B/R CFB Community: Biggest Week 2 Surprises

Adam KramerSeptember 13, 2022

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

If you're a college football fan, these are the weekends you live for.

Week 2 was chaotic and magnificent and featured wall-to-wall action. There was Alabama-Texas, the upset that almost was. And though the Crimson Tide's 20-19 close call in Austin felt like the biggest development of the day, it turned out to be a sign of things to come.

Pick a moment, any moment. That's exactly what we asked B/R readers to do while digesting a wild Week 2.

What was the biggest surprise of a weekend chock-full of them? The readers responded and delivered, as they always do.

Let's dive deep into a weekend we're going to be talking about for a while.

Deep Freeze

Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

User: @truittross

Response: Scott Frost not being fired yet

Well, this is a first. Before we learned that Scott Frost had been relieved of his duties at Nebraska, @truittross expressed his disbelief that the decision had not been made.

Within a couple of hours, well, that changed. When you lose to Georgia Southern as more than a three-touchdown favorite, that will happen.

Nebraska announced that Frost was no longer the head coach, which means a few things.

For starters, Frost will be paid many millions of dollars to leave the football team he once played for. (I am deeply jealous.) It also means the Cornhuskers are in the market for a new head coach before October, which is quite early in the firing and hiring calendar.

It had to be done. While Frost felt like a slam-dunk hire when he arrived in Lincoln, he finished with a record of 16-31. It wasn't just inadequate; it was shockingly and consistently not enough.

As for potential candidates to fill the void, a few come to mind. Iowa State's Matt Campbell and Kentucky's Mark Stoops should be at the top of the list. Whether they would take this job is another question entirely.

The Closest of Calls

AP Photo/Michael Thomas

User: @touchdownmavi

Response: How Texas almost beat Alabama

This madness was indeed a showcase of many things, starting with how wonderful it is to have meaningful games on college campuses. Do more of this, college football.

It also told us a lot about both teams, though this intel will now be validated (or not) in the weeks to come.

For Texas, this was about hope. Losing starting quarterback Quinn Ewers to injury early on was a tremendous blow, especially considering how well he had played. The fact that the Longhorns rallied without him was remarkable.

With Ewers likely out for several weeks, Texas will need to match that effort over a prolonged stretch. With encouraging signs at so many positions, it's reasonable to believe it might do just that. Then again, we have done this before.

For Alabama, this was a wakeup call. Or maybe it was merely a forecast of close calls to come. The wideouts struggled, and the offensive line looked overmatched. Throw in 15 penalties, and you have a blueprint for the kind of game we all saw.

Still, what a contest. I did not expect it to be close, though I am certainly happy to have been wrong.

Flailing Irish

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

User: @martymcsofly

Response: Notre Dame dropping to 0-2

Very few were surprised by 0-1. But 0-2? That is indeed a shocker.

Marcus Freeman is the first Notre Dame head coach to lose his first three games, which is not an ideal way to begin a tenure.

As for this year specifically, there are a handful of concerning items that emerged from the Fighting Irish' 26-21 loss to Marshall.

The defense wasn't horrible, though it certainly wasn't great. And the offense, which has many new parts, has a long way to go. Quarterback Tyler Buchner struggled before leaving with a shoulder injury, which is concerning on a few fronts.

Simply put, this team has issues. And the schedule includes plenty of programs with capable players who can exploit them.

After hosting Cal on Saturday, the Irish will travel to North Carolina and then take on BYU—two really hot teams in the young season. Before we can even talk about Clemson and USC in November, we have to first get there.

Yes, 0-2 is concerning. What's more concerning, however, is that this might not be done.

Walk-Off Hail Mary

Joshua Bessex/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

User: @TheJerkStore

Response: UB losing to Holy Cross on a Hail Mary

There is a lot to unpack here.

On most college football Saturdays, a walk-off Hail Mary will get plenty of attention no matter the matchup. But given the buffet of chaos that was offered this weekend, this moment was buried.

Thank you, @TheJerkStore, for calling it out.

Now, let's quickly move past the fact that Holy Cross won on a Hail Mary. It has been acknowledged. Let's instead zero in on the fact that a football game was decided on this wonderful play.

Somehow, the ball went through the hands of four Buffalo defenders with the game tied 31-31. It looks like a video game glitch of some kind, though it most certainly was not.

The play counted, the game ended, and Holy Cross was a winner.

It wasn't terribly long ago that Buffalo was actually a really good team. The departure of Lance Leipold, now the head coach at Kansas, has proved to be a big one. (Leipold, by the way, is doing wonderful things with the Jayhawks.)

It won't impact the sport the way others will, but there was no bigger individual play than this one Saturday.

Sun Belt, Fun Belt

AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz

User: @drizzie

Response: The Sun Belt Conference winning big games

No conference in all of college football has made more of a statement this year than the Sun Belt. Period. No debate.

On Saturday, it decided to flip the sport on its side. Marshall beat Notre Dame, Appalachian State beat Texas A&M, and Georgia Southern, as already referenced, took down Nebraska—and delivered our first fired coach of the season.

The Sun Belt has a stable of hungry, capable teams, and we shouldn't be shocked that squads with talent delivered.

Appalachian State has come a long way since beating Michigan and shocking the sport in 2007. Marshall has been consistently solid. And Clay Helton, formerly of USC and now the head coach of Georgia Southern, has an offense that should be a whole lot of fun to watch.

The fact that it came all at once, however, is what made Saturday the day of the Sun Belt.

The wins were massive, and this level of success will not be easy to replicate. But this was not a fluke, nor will it be the last we hear of a conference with so much promise still untapped.


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