Monthly Archives: September 2009

Recap Week 4

What a September!   It was another Shake –Up weekend that saw the number 4,5,6,9, and 18 bite the dust.  It is also the fourth consecutive week in which the number 5 has gone down!!

It began Thursday night in Columbia, South Carolina as Coach Steve Spurrier, and his Gamecocks got the signature victory of his USC tenure.  The Cocks knocked off the “supposedly” fourth ranked team in the land, Mississippi, by the score of 16-10.  Ol Miss Coach Houston Nutt proved once again, that he’s a terrible frontrunner.  He was also done no favors by his once Heisman Trophy touted quarterback, Jevan Snead, as evidenced by his dismal 7-21-107 yards performance.  Yikes, where’s Archie, or for that matter Eli Manning, when you need them. 

In Tuscaloosa, the home of the Crimson Tide, whom we humbly think is the best team in the land – Alabama did what they do best.  The D shut down another supposed “high-flying” offense in Arkansas 35-7.  It was Bama’s 18th consecutive SEC winning opener. 

The Pecking order has shifted in the Sunshine State, as Jim Leavitt and his USF Bulls, bulled its way to a 17-7 upset of Florida State. Coach Jim Leavitt who has been begging for a chance to go against his Florida rivals said, “It changes history.”   Bobby Bowden now sits a dismal 2-2.  It the golden days of the Seminoles, it used to take two years for FSU to lose two games, and now he does it in four.  Can you say retirement?

In Blacksburg, the hyped melted in the rain, as VaTech dismantled Miami 35-7.  For the Canes it was as ugly as the weather as Tech a showed everybody, that the Big-Dog in the ACC, still resides in Blacksburg.  Hurricanes quarterback, Jacory Harris, was harassed all day, and finished a dismal: 9-25-150 yards, while at the same time passing himself out of the Heisman Trophy race.

The numbers were against Indiana.  Michigan held a 50-9 all time record, had won 15 in a row, and 30 of the last 31.  Indiana hadn’t won in the Big House since the Red Sox Impossible Dream year of 1967, yet, with less than three minutes to go, Indiana held the lead.  Would the upset happen – NO!  Superman, also known as true freshman quarterback Tate Forcier, directed the Wolverines to another dramatic last minute victory.  Michigan, now finds itself 4-0, which equals its win total of last season.  I guess you get what you pay for – Coach $Rod. 

The Zooker–era in Champaign, Illinois is beginning to wear thin.  Coach Ron Zook’s Illini were white-washed by Ohio State 30-0, and now sit 1-2, with an angry Penn State coming in next week.  It’s been awhile since the Champaign has flowed for a “big” Illinois win.

Ouch.  Ouch.  Ouch.  Cal was humiliated out in Eugene 42-3.  The Oregon Ducks are flying again, compiling over 500 yards of offense.  The Golden Bears not only embarrassed themselves, its All-America tailback Jahvid Best (55 yards) ran himself out of the Heisman Trophy race. 

In Maryland the Fridge is empty.  Coach Ralph Friedgen and his Terrapins were crushed by Rutgers, and now find themselves 1-3 with their only win an overtime victory against a Division 1AA opponent.  We think it’s time for Friedgen to polish up the resume.

On the local front it was a nice bounce back win for coach Spaz and his Eagles of Boston College.  While down in Raleigh, North Carolina, old friend Tom O’Brien and his Wolfpack knocked off previously unbeaten Pittsburgh, to climb to 3-1.  O’Brien has also found a star in quarterback Russell Wilson, who for the third consecutive week has thrown 4 touchdown passes.

In Louisville the Steve Kragthorpe era is officially on the clock, as the Cardinals, 30-14 losers to Utah, now sit at 1-2. 

When is a win a loss?  When you’re All-World quarterback is smashed to the ground then   taken to the hospital by ambulance with a severe concussion.  Oh yeah, Florida cruised 41-7 over Kentucky. 

With 29 seconds left, the Charlie Weis era in Notre Dame was about to have its life support lines shut off.  But like a scene from Rudy, off the bench to the rescue came quarterback Jimmy Clausen to throw the game saving touchdown pass, to defeat very bad Purdue team 24-21.  Things are very shaky in South Bend, especially for Weis.

In Happy Valley, the ‘white-out”  turned to black, as the Hawkeyes of Iowa came into Penn State, and gave JoPa’s boys a 21-10 lesson in defense.  Quarterback Daryl Clark was 12-32 – 3 interceptions, as Iowa has now won 7of 8 from Paterno.  Amazing! 

It Starkville, there’s a new sheriff in town, Dan Mullen, from the staff of Urban Meyer, has instilled a winning attitude that has had only one winning season since 2000.  It took a late fourth quarter goal line stand for the mighty Tigers of LSU to hold off the Bulldogs 30-26. 

That’s it from cyber space.  We’ll be up and running Wednesday night with our analysis of week five.  It’s already been quite a year!!!  Until then, Peace.  pk

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Handicapping Week 4

We begin this week with a waiter.

The well known Doctor of Advice, “Dr. Lou” (Holtz), offered these pearls on his show last week.  In life, find the thing that you are most passionate about, and pursue that for a career.  Just the other day I was in a restaurant, and our waiter was so full of enthusiasm and professionalism, I could tell he loved his job.  Impressed, I asked, how long have you worked here?  He responded, “Ever since they threatened to fire me!” 

