Overrated/Underrated: Coaches’ hot seat, player payments, and slow NFL starts

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being a slower weekend than normal around the football landscape, especially in college, there were plenty of story lines to be had rolling into Monday morning. But which ones are worth our time and which are a waste of time?

If you are just now snapping back into reality from a long weekend of tailgating, we’ve got you covered.

Overrated: Bo Pelini’s job status

Nebraska’s route of SDSU should ease the heat on Bo Pelini, at least temporarily. However, the Huskers are one loss away from all hell breaking loose. Pelini’s 2011 tirade was embarrassing for both the coach and school, but was it really that surprising? Look at the way Coach Bo conducts himself on the sidelines. Pelini isn’t the first coach to rip his fans, and he won’t be the last. He needs to be more media savvy, but two-year-old audio is exactly that: old news.

Underrated: Charlie Weis’ job status

At least Pelini wins games in Nebraska. Meanwhile in Lawrence, KS, Charlie Weis continues to spiral out of college football. Kansas needed a game-winning field goal to put away Louisiana Tech. This was the first FBS win in two years for the Jayhawks. One of Weis’ recruiting pitches included telling prospects that the current team is a “pile of crap.” Last year Kansas paid Weiss $2.5M per win. Football school or not, too little is being made of Weis’ latest poor performance.

Overrated: Lane Kiffin’s resume

Kiffin bombed out in Oakland. Kiffin was run out of Tennessee by Urban Meyer. Kiffin is stinking up the joint at Southern California. Kiffin only gets jobs because he’s Monte’s boy. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it. Kiffin stinks.

Underrated: Jim Mora’s resume

Kiffin’s smog-like stench has obscured the great job Jim Mora is doing at UCLA. Mora has the Bruins at 3-0, and looking like a top-three team in the Pac-12. The Pete Carrol sanctions and Lane Kiffin futility left Los Angeles open for the taking. Jim Mora has capitalized. Now that he has taken over LA, Mora looks to put the Bruins back on the national radar.

Overrated: Arian Foster was paid while at Tennessee

I may be cynical, but hearing that top college athletes get paid doesn’t even raise my heart rate. This is doubly true for those who played in the SEC. I’m more amazed that so many keep the secret under wraps.

Underrated: Tyler Bray was paid while at Tennessee

Here’s a great reason why Tennessee has been down: they’re paying subpar players. If you’re going to cheat at least make it worthwhile. Bray’s freshman season, 2010, was the same year Cam Newton won the Heisman at Auburn. Which school made the better investment?

Overrated: Cam Newton’s performance against the Giants

Anytime somebody puts up good numbers against a New York team, it’s going to make headlines. Newton had a good game on Sunday, but it’s nothing we don’t expect from the former Rookie of the Year. Newton’s play was less a question last year than was his leadership. We know how he works on the field; it’s everything beyond that.

Underrated: Adrian Peterson’s slow start

Three weeks in, and Peterson has yet to rush for over 100 yards in a game. Is it because of Christian Ponder? Is ADAP feeling the effects of his mind-boggling 2012 season? What’s going on? The season doesn’t feel under way until he has a monster game.

Overrated: Colts over 49ers

Andrew Luck beating Jim Harbaugh in Northern California makes for a perfect story. Toss in the Colts recent big-money trade, and the Niners reeling at 1-2, and the media will jump all over this game. San Francisco is banged up; Indy was a playoff team last year. This is more public interest story than football upset.

Underrated: Baltimore over Houston

Houston is a boutique Super Bowl pick, and they just got humbled by the champs. After the Ravens rolled over against Denver in their opener, most left Baltimore for dead. They’re now 2-1 after beating a dynamic offense. Baltimore may be the most under-the-radar defending champ in quite some time.

Overrated: Packers’ loss

Aaron Rodgers didn’t look sharp against the Bengals. Green Bay sure likes to lose in ugly, fluky ways. The Packers still carry themselves like champions, though. Until anyone steps up, they’re still the top team in the NFC North and a good bet to make the playoffs.

Underrated: Packers’ bye week

They’ve only played three games, but the Packers already have a bye week. The NFL’s bye policy is absolutely ridiculous, especially with increased focus on player safety. This year the Packers’ biggest adversary may be their schedule. Through three games they’ve already burned through two running backs. Sure, the early bye will give Eddie Lacy and James Starks a chance to get healthy. It’s tough to see the Pack staying healthy for the remaining 13 games, though. This could be a season of attrition in Green Bay.