On paper, the schedule for week two of the college football season was about as appealing as the anticipation of listening to a speech from Massachusetts junior Senator, John Kerry. But as the day slowly unfolded, it was analogous to the Senator having to cancel, and the substitute speaker turned out to be Winston Churchill. That’s the beauty of college football.
As we said last week, if it’s in the genes… . Coach Skip Holtz and his East Carolina Pirates sprung the biggest surprise and dominated the eighth ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. Going back to last season’s bowl victory, it was ECU’s third consecutive victory against a top 25 team, and the Pirates have to go back to 1999, the last time they defeated a top ten team. Here’s the crazy part – barring an injury to its starry quarterback Patrick Pinkney – ECU will be favored in all of its remaining games. If they somehow pull that off two things will happen: the Pirates will cash a ticket to the BCS party, and secondly, Lou Holtz will be known as Skip’s dad. How about this for another wild scenario, Charlie Weis at Notre Dame stumbles badly and is fired, and the Irish hire the old man’s kid!
Speaking of Notre Dame – Yikes! Charlie Weis is on the clock. The offensive “guru” has lost his mojo, as Notre Dame had to rally in the fourth quarter to eek out a win against a decidedly overmatched San Diego State squad. Unfortunately, for the Irish faithful, the only offense coming out of South Bend seems to come from Weis’s belligerent personality.
The fun really started last Thursday night, when Vanderbilt defeated a ranked opponent (South Carolina) at home for the first time since 1992.
Then on Friday a very good Ball State team defeated Navy 35-23. But the most interesting part of that game was one of the captains for the Cardinals, defensive end Brandon Crawford, is 32 years old. “Crawdaddy,” as he is affectionately known to his teammates, had some trouble with the law in high school, joined the Marines for four year, then worked for his brother-in-law before deciding to give school and college football another try – good story.
Ohio State was hoping its game against Ohio University (a 45 point favorite) would serve as a tune-up for next week’s Armageddon visit to USC. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, without its trigger All-American tailback Beanie Wells, the 26-14 victory, changed from a simple tune-up into a major transmission repair. OSU needs two things for next week: a healthy Wells and coach Tressel must get his freshman sensation quarterback Terrelle Pryor involved in the game, just like Florida did with Tim Tebow and Chris Leak two years ago, when the Gators won the national championship.
Rich Rodriguez and his Michigan Wolverines, like Diogenes, continue to search for an offense. Coach Rod continues to alternate at quarterback, between Steve Threet and Nick Sheridan. So far, in Ann Arbor, it hasn’t been pretty for the $4 million dollar man.
The day’s two most exciting games:
Wake Forest’s 30-28 last second victory against a resurgent Mississippi Rebels team. It had six lead changes, and featured a pair of quality QB’s in Wake’s Riley Skinner and Mississippi’s Jevan Snead. It was won by one of the two best field goal kickers in the nation, when Sam Swank calmly “swanked” a 41 yard field goal with two seconds remaining.
The other was also the most controversial, involving BYU at Washington. Tyrone Willingham desperately needed this win, but it wasn’t to be. His stellar quarterback and team leader Jake Locker scrambled and tumbled into the end zone with three seconds left to bring the Huskies an extra point away from overtime. Unfortunately for Washington, in his exuberance, Locker, threw the ball into the air, and with the newly minted college rules against any type of celebration, UW was flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. So the chip shot extra point became a 35 yard field goal. You guessed it- blocked – and BYU escaped with the victory – while the clock is ticking louder for Willingham.
Heisman watch: Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel 16 for 17 – 3 TD’s, making him 42 of 62 6TD’s – 1 INT for the season.
When is a blowout a good thing? Answer, when you’re Oregon State. The Beavers traveled across the country to play Penn State and were crushed 45-14. But fear not, OSU took some solace on their return flight, as they pocketed a $1 million dollar payday for its troubles.
Up in Syracuse the win total remains at 7, two games into coach Robinson’s fourth season – the ‘Cuse D has surrounded a total of 72 points, and the faithful can’t wait for basketball season to commence.
That’s it from cyber space: we’ll be up and running Wednesday with the breakdown of week three. Peace. PK.