Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s Wednesday. Sue me. I didn’t get it out yesterday. But it’s here today, after the opening weekend of real football.
College football started last Thursday with a bang, leading into 5 glorious days of the sport we all love. Opening up was a conference game involving SEC teams South Carolina and Vanderbilt. On the surface this is not something to get too excited about. But what a game it was to start out the season with. South Carolina has aspirations of SEC glory this year with the return of Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Lattimore from a serious knee injury which ended his 2011 campaign. He had a little rust to knock off, fumbling on his first carry, but came back strong with a solid outing with over a 100 yards and 2 TD’s. With the help of tough QB Connor Shaw, who himself hurt his shoulder during the course of the game, they staved off upset to the upstart Commodores from Vanderbilt, 17-13.
New Washington State coach Mike Leach
Thursday also brought back the return of the pirate, embattled coach Mike Leach who opened up his tenure at Washington State. It was great to see him back on the sidelines, even if his team was disappointing, failing to score a TD for only the 3rd time in Leach’s ten year head coaching career. BYU knocked off the pirate 30-6.
On to Friday night and the marquee matchup between two top 25 teams Michigan State and Boise State. Although MSU took control of this game, 17-13, it was a slug fest through out and MSU TB Le’Veon Bell running wild on the Broncos D. But I give so much credit to Boise State, they go into someone elses back yard to start the season every damn year, and usually win! And not just anyone’s backyard, perennial powers such as Georgia, Virginia State, and now Michigan State. They are a young team, replacing the winnigest QB in NCAA history in Kellen Moore, they will be back, but this year at least we can stop the mid major in the title game talk early.
Michigan State RB Le’Veon Bell
Saturday started off with the earliest start time I can ever remember with Notre Dame taking on Navy in Dublin Ireland. A 7 am kickoff, central time, is awful early to start drinking and tailgating, but I know some of you did! You know who you are. I actually missed the first half of this game, sleep is important to me, but caught the second half when ND already had control of this game leading to a 50-10 blowout for the Fighting Irish. But this only led to a full slate of games, not all good. This weekend was peppered with blowouts, stinkers, but like all college football weekends, plenty of upsets and near upsets. Like Pitt losing to FCS school Youngstown State on the debut of their new coaching staff. And Houston welcomed newly appointed FBS school Texas State by promplty laying down for dead. The Cougars are in a decent mid major conference in Conference USA, Texas State? Haven’t a clue. Then we get to the sad affairs in Happy Valley, which hasn’t been such a happy place much since it was deemed the child molestation capital of the country, at least the football country, thanks to Jerry Sandusky. Penn State hoped to forget the ugly past, and start a new with a new regime, headed up by first year head coach Tom O’Brien. But the good feelings didn’t last long with the upstart Ohio Bobcats rolling into Beaver Stadium ruining things for the Nittany Lions, 24-14.
Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
This leads us to the big matchup of the weekend. Alabama met Michigan in the annual JerryWorld bowl in Dallas. Michigan is supposed to be back, they weren’t. There were questions whether Alabama could reload coming off their BCS Championship in 2011, they could. They dominated from the start, racing to score after score on the Wolverine defense. They dominated enough to jump back into the top spot in the AP poll. And Michigan.. well, they looked like Michigan of recent years, just not very good.
That leaves us with the local boys, OU, OSU and TU. OSU played a glorified High School team, so they really don’t even get a mention here. Damn, Union or Jenks could have beat Savannah State handily as OSU rolled to the tune of 84-0.
TU traveled to Ames, Iowa to take on the Cyclones of Iowa State, a decent Big 12 team as of late. TU was actually favored, which I didn’t quite understand, and I would be correct because ISU was too much for the Golden Hurricane, finishing the Conference USA favorite 38-23.
Now to OU. Not a lot to say. They won. That’s the only good thing that came out of this matchup with UTEP in El Paso, Texas. But they won ugly, very ugly, only leading 10-7 in the 4th quarter before finishing off the Miners late 24-7. The defense did pitch a shutout, the only UTEP score coming on a blocked punt early in the game. The offense was hit and miss.. and that is saying something. Landry Jones looked much improved moving out of the pocket, but his happy feet were still prevelant through out much of the game behind a revamped and inexperienced offensive line. They say the most improvement comes between week 1 and 2, for me and other Sooner fans let’s hope that is the case.