What a first week of college football! Ok, so there was only one really noticeable upset but there was a lot to both like and dislike about the opening weekend of college football. Let’s start with the obvious stuff:
(16) Oregon 8 (14) Boise State 19 (Thursday)
So it would be easy to talk about what happened after the game first, but the most impressive part about this game was not LeGarette Blount’s repeated lack of judgment but rather Boise’s complete domination of a team that a lot of people picked as a sleeper team in the Pac-10 and overall. The Boise defense completely squashed Oregon’s running game and really just beat down Oregon’s offensive line all night long on that beautiful smurf turf.
Ok, time for the obvious commentary that I am obligated to talk about as a semi-journalist. LeGarrette Blount got what he deserved, the Boise lineman did not get what he deserved (a 1 game suspension) and the college football community got to witness sportsmanship (or lack thereof) at its worst. Shameful. On a lighter note, Mr. Blount should pursue a career in boxing: that was a nice, though cheap, shot.
Boomer for the Sooners
(20) BYU 14 (3) Oklahoma 13 @Dallas
Wow. No one really saw that coming, but then again, no one thought reigning Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford would get hurt and Oklahoma would be stuck with a redshirt freshman either. If Bradford is healthy, does Oklahoma win that game? In all likelihood, yes. But he got hurt and it brings another potential BCS Buster into play. Max Hall is legitimate too. I would not bet on him finding a starting job in the NFL but there is no doubt he is extremely talented. Heisman candidate? Probably not, but he is an outstanding quarterback. This loss probably means Oklahoma will drop to the limits of the top 10 if the injury is not serious, but if its serious they might drop as low as 15 with more hits to come.
A Midshipman Masterpiece, Almost
Navy 27 (6) Ohio State 31
If not for BYU’s upset of Oklahoma, this game would have grabbed the headlines. First off, it was a great watch with all sorts of twists, turns and big time plays from both sides, not just the favorites. Ohio State was up 29-14 when my buddy went to the bathroom and by the time he came out Navy was going for the tie. Anytime a game can change over that short a time you know it’s an exciting game. Of course we all know what happened next as Ohio State picked off the 2 point try and denied the Midshipmen a gargantuan upset in Columbus but the ride getting there was really truly exciting. This was really a great game to watch, and to watch it with an Ohio State fan made it even better since I personally really don’t care about either team involved.
I would also like to take a little time to say the option is still cool. Georgia Tech runs it now and I miss the good old days of option football, except when Bob Davie is the coach. It still produces big plays, it is still an extremely efficient and effective offense and you can run it without supreme athleticism. Hats off to the option.
A few thoughts on Ohio State’s matchup next week with USC: They have a shot with a typically talented team but they really showed USC some things to pick on. Ohio State’s offensive line looked like a sieve at times and left Terrelle Pryor to bail them out. Navy, as always, had a very undersized defensive line but they had no problem getting to Pryor or stuffing the run on numerous occasions. Ohio State also got very little practice in coverage. I was a little confused to why Ohio State would schedule an option team before USC since it is not as good of a tune-up if you aren’t tuning up on the right things. Don’t get me wrong, Navy is a damn good football team, but if Ohio State wants to compete with USC and come out with a win at home, they had better find a way to cover USC’s wideouts and keep USC out of the backfield of Terrelle Pryor will feel like Jimmy Clausen the last few years having no time to go through progressions and being hit constantly. Speaking of Mr. Clausen…
Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame
Nevada 0 (23)Notre Dame 35
Oh man, nothing could have made this Golden Domer happier than seeing the Fightin’ Irish come out with guns blazing yesterday. I will admit up front to being a Notre Dame fan, but before you start hating, let me straighten something out. I am not your father’s Notre Dame fan. I did not grow up rooting for them when they were winning title after title. I grew up in the Bob Davie era, the beginning of the crappiest, most demoralizing years in Notre Dame Football. You can call me a drunken Irishman (I am Irish), or a homer (I am from Indiana) but you cannot, CANNOT, call me a fair weather fan when it comes to Notre Dame. I became college football aware in 1997, and in those years from 1997-2009, the Irish are 86-62 (.581) which is phenomenally mediocre. I did not grow up rooting for the winners; I grew up rooting for a team steeped in tradition and dying a slow miserable death. So you can understand my excitement in seeing he Irish dominate a team that, while not as talented, was not a completely lifeless punching bag. Seeing the first shutout since 2002 didn’t hurt either. Damn I am excited, especially since the normally murderous schedule is a complete joke in comparison this year. USC appears the only sure loss this year and I won’t say anything about Notre Dame possibly beating them at South Bend. But maybe… no, that’s just crazy. But maybe…
Are there 2 more confusing mascots than the Tide being an elephant and a Hokie being a bird?
(5) Alabama 34 (7) Virginia Tech 24 @Atlanta
I did not get to catch this game due to a “scheduling conflict” so I am getting info about this a bit secondhand. The first thing that popped off the page looking at the box score was Alabama outscoring VT 18-7 in the 4th Quarter, with a freshman QB no less. Bama really impressed me with this performance. I mean after being, frankly, humiliated against Utah in the Sugar Bowl, I would not have been at all surprised to see a lackluster Alabama team come out of the tunnel and get Beamerballed to death, but Bama came out blazing, and really dominated the game even though the score was close. 498-155 in yardage, 37:02-22:58 in possession, it was really domination by the Tide. Now the skewed numbers partly have to do with Beamer’s Special Teamers striking again with a kickoff return and some forced turnovers, but the Tide were out to prove that last year was no fluke and that they are the team to beat in the SEC West. Whether they are or not will remain to be seen with sleeper Ole Miss and perennial power LSU in the mix, but as always the SEC provides entertainment.
Almost a Bayou Bungal
(11) LSU 31 Washington 23
Before I get into the game, I would like to commend LSU for going outside the south, something other SEC programs, such as Florida, have refused to do for the longest time. Playing in different climates and having to travel is part of the game and should be represented in the Bowl games too, but that’s for another entry. This was another really good, intriguing game despite the fact that Washington was 1-10 last year. What did we really learn from this game? Are Steve Sarkisian, Jake Locker, and Washington legitimate Pac-10 contenders? Did LSU struggle because they were in the Pacific Northwest? Have two teams wearing purple and gold ever looked more different? All these are real questions that really can’t be answered yet but will surely be answered in the coming weeks. My lasting impressions of this game will be shaped by the games later this month, but so far I am far more impressed by Washington than I am discouraged by LSU.
Sort of a footnote up here in the northern United States, but Oklahoma State was damn impressive in beating Georgia. I like Oklahoma State, and everyone who doesn’t like their offense at the very least needs to go look it up.
CLOWN OF THE WEEK: LeGarrette Blount- RB Oregon
Ok this seems like a pretty obvious pick for Clown of the Week considering his actions. I am already kind of sick of talking about him, so re-read the Boise State-Oregon breakdown if you want to hear more about him.
FAVORITE STAT LINE: Michael Floyd 4 catches, 189 yds, 3TDs (fine, there is bias, but that’s impressive)