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On The Mark: The Marksman's Thoughts on College Football Week 2

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On The Mark: The Marksman's Thoughts on College Football Week 2
(Photo by Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images)

The Marksman has returned, albeit late, but better late than never right?

This college football season has been odd to say the least so far. There seems to be a sappy love affair with new QB's. An understanding that there is no such thing as too many non-BCS teams in the top 25 (5 in ESPN/Coaches Poll). Hell even Notre Dame looks like the old Notre Dame (from Brady Quinn's years, and that may not be a good thing).

I for one look forward to the rest of this season and giving the adoring public the side college football that ESPN will not give you (mainly because they will be too busy with the SEC...)

ACC

Are ACC going to start scheduling D-II teams for an automatic win? This week's close calls against the FCS are starting to make this look ACC look really bad. Considering that the ACC had one win against a FBS opponent last week out of 10 non-conference games, this is just adding up to more and more fodder for those media types to provide.

In good news, Boston College looks better than they were expected to be. Virginia Tech has found their running game in a big way with RB's David Wilson and Ryan Williams both going for over 160 yards. Clemson and Georgia Tech showed some fight and excitement in their tilt.

Big East

Everyone in this conference looks like they are still trying to find themselves except Cincinnati. These guys look like they are in mid-season form on offense and it looks like no one the Big East will be able to stop them. But that is what everyone expected, the defense with all 10 new starters looks just fine, and may give up some points but the offense will score more than anyone they play.

QB Jarrett Brown looks really good for West Virginia. He had 407 yards of offense against a pretty good East Carolina defense and accounted for 4 scores and only threw seven incompletions... Now if they can only work on that defense...

Big Ten

That was a classic in Ann Arbor... pure and simple. Now there are still questions as to whether this offense can keep up the consistency, but now they immediately become serious championship contenders with that defense as well. Tate Forcier and Brandon Minor might be the best backfield tandem in the conference outside of Even Royster and Darryll Clark...

Speaking of Penn State, they should be thanking the heavens they have Clark... and that schedule. The OL is having problems establishing the line of scrimmage and that is against exactly one NFL lineman in the past two weeks. They really need to put this together before they play any line of note...

Is this going to be the Badgers for the whole season? They once again did not play a full four quarters, granted they showed fight to come back against Fresno State, but they should be able to establish the run game a lot better, they jury is still out on John Clay and whether or not he is going to play to his size...

This was not just another Michigan State meltdown, Mark D'Antonio has done a good job of getting rid of that from the program, this was just Central Michigan making unbelievable plays. Now to prove me right they should go into South Bend and be ready to score some points, because Sunshine Clausen and Co. are way more talented than the Chippeawas...

Is Danny Hope the dark horse coach of the year? He has Purdue's offense on fire right now, they were better than the Broncos were against Oregon. Sophomore running back Ralph Bolden leads the nation in rushing with 357 yards. The only problem is the defense which does not look like it can stop anyone with half a pulse...

Ohio State is good... all the Buckeye fans do not go off the edge. Ohio State was not out classed athletically and came to play, brought their A game. It was just that they could not quite make the plays at the end. And that is not a bad thing, it is something to learn so that when they clash with Penn State they can make them when they need to. Also this is a very young team, and this game had an eerie feeling that we will see them again in the National Championship game next year...

Big 12

What is going on in Boulder? The Dan Hwkins era is not quite getting off the ground. The offense has been really bad, and the defense has been letting teams do anything they want. The Buffs show some fight, but it seems like they are just out-matched at every turn. Toledo might have a good offense, but to let them do whatever they wanted to do like that was tough to watch...

It is now obvious that we need to put Dez Bryant on the Heisman list. This guy is the pass offense, someone else needs to step up for the Pokes when Bryant is out. This problem came up in the Holiday Bowl and the passing game came to a screeching halt. The game was not a total loss, Running Back Beau Johnson showed that he is going to be another in a great line of RB's in Stillwater...

The minute Missouri looked ready to be a serious player in the North race they show their inconsistency brought on by youth. Though Bowling Green might be really good, Kansas or Nebraska would probably have less of a tough time against the Falcons...

