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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Week 1

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The wild, wacky, and wonderful world of College Football!

I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!
I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Wow, what a way to kickoff the 2016 College Football Season. We should've done this a long time ago. Too bad the Big Ten couldn't join in. Oh, but they play a nine game conference schedule, so that is just as good.

Although preseason rankings are a total crapshoot, we'll indulge you with the Top 10:

  1. Alabama - Big win over #20/17 Southern Cal
  2. Clemson - Close win over unranked Auburn
  3. Oklahoma - 10 point loss to mid-major Houston
  4. Florida State - Comeback win over #11/12 Ole Miss
  5. LSU - Close loss to unranked Wisconsin
  6. Ohio State - Rout over poor little Bowling Green
  7. Michigan - Rout over even poorer littler Hawaii
  8. Stanford - Meh win over Kansas State
  9. Tennessee - Close win over Appy State
  10. Notre Dame - Overtime loss to unranked Texas

Alabama and FSU are the only teams from taht bunch that really shined.

Alabama 52 Southern Cal 6

The Crimson Tide still has some kinks to work out but those are #AlabamaProblems. The big news was that true freshman Jalen Hurts looks as good as advertised. Lost in Hurts' coming up party was RS freshman Blake Barnett's effectiveness once he reentered the game. He finished 5/6 for 100 yds and a TD with no turnovers.

fsu om

Florida State 45 Ole Miss 34

The Rebels went up 28-6 late in the second quarter and decided to start thinking about Alabama. The Seminoles would score the next 33 points. FSU true freshman QB Deondre Francois looked nervous on the big stage in the first half but after he settled in, he finished with 419 passing yards and 59 on the ground.

The Florida State bounce back may have had something to do with the gruesome knee injury to the Rebels' best cover man Kendarius Webster.

Chad Kelly brought back memories of Bo Wallace with his Jekyll and Hyde act, passing four touchdowns but also having three interceptions and a fumble. He even had a flukey tipped touchdown pass.

FSU's Dalvin Cook had 91 yards rushing and 101 receiving but did not score.

Wisconsin 16 LSU 14

Ugliness abounded in Green Bay. To the shock of nobody outside of the little strange world that Les Miles lives in, Tigers quarterback Brandon Harris is no better than he was last season or the season before. The junior was 12 of 21 for a measly 131 yards 1 TD (the only touchdown produced by the offense) and two big interceptions. Leonard Fournette could not find the end zone despite running 23 times for 138 yards with three catches for 38 yards. Back-up RB Derrius Guice was no help, gaining only three yards on two carries with a lost fumble.

An LSU fan has launched a Go Fund Me campaign in hopes of raising enough money to help University buy out the remainder of Miles’ contract.

Clemson 19 Auburn 13

You have to hand it to Auburn: this was a closer game than most people thought it would be. Kevin Steele's defense played pretty well slowing Heisman candidate Deshaun Watson. The real question is what was Gustavo Malzahn doing on offense trying to implement a three quarterback willy-nilly rotation? Sean White started and got most of the snaps but both Jeremy Johnson and John Franklin III subbed in, sometimes in the middle of drives. Johnson and Franklin also saw time at wide receiver. In addition, fullback Chandler Cox and running back Kerryon Johnson both took snaps in wildcat packages.

Despite having only three first downs on 37 total yards at halftime, Malzahn stuck with his plan to poor effect. Auburn finished with only 87 rushing yards and 175 through the air. They did not find the end zone until 3:22 remained on the clock. Gus is supposed to be some kind of offensive genius but on Saturday, he looked lost and desperate.

Dabo Swinney brought in an uninspired team. Perhaps it was overconfidence or maybe it was a hangover from the championship game loss to Alabama. They seemed listless and looked very beatable. Swinney made an odd choice at the end of the game. On 4th and 4 on the Auburn 17, up 6 points with to 0:45 to play, Dabo chose to go for it instead of kicking a field goal that would have given them an insurmountable 9 point lead. If it was short yardage and has a small chance at getting blocked, I get it. But he ran a boring off-tackle play that gave Auburn the ball back with 40 ticks left. Auburn was able to get down to the Clemson 40 and took two shots at the end zone that both fell incomplete.

With a better Malzahn game plan, this might have been the upset of the weekend.

Texas A&M 31 UCLA 25 OT

Oklahoma grad-transfer Trevor Knight threw for 239 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores but was only 22 of 42 with a pick. Trayveon Williams added 95 yards on the ground. The Aggies defense picked off UCLA golden boy Josh Rosen three times, had 5 sacks, 7 quarterback hurries, and generally frustrated him most of the day. A&M played a good game against a ranked team and are 1-0. But haven't we seen this from Kevin Sumlin's teams before?

