Season openers are not officially done (Ga Tech visits Va Tech Monday night), but for me, the weekend of college football is pretty much complete.
Unfortunately, like the bowl of pasta I dream about, but must refrain from consuming because I am on Weight Watchers (to help the wife!), I didn't get to see it all. Well, at least not all that I would have liked to see.
- Michigan vs Alabama...really would have liked to watch this one, at least for a while. The Tide has been anointed by Brent Musberger, despite the fact that Michigan got ranked 8th in the preseason poll for NO APPARENT REASON. Alabama pounded the crap out of the Wolverines, like they should have, and surprisingly pitched the rock around a bit. Bama/LSU is already being discussed. Oy vey.
- Mich/Bama...Wyoming/Tx...SMU/Baylor...None of my "would really like to see this team lose" upsets of the week came through, although Texas teased me for a bit. That's ok, somebody will answer the call one of these weeks. Maybe A&M this Saturday...oh right, losing to Florida would not be an upset. Damn. Ok then, they better not upset the Gators.
- Oklahoma vs UTEP...Don't think I am the only one who marveled at how bad the Sooners looked Saturday night (or Sunday morning, as the case may be). OU fans are none too comfortable right now, but not to worry, your "Savannah State" is coming to town this weekend (Florida A&M). Can't wait to speak to my Sooner friend...he will be apoplectic. Wait...can I use that word on this site?
- Speaking of OU...How many Oklahoma State fans would like to play them right now and just hand the ball to Randle/Smith/Roland/Muncreif/Bennett about 500 times?
- Preseason Polls...A tip of the cap to Yachoff's younger brother Andrew, who sent me this tweet..."@MFC_CRFF Safe to say Michigan is probably not #8 either. Let's give it up for pre-season polls everyone!"
-#4 OU leads UTEP 10-7 after 3, before nailing down a 24-7 road opener, and looked really bad doing it;
-#6 Georgia led Buffalo 24-16 at the half, before pulling away for a 45-23 win;
-#9 South Carolina escapes VANDERBILT 17-13 (do I need to explain that to anyone?);
-#10 Arkansas led Jacksonville State (sounds like Savannah St to me) 35-21 at the half, eventually winning 49-24;
-#12 Wisconsin just gets past University of Northern Iowa, 26-21;
-#21 Stanford (minus Andrew Luck) escapes San Jose State, 20-17 with a FG to start the 4th quarter (Jordan Williamson with the game winner...anyone remember him?);
-#23 Florida struggles with Bowling Green, 27-14 (led 14-7 at half);
And please, SOMEBODY, tell me how OU found a way to be #4. That is the BIGGEST piece of nonsense ever. Oklahoma State has as much reason to be #4 as the Sooners. Seriously.
Some of you will say preseason polls don't matter...well, they do. In a huge way. Let's say Oklahoma State is every bit as good as they were last year, just in a different way. The Cowboys are beginning the year #19...an early misstep, and the show is over. USC, Alabama, LSU etc, can stumble early and won't drop far enough to negate the possibility of climbing back into the battle for the national title. Even if OSU keeps winning, they have to pass so many teams that it would be nearly impossible, even if undefeated, to get a shot. Preseason polls do matter, and are unfairly slanted towards the "brands." How did Oregon land #5 when they lost the same # of key playmakers, including QB, as Oklahoma State? Texas gets ranked ahead of the Cowboys. "Experts" say it's cuz OSU has a freshman QB...well the Longhorns don't even have a QB!
Point is, preseason polls suck. They predict people's assumptions about a team's brand. Michigan has done NOTHING to merit a top ten preseason ranking other than be Michigan with a returning QB and 2nd year HC who shows "promise." Would South Carolina be ranked #9 if Steve Spurrier was NOT their HC? Georgia was 10-4 in 2011 (respectable), 7-1 in conference (SEC...), 4-1 in SEC East. But 2-4 against top 25...and they end up #6 preseason. I need to learn that math.
Ok, I'm done with that rant.
- Last, but not least, the new kickoff rules.
They suck. The NCAA so far has successfully killed one of the most exciting plays in college football.
Don't know yet about the ridiculous "fair catch" of onside kicks part of this, but kicking from the 35 yard line is a joke. OSU's Quinn Sharp easily kicks it out of the end zone, or so deep that the return team doesn't even consider bringing it out. Why do that when you get it at the 25 yard line? Big deal, 5 yards. If the NCAA had said the 35 yard line, then we would be onto something. They wanted to reduce injuries on kick returns...how do you do that? Eliminate kick returns. That's what the NCAA wanted to accomplish, however teams will quickly figure out a "pooch" or "sky" kickoff because the coverage team is starting 5 YARDS CLOSER, thus getting down the field quicker. If I'm the Cowboys, Sharp is booming it every time, and we'll take our chances at the 25. With these changes, chances are Justin Gilbert will NOT have a TD return this season unless he brings one out of the end zone, like he did at Texas. This was one of my predictions for 2012. Would love to see the stats at the end of the season for TD's on kick return.