This weekend let’s see which teams go through the motions putting their coach on the firing line, and which deliver the goods with a bounce to its step.

Iowa at No.5 Penn State (Ch.5, 8 p.m.)  After last year’s bowl winning season the Iowa City faithful have rechristened Hawkeye coach Kirk Fernetz with the “genius” moniker, as Iowa is   riding a seven game win streak.  If these Hawkeyes, who are a Big Ten dark horse, are going to soar, it will be on the arm of rocket armed seasoned quarterback Ricky (5 touchdowns – 3 interceptions) Stanzi.  The QB is comforted by a plowing offensive line with assists from tailbacks Adam Robinson, Brandon Wegher, receiver Trey Stross, and a pair of talented tight ends in Allen Reisner and Tony Moeaki.   The 15th ranked scoring defense, which stands as tall as an Iowa corn field, is the signature of this Ferentz coached team.  This bunch terrorizes behind a trio of backers in Pat Angerer, Jeremiah Hunter, and A.J. Edds.

This is the ultimate revenge game for JoPa’s Lions.  Last season, the Iowa gave the Nits its only blemish, preventing Penn State from playing in the national championship game.  The director of this Happy Valley association is the nation’s 15th ranked passer, Darryl Clark (5 touchdowns – 3 interceptions) with huge assists from its All-America tailback Evan Royster, his partner Stephon Green, and a pair of emerging receivers in Derek Moye and Graham Zug.  The country’s second ranked scoring D, featuring All-America tackle Jared Odrick, and backers Sean Lee (sprained knee probably out, but All-America backer Navarro Bowman returns), and Josh Hull, have surrendered a total of 3 first half points, but those sugary numbers have come against a trio of: “U of Nobodies.”  Fully aware how difficult an assignment it is to win in Happy Valley, we think the Boys of the Corn, leave with the win, and emerge as a legitimate Big Ten threat.

No.9 Miami at No.11 Virginia Tech (Ch. 5, 3:30 p.m.) The Hurricane warnings have returned to the U.  The Miami resurgence is led by its sophomore triggerman Jacory Harris, the nation’s third most efficient passer.  His success is directly attributable to the play calling wizardry of offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, the former championship head man of UMass football.  The QB, who spreads the ball better than the Swine Flu (H1N1), has a pair of primary targets in Travis Benjamin and Leonard Hankerson.  The ‘duende’ (with apologies to George Frazier) signal caller can also rely on a solid ground attack, courtesy of Graig Cooper and Javarris James.  The D, featuring backers Darryl Sharpton, Colin McCarthy and lineman Olivier Vernon, is bullet train fast, but has struggled in defending against the pass.

Saying there is offensive firepower in Blacksburg, is like Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke saying; the recession is over.  Dual-threat quarterback Tyrod Taylor is completing less than fifty percent of his throws, and his passing efficiency ranks 14th from the bottom.  When they do move the ball, Tech utilizes a talented tailback in Ryan Williams (over 6.5 yards a carry), and when Taylor can get the ball in their vicinity, wideouts Danny Coale (over 29 yards a catch) and Jarret Boykin are field stretching targets.  The D, behind backers Cody Grimm, Barquell Rivers and All-America corner Stephan Virgil, has been leakier and more stressed than a New Orleans levee, against a good running attack.  In fact VaTech has allowed three backs to rush for over 100 yards for the first time since 2002.  On Saturday, we think there will be Hurricane warnings in Blacksburg, as Miami returns the strut to the U.

No.6 California at Oregon (Ch. 5, 3:30 p.m.-regional) Cal hasn’t had someone run this well since the days of the; “old cowboy” Ronald Reagan.  Jahvid Best totes the ball as the nation’s third leading rusher.  The consensus All-America tailback, is averaging over 7.5 yards a carry, and has already tallied eight rushing touchdowns. 

If there is a crack in the country’s second highest scoring team, it’s the accuracy of its triggerman, Kevin Riley (5 touchdowns –0 interceptions), who can focus on a pair of solid receivers in Marvin Jones and Verran Tucker.  The D, behind backers Mike Mohamed, Mychal Kendricks, and end Tyson Alualu, stones runners, and has yet to surrender a fourth quarter point.

The once high flying Quack Attack, at least for now, has been grounded.  It currently sits 73rd in overall scoring.  The problem is at QB, where dual-threat director, Jeremiah Masoli, is completing less than fifty percent of his throws, and has yet to toss a touchdown pass.  Oregon ranks an astounding fourth from the bottom in passing.  The D, led by its tackling machine: backer Casey Matthews and All-America corner Walter Thurmond has struggled in all phases.  Reagan won, and so do the Golden Bears, as Best does his best, in running away, through, and over the Ducks. 

Texas Tech at No. 17 Houston (ESPN2, 9 p.m.)  The QB’s produced in Lubbock have broken almost as many records, as those belted out by Native Son; Buddy Holly.  The Red Raiders latest gunslinger is junior dart thrower Taylor Potts (12 touchdowns – 4 interceptions), who not only directs the nation’s number one passing offense – he leads the country in passing.  Mad Scientist Mike Leach’s latest incarnation lasers onto a pair of glue fingered receivers in Lyle Leong (5 touchdowns) and Detron Lewis, and although Tech is second from the bottom in rushing, it does function with a capable tailback in Baron Batch.  The D, behind backer Bront Bird and end Daniel Howard isn’t dynamic, but solid against both the run and the pass. 