Georgia 33 North Carolina 24

Despite having a new head coach in Athens, it started to look like the same ol' Georgia. Just as they had so many times in big games under Mark Richt, the Dawgs held a lead at halftime only to see the opponent come out and sock them in the jaw. UNC's T.J. Logan opened the second half by returning the kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. After a missed 42 yard field goal by UGA, the Heels scored another TD on the next drive to go up 24-14. Audible groans of "here we go again" could be heard from Sanford Stadium until Kirby Smart kicked his team in the pants and Georgia reeled off the next 19 points. Nick Chubb was the workhorse running 32 times for 222 yards and two scores. True freshmen/messiah Jacob Eason was adequate, passing 8 of 12 for 131 yards and a TD. Incumbent QB Greyson Lambert wasn't bad (5/8-54-0-0) but the team seemed to respond better to Eason.

Houston 33 Oklahoma 23

Do you think this is what Bob Stoops was expecting when he first scheduled this game?

The good news is Big Game Bob blows another big game. The bad news is now we are going to have to hear about how the Cougs should be in the playoffs for the next three months. With that schedule, no they do not. It is a cakewalk until a November 17 game with Louisville. Yes, Louisville. That is their second hardest game.

Texas 50 Notre Dame 47 - 2 OT

Not sure if you heard, but Texas is back! After one WIN! Amazing! The way they celebrated you would've thought they won the Super Bowl and the Mega Millions Lottery while curing cancer and landing a man on Mars. The Longhorns are lucky they have UTEP this week, because that scene was a little over the top. I know what you're going to say: they're kids, let them have fun. That is great but if the ultimate goal is the big golden beer tap trophy then they need to refocus ASAP. Maybe I am too much of a Sabanite but I thought the way the team treated Charlie Strong post-game seemed a little disrespectful. Now get off my lawn.

slow clap

Michigan 63 Hawaii 3 - The Rainbow Warriors flew across the Pacific Ocean to play Cal in Sydney, Australia. They flew back to Hawaii and then on to Ann Arbor, Michigan nine times zones away for the honor of having Harbaugh run up the score on them. Well at least the Wolverines have big bad UCF and Colorado coming up. St. Mary's A&M Tech must have had a scheduling conflict.
Michigan State 28 Furman 13 - A pretty blah performance from a team that was in last year's playoffs. The Spartans led just 21-13 early in the fourth and didn't put the game away until scoring a TD with 4:55 left.
Ohio State 77 Bowling Green 10 - J.T. Barrett blah, blah, blah.
Baylor 55 Northwestern State 7 - The feel-bad story of the year.
Louisville
70 Charlotte 14 - Petrino running up the score? What a shock. 
Oregon
53 UC Davis 28 - The Ducks were not expecting to play their starters most of the way but that is what happened as the Aggies (who knew?) made it tough on Ugly Uniforms U. for awhile.

SEC:

Tennessee 20 Appalachian State 13 OT

Me: The Vols almost lost to Appy State. They shoulda lost to Appy State
Smokey: But Appy is a good team!
Me: No, they are an okay team. Scrappy, undersized, but they are not among the elite.
Smokey: But they ran the triple option!
Me: And you had all summer to prepare for that.
Smokey: Jalen Hurd ran for 110!
Me: On 28 carries. That is 3.9 yards per carry.
Smokey: But we won it in overtime! That takes heart.
Me: No, it took a lot of luck. Joshua Dobbs dove for the end zone, extending the ball - on a third down play - and fumbled. The ball was recovered by Hurd but could have just as easily been recovered by a Mountaineer. Right place, right time.
Smokey: We'll be okay.
Me: No. No, you won't.

Arkansas 21 Louisiana Tech 20 - I wonder if Austin Allen got the starting quarterback job because Arky already had a jersey with "ALLEN" on the back and didn't want to go through the trouble of changing it. Brandon Allen's kid brother was rather pedestrian (20/29-191-2-2). But, hey! This is the kind of game Bert would've lost in the past. The Hogs had to comeback with a 4th quarter touchdown to take the lead for good.
Florida 24 UMass 7 - The mighty Gators struggled against a school better known for being the college of Dr. J. This was a 10-7 game entering the fourth quarter. The traitorous Eddy Pineiro kicked field goals of 40, 49. and 48.
West Virginia 26 Missouri 11 - Nothing to see here. Move along.
South Carolina 13 Vanderbilt 10 - Vandy had this game for three quarters and then gave up 10 fourth quarter points to the Gamecocks. The difference in the game was a Tiffin-esque 55-yard field goal with 35 seconds left by SC's All-SEC kicker Elliott Fry.

embarrassed

South Alabama 21 Mississippi State 20 - Good for Joey and the Jags but come on, Mullen! Seriously?
Southern Mississippi 44 Kentucky 35 - When does basketball season start?

