There are literally thousands (estimated) of college football games every Saturday during the season. We know that, outside of the confines of the fans involved, many of them will never mean anything in the larger picture. But we cannot help ourselves in the early weeks from identifying certain results and saying "this game will mean something at the end of the year."
Sometimes we are right! Other times, we are very stupid and wrong. Keeping that in mind, these are the most meaningless games from the first ten weeks of the 2014 season.
Week 1 - #21 A&M 52, #9 South Carolina 28
What we thought it meant: Kevin Sumlin didn't need Johnny Manziel to put up gaudy numbers and challenge the best teams in the 2014 SEC.
What it actually meant: Preseason rankings are meaningless garbage but the offseason is a long and miserable time of famine so we eat what is available to us.
Week 2 - #14 USC 13, #13 Stanford 10
What we thought it meant: The Trojans were back in a big way and ready to reassert themselves in the Pac-12.
What it actually meant: Whoops, they lost the next week to Boston College. And it turns out the North division was pretty terrible outside of Oregon.
Week 3 - ECU 28, #17 Virginia Tech 21
What we thought it meant: Letdowns happen, and Virginia Tech experiencing one right after a big road win in Columbus wasn't that surprising. And ECU had just played #21 South Carolina to a narrow loss, so maybe this was a team to be reckoned with.
What it actually meant: One of these teams is playing a bowl game in Birmingham. The other gets to go to Maryland.
Week 4 - #5 Auburn 20, #20 Kansas State 14
What we thought it meant: On a night when Auburn's offense wasn't up for its usual pyrotechnics, the defense held firm and got the Tigers a big non-conference win.
What it actually meant: I bet Ellis Johnson only brought the tape from this game to the meeting where he got fired. "That's Jake Waters, man! THE Jake Waters!"
Week 5 - #11 UCLA 62, #15 Arizona State 27
What we thought it meant: After struggling to single score wins over middling non-conference competition, UCLA looked to have it all put together with this midweek demolishing of the Sun Devils on the road.
What it actually meant: The first in a series of circumstances in which UCLA tricked us into believing they were finally going to be good. Never again will I put my trust in you, Bruins. Never again.
Week 6 - Northwestern 20, #17 Wisconsin 14
What we thought it meant: Was Year 2 of the Gary Andersen experience about to collapse into total disaster? Was Northwestern, 2-0 in Big Ten play, a legitimate threat to win the West Division or, at the very least, make a nice bowl game?
What it actually meant: Yes, but not because of this game or for the reasons anyone thought. And no. God, no.
Week 7 - #13 Georgia 34, #23 Missouri 0
What we thought it meant: In their first game without the suspended Todd Gurley, Missouri's entire offense outgained Nick Chubb by four yards. Surely, Georgia had to be the easy favorite to win the SEC East in one of the division's worst years.
What it actually meant: ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha they actually got crushed by will muschamp on his way out somehow
Week 8 - #3 Ole Miss 34, Tennessee 3
What we thought it meant: Coming off big wins over Alabama and Texas A&M, one might have been worried that the Rebels would have been a) exhausted emotionally or b) looking ahead to a night game in Baton Rouge or c) both. Not so; Bo Wallace was efficient and avoided mistakes, and the Ole Miss defense was as suffocating as ever.
What it actually meant: Then everybody got injured and Doctor Bo decided he wanted to use an old scalpel for this nephrectomy. We just keep throwing them out, and they're perfectly good!
Week 9 - #19 Utah 24, #20 USC 21
What we thought it meant: Though it wasn't pretty, Utah found enough field position, second-half defense, and last-minute offense to beat the Trojans and put themselves in contention for the Pac-12 South.
What it actually meant: The only other South team the Utes beat the rest of the season was Colorado. 8-4 is a lot less satisfying when you started out 6-1.
Week 10 - #10 Notre Dame 49, Navy 39
What we thought it meant: After a disappointing loss on the road against FSU, the Fighting Irish managed to overcome their own mistakes to beat Navy and stay in the hunt for a playoff spot with the "best loss" argument.
What it actually meant: Navy is apparently not as good as Arizona State. Or Louisville. Or USC. Or Northwestern.
But they're better than Michigan, probably.