I tried not to let injuries shade too much of my thinking about this week’s results, but that’s really hard when half of the Top 25 cleared the bench against cupcakes to prevent injuries and then disaster befell the other half: FSU loses its starting QB, UGA is down Eason for a trip to South Bend, Alabama loses its linebacking corps, Auburn’s loss of Kerryon Johnson, etc.
Also, since we are finally gathering data points and questioning assumptions, these will shuffle a great deal, particularly over the early part of the season.
Week 2 blogpoll.csv
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||1|
|2||Ohio State Buckeyes||2|
|3||Oklahoma State Cowboys||5|
|5||Penn State Nittany Lions||9|
|7||Florida State Seminoles||3|
|16||Virginia Tech Hokies||21|
|18||Washington State Cougars||18|
|19||Boise State Broncos||22|
|20||West Virginia Mountaineers||16|
|24||TCU Horned Frogs||25|
|25||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||19|
|Texas Tech Red Raiders|
|Arkansas State Red Wolves|
Show me? You did: Michigan and Georgia looked alternately great and terrible on Saturday. The upside for the Wolverines is that Florida is the best secondary they’ll face all season. Blue were dominant in the trenches, both running and stopping the run. Suspensions had nothing to do with Florida getting its ass kicked up front. Stanford just plain played great. Sure, it was Rice, but on a weekend where a lot of teams looked unprepared and out of sorts, the Trees looked like October Stanford.
Something was just off: Auburn, Louisville, Washington, USC, Wisconsin were all missing something Saturday. For the Tigers, it’s a quarterback-receiver tandem; for the Huskies it was an offense generally; for the Trojans, it was competence and a secondary; for the Cardinals it was a functional offensive line, basic preparation, and motivation; for Wisconsin, it was decent playcalling and give-a-damn. You all get punished accordingly. Let me go on record, though, and tell you that I do not and have never bought into USC, Auburn, or Louisville. I still don’t, and nothing I saw Saturday from those three convinced me my reservations are misplaced.
Great teams, but you’re going to need to pass at some point: Alabama, Ohio State -- you are who we thought you were.
Did what you needed to: The Oklahoma teams did exactly what they needed to, although the Pokes played a much stronger opener. Boise State had a tougher-than-it-looks opener: Troy and the Broncos are contenders for their conference, and the game was played that way. Wazzu earned a shutout, which is always a big deal in the PAC 12 generally, and for Mike Leach specifically. The offense needs to pick it up this week though when BSU comes to town.
Impressive in defeat: You suspected West Virginia and Va. Tech were going to play close. They did, and it was a barn-burner in the second half. The ‘Eers defense is the class of the Big 12, and Will Grier is the most competent QB they’ve had in Morgantown in years. You cannot say enough about Florida State. That team can win 10 games lining up and running it downhill the rest of the season.
You looked better than I thought you would: The same general comments relevant to Stanford apply here to Penn State and Clemson. The Tigers have a great system in place, and the defense is as-advertised. With Francois’ injury, the Tigers become the class of the ACC. Penn State has Saquon Barkley, a fun vertical passing offense, and a nasty defensive line. I still don’t trust the secondary, but for now I’ll buy in.
Pitiful: Florida, no. Just no. Texas A&M, I could write a dissertation on that shameful garbage you put out in the second half, but I’ll let Sumlin’s completely guaranteed contract be its own reward for you. USF played two patsies terribly and terribly closer than it should have been. In a league where Tulsa, Navy, Memphis, UCF etc. can score at will, struggling for quarters at a time is a formula for getting blown out in league play. For now, we’ll give the AAC nod to UCF, with Navy as the runner-up. You and Memphis go to your room and about what you’ve done.