In Houston – “We have no problem,” at least on the offensive side of the ball.  The Cougs are led by starry junior quarterback Case Keenum (7 touchdowns – 1 interception) who also sits fourth in national passing statistics.  This commander has a threesome of field stretching wideouts; Charles Sims, Patrick Edwards, and Tyron Carrier.  Like its counterpart TT, when Houston does run, Bryce Beall is very capable. Unfortunately for the Houston faithful, the D, which is led by backer Marcus McGraw and end Tyrell Graham, mimics a colander in trying to defend the run.  On Saturday, in a game where the scoreboard operator may need a NASA math degree, we think, that at games’ end, that Houston does indeed, have a problem.

Arkansas at No. 3 Alabama (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.)  These are not your father’s Hogs.  In one year, coach Bobby Petrino has transformed the running identity of the Razorbacks into a “Wallenda” aerial show.  Michigan transfer, quarterback Ryan Mallett, who has yet to throw an interception, is the leader of this bacon brigade.  He, along with tailback Michael Smith, and wideouts Jarius Wright, Greg Childs and tight end D.J. Williams, have pork chopped Arkansas into the nation’s second rated passing attack, and eighth highest scoring eleven.  Unfortunately, for the Hog faithful, the defense continues to get butchered, as the Razorbacks sit a dismal 99th in points allowed.

I know it’s early, but using the “eye-ball” test, the team from Tuscaloosa may be the country’s best.  As always with Nick Saban coached teams, the identity is on the defensive side.  The Tide, who are third in total D, and allow opponents less than two yards a carry, punish teams behind this three-pack of All-Americas in nose Terrance (Mount) Cody, backer Rolando McClain, and corner Javier Arenas.  The eleventh highest scoring team is directed by junior quarterback Greg McElroy (4 touchdowns – 1 interception), with help from tailbacks Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson and a quartet of receivers; that features Mike McCoy and Marquis Maze.  (All-America Julio Jones – ankle – is expected to play.)   This Saturday, in Bryant-Denny Stadium, “The eyes have it,” as the Tide slices the Hog’s bacon into the fire.

Last week:  4-1                                       Season record:  10-5.

Recap Week 3

We saw another fascinating week: as the number 3, 7, 14, 18, and 19 ranked teams in the land, went down to defeat. 

We’ll begin in Seattle, in a place where today, either coach Steve Sarkisian, (formerly on mentor Pete Carroll’s staff) or quarterback Jake Locker, could get elected Mayor.  The Huskies of UW, who until last week had lost 15 straight, weren’t intimidated by the big dogs from the south, holding USC to a 0-10 conversion rate, while recovering three turnovers in its 13-10 magnificent upset battle.  And in an ominous sign for Trojan Nation – that offense – is not your father’s Men of Troy. 

Poor Duke, they took an early 7-0 lead in Lawrence, Kansas, only to see the Jayhawks slowly pull away to a 44-16 beat down.  The Dukies went into the game having lost 36 consecutive games to ranked team, make it 38, as KU’s ‘pistol offense’ shot down the Blue Devils.

The U is back.  The university of Miami, or more specifically, old friend (former UMass championship coach) Mark Whipple’s offense is giving every indication that the “Glory Days” in Miami, may be making a comeback.  Halfway through it opening four game gauntlet, Miami has stormed the Bastille on the arm of its Montana-cool sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris, (30-0 in high school) who so far, has crept into the Heisman conversation.  Virginia, Maryland, Colorado, and Louisville, better have Whipple on speed dial, because this man can coach.  This does, look like your father’s Miami.  I wonder how BC Athletic Director Gene DeFillippo, who could have had Whipple running his show, feels, when he looks out at the woeful offense operating at the Heights.  You get what you pay for – just look where coach Jags is now working.   

Where’s Joe Tiller when you need him, as Purdue lost to Northern Illinois 37-34.  It was the Huskies first victory over a Big Ten school since the end of Reagan Administration in 1988.  

Our friends to the North; Syracuse are showing some grit: beating Northwestern with a last second field goal to give the ‘Cuse a 37-34 victory, the first for new man, Orange alum, Doug Marrone. 

University of Minnesota’s great new, outdoor, on campus stadium, is known as the Gopher Hole.  And for a while it looked that way, as the Golden Gophers, after three quarters of football were tied with powerhouse Cal 21-21, before the Golden Bears scored a pair of unanswered td’s on the legs of its All-America tailback Jahvid Best, who was at his best scoring five touchdowns in the 34-21 victory.

The Ducks of Oregon went into Salt Lake City and ended the nation’s longest winning streak at 16, defeating the Utes 31-24.  It was a big win for former UNH o-coordinator Chip Kelly, the new head man at Oregon.

As we mentioned in the Whipple reference, Louisville’s head man Steve Kragthorpe is out buying asbestos pants, as his Cardinals fell for the third consecutive time to hated intra-state rival Kentucky, leaving his two-plus year record at once powerful Louisville; a dismal 12-14. 

My country for some offense, as BC in its loss to Clemson had a TOTAL of 54 yards of offense:  With Halloween coming see if these numbers scare you:  29 yards on the ground in 28 rushing attempts, then 25 yards of passing on a 5-21–3 ints of stats.  That’s enough to scare even Count Dracula!! Again – where’s Whipple when you need him. 