Army 28 Temple 13

Navy 52 Fordham 16
Air Force 37 Abilene Christian 21

cupcake

CUPCAKES REIGN SUPREME!

Richmond 37 Virginia 20 - Bronco Mendenhall left BYU for this?!
Northern Iowa 25 Iowa State 20 - The Panthers beat the Cyclones in basketball last December too. There is something to be said for not playing the little guy in your state.
Eastern Washington 45 Washington State 42 - On a related note... this might be the beginning of the end for Wazzu coach Mike Leach.
Western Michigan 22 Northwestern 21 - BIG TEN, WOO!

~~~~~

alabama helmet

BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Southern Cal (0-1) How many times have we seen teams crumble after a loss to Bama. Hopefully, the Trojans can right the ship. Up next, Utah State and then a trip to Stanford.
WKU (1-0) The Hilltoppers stomped Rice 46-14.
Kent State (0-1) The Golden Flashes were down 16-13 to Penn State but forgot the playbook in the second half 33-13.
Chattanooga (1-0) 66-0 over something called Shorter.
Clanga-Clang (0-1) Seriously???

~~~~~

ELIMINATED:

All non-Power 5 teams - Okay, this might bother some of you but beating Oklahoma and then playing the rest of that LAME schedule is not good enough for Houston to get into the playoffs. If you want to play with the big boys, schedule like the big boys. You are not allowed to schedule Lamar and Texas State. Up next for Houston: Lamar!
WAKE FOREST – Yes, they won but it was a 7-3 home win over Tulane. Get real.
BOSTON COLLEGE - lost to Ga Tech
VIRGINIA - lost to Richmond.
IOWA STATE - lost to UNI.
NORTHWESTERN - Lost to WMU.
OREGON STATE - Lost to Minnesota.
WAZZU - lost to EKU.
KENTUCKY - lost to USM.
VANDERBILT - lost to SC.
MIZZOU - lost to WVU.
CLANGA CLANG - lost to USA.

boxers

THE CONTENDERS

A way WAY too early look at the playoff picture:

  • ACC - Clemson and FSU look beatable. I am not sure if either can afford a loss.
  • Big Ten - Who knows what is going on here as the power teams of this conference work their way through exhibition season. In two weeks, Ohio State plays Oklahoma and Michigan State plays Notre Dame. Iowa and Michigan have lame non-conference slates. Wisconsin plays the above four in consecutive games.
  • Big 12 - A devastating loss for Oklahoma puts them on thin ice. TCU, the team the conference did not want for years, might be the last hope.
  • PAC-12 - Stanford looks like the class of the conference. Oregon will eventually lose. I am not buying into the Washington hype. UCLA and So Cal need to win out.
  • SEC - And just like that, it's looking like Alabama in the SEC. Florida and Tennessee had weak wins. Texas A&M had a nice victory, but will it last? UGA has a new coach but the players are the same. Ole Miss would need to win out.
  • Notre Dame - It is gonna be a tough row to hoe for the Irish. One more loss likely eliminates them.

~~~~~

Kristi_malzahn_says_shut_up_medium

Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to hubbie Gustavo. What were you doing? You could've won that game if you weren't so bullheaded. Now go clean out the garage!

