9 Knee Jerk Reactions to the Start of College Football

Ryan StubbsCorrespondent ISeptember 2, 2008



1.)        The Pac-10 wasn’t trying to gain recognition this weekend as much as it was trying to rip away the “best conference” title from the SEC. While the SEC itself had a good weekend (Mississippi State and Tennessee losses aside), no conference was more impressive in week 1 than the Pac-10. Wins at Virginia by USC and at home by Cal and UCLA over BCS-conference teams were not only well played, but well scheduled.

            Now had they waited until next weekend when the NFL had our attention on Monday night, well no one this morning would have been talking about a former JUCO QB.


2.)        The BCS championship game participants will once again come from one of four conferences. The ACC and Big East gracefully bowed out in week one.

            I’m well aware West Virginia didn’t hurt themselves, but give it time.


3.)        The BCS championship game participants will only come from the Big Ten if Ohio State wins out.  Wisconsin is two-loss fodder with no passing game, and Penn State looks good for a weekend only. They’ll drop to Oregon State this weekend and resume their role as #3, #4, or #5 in the conference.


4.)        I think as an Ohio State fan, only Keith Byers preseason injury in 1985 compares to what happened to Beanie. Yes there are other players on offense, but they just lost their cleanup hitter. Better start playing small ball, bunts and steals and whatnot.

And I consider Maurice Clarett in ’02 nothing like this situation.


5.)        Teams I like more now than I did before week one: Alabama, Fresno State, Oregon, and Bowling Green

            Teams I like less now than I did before week one: Oregon State, Michigan State, Missouri’s D, Appalachian State (I really thought they had that one…I’m kidding).


6.)        For those of you who watched the entire Utah/Michigan game please enlighten those who didn’t and spread the word that Michiganshould have lost by no fewer than 3 touchdowns. There were at least 5 dropped interceptions (and that’s being generous) by Michigan QBs, Utah out-gained Michigan by 84 penalty yards (with 2 Utah penalties nixing change of possessions), and had 3 straight drives stall inside the Michigan 30 that led to field goals instead of TDs.

That game could have been a beating and Michigan should be thankful the score stayed respectable.


7.)        Worst showing of the weekend by a non-carnivorous nicknamed team: How about ACC partner Maryland, who needed a late interception to close out Delaware. A 14-7 final score shows it was just a miserable attempt at football, much like the first three quarters of the Rutgers/Fresno State game.


8.)        Speaking of Rutgers, Tiquan Underwood and Kenny Britt are two of the best wide receivers in the nation when they have the ball. Rutgers won’t compete in the Big East this season though unless Mike Teel learns how to get it to them. He threw into traffic, overthrew them, under threw them, and did anything but give them a chance to win the game for Rutgers.

Ray Rice was a stud because he always got the ball out of Teel’s hands; Greg Schiano needs to find a way to do the same with his returning playmakers.


9.)        Everyone is already looking towards next weekends big battles, but I think this weekend is loaded with “prove-it” games.  Players, coaches and media think certain teams are going to do something this season, well this is their weekend to prove they can back it up; kind of in the opposite way Clemson did.


Games I’m watching this weekend:

            Southern Miss at Auburn – The Tigers won their tune up, but Southern Miss is a returning bowl team with talent.  They were only down 17-16 at halftime last season at Tennessee and aren’t getting near as much hype this weekend as C-USA brethren East Carolina.

            West Virginia at East Carolina– Everyone saw ECU Beamerball the Hokies this past weekend, but what I saw was a suffocating defense against an embarrassing VaTech offense.  The Mountaineers say they’re developing Pat White into a passing threat as well, prove it.

            Cincinnati at Oklahoma – This is our only chance before the Red River Rivalry to see how good Oklahoma is against a decent team.  As we saw Saturday, the Purple Willingham’s won’t stand in their way.

            Oregon State at Penn State – I thought, and still think, Oregon Statecan do some damage in the Pac-10 this season. Winning in Happy Valleywould be a huge boost of confidence after getting beaten by the Tri-Lams.

            Stanford at Arizona State– Is Arizona State as overhyped as people want to believe. And was Stanford opening win just a mirage. Time for someone to prove it.


Games that might provide a good time for an afternoon nap:

            Texas Southern at Arkansas State

            Montana State at Kansas State

            New Hampshire at Army

            Idaho State at Idaho

            William & Mary at N.C. State

            Northern Colorado at Purdue


As for the rest of this week, enjoy the rich, white oligarchs’ convention this week that leads up to Sen. John McCain’s speech that will be watched by no one. Not that all Americans hate Senator McCain, it’s just that the NFL kicks off Thursday night. Good planning GOP. We have priorities!


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