Not too many “BIG” games happening this week and the media was sure to let us know about it. Heck, ESPN’s Game Day went to Fargo, North Dakota, because of the lack of “BIG” games to go to. It was nice seeing them there just to give the “little” guys a shout out. We have had some great FCS wins over FBS programs this season and in previous seasons. Everyone’s favorite probably still is Appalachian State over Michigan. I enjoy a good upset like that, but none of us enjoy an upset like that if it is our team. Let’s get into some news, scores and thoughts from this past week of action:
1. Alabama did not look like the No. 1 team in the nation at times, while they put away Colorado State 31-6. Maybe all of the talk about Nick Saban going to Texas was in their head? Every week Alabama has shown points of weakness and top teams like Oregon and Ohio State will need to take note, in case they meet up in Pasadena.
Florida cannot catch a break when it comes to offense. Jeff Driskel went out with a broken leg and will be out the rest of the season, but backup Tyler Murphy stepped in to finally get the offense moving . . . without any turnovers. Florida won it’s 9th straight over rival Tennessee, winning 31-17. Should be interesting to see where the rest of the season goes for Florida after the major quarterback change.
Georgia let North Texas make it a ball game before the Dawgs put it away, 45-21. Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs are looking to get back onto the national title scene after losing to Clemson, but performances like that – against inferior talent — will make the voters look elsewhere.
The Tiger Bowl down in Death Valley started out with much hype . . . but then the rain and the LSU running game shut down Auburn and notched another big win for Les Miles, 35-21. The defense made sure Gus Malzahn’s hurry-up spread offense did not get much going for most of the night. LSU still has ‘Bama on their minds and will get their shot soon enough.
Most of the SEC took care of business, but as the weeks go on it seems the “Mighty” SEC is starting to show signs of weakness. It is still early in the season, but if those things do not get fixed, the SEC will not be repeating as champs again.
2. The ACC is still looking strong, as their top teams continue to put up points by the dozens. Clemson struggled at first but eventually put away upset-minded North Carolina State, 26-14. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd let the Heisman butterflies get to him in the beginning but eventually got it going.
Clemson’s main challenger, FSU, had another career day for lighting up the score board. The Seminoles have managed to put up over 50 points in each of their last 2 games as the Jamies Winston-hype continues. It is going to be a shoot-out when Clemson and FSU meet later on.
Virginia Tech used to be a solid rock in the ACC, but another shaky performance vs. a lesser opponent puts their season in doubt. It took them 3-overtimes to beat Marshall 29-21. It even took a Marshall drop on 4th down to secure the win. Beamer Ball is getting it’s struggle on right now but still has time to get things fixed before ACC play begins.
Miami is also quietly making noise and after a 77-7 drubbing of Savannah State, they are putting the ACC on notice. Miami and Savannah State even agreed to a 12 minute quarter after the beat down got out of hand. Pitt beat Duke 58-55, letting everyone else know they can score points too. Maryland also seems to be righting the ship compared to last season, as they shutout West Virginia, 37-0. They also put on display some cool new uniforms. Any thoughts from the Oregon faithful on their new threads? Maryland has become the de facto east coast version of Oregon, when it comes to ‘bleeding-edge’ uniforms. Georgia Tech rallied to beat North Carolina, 28-20, and told everyone to not forget about them in the ACC race, while Syracuse, Wake Forest, and Virginia played and won SEC-like pre-season cupcakes before they hit their conference schedule.
The ACC has a real chance this year to get back into the national spot light after posting some big wins. They even have a chance to have one or two national title contenders, if the pieces fall into place. Look for Clemson, FSU and Miami, to be the ones to carry the ACC banner this year.
3. After a poor showing last week, Teddy Bridgewater brought his “A” game, and Louisville thumped FIU, 72-0. It’s FIU, so that is not saying a lot. Louisville is just trying to get as far ahead as possible in the rankings before the first BCS release. They are going to need all the help they can get after playing their weak ooc schedule in a weak conference.
Rutgers did help their conferences cause today by beating SEC foe Arkansas, 28-24. Houston won 31-26 over Rice, to remain undefeated and give hope that they will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
4. Quarterback controversy? Ohio State’s Kenny Guiton threw 6 first-half touchdown passes to put the game far out of reach before it even began. Ohio State’s defense and offense showed up in their 76-0 win over FAMU. Right now, the Buck’s are the only consistent team in the B1G Conference.
