Sunday, September 5, 2010

College Football: Week 1

For the most part, Week 1 went the way Week 1 is supposed to go: cupcakes got smashed. My teams did what they needed to do: A&M crushed Stephen F. Austin 48-7 (as broken down in Robert Cessna's ever-essential grading of the Aggies), Wisconsin went to UNLV and beat them 41-21 (which would have been more lopsided if not for some opening-night mistakes by the Badgers) and Tennessee walloped Tennessee-Martin by the extremely fake-sounding score of 50-0. Oh, and Minnesota defied my expectations and did not lose to Middle Tennessee State . . . although they were trailing MTSU as late as the fourth quarter.

Some cupcakes got smashed beyond all recognition, as in Oregon's 72-0 murder of New Mexico; some cupcakes got smashed not as much as expected--both texas and especially Oklahoma turned in surprisingly small margins of victory. This increases my suspicion that they haven't reloaded as easily as the pollsters think. Florida, which apparently looked clumsy and ridiculous against Miami Ohio, also falls into this category.
There were two embarrassing upsets, one funnier than the other. The unlikeable Houston Nutt and his Ole Miss Rebels got taken down in double overtime by Jacksonville State. The nice little story you'll find in the recaps of the game: Jacksonville State's head coach was ignominiously fired as head coach of Arkansas after losing his season opener to the Citadel, a I-AA team. Now, as the coach of FCS (ex-I-AA) Jacksonville State, he embarrassed somebody else in their opener! Aww. It's the circle of life.

A bigger downer is Kansas's loss to North Dakota State, 6-3. Leaving aside how it was Turner Gill's first game as head coach and how he seems like a very nice man who wants to run a nice program . . . what a horrible game that must have been to watch. Imagine being in the stands for three or four hours and not just watching your team lose to what should have been a far inferior opponent, but only seeing three field goals scored all game. Ugh. Well, I guess everybody in Lawrence can just go back to pretending football doesn't exist.

Meanwhile, some teams played real teams this weekend. Daring!

The Big East should maybe start scheduling themselves easier games on opening weekend. After all, it's hard to keep up the facade that you deserve an automatic BCS bid when you collectively lose to Utah, Fresno State, Kentucky, and Rich Rod's Michigan team, right off the bat. (Seriously, can somebody explain to me why the Big East is a BCS conference?)

LSU managed to barely beat a severely depleted UNC (as Pat Forde dubs them, the University of Non-Compliance), because, as always, Les Miles is a bad coach. Also, those of you who watched this game, who were you rooting for? I like an underdog (and dislike Les Miles), but UNC only was one because so many of their guys are apparently rule-breakers. I don't see the feel-good story here that I'm apparently supposed to.

TCU, getting their BCS-buster-bid off to a good start, beat Oregon State (and by doing so proved what good luck it is to have Lee Corso pick against you). This is bad news for Boise State's own BCS-buster-bid, since they also play Oregon State. When you're an outsider team, your few insider opponents need to have as much luster as possible.

Of course, the weekend isn't over yet. We still get to get a glimpse of whether Tommy Tuberville can mesh with Texas Tech's players at all. And of course, the biggest game of the week doesn't happen until tomorrow, when Boise State takes on Virginia Tech. Get--or, at least in my case, continue to be--excited!

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