In the guaranteed victory column – JoPa and his Nittany Lions are now 26-0 lifetime against Temple University.

In the good news category Army finds itself 2-1!!  Go Knights.

Florida found itself in a defensive struggle against Tennessee, and except for its All-World QB Tim Tebow – there doesn’t appear to be a lot of explosive options in Gainesville.  Here’s a stat:  Florida and Urban Meyer are 36-1 when scoring first.

Charlie Weis got his reprieve on a last second interception on the ND Ten yard line by Kyle McCarthy defeating Michigan State 33-30 at Notre Dame Stadium for the first time since 1993.  Until that point, Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins, who aspires to be a surgeon, dissected (17-22) the Irish defense in the second half.  The Domers also suffered a serious loss – as wideout Michael Floyd, who is having an All-America season, suffered a broken collarbone and will likely be lost for a great part of the season.  After the game you could eye watering relief in the eyes of Weis.  Also ND quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who is having a brilliant season, set an ND record with his fourth consecutive 300 yard passing game.

Old friend Buddy Teevens, who finished 0-10 last season lost its opener, 34-15 and it could be another “looong” year for the Big Green .

Quarterbacks emerging: Landry Jones of Oklahoma set a school record, (not even the OU’s reigning Heisman Trophy winner accomplished that) tossing 6 touchdown passes in its 45-0 blanking of Tulsa.  While in Lubbock, where they have more quarterbacks that Nabisco has cookies, Texas Tech found another gunslinger in quarterback Taylor Potts, who wears a fu-man-chu as if he was made for the role.  Enduring a pounding he completed 46 passes for 420 yards in a hard fought loss to Texas at Austin.

The genius is back in Iowa City as the Hawkeyes won an impressive victory against Arizona 27-17 in preparation of its showdown next week in Happy Valley.

Kudos to the Big East for a pair of ‘big wins” – the first was Cincinnati’s 28-18 road victory, over a very talented Oregon State team, and believe me, Bearcats coach Brian Kelley’s name is also on speed dial for a lot of potential openings.  The other was West Virginia and good guy Bill Stewart marching into the Plains of Auburn and taking out the Tigers of Auburn 41-30.        .  

Don’t look now, but coach $Rod of Michigan has the Wolverines 3-0, which equals its win total of last season.  Rodriguez is known for turning teams around in his second year.

Congrats to Randy Edsall and his Huskies of UConn (2-1) for another big Big East victory, this time in Waco over the Baylor Bears 30-22.  Edsall is another guy who should have been coaching at BC.

Maybe the Florida troika of Florida, Miami, and Florida State is back!  Bobby Bowden had his most impressive victory in years, as FSU toyed with the number seven ranked team in the land BYU, in Provo, destroying the Cougars 54-28. 

‘Ol Miss has won eight in a row for the first time since the Nixon Administration in 1972.

That’s it from cyber space, we’ll be up and running Wednesday night with our analysis of week 4!! Oh no, we’ll be at the quarter pole of the season.  Until then, Peace.   PK.

Handicapping Week 3

We begin this week with a button, a speed limit, and a quarterback, who, like the famous Boston television show, everybody knows his name. 

Archie Manning, the father of the greatest quarterback dynasty in the history of the sport – Super Bowl winning sons, Peyton and Eli, clearly certify that claim – established his reputation on the Oxford, Mississippi campus of ‘Ol Miss, some 40 years ago.  It is the same school that produced (while he was a student) consecutive Miss Americas, or as Manning once said, “We were red-shirting Miss Americas.”  Manning became a national name on New Year’s Day in 1970, when his rebels upset the University of Arkansas to win the Sugar Bowl.  That victory inspired the student body to create red and blue buttons which read:  ARCHIE or ARCHIE’S ARMY.  The next season the fans of Tennessee created their own version, which read:  ARCHIE WHO?   Well “them” was fighting words to the Rebel Nation.  Mississippi went out and demolished UT 38-0, which in turn led to another button:  YOU KNOW DAMN WELL WHO.  But the true measurement that one is a member of the elite; is when the campus speed limit is officially listed as; 18 miles per hour – in honor of the number on the back of Manning’s jersey.  Now that’s ‘Big Time.’  This weekend let’s see which teams hit a speed bump, and which adds to its legend, with another button down victory, worthy of a Miss America!

Tennessee at No. 1 Florida (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) Since his arrival in Knoxville last winter, UT coach Lane Kiffin has seemingly taken great delight in tweaking his neighbors to the South, coach Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators.  He said that he “Looked forward to singing ‘Rocky Top’ all night, after the Volunteers defeated Florida.”  Well, now Kiffin and the Vols get the “opportunity” to deliver, more than just empty words, to an ornery bunch of Gators in the Swamp.  “I don’t like anyone talking about coach Meyer,” bristled All-America quarterback Tim Tebow.

The triggerman for the Tennessee offense is senior quarterback Jonathan Crompton, who has been sloppy protecting the ball, already tossing five interceptions.  If he continues down that path against Florida, the victory margin will go up exponentially.  Luckily, the QB can rely on the hard charging of tailback Montario Hardesty, and the receiving ability of Quinton Hancock and Marsalis Teague.  The D, which is the foundation of this Tennessee team, is as tough as a $2 steak, coached by a legend in Monte (his Dad) Kiffin, and is led by its All-America safety Eric Berry, with help from backer Nick Reveiz and end Chris Walker.

