Finally! we have college football back in our lives. It wasn’t pretty for a lot of teams, and some have explaining to do. But look on the bright side … at least the Gators didn’t lose their eighth game in a row, so they should be thanking Mother Nature for that one.
Every weekend, I’ll punch it to the end zone with the six things we learned from the week that was in the greatest sport out there.
1) Saturday’s first game of the day occurring at 8:30 in the morning was glorious for so many reasons (that would be my take … my wife was not so happy about the alarm going off super early on a weekend). I say yes to more games outside of the country, or even just starting in the morning. Give me twenty-four hours of college football on a Saturday like they do with college basketball in November. I remember watching World Cup matches at 2:30 a.m. back in 2002 … if I watched a soccer match that early, you better believe I’ll wake up that early for college football.
2) I had three teams picked to go undefeated at the end of the regular season (Florida State, Michigan State and UCLA) … I’m pretty sure there won’t be three undefeated teams left by week seven of the regular season at this point. You can make the argument it’s only the first week of the year, but I did not see one top ten team play to where it tells me they are, without a shadow of a doubt, going to run the gauntlet unscathed. Michigan State, Oregon and Oklahoma played weaklings … while Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State, Auburn and UCLA all looked sloppy against teams they had no business toying around with.
3) I’ve come to the conclusion, as much as it disappoints me to say, that Jameis Winston will not repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner. He may end up again being the best player in the game, but it’s all about the hype machine and the stigma that comes with a repeat. That hype is now clearly on Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill, about whom we are going to hear nonstop his throwing for five hundred yards in the first game under center. That, mixed with the fact that it will be difficult for Winston to pass last year’s numbers (in part due to a much more difficult schedule) will be all the crusty old voters need to not make him the second ever two-time winner.
4) From the way too early department, here’s my top five list for The Trophy after week one: give me Winston, Hill, Notre Dame’s Everett Golson, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, and my current front runner … Georgia’s Todd Gurley, who looked like a grown man playing pop warner ball against a decent Clemson defense this weekend.
5) All I hear, especially living in the South (yes, Miami is technically still “The South” if nothing else but geographically), is the constant clan-like mentality from Southeastern Conference fans. It seemed last year that twelve of the remaining thirteen schools’ fan bases were yelling “War Eagle” in the national title game. This phenomenon showed itself again this week when Ole Miss finally showed up in the second half to beat a Boise State squad perceived to be a threat to crash the playoff party from outside the power five conferences. My question is this: if there was “conference pride” by the other thirteen schools after that game, why weren’t those same schools standing behind Vanderbilt when they got dog stomped by Temple? It has to work both ways, guys.
6) In that regard, I’m going to kick my alma mater’s conference while it’s down. We are SO proud in the ACC to have a Wake Forest team that lost to a Sun Belt opponent, only to be followed by Syracuse going two overtimes and winning by a single point … against Villanova … in football. Saturday, we had Clemson laying an egg against the aforementioned Gurley (er, Bulldogs) … and not to mention N.C. State scraping and clawing to defeat Georgia Southern in their first game at the FBS level … also by a single damn point. Ew.
Kicking the Extra Point
I think marching bands are a vital part of the sport, and one of the main things that make college football so great (I would’ve had the Marching Chiefs at our wedding if it was possible). It’s pretty cool when they play popular music, as you’re sitting in your seat realizing that Trick Daddy is coming from the band nerds. That being said, I heard way too many times a band playing horrible songs like “Fancy” and “Happy.” Stick to the fight song, classic rap or Rage Against the Machine (google George Mason’s band and their RATM tribute and thank me later).
Going for Two
I’m not a big fan of a certain network called FOX … I think they have caused the whole reality television craze that drives me nuts, their sports coverage is way too over the top and don’t even get me started on their “news” channel. Be all that as it may, I’m loving that they have put Tim Brando in the booth to call games. He’s one of the most underrated play-by-play men, and mainly because his previous main employer kept him locked in the studio most of the time.
FOX has two of the best people in the business you don’t think about in Brando and Craig Bolerjack. If they can figure out a way to get Brad Nessler and pull Ron Franklin out of retirement, I may have to change my stance on the network as a whole.