After a 5-day feeding frenzy of opening weekend games, the college football season is now in full swing. There are always overreactions after week 1. Let’s try to remove any histrionics and focus on what concrete things we know.
The SEC still rules the universe. People have been screaming for the last 8 months that the ACC has overtaken the SEC as the top conference. There were 3 head-to-head matchups between the conferences, and the SEC won all of them. The SEC also triumphed in its lone matchup with the big 14. Even Vandy breezed by Middle Tennessee, making my upset special look dumb. In fact, every school won their opener except Texas A&M, which gagged on a 34-point second half lead. Meanwhile, the ACC had to endure Georgia Tech gagging away a big lead against Tennessee, as well as a home loss for North Carolina and Louisville, Pittsburgh and Boston College escaping with 1-score wins over inferior opponents. Again, it’s just one week, but the ACC hype was, at least this week, not matched by the play on the field.
The offensive guru must rely on his defense again. The coming out party for Jarrett Stidham also did not live up to the hype. Auburn was very sloppy in the first quarter and gave up a sack-fumble-touchdown. Everything settled down and Auburn ran Georgia Southern into the ground, even with their #1 running back suspended and the #2 going down with yet another injury. The third and fourth guys did plenty though, and Stidham made enough plays with his arm and legs to safely put the opponent away. The defense was the story, as Auburn’s defense allowed the fewest yards to an FBS opponent of any team in the FBS. That level of play will be needed as Auburn heads up I-85 to Clempson.
Business as usual for the Tide. Sometimes I hate it when I’m 1,000% right. Every year ‘Bama gets an opening game against a big-name, blue-blood opponent. A team that has won national championships. A team everyone thinks is good, and will provide a stiff test. Then the big-name opponent goes out and lays an egg, and in this case, loses their QB to a season-ending injury. The Tide cruises to an easy win. And Auburn fans are left to gag on turnip greens and lima beans and hope somebody in-conference can beat them so they won’t roll into the Iron Bowl undefeated and ranked #1. Again.
Too much of the Little 10. I really don’t like that conference that has the name of “Big 12.” For one, I hate the use of those pretentious Roman numerals, trying to fancy themselves up. It’s pretentious because most of the teams are terrible. There’s always the Oklahoma schools, who are both very good this year. Kansas State looks decent. Iowa State, Kansas, Texas Tech and Texas are terrible. And Baylor lost at home to Liberty. WHAT? You lost to Jerry Falwell U? AT HOME? Also, they have 10 teams, so they’re not the Big 12 or any size of 12. And none of them play defense except Oklahoma on occasion. There’s a conference called the Big Ten, which has 14 teams, so I call it the Big 14. And the Big 12 has only 10 teams, and is greatly inferior to the Big 14, so I call them the Little 10. And too many SEC teams this week looked like Little 10 teams on defense, particularly Missouri. I ended up spending most of the 12:00-3:30 window watching this game, with Michigan-Florida being the other one I watched a good bit. For a while, I thought Mizzou and Mizzou State were both going to crack 80. Teams that have good offenses, like Georgia and South Carolina, must be salivating for their games with Mizzou. Even Florida, easily the worst offense in the SEC, has to look at that matchup as a chance to get well.
Charlotte thinks the officials’ flags are part of their uniform. My alma mater was more competitive with Eastern Michigan than the 24-7 or the tone of the fools announcing the game on ESPN3 would indicate. It could be said this game was equal parts EMU win and 49er throw-away. We had 3 different drives into EMU territory that were killed by 15-yard penalties – a late hit out of bounds, a chop block and an unnecessary roughness call. All the calls were correct. I’m not going to say we would have scored TDs on all those drives, but they all would have gained at least a field goal. So we left anywhere from 9-21 points on the field thanks to our own stupidity. This is year 5 of the program. The “but we’re new” excuse doesn’t apply anymore. We have some playmakers. It’s time to make plays, not stupid penalties. Unfortunately, next week won’t be any better. We’re at Kansas State. Our coach played there in the 80s, so it’s both a paycheck game and a favor game. I only ask that it end better than our last paycheck game – the 70-14 season opener at Louisville last year.
Nostradamus is in da house. I went 13-2 in week 1 picks, missing the loss by Florida and the win by Vandy. But I get extra points for getting the score of the Georgia-App State game exactly right, 31-10.
1. Alabama – like I said, just another day at the office.
2. Ohio State – Indiana is ready to be bowl-eligible. OSU is ready to be in the playoffs. That’s the difference.
3. Clempson – Offense looks just fine. The Auburn game should tell us a lot more about both teams.
4. Oklahoma – Most complete team west of the Mississippi.
5. Penn State – Very good offense. Time will tell on the QB.
6. Michigan – UM looked dominant on defense. The Big 14 is a bigger threat to the SEC than the ACC.
7. USC – Overrated! (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) Overrated! (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) Overrated!
8. Oklahoma State – Wake me up when the Bedlam game arrives. The rest of this conference is irrelevant.
9. Stanford – Probably the most complete team west of the state of Oklahoma.
10. Washington – Probably an equal of Stanford, so that matchup should decide this division.
11. Wisconsin – Looks like another typical year for these guys too – very good, just short of being a playoff team.
12. Auburn – I wish we had 2 more warmup games before going to The Other Death Valley. Defense looks super.
13. Georgia – Sunday & Monday, this game was replayed more than any other Saturday game in the nation. No idea why.
14. LSU – Not bad for a “neutral site” home game. Offense is better with this new OC.
15. Louisville – This is as good as it gets, outside of Clempson, for the badly-overrated ACC.
16. UCLA – Looks like A&M really is in trouble. Fabulous comeback for Josh Rosen & Co.
17. Iowa – Dominating win over one of the guys that’s supposed to go top 10 in the next NFL draft.
18. South Carolina – Reverse of Auburn. The defensive HC has a good offense with some playmakers.
19. Virginia Tech – A down-to-the-last-play win over a Little 10 team. Not much to go on.
20. Miami – Looks like the old UGA coach has grown a decent roster along with his goatee.
21. Kansas State – Bill Snyder is the only coach in 125 years to build good KU teams. Problem is, he’s 137 years old.
22. Florida State – Overrated! (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) Overrated! (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) Overrated!
23. South Florida – All summer, everyone said this was the Group of 5 team that would crash the party. I’m not sold yet.
24. Notre Dame – If this season flames out, just remember it’s not Brian Kelly’s fault. If you doubt that, just ask him.
25. Tennessee – Showed lots of heart in that comeback, so we’ll keep them ranked for now.
Not far away – Utah, Colorado, Florida, West Virginia, Washington State
The Absolute Worst – UNLV, Baylor, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Georgia State