Meyer’s predecessor, the legendary Steve Spurrier, often summed up his team’s performance by saying simply; “We hung a half-a-hundred on them.”  Well, although he’d never admit it, that’s exactly what the coach of these Gators would like to do to the Volunteers.  As always, the Florida parade, currently riding a school tying record of twelve consecutive wins, is directed by its All-World quarterback Tim Tebow, who has yet to throw an interception.  The dual threat QB is blessed with a stable of runners in Jeffrey Demps, Chris Rainey, and Emmanuel Moody; each of whom has the ability to score at anytime.  The former Heisman Trophy winner also has a pair of Linus blanket receivers, in Riley Cooper and his counterpart, All-America tight end Aaron Hernandez.  The bone crushing D, suffocates opponents behind a quartet of All-Americas in: team leader and backer Brandon Spikes, with assists from corner Joe Haden, Safety Ahmad Black, and end Carlos Dunlap.  On Saturday, Kiffin’s words ring hollow in the Swamp, as the Volunteers visit is anything, but delightful.  It will be the Gators who leave the field singing, except the words will be those of Cole Porter, “It’s De-Lovely, It’s De-Lightful …” after they rout the Vols.

No. 19 Nebraska at No. 13 Virginia Tech (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.)  There is high anticipation in Lincoln that these Huskers are going to reap a bumper crop of victories this season.  Coach Bo Pelini’s Big Red is directed by junior quarterback Zac Lee (6-touchdowns – 1-interception), with assists from tailback Roy Helu jr. (7 yards a carry), and wideouts Menelik Holt, tight end Mike McNeill, and playmaker Curenski Gilleylen.  The D, behind All-America tackle Ndamukung Suh and safety Larry Asante has surrendered a microscopic total of a dozen points, but has yet to be tested, fattening up on a pair of sugar frosted opponents.

If it’s Abbot it must be Costello.  Well, if it’s Blacksburg, it must be defense.  As always with the Hokies, the soul of VaTech is Bud Foster’s swarming, punishing, defensive eleven, led by All-America corner Stephan Virgil with assists from backers Jake Johnson and Barquell Rivers.  The offense remains, almost as questionable, as the decision by Christy Mihos to once again, run for governor.  QB Tyrod Taylor leads this bunch with help from tailback Ryan Williams (8 yards a carry), freshman David Wilson, and the wideout tandem of Danny Coale and Jarret Bykin.  In an intriguing game, we think that the crop from Lincoln falls fallow in the cool air of Blacksburg, as Nebraska gets husked by the Hokies.

Florida State at No.7 BYU (Versus, 7 p.m.) In the past, these were the games that put the unknown state school from Tallahassee on the college football map.  Ironically, a win Saturday in Provo, by the unranked Seminoles, puts them back once again, if not on the map, at least back into the conversation.  FSU operates behind the arm of its efficient dual threat junior quarterback Christian Ponder, with assists from tailback Ty Jones, and the receiving ability of tight end Caz Piurowski, and Richard Goodman.  The inexperienced D, featuring backer Dekoda Watson, tackle Jacobbi McDaniel and safeties Nick Moody and Jamie Robinson, scampers with fueled with mercury trademark.

BYU is on a mission; a mission to gain an admission ticket to a BCS game.  Bronco Mendenhall’s high octane Cougars, are directed by its dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate, quarterback Max Hall.  The QB spreads the ball around better than Land-O-Lakes spreads butter, with O’Neil Chambers, McKay Jacobson (over 20 yds. a catch), Bryan Kariya, and All-America tight end Dennis Pitta as high profile targets.  The running game does have some pop, if tailback Harry Unga is over his ankle injury.  The D, behind end Ian Jorgensen, safety Brando Bradley and backer Terrance Hooks, has been most impressive stoning teams and allowing a total of 16 points.  Before he steps off the stage, Bobby Bowden is hoping to restore the glory back to the Tomahawk Chop, unfortunately, it won’t happen on Saturday, as we said, BYU is on a mission.

Michigan State at Notre Dame (Ch.7, 3:30 p.m.) Last week both teams endured last second, heart rendering losses, but if Charlie “Big Game” Weis and his Blue and Gold charges should lose this game, its entire season could be lobotomized.  

Sparty, at least for now, utilizes a pair of sophomore quarterbacks, in Kirk Cousins, and Keith Nichol.  These directors will rely heavily on the legs of tailbacks Carlton Ray and Larry Caper, along with the field stretching ability of wideouts Blair White and B.J. Cunningham.  The D inhales runners behind backer Greg Jones and tackle Jerel Worthy. 

There is huge pressure in South Bend.  An ND loss will send Irish Nation into an apoplectic state, and possibly seal the fate of Weis, who must win an absolute minimum of nine games.  Notre Dame’s offense has been singing like Sinatra in his prime, as junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen has shown perfect pitch with his receivers; Golden “Drops” Tate, Mike Floyd – 15 stitches in his leg, and tight end Kyle Rudolph.  And even though it may be as rare as an atheist on campus, the Irish have finally established a very good running attack; led by junior Armando Allen, propelled by a senior laden offensive line.  The play of the D, behind safety Kyle McCarthy, and the Smith Boys, backers Scott, Brian, and Toryan, continues to cause Pepto churning moments among the Irish faithful.  Notre Dame hasn’t beaten Michigan State at home since a guy named Holtz was coaching in 1993, but in a must win scenario, instead of Sinatra, Notre Dame leaves the field to the sounds of ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling,’ as Charlie gets a temporary reprieve.

