Tuesday, September 7, 2010

College Football 2010: Week 1

College football is back and in full force. While there weren't any ridiculous upsets, there were some scoreboards that looked very different than most anticipated. Every week (or I'll do my best to make it every week), I'll touch on the college football games and news that I found the most interesting and important throughout the week. Of course, Michigan and Alabama's results will undoubtedly always be included, but I won't just be sticking to the Big 10 and the SEC.

So here we go, College Football 2010: Week 1.

Before College GameDay debuted Saturday morning, there were a few games on Thursday night worth mentioning. Utah took down No. 15 Pittsburgh in a double-overtime game (that I won a bet on, might I add) for a great start to the season. On the other hand, while the scoreboard said that USC won by scoring 49 points against Hawaii, allowing 36 points to slip past them is not the USC we know. Not the prettiest start for the Trojans.

Saturday morning came, and Outkast's Big Boi was 8 for 8 in his picks during College GameDay. There were some beautiful wins, as season openers should generally be for highly-ranked teams, and there were some really, really ugly wins. Among the beautiful (and crazy-high-scoring) were:

(1) Alabama: 48
San Jose State: 3

(11) Oregon: 72
New Mexico: 0

(17) Arkansas: 44
Tennessee Tech: 3

(20) Florida State: 59
Samford: 6

(23) Georgia: 55
LA - Lafayette: 7

And then there were the not-so-great or the too-close-for-comfort...

(4) Florida: 34
Miami (Ohio): 12
I know that this score doesn't look so horrendous to the common outsider who knows nothing about football, but when you have a team like Florida with a number 4 ranking, and they're playing a team like Miami of Ohio, there should easily be a 35-point different between the two numbers on the scoreboard. Because my roommate and my new-found law school friends are majorly Florida alums, I watched this horrendous game from start to finish on TV. Florida was just incredibly sloppy: dropping passes, horrible snaps, and just not really ever knowing where the ball was at a given time. I realize that they are mourning the loss of Tim Tebow, but they have some serious work to do to prepare for their games against SEC-opponents Georgia and Florida State, who annihilated their season-opener competition.

(5) Texas: 34
Rice: 17
Like Florida, I understand that Colt McCoy's absence was (and still is) extremely detrimental to their team. However, you don't come in under Mack Brown's coaching as No. 5 Texas and allow Rice, of all universities and football teams, score 17 points on you. You just don't.

(6) TCU: 30
(24) Oregon State: 21
While this wasn't quite the same level of ugliness that Florida and Texas portrayed, I think it became quite clear to TCU that a perfect season is probably the only shot they have at a BCS game. While I think Oregon State should be ranked higher than 24, TCU's quarterback Andy Dalton can't be throwing two interceptions a game if they want to stay ranked in the Top 10.

(7) Oklahoma: 31
Utah State: 24
Oklahoma's performance in their season opener did not give me any confidence in my pick that they were going to be the team playing Alabama for the BCS National Championship. Whether or not this was a fluke, holding a team like Utah State by only a touchdown is no way to start a season.

(21) LSU: 30
(18) UNC: 24
Easily the most talked about game of the night, and with good reason. UNC (affectionately being called the University of Non-Compliance at the moment) had 13 (yes, thirteen) of their key players missing from their roster Saturday night for various NCAA violations, and no one thought there was even a chance in hell that they could beat LSU. (I actually picked LSU to win before the UNC players were deemed ineligible.) However, after being down 30-10 at the half, what was left of the UNC team rallied like I hadn't seen in a long time. They came out of the locker room with an "us against the world" mentality and came back to be within 6 points of the Tigers. With the final seconds left on the clock, all UNC needed was a touchdown and I found myself cheering for them. While they didn't end up winning (the pass was so close, too), the fact that LSU almost lost to a team that was missing 13 of its key players should be a horrendous slap in the face to the LSU players and to coach Les Miles. Respect to UNC, that fight came from the heart.

(3) Boise State: 33
(10) Viriginia Tech: 30
"Get. On. The. Bus." I've never stated that I thought Boise State would actually go all the way to the National Championship, but I think that they have a great shot if they don't mess up their extremely-hard-to-mess-up schedule, and I also happen to be one of the few people around here who cheered for them over Virginia Tech. (I think this is mostly because I spoke to a lot of Florida and Alabama fans who obviously wanted to see someone near the top fall.) Nevertheless, this game represented what college football is all about. Bosie lead the game 17-0 and Virginia Tech rallied in the second quarter, leaving it 20-14 at the half. At the end of the 3rd quarter, it was 27-26 in favor of Virginia Tech. But at the end of the day, Boise did what they had to do in Boise fashion, and scored a touchdown in the final 90 seconds of play. While the WAC is just that: whack, Boise State is in a league entirely their own. But aside from the game and in keeping with my Cleats & Couture theme... I'm sorry Nike, but what the HELL were you thinking when you dressed these players? Both sets of uniforms were just massive fails all the way across the board. I can't say one positive thing about Boise's, from the weird gray color of the jersey to the Bronco on the ass of the pants. And the only thing I found intriguing about VTech's ensembles were the gun metal matte black helmets. The Halloween orange-fade-to-maroon couldn't have been more unattractive, and their shoes looked like poorly made clown shoes. But nonetheless, a fabulous game for the first week of college football.

Of course, I had to save the best win (and the best team) for last...

Michigan: 30
UConn: 10
I can't even explain how happy I was to watch this game unfold the way it did. I was so sad to not be in Ann Arbor for the first game in the new-and-improved Big House, but watching the Wolverines get back to where they should be as an elite college football program made me unbelievably proud to be a Michigan alum. Denard Robinson started as quarterback, and I think that was the best decision coach Rich Rodriguez has made since he joined the Michigan staff. That was evident not only in Denard "Shoelace" Robinson's domination on the field, but Tate Forcier's attitude off the field. Any time the camera panned to the ex-starting quarterback, he was sitting on the bleachers by himself, and he was pouting. Rumors are swirling that Tate intends to transfer after not playing on Saturday, but his dad denies any such idea. I suppose we'll see whether or not Tate suits up against Notre Dame next week, who also won their first game with new head coach Brian Kelly. Either way, the UConn coach Randy Edsall summed it up best when he said:

"Denard Robinson's going to make people look bad."

Go Blue.

P.S. In the mix of all the fluffy season-opener games, did anyone else notice that UCLA lost to Kansas State? Oops.

P.P.S. I stand corrected when I said there were no ridiculous upsets. A faithful reader kindly reminded me of the chaos that was Ole Miss vs. Jacksonville State, which ended with a scoreboard that read 49-48 in double overtime, and the win going to Jacksonville. They came back from a 31-13 deficit and scored 21 points in the 4th quarter, also managing to score one more point than Ole Miss in overtime. I think that result pretty much speaks for itself.

2 comments:

  1. The K State win isn't as big a surprise as you might think. They're definitely more of a basketball school, but they're no "fluffy" opener, especially when playing at home. In the Big 12 they finished 6-6 last season (compared to UCLA's 6-6 in the Pac 10).

    Also, we'll see whether Michigan is an elite team yet. If they can come out of South Bend with a win, they just might be. D-Rob is the real deal though, that's for sure.

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  2. In my opinion, Michigan has always been an elite football program; they just fell off the deep end for the past couple of seasons. But either way, I completely agree that we really need a win in South Bend.

    And I guess I didn't realize that Kansas State had an even record last season. Fluffy or not, I wouldn't have expected UCLA to lose to them if I was making picks.

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