~~~~~

Sad_face_medium

  • Alabama WR Cam Sims left the game with his arm in a sling but it is not serious. He has a bruised shoulder and could be questionable for Western Kentucky. Defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson missed some time on the field with an undisclosed complication but eventually made it back into the game.
  • Ole Miss may be without the service of CB Kendarius Webster and RB Eric Swinney both of whom left the FSU game in the first half because of knee injuries. Webster's injury occurred early in the first quarter. Swinney's came on his first carry of the game.
  • Wisconsin lost LB Chris Orr for the season with ACL injury.
  • Houston quarterback Greg Ward had an MRI on his throwing shoulder that showed "no structural damage."
  • Florida WR Dre Massey, who injured his knee on the opening kickoff against UMass, will miss the rest of the season.
  • Arkansas DB Kevin Richardson is out for the year with torn pectoral.
  • Malzahn has reinstated junior defensive back Stephen Roberts following a one-game suspension, for an August 24 arrest on misdemeanor charges of carrying an unlicensed firearm and attempting to evade arrest.

~~~~~

ADOPT-A-TEAM

Last season, we adopted a few teams that did pretty well. For three of them, we were a bit of a good luck charm as they had outstanding seasons.

  • South Alabama had a rough go at it losing their last three and winding up with a 5-7 record.
  • Navy had one of their best seasons in decades finishing 11-2 with a No. 18 ranking.
  • We also followed Toledo due to former Bama QB Phillip Ely who had transferred to play with the Rockets. He led them to 10-2. It would've been 11-2 if not for a game with Stony Brook that was canceled due to weather.
  • Finally, there was Memphis who also had a big year which included knocking Ole Miss off their pedestal. The Tigers started 8-0 but then ran into Navy, Houston and Temple. A loss to Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl sent them to 9-4.

* It is time to choose a new team to adopt. Please leave your suggestions in comments. We have already chosen one of them: the North Texas Mean Green due to their starting QB Alec Morris.

  • SMU 34 North Texas 21 - Morris put up big numbers but too many big numbers. He was 24 of 39 for 237 yards with 2 TD, but was picked off three times. His teammates were of little help as the defense gave up 572 yards.

tiny football

STAT OF THE DAY

Florida State had 15 penalties for 127 yards and defeated #11 Ole Miss. Virginia had 0 penalties and lost to FCS Richmond 37-20. The Spiders had 8 for 70 yards.

KEY & PEELE PLAYER NAME OF THE WEEK

Hawaii running back Diocemy Saint Juste.

LET'S GO BOWLING!

Including the National Championship Game, there will be 41 games involving 80 teams. This number represents 63% of the FBS.

Gump 4 Heisman

HEISMAN HYPE
With the exception of TWO YEARS, the Heisman Trophy voting is basically a hype award. That being the case, we'll bring you "Who Will Win" and "Who Should Win".

  • Who Will Win - There are a lot of familiar names on the list. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is back, as is Stanford golden boy Christian McCaffrey. Some folks were touting Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield but that isn't looking so good now. FSU's Dalvin Cook and LSU's Leonard Fournette should be in the running.
  • Who Should Win - Way too early to make a stab at it but it's Jalen Hurts, right?!

Black_white_tv_salesman_medium

After last week's amazing opening weekend, the second Saturday is a bit of a letdown. But we are still gonna watch, right? As always, the below is a partial list. I am not going to bore you with Howard vs Rutgers.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Louisville at Syracuse 7pm/8pm, ESPN2 - Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll play basketball instead.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

SEC:

Nicholls State at Georgia 11am/noon, SECN- Go ahead. Sleep in.
Prairie View A&M at Texas A&M 11am/noon, SECN Alt- No really. You need your z's.
Kentucky at Florida 2:30pm/3:30pm, CBS - You're gonna be watching Bama-WKU.
Wofford at Ole Miss 3pm/4pm, SECN- See above.
Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt 3pm/4pm, SECN Alt- When was your last oil change?
South Carolina at Mississippi State 6pm/7pmM, ESPN2 - Get that lawn mowed.
Arkansas at TCU 6pm/7pm, ESPN ESPN - This could get ugly.
Arkansas State at Auburn 6:30/7:30, SECN- Remember Dee Liner? He'll be wearing #25 for the Red Wolves.
Jacksonville State at LSU 6:30/7:30, ESPNU - Jax put a real scare into Auburn last year.
Eastern Michigan at Missouri 6:30/7:30, SECN Alt- I'd rather watch the WNBA. Not really.
Virginia Tech at Tennessee 7pm/8pm, ABCABC- Played at Bristol Motor Speedway for some reason.

DURING COMMERCIALS:

Penn State at Pittsburgh 11am/noon ESPNESPN - A historic series is renewed after 16 years in cold storage.
FAU at Miami 6pm/7pm, local TV - I just wanted to see the letters "FAU".
Georgia Southern at South Alabama 7pm/8pm espn3 – Can USA keep this train a-rollin'?
BYU at Utah 7:30/8:30 FOX FOX wordmark.svg – Mormons versus lesser Mormons.
New Mexico at New Mexico State 8pm/9pm espn3 - THE BATTLE FOR THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT STATE IS ON!!!

(Everything else is cupcake city; Not worth mentioning.)

CAN'T SLEEP?

Grambling State at Arizona 9:45 PM/10:45 PM PAC12 - Former Ole Miss QB DeVante Kincade is calling the signals for the Tigers.
Tennessee-Martin at Hawaii 10:59pm/11:59pm Alohavision - What is Hawaiian for "nite-nite"?

alabama logo script a 100x100

#ALABAMA


Western Kentucky
at ALABAMA 2:30pm/3:30pm, ESPN2 -  WKU quarterback Mike White completed 25 of 31 passes for 517 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1.

#RollTide!