Texas Tech at No.2 Texas (Ch. 5, 8 p.m.) It has been well documented that Red Raiders coach Mike Leach has an appreciation for the history of pirates therefore he’d like nothing better than to hijack the Longhorns projected march to Pasadena.  This swashbuckling group can carve a defense, on the arm of newly installed quarterback Taylor Potts, (9 touchdowns – 3 interceptions) with assists from a pair of dynamic receivers in Detron Lewis and Lyle Leong, as well as the running of tailback Baron Batch.  If their history is any indicator, the TT D, led by backers Marlon Williams, Bront Bird and end Daniel Howard makes a stop about as often as Mayor Menino utters a coherent sentence.

This is a major payback game, and the Horns, who would like nothing better than to hook it to their pesky intra-state rivals.  Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Colt McCoy is the Austin Assassin, whose favorite target, All-America Jordan Shipley, also happens to be his roommate.  UT can also grind it on the ground behind Vondrell McGee and Tre Newton.  The defense which features All-America end Sergio Kindle, backers Roddrick Muckelroy, and tackle Lamarr Houston, are talented, fast, and mean, but has yet to be tested.  Unfortunately, for Tech, there will be no hijacking in Austin, as the Horns out duel the Red Raiders.  En garde!

  Last week’s record: 3-2.                               Season record: 6-4.

Recap Week 2

This weekend was another example of the beauty of college football; it was full of stunners, near shockers, and great games.

Let’s start with the great games.  Freshmen-Smeshmen!!!  In Ann Arbor and Columbus a pair of true freshmen quarterbacks – Michigan’s Tate Forcier, and USC’s Matt Barkley led their teams to dramatic come from behind victories on last minute drives.  It was amazing to watch, as they played both played with the coolness of Joe Namath, and both, if not already, are going to be future stars, hopefully for a long time.

It also puts ND coach,  Charlie “Big Game” Weis back on the clock.  After this very difficult loss, it will be interesting to see which direction the ND program turns.  The feeling is that anything less than 9 wins will be unacceptable, and one of the opponents left on a “soft” schedule is USC. 

The loss to USC was also another blow to the reputation of the Big Ten Conference.  Overall, the Buckeyes outplayed the Trojans, but the scoreboard does all the bragging.  And the numbers don’t lie – Buckeye coach Jim Tressel is now 0-6 against top five opponents.

After last week’s gusher at Oklahoma State, otherwise known as Boon Pickens University, this week it was a dry well, as the Pokes were stunned by the unranked Cougars of the University of Houston.  It was Cougs first win over a top 5 team since the Reagan Administration in 1984.  Or to paraphrase that famous space call:  Houston, who has the problem now!!

Out west it’s Boulder Smolder!  And smoldering is exactly what the Colorado Buffalo faithful are doing after Friday’s embarrassing thrashing by the Toledo Rockets 54-38.  In the game the Rockets, who are picked fifth in the MAC West Division, rolled up over 600 yards of offense. YIKES!  There an expression:  “The hawk is out,” it translates to: it’s really windy.  Well, out, is exactly where the Colorado fans want to see head coach Dan Hawkins go. 

Even though there is a lot more energy, especially on the defensive side, our friends to the north Syracuse University are 0-2 for the fourth consecutive season.

Kudos to Central Michigan coach Butch Jones, as his Chippewas, as they upset the Spartans of Michigan State 29-27 in East Lansing.  But it was the way they won, that earns Jones the plaudits.  Late in the game – and having just scored to cut the lead to one – Jones, decided to go for two, and the win.  “If we are going to be a top twenty-five program, we have to win games like this,” said the coach.  The Chips were denied.  But what happened next was miraculous.  They attempted an onside kick, that was not only successful, but the hop went 15 yards down field, and was fielded cleanly by a Chippewas player and taken all the way down to the 30 yard line.  Then with .08 seconds left, Central Michigan lined up for the winning field goal, a 47 yarder, but they missed.  Game over?  No.  Sparty was offside, move it five yards closer, this time the 42 yarder was GOOD!  Great for Jones and his program!!

Another amazing field goal game was Wisconsin’s double overtime win over Fresno State, 24 -21.  In order to even get to that point, earlier in the game Wiscy’s field goal kicker, Philip Welch boomed a 57 yarder, the second longest in the history of the program.

Congrats to New England football power UNH, who on the road in Muncie, Indiana defeated Division 1 Ball State 23-16!!

After scoring 72 in its opener, Air Force was held to 13, as the University of Minnesota christened its new stadium with a 20-13 victory and begins its season 2-0. 

Back out west, new coach Steve Sarkisian, he from the staff of Pete Carroll, got his first win as the head coach of the Washington Huskies, ending the nation’s longest (15 games) losing streak. 

JoePa’s Boys, otherwise known as Penn State, look great, and have yet to allow a point to be scored in the first half. 

Rick Neuheisel and his UCLA Bruins showed its grittiness, making a goal line stand, and now find themselves 2-0, after its big defensive win in front of 100,000 crazies in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Still in the SEC, mighty Florida rolled over Troy and has tied a school record for consecutive wins at twelve. 

In the how the mighty have fallen category:  Florida State needed two touchdowns in the final 35 seconds and won 19-9, and avoided an embarrassing loss to Jacksonville State.

