The Punch Heard 'Round The World: The Week That Was in College Football
Ah yes, it's the start of everyone's favorite time of year. They've awoken Lee Corso from his off-season hibernation and released him from his life and age preserving oxygen tent and the start of the college football season has begun. And with such noise.
I'm sure you all have seen the clip of LaGarrette Blount delivering the "Sucker-Punch Heard 'Round the World" to the face of not-so-innocent Byron Hout. This brings me to point one. Before I delve any further into this column let me be clear, Byron Hout is not innocent in any way here. If this took place anywhere outside the public spectrum that any highly-viewed sport falls into, Bryon Hout would have gotten his jaw cracked a few more times than just the one sucker-punch.
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What many people are forgetting about this whole spectacle was that had Byron Hout acted like a man, instead of a dumb kid, Blount would have just continued to walk off the field. No Hout had to forget the golden rule of sports: You let you're play do the talking, and when it's over you don't need to talk trash. Hout felt the need to get in Blount's face for a comment Blount made earlier in the week in which he was confident of the "ass-whipping" that would occur in Boise as the Ducks sought revenge for a beating they received last season. When Hout opened his mouth about the game, he knew retribution would be sought by the Duck for the trifecta of pain Boise player had inflicted over the year.
While Hout got what he deserved Blount's suspension is also justice being served. Blount's actions would be appropriate but still illegal. It doesn't matter how much he had earned the punch, it was still assault. If it would get you in legal trouble off the field, you know you'll get suspended when it happens on the field. I wouldn't be surprised if in the next few weeks head coach Chip Kelly and his predecessor Oregon A.D. Mike Bellotti dismiss Blount altogether. This isn't Blount's first strike. In February he was suspended for "failure to fulfill team obligations". If he was suspended for missing team meetings, skipping practice, etc. I can only imagine what the backlash from fans will be if Blount's "Mr Hyde" side shows again, it may not be something the school even wants to consider dealing with.
Not so far away from Boise sits Jerry Jones' new playhouse, that is New Cowboys Stadium. The hole in the roof may be gone (thanks to a new retractable dome) but the new building does have on special characteristic, a video board so big it actually has the ability to block a punt. Yesterday Cowboys Stadium did something that every good Texan has wanted to do for the past year, it took out Sam Bradford. Yes, the defending Heisman Trophy winner has what preliminary medical reports are calling a sprained shoulder, however the true extent of the injury won't be known for a few days. If you haven't seen the videos of the hit that may have ended OU's hopes of returning to the BCS Title Game, let me tell you, the second Bradford hit the ground you'll wince, and then let out an "oooooh" like you did when you saw Tom Brady go down last year. You just know something is wrong.
It's a shame too. Bradford was my pick to pull the Archie Griffin (two Heismans in two years). Tebow may be the best thing in college sports right now, but as a position player, who's better? I think without question Bradford gets the vote in that department. I also had him going number one in the NFL draft provided that the Lions don't end up with the first pick. While it's still uncertain when (or if) Bradford will come back, OU needs to start work on a new strategy because Landry Jones was anything but impressive in his performance on Saturday.
In other news, Overrated State, sorry Ohio State came through with a win in a surprisingly close game. Now, being the son of a Buckeye as well as going to school with more Buckeye fans than I would have ever imagined, I've seen OSU pull the same stunt year after year, they look big and tough until the first game, barely win against a cupcake opponent and then look like idiots on the national stage. Needless to say a four-point win (thanks to an interception return on a two-point conversion attempt at the end of the game) over Navy definitely meets the first requirement. Next up on the Buckeye's schedule, USC at the Shoe. Last year USC ran wild over a much-hyped OSU team, I don't expect any different this year other than maybe a closer score than last season's 35-3 trouncing.
The Georgia Bulldogs season may already be over. Last night's loss to 9th ranked Oklahoma State saw zero offensive production in the second half when UGA was out scored 14-3. The second half collapse could be put squarely on the shoulder's of the Bulldog's limp running game. A year ago if one saw UGA's rushing yardage at 95 they would think the game was at the half, maybe even the end of the third quarter. But 95 total yards on the ground? Unthinkable. Sophomore Richard Samuel may have been getting his legs (after all last season the 18 year old ran the ball just 26 times amassing a mere 133 yards) but he never broke a run for 20-yards or more and on 20 touches ended up with under 90 yards. Don't get me wrong, 4.4 YPG isn't bad, but when you're playing the 9th best team in the country, whether they are overrated or not, you have to break 100 yards for the day to expect to see good offensive production. Samuel isn't the threat the Knowshon Moreno was last season, and the UGA offense is going to continue to under-perform unless they find a solution to their problem.
Finally there was the big game of the night. The much hyped Alabama-Virginia Tech game from the Georgia Superdome. The Crimson Tide are rolling again this season. After shaking off the cobwebs built up between last year's Sugar Bowl fiasco against Utah and last night's game, the Tide proved they are a force to be reckoned with this season. The Tide out-gained VT 498-155. Nick Saban's boys delivered the school's 800th win last night, largely in-part to Mark Ingram's career high 150 yard performance as well as Greg McElroy's 230-yard debut under center for the Tide. The Hokie's were less-than impressive in their season debut, but a weakened Big East is still theirs for the taking.
With two more games left on the week's docket here are my pics for the next two days. 8th ranked Ole Miss heads into Memphis to take on a Tiger's team with something to prove. The Rebels come away with a wind, but the Tiger's will impress.
Final Score- Ole Miss: 28 Memphis: 17
18th Ranked Florida State welcomes the Miami Hurricanes to Doak Campbell Stadium for the 56th regular season meeting between the two ACC rivals. Bowden's boys will take this one handily and win their fourth game in five years.
Final Score- FSU: 45 UM:20
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