The Cornhuskers and Jayhawks are just going along dominating the teams they should be, showing the offenses are running smoothly and the defenses are giving teams fits...

Texas and Oklahoma will be fine, but the Longhorns need to still pay attention to the Cowboys on Halloween...

I don't think Bill Snyder has enough years left to bring this program back like he did last time...

C-USA

Houston looks like a seriously good team, now it will be hard for them to go undefeated and they need to get used to being the team that everyone will be looking at to make a BCS run. But this team has the offense to do it, and the defense tends to keep coming up with key stops to keep this team just above water enough to make a serious run...

Tulsa right now is not getting any real love, but the more they get their offense to come together the more that showdown with Houston looks like one the nation needs to tune into...

East Carolina needs to make more plays on defense. The offense was fine, but if they want to make any noise against the Southern Miss Eagles for the East Division, they need to be more consistent...

That Ole Miss game looks like Memphis has lost some serious confidence, and some confidence from those making the decisions on Head Coach Tommy West's fate. This team is too talented to lose to Middle Tennessee State like that...

Head Coach June Jones has to be in the early mix for Coach of the Year as he has SMU at 2-0 and winning the close games like this one against UAB. The defense is going to have its issues all season, but the offense has players and may just be able to make it 3-0 against a really bad Washington State team...

Independents

Notre Dame is somewhere in between how good people thought they were. The problem is that they are nowhere near BCS good. This team reminds me a lot of the Brady Quinn years, where they defense might be a little better with Jon Tenuta making the calls, this is still a defense with some questions. Will Michigan State keep the points scoring? Either way it does not matter because Jimmy "Sunshine" Clausen and company can score with anyone, and I mean anyone in the nation...

This is kind of odd thinking this, but when you look at Navy dont you kind of expect them to have at least 8 wins, and maybe an upset of someone huge or at least a serious scare?...

Army looks a lot better than they were last year, they dont have the athletes to make mistakes like they did against Duke and win, but they are a lot more competitive than they have been in the past five years...

MAC

The East Division looks like its Bowling Green and a bunch of guys who are trying to find themselves. QB Tyler Sheehan is playing great and the offense will pack some serious punch come conference time. The defense is the real surprise, even though they let up at the end of the Mizzou game, they have been stout most of the season so far...

Buffalo with their Head Coach Turner Gill will have a shot against Bowling Green based on coaching alone, but WR Naaman Roosevelt is playing like the First Team All MAC player that he is. If they keep this up and get a little more out of the running game, they should be alright...

Central Michigan would look like they are about to runaway with the West Division if it were not for the Huskies at Northern Illinois. The Huskies are playing ball control with minimal mistakes. If they keep this up they will be able to be a formidable opponent against CMU...

...But the way CMU looks right now they are about to run away from the entire MAC, sure the game against Arizona was tough, but I am chalking that up to a really good Arizona team. Either way if this team keeps making these kind of plays on offense I dont see anyone in the MAC who can stop them...

Toledo looks like they could be a player in the race with that offense going nuclear in the past two weeks, but the defense needs to make more stops. Considering Colorado might be one of the worst offenses they play and they gave up 38 points and that was after they had a 20+ lead...

What happened to Ball State? Geez they still have the WR's from last year, and All-MAC RB in MiQuale Lewis. I mean is the OL and QB position that bad for them this year? Granted the defense looks terrible, but they were not that good last year....

Miami University needs to score a point... That is all they need to score a point. Not a good start for new Head Coach Mike Haygood (the former Notre Dame offensive co-ordinator)....

Mountain West

OK now does everyone see just how good the teams in the Mountain West are? Texas had some problems with Wyoming for a spell, which you can bet TCU, BYU, or Utah will have the same problem at some point this year...

Air Force looked good, but it seemed like they could not get out of their own way. They needed to make more plays on offense, but the Minnesota defense is speedy and well coached, which may show problems against Utah and TCU....

