NCAA Football: What I Learned From Week One
Week One in the college football season is sort of like an episode of Saturday Night Live, there will be a few entertaining "skits", but the majority of them will be flops.
Well the first week of the college football season is almost over, with some Sunday and Labor Day games to be completed, the biggest ones being UCLA-Tennessee on Monday, and Kentucky- Louisville this afternoon. We learned a lot about the contenders and the pretenders, so without further endue here is what we learned about the NCAA for Week One of the 2008 season:
The ACC Looks Like it is the Worst BCS Conference This Year:
This week Virginia got walloped by USC, Maryland had problems against Delaware, Clemson couldn't get past the Crimson Tide, and Virginia Tech got upset by Western Carolina.
People were expecting big things from both Virginia Tech and Clemson this year and those people were likely disappointed as both of them failed to win games that they were expected to win.
Especially Virginia Tech who were playing a "cupcake" in East Carolina and could not close out the game. You have to wonder if the ACC will even get two teams into the BCS this year.
Divison 2 is no joke
As we learned last year the NCAA's second division is no joke as they can give powerhouse teams a scare. App. State could not make lightning strike twice and they were dismantled by LSU in what may be the last LSU home game for a while as Hurricane Gustav looms over Louisiana. Maryland almost fell to Delaware. This just proves that teams picking Div. 2 teams on its schedule must be aware that they are not easy pickings anymore.
The Michigan Wolverines are Finishers, Not Starters
Ah yes, the joy of seeing the Michigan Wolverines losing in the Big House in Week One. It is slowly becoming a tradition in my life. The start of the Rich Rodriguez era in Ann Arbor did not go well as they lost to the Utes 25-23 in what was a very entertaining football game.
Of course Utah is a lot better of a football program than App. State, but Michigan was supposed to win this game, but they fell short again to open the season with a loss at home. You have to wonder if the Wolverines swoon will continue, or if they will turn it around next week.
On the other hand Utah had a very strong showing in the Big House, and they should be contenders in the very strong Mountain West Conference this year.
TCU, Utah, and BYU all have the potential to be this years BCS busters, and I feel the winner of that conference, which likely will go down to the last game of the season between BYU and Utah, will be playing in January.
Two Tigers, Different Stories
Mizzou showed that they have the hearts of lions last night, when they held off the high powered Illinois offense by simply out gunning them to a 52-42 win. Led by Jeremy Maclin's two return TD's.
Well the other Tigers, these ones from Clemson, proved ineffective and the Crimson Tide showed that they can be SEC spoilers by knocking off the ninth ranked Tigers from Clemson 34-10 by simply out rushing them.
This was a shock as the Clemson Tigers have an explosive tandem that draws comparisons of Darren McFadden-Felix Jones and Reggie Bush- LenDale White.
Will the Crimson Tide continue their surprisingly play en route to an SEC Title? I say no, but as we have seen in recent years, anything can happen in the SEC.
Game of the Week- Michigan State- California
Michigan State and California kicked off ABC's Saturday Night Football in style with a game that you could not peel your eyes from for one second, because if you did you likely would miss a big play.
Both teams had very impressive performances in the air, but it was the running game that proved the difference as Jahvid Best's 111-yard game and Shane Vereen's 81-yard run led the Bears to victory.
The Spartans are extremely similar to this situation as almost everyone of their six losses last season were by seven points or less. If their coach does not find a way to get his team to close games, he might be out of Lansing sooner than later.
Player of the Week- Jeremy Maclin, Missouri
Jeremy Maclin returned a kick for a punt for touchdowns giving him 201 all-purpose yards in one of the highlights of the week between Mizzou and Illinois
Team of the Week- Florida Gators
The Gators destroyed last years WCC champs from Hawaii 56-10 in what was a scary display of the power and speed that Florida has when it is on a roll. Tim Tebow only had 177 yards through the air as he was not needed in this rout of one of last season's best teams.
I hope you enjoyed this week in college football, come back next Sunday to see what I learned from Week Two.
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