The first Saturday of the season has finally arrived, and since I'm here in Birmingham instead of tailgaiting with everyone in Tuscaloosa, I figured those of you watching the game from home could join me in a "BlogGate." Basically, all that means is I'll be back here periodically updating the day's action (what I'm watching, what I'm doing, what I'm cooking) and hopefully you guys will do the same in the comments section. For right now, the coffee is on, there's a crockpot full of split chicken breasts just dying for some barbecue sauce, and I'm headed for the shower before the first game of the day.
Update [2007-9-1 11:36:24 by Todd]:
And we're back. Even though Florida is the first SEC game of the day, in about 30 minutes the rest of the CFB world kicks off their seasons.
What I'm Watching (picks in bold):
Virginia Tech vs ECU, 11am CST, ESPN:
ESPN is doing it's typically hamhanded coverage of "the healing process" in Blackburg. It's on mute, 'cause it's crass and kind of disrespectful and it's really pissing me off. Tech will win this one in a landslide.
UAB at Michigan State, 11am CST, ESPN2:
UAB and the Tide mirrored each other quite a bit last season. Both had the talent to, if not win, contend for their divisions last season, but poor decision making (and losses to Mississippi State by each) cost each head coach his job. UAB had Jimbo Fisher hired until the BOT said "Nope, too expensive," and then turned right around and made Nick Saban the highest paid coach in the history of the game. So there's that. Anyway, UGA O-line coach Neil Callaway took over in the Ham and he's got a tough row to hoe this year, opening at Michigan State and then traveling to Florida State in week two. The Spartans also are breaking in a new head coach in Mark Dantonio, who led the Cincinnatti Bearcats to an upset of Rutgers and an International Bowl win last season before taking the Michigan State job. UAB likely doesn't stand a chance considering State returns some decent talent while UAB graduated just about everyone that contributed last year. This is going to be a tough year for the Blazers. They could easily go 2-10, but I'm looking forward to seeing the discipline and toughness this team has sorely lacked the last few seasons that the new coaching staff has apparently instilled.
Colorado vs Colorado State, 11am CST, FSN:
State started out last year 4-1, including a win over the Buffs, but a second half collapse against Air Force spiraled the season into oblivion as they lost every remaining game on the schedule. They return 18 starters this year, and should be much improved. Meanwhile, year two of the Dan Hawkins Experience gets underway for Colorado, and despite a miserable 2-10 finish last year they return 16 starters and should be better accustomed to Hawkins's schemes. I'm going to go with State on this one, though, if only because I want to see these young ladies happy:
Update [2007-9-1 12:32:38 by Todd]:
Okay, it looks like the increased traffic across the network is giving us some site problems, but hopefully they'll get things handled. In the meantime, some thoughts:
* Man, the Blazer front seven can't tackle. This is going to get ugly.
* Seriously, there was another broken tackle in the backfield that went for a first down for the Spartans. WTF?
* MSU just scored again, making it 21-0 in the 1st. This game is going to be a bloodletting.
* Yeah, this is ugly, I'm turning it off.
* Just saw a 42-3 score creep across the bottom of the VT-ECU game. There's no way I'm going back to ESPN2 until that bloodbath is over.
Virginia Tech vs ECU:
* The Pirates are making quite a game of this one, so far, but I imagine the talent differential will rear it's ugly head by the end of the first half.
* ECU came to play, man. They just went up 7-3.
* Look at that, Tech pins the Pirates deep and scores on an INT. Now that's Hokie football.
* Wait, it's being reviewed.
* Nevermind, the TD stands, VT 10 - ECU 7
* ECU is gashing the Hokies on the ground, this could be a problem for them next week against LSU.
Colorado vs Colorado State:
* The Rams just tied it up, and so far this is the more entertaining game.
* Buffs just scored, and both these teams are putting on offensive clinics. Cody Hawkins looks like he earned the starting job on merits beyond his last name.
* The QBs in this game are a combined 12-12. This might come down to who scores last.
* Finally, a defensive stop, but the Rams go for it on 4th and get a TD. This is by far the most entertaining game I'm watching.
* Botched snap for Colorado and State has recovered! The first real mistake of the game, this could be huge fro the Rams.
* Well, a couple of stops on defense, and now the Rams are getting it back with 3:09 left in the first half.
* Colorado got a stop and they'll get the ball back in pretty good field position to try and go ahead before the half.
* Hawkins is sacked, so they had to spike the ball to bring up 3rd and 16 with :18 left.
* Wide open man on the sideline, the Buffs are down to the 20 and in FG range.
