alabama?
- Will Auburn prove a capable road team, beginning Saturday night at Tennessee?
- Can anyone slow down Auburn’s offense?
- Can anyone penetrate Alabama’s defense (even without Hightower)?
- Will Bowden lead UNA to a Division II national championship?
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images)