Quote of the day: “As a former Indiana head coach, I wouldn’t pick Purdue if they played Iraq (or a rock, I can’t be sure – ed.)” – Lee Corso
The Titans cut Myron Rolle. Jeff Fisher doesn’t like guys around who are smarter than him, apparently. It’s a USC thing.
Jacksonville St. 49 Ole Miss 48 – Games like this are so important. Not because the big programs who play cupcakes every year can say, “See! See! They ARE dangerous games,” though. Because that’s bullshit.
Games like this are important because teams that put 1-AA squads on the schedule should be punished severely (unless they’re the lowest of the low like, say, North Texas). The Appalachian State loss for Michigan was a good start, but games like these need to happen way more often. Though I wouldn’t put it past the Clemsons of the world to start scheduling Division II teams.
Jacksonville State did a lot of things that had to help their karma as well. Converting a 4th and 15 for the touchdown in the second OT is lucky enough, but to have the balls to go for two when it wasn’t mandatory, well…I salute you, sirs.
Aaaand it happened again: North Dakota State 6 Kansas 3 – In the second Nelson Muntz Moment of the 2010 season, Turner Gill’s boys melted down against another 1-AA opponent. Wonder if they were watching Ole Miss in the locker room. This is awesome.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Miami (OH) at (4) Florida (-36.5)
Pick: Florida wins and covers.
Final: Florida 34 Miami (OH) 12
Just a brutal game to watch from beginning to end. Miami never had a serious shot at winning, even when they had a lead. But Florida decided to play its worst game ever, and they STILL won. That should tell you just how bad Miami’s offense was.
The goat of this game is definitely Florida’s offensive line. There was a serious breach in their blocking on almost every play from scrimmage. Apparently, the good Pouncey brother went to the NFL because Mike can’t shotgun snap worth a shit. You’d think that’s something he would have practiced, but every snap was high in spring ball and now every snap is low.
Florida plays South Florida next week, and while the Bulls aren’t amazing, they’re at least a BCS-conference team. They’ll have athletes and won’t suck quite as bad as Miami did on offense today.
Record: 1-0 (0-1 ATS)
12:30 pm ET
Illinois at Missouri (-12)
Pick: Missouri wins but doesn’t cover
Final: Missouri 23 Illinois 13
Well, that’s the first nail in Ron Zook’s coffin. The offense looked horrible all game, and the defense blew a ten point second-half lead. Not so great. But that’s what Illini fans have been able to expect from their team for a while now. Remember when they lucked into a Rose Bowl berth? Yeah, me either.
As for Missouri, they’re going to get kicked around a little in the Big XII. You can totally see why they wanted into the Big Ten so badly. The Big Ten will let them run their pure finesse offense, but in the Big XII, the athletes on defense are too good. That and the Big XII’s defensive coordinators aren’t completely retarded.
Record: 2-0 (1-1 ATS)
3:30 pm ET
Purdue at Notre Dame (-11)
Pick: Notre Dame covers
Final: Notre Dame 23 Purdue 12
Push! Took me until like week eight last year to get one. Thanks to the Notre Dame offense for that late field goal.
Decent fight by Purdue, but they were down 20-3 heading into the fourth, so this game wasn’t as close as it looked. For getting used to the new system, Notre Dame looked halfway decent compared to other teams in similar positions (ahem, Florida, ahem). Is there anything more to say about this game of teams that will probably finish unranked? Probably not.
Record: 3-0 (1-1-1 ATS)
Connecticut at Michigan (-3)
Final: Michigan 30 UConn 10
So I guess Denard Robinson is the guy in Ann Arbor. The Pat White incarnation of Rich Rodriguez’s offense was always better anyway. Hope Tate Forcier can play wide receiver…
The minute Michigan went up early in the first, UConn was screwed. They can’t come back on anyone with their offense. It’s not that they have no talent; they just run the ball from conventional formations a lot. There’s not really anything dynamic to them unless the backs go off.
I’m an idiot for this pick. Should have known Michigan would come out fired up at home and that the 3-3-5 would be able to handle such a simple offense. Shit.
Record: 3-1 (1-2-1 ATS)
(5) Texas at Rice (+31)
Final: Texas 34 Rice 17
Hey Texas, that’s a funny-looking cover against a terrible opponent. I guess that’s the trend this weekend: highly ranked teams losing key members and then sucking against one-win teams in the first game. Florida did it now that Tebow is gone, and I guess Texas got the memo too. Whatever.
