College Football Proves Again,
The NFL Just Can’t Hang
Not to knock the NFL, but where is the parody? It seems like every week we are all waiting for a big upset and it just doesn’t happen. In College Football, there are upset specials every week. Just this week, there were at least seven with a good many more depending on who you talk to or what station you’re listening to.
The biggest surprise of them was the beat down that #12 LSU (now #25) took from the hands of then unranked Mississippi State. The Bayou Bengals had won 23 of the last 25 against MSST and the lone loss of Les Miles career to the Bulldogs came against the Dallas Cowboys starting QB. I said in my first article of the season that LSU was overrated and after this Saturday. I believe my point has been made.
Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold were considered to be the Co-Heisman Frontrunners before the season. Josh Rosen and UCLA went east to face Memphis and Rosen was outclassed by a team with what was supposed to be severely undermanned. The game was a shootout and while Rosen doesn’t lead the defense, his turnovers ultimately cost UCLA the game. Another ranked opponent facing a non-ranked team with a season halting loss.
Everyone wanted to relive the hype of the Rose Bowl between USC and Texas. Matt Leinhart and Vince Young are not at their respective schools but there was Sam Darnold. Why did the media portray this as such a big deal? My guess is because both teams have played mediocre games at best to begin the season. USC struggled with Western Michigan but had a good showing against Stanford (boy was I wrong about the Cardinal). Texas was beat by Maryland, who I thought only played lacrosse. Then Texas went and beat up on San Jose State. USC (if they were truly Playoff Contenders) should have beaten Texas and put the game away for good before the 4th quarter. However, it was Texas who took the lead with 45 seconds remaining. USC had to fight for its life to get the Field Goal just to send it into overtime.
There is no doubt in my mind that College Football is the “Great American Pastime”. With the gap closing between the talent at Power 5 and Non-Power 5 Conferences, you just can’t get games better than these. When is the last time an NFL game had over 100,000 fans in attendance? When is the last time you saw a game as good as Clemson vs. Alabama in the NFL? You just can’t get that on Sundays. Saturdays rule!
Feel Good Stories of the Week
Many teams returned to action this week in their respective stadiums after both Hurricane Harvey and Irma decimated the coasts and inland cities. Houston was able to resume its season at home and faced rival Rice this weekend. As a former Texan living just 15 minutes from U of H, I can tell you this game meant a lot to both sides. My first ever Collegiate Football Game was in the snow watching Houston take on Rice back in the mid 90’s. The passion there (even before Houston was any good) is hard to find amongst smaller schools.
Then you had the annual rivalry that included Tennessee and Florida. The Gators opened up at home against an SEC opponent for the first time. While Florida is still dealing with relief efforts and many were without power, several Tennessee football players became true Volunteers and helped out in any areas they could. Even the University got involved and loaned their Stadium Security Team to the Gators to allow their own Police Department some much need time off.
After knocking the NFL, I can’t go without giving them their dues. Of course, we all know what J.J Watt has done for relief efforts in Houston but the Miami Dolphins learned that a High School Football Team was stranded in Vegas and couldn’t get home. The Dolphins got together and helped get these kids back to their families.
Best Storylines of Week 3
Who in the heck could replace Deshaun Watson at QB and how in the world was Clemson going to stop Lamar Jackson? The first part of this question had been asked since Deshaun was drafted by the Houston Texans. Dabo Swinney kept pressing the media and ensured them that Kelly Bryant was “The Man”. After the Louisville game, Watson tweeted that Kelly Bryant will be better than him. That’s a very bold statement but the numbers indicate Bryant could have a season that compares to Watson statistically. As for stopping Lamar Jackson, that just couldn’t happen. The man is a magician and a freak of nature. Overall, I would Jackson is a very good athlete and a better QB than JT Barrett but Clemson has the D. On Saturday. It was Brent Venables and the Defense that were magicians. Venables dialed up the pressure when needed and played conservative when he could, ultimately forcing Jackson’s game to disappear. Clemson proved again that it belonged at the top.
Penn State may have only faced Georgia State, but they left no doubt that they were the team to beat in the B1G. While some people still believe Michigan should be in the discussion, I can’t help but chuckle. Coach Khaki Pants has probably the worst situation at QB in the B1G and that’s saying a mouthful considering the play of JT Barrett. At least the Buckeyes have a running game. Yes, the Wolverines are 3-0 but how will they fare when they are forced to play a team with an offensive pulse? Penn State has the QB and RB to beat almost any team in the country. They still need to be tested by a stout defensive front to gauge successfully where they stand but the Nittany Lions are for real. Your next Heisman winner (Barkley) is averaging 8.1 yards per carry and over 20 yards per reception. I believe Penn State got a crappy draw with Michigan and OSU back-to-back but this team will go undefeated into the B1G Championship Game.
First Four In
#1 Clemson, #2 Alabama, #3 Oklahoma, #4 Penn State
First Four Out
USC, Oklahoma St, UGA, Wisconsin
My Top 25
- Penn St
- Oklahoma St
- Virginia Tech
- Ohio State
- Florida State
- Washington St
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