Every week, we think we have it figured out. And every week, that couldn't be further from the truth.
Previously I wondered whether ASU football would even make a bowl game. The Sun Devils were 2-2 at the time, just losing by four touchdowns at home after a shaky start to the year in which they scored 17 points on 17 drives and were tied with an FCS school in the fourth quarter.
Just last week, Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN's top college football analyst, said UCLA was the most impressive team in college football.
Oops. ASU defeated the Bruins 38-23 (ASU was a 13.5-point underdog). It didn't feel like an upset either. The Sun Devils were the more complete team from start to finish. Where was this team all season, and which team will show up the rest of the year?
It's so hard to predict college football because teams don't have the same intensity and precision, among an infinite number of variable factors, every game. That's why the transitive property will look silly by the end of the season, even with only 12 games to relate teams.
Elsewhere across the country, it was the craziest week of the season in college football, with four top-10 teams losing (including UCLA).
Ole Miss was last week's darling, jumping to No. 3 in the AP poll with 10 first-place votes. The Rebels lost by four touchdowns on Saturday.
Right now, the flavor of the week is No. 5 Utah, with seven first-place votes. The Utes were unranked in the preseason but have defeated No. 18 Michigan and now-unranked Oregon.
I've said it before, but what makes college football so great is the upsets and the unpredictable nature of the games each week. As evidenced by Ohio State and Michigan State's "struggles," parity is on the rise, and no team looks truly great.
The parity and week-to-week inconsistency of teams have proven that most of our opinions are premature. Maybe Todd Graham was right when he said to hold off judgment until after the season.
Still, the nature of the beast is newspaper pages need to be filled, and thoughts conveyed instantly, which has led us down the hot take path.
No one is immune from the hot take, which has been adapted to mean a timely controversial opinion, but is rooted in the premise of a little-researched, uninformed thought. From Herbstreit to myself, and everyone in between, all of us have opinions that turn out to be untrue. In the Twitter era, writing a hot take has never been easier (and you don't even need to be a media member).
My advice: Always wait until the game is over. At least your hot take will last the next week, instead of dissipating by the next quarter.