Saturday, September 04, 2010

College Football Quickie Hangover

UPDATE: I can already tell you who will be 1-2 in my next BlogPoll Top 25 -- the winner of Boise State/VA Tech at No. 1, and TCU at No. 2.

While the rest of the country (mostly) took on cupcakes, TCU played a very solid Beavers team and made a statement that their Top 6 ranking is justified.

(Here is something else to consider: Boise State plays Oregon State in 3 weeks -- wow, kudos to OSU for scheduling BOTH Boise and TCU -- and you can bet comparisons will be made.)

If there is such a thing as a moral victory, it was achieved by UNC last night: Down a dozen or so suspended players, they played gamely against a talented (if typically underachieving) LSU team. "Expectations management" matters: UNC will earn points for avoiding a blowout. (I mean: Look at Yates -- 412 yards passing with 3 TDs. Patrick Patterson, what's up?)

Forget John Brantley or Garrett Gilbert or Aaron Murray -- the Denard Robinson Award for most impressive QB making his debut (see what I did there?) was arguably Northwestern's Dan Persa, who threw and ran the Wildcats past Vandy on the road.

But there are plenty of other candidates, including Penn State (true) freshman Rob Bolden and Auburn's Cam Newton, the ex-Florida/ex-JUCO transfer.

The best "debut" of the day, of course, went to BC's Mark Herzlich, who missed all of last year battling cancer, but came back to lead BC to a season-opening W.

More notes from the night set:

*The Jake Locker Bandwagon took a hit at BYU.

*More BlogPoll: So much for my preseason bullishness on Cincinnati.


If it makes you feel better -- call it "Swampenfreude"
-- sitting in the Swamp watching Florida today was damn near painful. It was, by far, the most frustrating game of the Meyer Era.

In part it was the snap problem. In part it was the play-calling on offense. In part it was the overall lack of intensity and focus. In part it was the stifling heat, combined with a cold I'm battling.

What a treat that Florida's utterly pedestrian performance led ESPN's highlight shows tonight. And, given their Top 5 ranking (not for long!), probably appropriate.

If they get the muffed center-QB exchanges right, they probably score 50+ and this is a non-issue. But they didn't, and so it IS an issue. They looked terrible.

HOWEVER: At least I'm not an Ole Miss fan. Kudos to ESPN for bringing fans the 2nd OT and that combination of the Jax St TD on 4th-and-15, followed by the brilliant 2-point conversion.

Holy s--t: Denard Robinson. (Of first-time starting QBs, Georgia's Aaron Murray played great. John Brantley and Garrett Gilbert were so-so.)

Speaking of first-timers, congrats to Brian Kelly on his first win as coach of Notre Dame. (And you know how much it pains me to say that.) Should be a very interesting match-up next week with Michigan. Strong debut for Jimbo Fisher at FSU, too.

I'm going to give Robinson my Player of the Day, but here's a shout-out for Kenjon Barner, who had 147 yards and 5 TDs (4 rush, 1 rec) replacing the suspended LaMichael "Who?" James.

Here's how things net out: It's a lot easier to be concerned about teams that didn't look good in games (cough-Florida-cough) that should have been blowouts than accurately evaluate teams that destroyed their overmatched opponents.

Settling in for TCU-Oregon State, with an eye on LSU-UNC and Northwestern-Vandy.

Non-college football notes:

*Jim Thome > Mark McGwire

*Sam Bradford > Matt Leinart

*Mark Prior > San Diego Padres

-- D.S.


Art Vandelay said...

Sidebar: I think Florida QB John Brantley will finish in the Top 5; I have watched virtually every snap he has taken at Florida and he is phenomenal. The team will score points like it did in 2008. I said this over at TimTeblog today, but Brantley will be so good that people won't say "Tim who?" but they will say "Uh, that guy behind Tebow on the depth chart might be the best QB in college football."

Maybe the dumbest projection in bloggerdom.

Matthew said...

Just wondering with Arizona's blow out win over Toledo - what they should have done. And UW's lose at BYU - a not very good BYU team nonetheless. Will you put Arizona in your top 25 Blogpoll? And yes I believe UW will get better throughout the season, but I believe Arizona is a much better team.