Nebraska, Penn State, and Wisconsin rebounded nicely after heart-breaking losses last week, while Michigan State could not put away Notre Dame, and fell 17-13. Michigan saved the conference some embarrassment, slipping by UCONN, 24-21.
The B1G has been terribly inconsistent this year. The only team really standing out above them all is Ohio State. They have put the nation on notice that they are going to score points and they are going to do it fast. As conference play begins for OSU, we will see if they are contenders or pretenders, but they do not have anything to worry about even with Miller out and Guiton in, leading the Buckeye offense. Here is a clip of him last season, showing ice water in the veins, while filling in for an injured Braxton Miller and preserving Ohio State’s perfect season.
5. Only two things we can take from watching the BIG-12 this week. First, Baylor is going to score points. A LOT of them. Baylor has turned the corner from being BIG-12 bottom dwellers to BIG-12 contender. Art Briles should be given a medal of honor for what he has done there the past few years. Second, Texas fans think they are headed in the right direction after a win over Kansas State. Sorry to break it to you Texas fans; Kansas State lost to North Dakota State, so winning this game still does not say much. Are you all crossing your fingers the Nick Saban talk is true? Texas is a nice set up, but he is not coming. Look for Baylor to be a dark horse team to win the BIG-12 outside of the usual Oklahoma schools. The BIG-12 race is wide open and could be an exciting finish.
6. The PAC-12’s top team, Oregon, was off this week, but Stanford managed to keep the PAC-12 reputation in the spotlight by hammering Arizona State, 42-28. USC squeaked by Utah State, 17-14. Lane Kiffin better update his resume because his coaching seat is ON FIRE. Oregon State saved itself from another humiliating loss by rallying to beat San Diego State, 34-30. I think the rest of the PAC-12 should take note that Washington man-handled Idaho State, 56-0, and looks to be the real deal this year. We will know how real Washington is when they face Stanford and Oregon in consecutive weeks. Don’t sleep on the Huskies to be a dark horse in the PAC-12 race. The PAC-12 is definitely showing the nation they can be the best conference this year as teams like Oregon, Stanford, Washington and UCLA dominate on a weekly basis.
7. BCS BUSTER NEWS: Fresno State knocked off Boise State, 41-40, in dramatic fashion to keep it’s BCS dreams alive. Fresno State looks good on offense, while Boise State looks lost at times. Boise State is used to dominating their schedule but they have too many questions on offense this year to keep that consistency alive. Look for Fresno’s Derek Carr to lead his team to the BCS and crash the party.
So what does this week of action mean? To Oregon fans, it looks like a few teams showed they might be able to keep up the “point-a-minute” scoring party. The SEC still has some patches to fix up before the top-ranked teams get deeper into conference play. The B1G just wants a team other than Ohio State to stand out and move up in the ranks. The ACC seems to have the best resume with 5 teams undefeated. I think Braxton Miller is last on everyone’s Heisman list after sitting out this past game. Bridgewater threw his name back in the ring with a stand out performance but needs the rest of the conference to win out until they play them every week in order to impress the voters.
While most fans paid attention to the action on the field, they were missing a quiet protest from the NCAA athletes. Many players all over the country were seen wearing gear marked “APU.” All Players United. NCAA players want the NCAA to do a better job of looking out for their well being. As time goes on, the NCAA is slowly being backed into a corner over issues like this, along with pay for players, punishing only certain schools, etc. We just went through conference realignment, are we about to see a change in the NCAA and how they handle “business?” The NCAA had better step up now and become pro-active for the athletes it governs, before they get blind-sided by any more legal issues.
Going to be some big games this coming week. So glad the season is here – it is going to be one to remember. I still think we might have a log jam of undefeated teams come seasons end. The playoffs in 2014 can not get here soon enough. Anyone else hoping the season ends in an Oregon vs Alabama title game? That will be the ultimate game on which to end the BCS.
1. College football mailbag
2. San Jose State still has fight left in them
3. NCAA prostitutes
4. Murphy’s Law in effect
5. UCLA honors teammate