And finally, in the call off the dogs game:  The Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin located in Nacogdoches, Texas, obliterated Texas College 92-0.  In the ultimate understatement, Lumberjacks coach J.C. Harper said, “I’m very proud of our execution and focus.”  I would hope so!!!!

Well, that’s it from Cyber space.  We’ll be up and running Wednesday night with our analysis of week 3 – it’s week three already!  Until then – Peace!  pk

Handicapping Week 2

We begin this week with a misdiagnosis of colossal proportions.

This past summer, Lou Holtz, the only coach to take six different teams to a bowl game, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.  Holtz is most renowned for his eleven year tenure at Notre Dame, where he compiled a Rockne type record of: 100-32-2, while leading the Irish to its last National Championship in 1988. 

None of those accomplishments would have occurred if this Ohio native had paid any attention to his East Liverpool High School guidance counselor.  This was his encouragement to an impressionable high school kid, “A lot of people don’t know what’s going on, but you don’t even suspect anything is going on.”  Wow – now that’s Lincolnesque.  .

This weekend, let’s see which teams perform like their clueless, and which guided by wise counsel, execute the game plan to perfection.

No.3 USC at No.8 Ohio State (ESPN, 8 p.m.)  After gorging itself on a cupcake – San Jose State – The Men of Troy march into Columbus with an eye focused on the main entree.  Old friend Pete Carroll is blazing new territory at USC.  Carroll’s Trojans are an astounding 82-9 in its last 91, and have rolled the Vegas trifecta of 7 consecutive Pac-10 Titles, 7 consecutive eleven win seasons, and 7 consecutive BCS bowl appearances. 

The reins of this dynasty have been handed to true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, but the kid of Homeric talent, isn’t expected to do it all himself.  The QB is assisted by literally a Tailback U half-dozen starry runners, featuring Joe McKnight, along with an All-America receiver in Damien Williams, and the entire package is nicely protected by one of the nation’s best offensive lines, featuring All-Americas Jeff Byers and Kristofer O’Dowd.  The D returns only three starters led by its undisputed leader is All-America safety Taylor Mays, but Pete Carroll’s specialty is defense, and he thrives on being challenged.

Fairly or unfairly, after all, Ohio State has played in two of the last three BCS Championship games; the reputation of the Big Ten will once again, be on the line, this Saturday in the Horseshoe.  Can the big dog from the Midwest, take on the lead dog from the West Coast?  OSU is directed by its duel threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who still hasn’t shown that he can throw the ball down field with any degree of accuracy.  The rest of the OSU offense remains in a rebuilding mold.  The o-line is shaky, the tailback spot is shared between Dan Herron and Brandon Saine, and no one from the receiver corps has yet to distinguish himself.  The strength of the Buckeye D is in the line; featuring ends Thaddeus Gibson, Cameron Heyward, along with nose tackle Doug Worthington.  We think the Big Ten’s reputation takes another ding, as Carroll’s Boys say; “Goodbye Columbus,” and leave with their bellies fully gorged.

No.18 Notre Dame at Michigan (Ch.7, 3:30 p.m.)  What a difference a week makes.  Before their season opening performances, both of which were sharper than Dean Martin in a tuxedo, this game on paper fell into the “ho-hum” category.  One week later it’s moved into a “must watch” Emmy contender. 

There is now a line waiting to find a spot on the Irish bandwagon.  But, the wise philosopher once said, “One game does not a season make.”  This week we’ll find out if ND is for real or simply Memorex.  With Charlie Weis once again calling the plays, the performance of junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen along with the running of Armando Allen and the field stretching ability of best pair of receivers in the nation, in All-America Golden Tate, and Michael Floyd, even has Touchdown Jesus in a smiling mood.  The blitzing D is another matter for the Golden Dome faithful.  Although it pitched its first shutout of the Weis era last week, there are still a lot of candles being lit in the Grotto for their continued well being. 

The much maligned Wolverines coach Rod (Rich Rodriguez) is finally breathing easier, now that he has found not one, but two, duel threat quarterbacks, in freshmen Tate Forcier (starter) and Denard Robinson to direct his spread attack.  The running game is spearheaded by the tandem of Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor, and the bell tolls for the QB’s favorite target, Junior Hemingway.  The D’s front seven is stout led by All-America Brandon Graham and backer Obi Ezeh, but the secondary remains a question, which is not a good recipe in facing Clausen. Fully aware that we are never on the right side of a Notre Dame contest, we think, in this 37th meeting between the two winningiest college football programs, that it will be the speed of Michigan’s ferret quarterbacks who will carry the day, as ‘Hail to the Victors,’ rings around the Big House.

UCLA at Tennessee (ESPN, 4p.m.)  With a victory, Coach Rick Neuheisel and his UCLA Bruins, otherwise known as; the “other” team from the City of Angels, will garner some hard earned attention.  The offense under the guidance of his guru offensive coordinator Norm Chow is directed by quarterback Kevin Prince, with assists from tailback Johnathan Franklin, and wideout Taylor Embree.  If the o-line jells quickly, this could be an explosive attack.  The D is led by its All-America tackle Brian Price, with help from backer Reggie Carter, and a strong dose of the Bosworth brothers, Kyle and Korey. 