Record: 4-1 (1-3-1 ATS)
UCLA at Kansas State (-1.5)
Final: Kansas State 31 UCLA 22
Didn’t watch one second of this one, but it sure seems like UCLA’s defense let this one go. Wonder if Neuheisel is going to keep up that creepy positivity for the next week.
Record: 4-2 (1-4-1 ATS)
7 pm ET
Washington at Brigham Young (-2)
Final: BYU 23 Washington 17
I wouldn’t say the two-headed monster worked for BYU, but it wasn’t nearly as much of a disaster as previous attempts at other schools. There’s no way it’s going to work the whole season. I think Riley Nelson is the guy for this year, or until he starts sucking, and then that Heaps kid should get periodic shots but no starts again until Nelson proves he can’t do it.
Jake Locker was good, but certainly not good enough. It’s no fun having to do it all by himself, is it? Washington is improving, but this team could consider 7-5 an amazing season.
Record: 4-3 (1-5-1 ATS)
7:45 pm ET
(24) Oregon State at (6) Texas Christian (-13.5)
Pick: TCU wins but doesn’t cover.
Final: TCU 30 Oregon State 21
The voters who weren’t paying attention will look at Andy Dalton’s stat line and think he had a mediocre start to his season. For some of those voters, they won’t look at him again, waiting instead for ESPN or some one else to start a new “hot” trend for another major-conference athlete. This is pretty much how the system works.
Dalton will need to do better to have any Heisman votes, but wins like this should stick in voters’ minds more than they do. Oregon State could win the Pac-10 this year (and the Civil War should be a hell of a game, by the way). So even though this game was in Dallas, not exactly a neutral site, TCU should have a legitimate shot at not just the BCS, but the national title. They’re that good.
Record: 5-3 (2-5-1 ATS)
8 pm ET
(21) Louisiana State at (18) North Carolina (+8)
Pick: LSU wins but doesn’t cover
Final: LSU 30 UNC 24
LSU’s “damn fine football team” did their very best to blow an easy win over a severely handicapped opponent. Not that this should surprise Les Miles’ detractors.
Once again, LSU’s offensive statistics were extremely underwhelming. Making Jordan Jefferson a game manager is probably the right decision, but that means there has to be some one else on the team who can make big plays. There isn’t. This is a unit and system devoid of imagination, inspiration, and execution. It’s easy to blame Jefferson for the downturn, but this is only half the story. The other half is squarely with Les Miles and OC Gary Crowton.
I’m not saying it’s all Crowton’s fault, though that’s exactly what I said last year, but something in the system is not allowing what offensive talent they have to maximize their skills. They had amazing running backs and receivers last year, but the ball spent most of the time in Jefferson’s incapable hands. And when it wasn’t, they platooned their running backs, killing any momentum Charles Scott and Keiland Williams might have had.
Record: 6-3 (3-5-1 ATS)
10 pm ET
Cincinnati at Fresno State (-2)
Some one taught Fresno how to play defense. Zach Collaros was under constant assault…once Fresno was down two touchdowns that is. And then they came back and completely dominated the second half. That was a total meltdown by Cincinnati. Their defense sucked from the second quarter on and the offensive line stopped blocking somewhere in there. Pretty bad initial effort. Good for Fresno, though. They needed to actually win a game like this instead of just coming close like they so often do. Now if they can just avoid two or three awful, awful losses, which is the other pattern they follow.
Record: 6-4 (3-6-1 ATS)
Monday, September 6, 2010
(3) Boise State at (10) Virginia Tech (+2)
Pick: Boise State
Phillips and I were talking and we both noticed a similar style between Boise State 2010 and USC in 2004/2005. Both teams had good, lefty quarterbacks. Both teams relied on balanced offense and playmaking defense. And both teams never, ever panicked under any circumstances. Plus, every game seemed to work out in that USC’s favor. It’s only been one game for Boise, but the breaks went their way down the stretch, and if it continues that way, you’re looking at the strongest possible argument for a BCS title game berth. Virginia Tech is good. They’re going to win the ACC. So a win over them is absolutely huge, like the football gods planned it just for this year.
Record after week 1: 7-4 (4-6-1 ATS)