Wow when did you ever think you say business as usual when it came to a non-BCS team against a BCS team? That is where we are when TCU beat Virginia. The parity in college football is really rearing its beautiful head...

Maybe its me, but Utah does not seem like a top 25 team. They were just given a spot out of respect, if any other non-BCS school had lost as much talent as they did they would be nowhere near the top 25. But kudos to the Utes, you rarely see that kind of respect from the pollster, which seems to be trend beginning this year...

Why is UNLV always so close? Then again Oregon State is notorious for slow starts... Mike Sanford just needs two more playmakers, and then maybe... Maybe...

Pac-10

I am going to say this right now Cal is going to beat USC. With that said USC is very good, and probably will be better by the time they play them. But this Matt Barkley kid is going to have to ACTUALLY beat someone with his arm, and not "manage" the team to a win. He will eventually be a great QB, but let's slow down on annointing him the best Frosh QB in the land, hell Kevin Prince at UCLA would get my nod before Barkley... For now...

Cal is crushing opponents through the air, and on the ground. The defense is smothering teams and they are running all over the field. Now we have seen this before, but remember it was not that long ago that Cal beat USC, and it was not that long ago that Aaron Rogers went 17-23 in the Coliseum and missed a winning touchdown in the waning seconds by inches...

Is Arizona really about to make this move into the upper echelon? They need to show a little more against Iowa, but lets not forget what the defense did to Central Michigan...

Washington looks a lot better than originally thought, the offense at least. They gave LSU fits, and ran through Idaho. This team looks like they are finding themselves, and might do some damage to someone they are not supposed to...

UCLA come to me when you beat a team with a pulse... But that was an impressive performance...

That was a tough loss for Stanford, but this team is coming hard in the Pac-10. All of a sudden the Pac-10 has 5 dark horses to upset anyone at anytime. Next year is going to be crazy...

Oregon State is a slow starting team, moreso this year after sending 7 players through the NFL draft (second only to USC), and that was supposed to be a rebuilding year. They will probably get smashed by Cincy, but this looks like a 9 win team at the least...

Washington State needs a lot of things right now. And it looks worse because it seems that they are getting worse from last year, and Washington seems to be getting better...

SEC

Tennessee is not very good, Vanderbilt's offense is going to struggle all year long, and Mississppi State is just not ready to play at a high level of football. With that being said the SEC still looks like a pretty deep league, provided LSU can finally at some point start playing defense...

Florida's schedule is beginning to look like the best team they are going to play is Florida State...

If Georgia can give up points to South Carolina like that, then how good is their defense, or even better how good is NC State's?...

FIU is better than people will give them credit for, they have talent. Even with that, the Tide should not have been that close for that long. But win and get out. That offensive outburst by Va Tech makes this defense look salty...

Auburn might do something dumb like beat Alabama... Slow down Tide fans, take a look at the offense right now, they are pretty good, and the defense is almost there. The only thing missing is consistency, besides I said they might beat Alabama. They WILL beat LSU with that lackluster defense the Tigers field...

Sun Belt

North Texas might not do it this year, but they are really close to winning the Sun Belt. Its becoming a fun arms race to watch between Arkansas State, FAU, FIU, Troy, and North Texas. These teams are rocketing up the Sun Belt so fast, that they are taking the conference with them...

It does not matter how bad Kansas State is, this is a huge win for La-Lafayette, after the close loss to Illinois last year, and seeing La-Monroe beat Alabama already the Ragin Cajuns were waiting for this one...

Middle Tennessee State does not want to go quietly into that sweet night. That win over Memphis was big and if QB Dwight Dasher can keep the turnovers to a minumun then this team can do something special behind his playmaking...

WAC

Boise State's defense seems to have picked up where they left off last season. This team is going to be really tough to beat if no one cannot score on them...

San Jose State is really close to making some headway up the conference, their defense is a lot better than people will give it credit for. This could be the year if they can figure out the QB situation...

Fresno State looked really good against Wisconsin, the question remains if they can have at least a good showing against Boise State on Friday night. Dare I say this is a tougher test than Wisconsin?....

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