* Hawkins has to throw it away, so they kicked the FG to go into the locker room 17-14.
Florida is about to kick off, so if the site stays up now, I'll be commenting on it in the gray box above as well.
Amusing WR names:
UAB - Mike Jones
Colorado State - Johnny Walker:
Holy crap, Appy State has it tied up at Michigan 14-14! I can't wait to see the meltdown among the Wolverine Bloggers over this!
I just saw Appy State is up 21-14! Oh man, I hope they pull this one off!
Appy State is up 28-14! Oh man, I wish that game was on TV!
The Wolverines just kicked a FG, and it looks like they'll go into the half at 28-17. Everyone is at the half, except Florida and WKU, so I'm taking a break. I'll be back shortly, though.
Update [2007-9-1 14:3:43 by Todd]:
Allright, I'm back, and just a few thoughts on what I've seen:
* Is it just me, or does Florida look a little sluggish? I haven't been paying much attention to that game, but what little I've seen I wasn't terribly impressed with, and think an SEC caliber D would be containing them pretty well right now.
* Va Tech and ECU are back on, and the Pirates just forced a fumble to get the ball back and prevent a score (Hokies were in the Red Zone). I'm very impressed with ECU right now.
* Instead of keeping comments to each game in a quote block like above, just keep scrolling down and I'll keep up the liveblog like this.
* Hey hey! UAB just got a safety on the Spartans to pull within 40! They are totally in this.
* Colorado State just scored again to go up 21-17. Is there offense this good, or is Colorado's D that bad? The Rams are running all over them and they just got burned deep on that TD pass. The Buffs could get raped next week at Arizona State.
* Rams just did a trick kickoff and recovered! I love these guys...
* TOUCHDOWN COLORADO STATE! Also, there are some hot chicks up there. Anyway, this Kyle Bell kid is a great power back. They need to be watching the Cal-UT game tonight to see how well Cal defends the run for next week's game, that could be another shootout.
* Man, Va Tech, WTF? Their offense is pitiful! ECU is getting great pressure on Glennon and they can't run the ball. They'll have to win with Beamer Ball if they want to escape this one.
* Colorado got into FG range but missed the attempt. Go Rams!
* Michigan and App State have traded FGs, so it's 31-20 right now! The Eers dropped a TD pass, though, and they are going up and down the field on Michigan. This is not good for them.
* Tech finally got some protection for Glennon and he hit his TE for a score. Maybe they'll get things going now?
* Colorado has a pretty good drive going, converting two 3rd and longs, and the State defense is playing way too soft right now. Hawkins is looking good when he has time.
* Touchdown Buffalos. It's 28-25 with the 2 point conversion, let's see if State can recover from that last three and out and move the ball.
* Just flipped back to Florida/WKU, and they gave up a FG and haven't scored again. They aren't clicking at all right now, next week versus Troy could be rough (also, if Troy were to knock of both Arkansas and Florida in the first two weeks of the season, would they get Boise hype?)
* ARRGH! Appy State fumbled on their own 32 and Michigan is at 2nd and 5 on the App State 10.
* Michigan scored but failed on the 2 point conversion, so it's 31-26 right now. Come on Appy State...
* Colorado had State at 3rd and 15, but they just converted. They're having some good shots downfield, though they just missed on an open man. Keep airing it out.
* 4th and a foot for the Rams, they're going for it...
* Damn it! Stopped in the backfield, the Buffs have the ball at midfield. NOT GOOD.
* YES YES YES YES!!!!! BUFFS TRY THE FLEA FLICKER AND IT'S PICKED OFF! RAMS BALL!!!!!
* Man, the Rams are missing some wide open men downfield! And now the sack, they need to convert here and keep this clock running.
* GARRRR!!!! Another miss downfield to a wide open man, 4th and 18 and they'll have to punt it away with 10:49 left in the game.
* And now Michigan has the ball back on the App State 34. My upsets! My beautiful upsets! Why must you fail me now?!
* Appy State just picked off Michigan and returned it to close to midfield. UPSET BABY COME ONE!!!
* Three and out, Michigan has the ball back on their own 23.
* CSU got a stop, but they roughed the effing kicker (blatantly, too), so Colorado gets a first down. 8:27 to go, let's get another stop Rams!
* ECU just turned it over on downs, so unless there's a crazy turnover, Va Tech will win 17-7. The Pirates stood up, though, I'm really impressed with them. They get North Carolina at home next week, they could win that one.
* Colorado State got a stop, and they're trying to run the clock down right now. 5ish minutes left, 3rd and 6 on their own 30.
* Rams had to take a TO to keep from getting a delay of game.
* Michigan just turned the ball over on downs! Appy State has the ball on their own 33 with 6:55 to go! Oh crap, I might have a heart attack over this one.
* Colorado State just converted, they're running the clock out. 4ish minutes left.
* Michigan got a stop, Appy State is punting. Michigan has it on their own 46 with 4:51 left.
* Colorado State is punting, too. DAMN IT! Buffs bring it back to the Ram 34.
* Mike Hart just broke off a 54 yarder to put Michigan up 32-31.
* Buffs are going for it on 4th and 5 instead of going for the tie....
* Nevermind, they were just trying to draw them offsides. Kicker is out on the field...
* Michigan just picked off Appy State, they're just going to run the clock down. Damn it.
* Buffs went for it after all and failed, but State got pass interference. Good call, but it sucks for the Rams.
* Buffs are 3rd and 1 with 22 seconds left on the 11. They just used their last TO.
* State tipped the pass, it's 4th and 1, they just kicked the FG to tie it. Overtime.
* Michigan missed a FG, so it's still 32-31 and Appy State has the ball on their own 44 with 1:37 left....
* APPY STATE IS ON THE MICHIGAN 5!!! 44 SECONDS LEFT!
* 34-32 APP STATE!!! 26 SECONDS LEFT!
* Colorado/CSU Overtime. State gets the ball first, they 3rd and goal at the 9. BUFFS PICK IT OFF, ALL THEY NEED IS A FG TO WIN.
* 46 yard pass for Michigan, they are on the App State 20 with 6 seconds...
* THEY MISSED!!!! APPSTATE WINS!
* Well, elation tempered by Colorado's OT win over State. Oh well, that was a great game.
UP NEXT (picks in bold)
UCLA at Stanford (FSN)
Wake at Boston College (ESPN)
Mizzou vs Illinois (ESPN2)
Memphis vs Ole Miss (CSS)
Wisconsin vs Washington State
GT at Notre Dame
I'm going to take a break from the live blogging early in the games, but I'll be back shortly.
Update [2007-9-1 16:47:35 by Todd]:
And I'm back.
* Memphis is doing their best to lose. Boneheaded turnovers, a missed FG, and now they just had a punt blocked (looking at that punting formation, it's no wonder either) and returned for a TD.
* ND and GT is looking about like I was expecting. Tech's D is too much for them, and the Tech O is lackluster at best.
* I'm a little shocked at the Wisco/WSU score. The Badgers should be up by 14, not tied at it.
* Man, Memphis is GIVING this away. Second score for the Rebs off of a Tiger mistake. Ole Miss missed the PAT, though, so there is that, which is nice.
* Just cooked up a batch of these, and they are good.
* I'm going to go ahead and say that the Michigan loss is the fault of the bad karma earned by the M Zone for making fun of that nice Miss Teen South Carolina. Yes, they did in fact find Michigan, but more importantly, they found the Big House End Zone OVER AND OVER. Some early reactions:
Block U: Michigan stunned in biggest upset in college football history
EDSBS: HOT HOT HOT! APPALACHIAN STATE 34, MICHIGAN 32.
SMQ: Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32, or HOT! HOT! HOT!
"The upset of the year!" suggests one of my friends on the phone. "This reminds me of Miami Ohio's upset over LSU in 1986," texts another. No. No. They lack understanding. A I-AA team beat Michigan. This shakes the foundation of my comprehension of the world to such a vastly greater extent than any upset, sighting, conspiracy theory, apparition, miracle or act of nature I could possibly cite. This is frogs raining from heaven. This is physically impossible.
Yahoo! Sports: 2nd-tier Appalachian State stuns No. 5 Michigan 34-32
Appalachian State's win does seem to pass the one second-tier programs used to regard as their crowning achievement -- The Citadel's season-opening win in 1992 over Arkansas that led to the firing of Razorbacks coach Jack Crowe following the game.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr will not get fired after this upset, but he might've wished he retired after last season when the Wolverines won 11 games and played in the Rose Bowl.
* Quick bit of advice: Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno=Awesome. 10 Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos in rapid succession=Lengthy trip to the bathroom.
* Wake and BC are keeping it close (BC just went up 28-21), but everything else on right now is a snoozefest. The Girl is on her way over to hang out and watch the Alabama game, so I'm done for today. We'll be back tomorrow with a rundown of the Tide and a wrap up of the rest of the weekend's action.