Newly minted Vols coach Lane Kiffin, who, “never met a man he liked,” has injected more life back into Knoxville than Dr. Frankenstein brought to the Bavarian countryside. The hope for the orange clad faithful is that, if there is a Saturday nightmare, it occurs on the visitor’s sideline.  UT’s catalyst is senior quarterback Jonathan Crompton, with assists from the nation’s top running back recruit Bryce Brown, (who’s already made an impact), along with a pair of wideouts in Quintin Hancock, and Marsalis Teague.  The D is anchored by All-America safety Eric Berry, with help from backers Nick Reveiz, Savion Frazier, and end Chris Walker.  In a close, hard fought contest, we think Boys from the West Coast fly home with the words to Rocky Top, ringing in their ears. 

South Carolina at No.21 Georgia (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)  South Carolina’s Head Ball Coach really likes his team.  Steve Spurrier has also found renewed energy and purpose, hiring six new assistants, and building, or rebuilding, what he refers to as a “new era” at South Carolina. 

Despite his legendary offensive credentials, it will be the Gamecocks attacking, stifling D, led by backers Shaq Wilson, Eric Norwood, and end Cliff Matthews, who will determine the success of the Cocks season.  Talented quarterback Steven Garcia is searching for consistency, almost as intently as Diogenes searched for an honest man. Spurrier, and the South Carolina faithful, are simply hoping that it doesn’t take as long for the quarterback to locate it.  If Garcia does indeed figure it out, this team could be more than just SEC spoilers.

Georgia has opened its SEC schedule with South Carolina every year since 1992, and during the Mark Richt tenure, the Dawgs have gone 6-2 against the Gamecocks.  The Bulldogs are directed by the steady hand of senior quarterback Joe Cox, with big assists from his All-America receiver A.J. Green and the pounding of tailback Richard Samuel.  The D is attacks behind its All-America backer Rennie Curran, and his fellow backers Marcus Dowtin and Darryl Gamble.  In a game that will have more hits than the Erin Andrews video, we can’t see the Dawgs starting the season 0-2. 

Stanford at Wake Forest        There’s been a long dry football drought on the Farm at Palo Alto.  Jim Harbaugh’s Cardinal, who are tilling for its first winning season since 1999, is led by its talented sophomore Andrew Luck, with assists from senior tailback Toby Gerhart and a pair of wideouts in Ryan Whalen and Chris Owusu.  The physical D, behind end Erik Lorig, Tom Keiser and backer Clinton Snyder, isn’t afraid to attack, and takes a bend don’t break attitude. 

If Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe can lead his Demon Deacons to its fourth consecutive winning campaign, it will be a first on the Winston-Salem campus since the Truman Administration in 1948.  The director of the Wake attack is its talented senior quarterback Riley Skinner who is helped by his tailback tandem of Kevin Harris and Devon Brown, and a pair of sure handed targets in Marshall and Jordan Williams.  The ball hawking D, features tackles Boo Robinson, John Russell and backer Jonathan Jones, but the secondary is young and inexperienced.  West Coast to East Coast, noon time kickoffs are brutal, but we think that the crop is finally fertile on the Farm, and Stanford flies home with a victory.

Last week’s record:  3-2.

We begin this week with a misdiagnosis of colossal proportions.

This past summer, Lou Holtz, the only coach to take six different teams to a bowl game, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.  Holtz is most renowned for his eleven year tenure at Notre Dame, where he compiled a Rockne type record of: 100-32-2, while leading the Irish to its last National Championship in 1988. 

None of those accomplishments would have occurred if this Ohio native had paid any attention to his East Liverpool High School guidance counselor.  This was his encouragement to an impressionable high school kid, “A lot of people don’t know what’s going on, but you don’t even suspect anything is going on.”  Wow – now that’s Lincolnesque.  .

This weekend, let’s see which teams perform like their clueless, and which guided by wise counsel, execute the game plan to perfection.

No.3 USC at No.8 Ohio State (ESPN, 8 p.m.)  After gorging itself on a cupcake – San Jose State – The Men of Troy march into Columbus with an eye focused on the main entree.  Old friend Pete Carroll is blazing new territory at USC.  Carroll’s Trojans are an astounding 82-9 in its last 91, and have rolled the Vegas trifecta of 7 consecutive Pac-10 Titles, 7 consecutive eleven win seasons, and 7 consecutive BCS bowl appearances. 

The reins of this dynasty have been handed to true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, but the kid of Homeric talent, isn’t expected to do it all himself.  The QB is assisted by literally a Tailback U half-dozen starry runners, featuring Joe McKnight, along with an All-America receiver in Damien Williams, and the entire package is nicely protected by one of the nation’s best offensive lines, featuring All-Americas Jeff Byers and Kristofer O’Dowd.  The D returns only three starters led by its undisputed leader is All-America safety Taylor Mays, but Pete Carroll’s specialty is defense, and he thrives on being challenged.

Fairly or unfairly, after all, Ohio State has played in two of the last three BCS Championship games; the reputation of the Big Ten will once again, be on the line, this Saturday in the Horseshoe.  Can the big dog from the Midwest, take on the lead dog from the West Coast?  OSU is directed by its duel threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who still hasn’t shown that he can throw the ball down field with any degree of accuracy.  The rest of the OSU offense remains in a rebuilding mold.  The o-line is shaky, the tailback spot is shared between Dan Herron and Brandon Saine, and no one from the receiver corps has yet to distinguish himself.  The strength of the Buckeye D is in the line; featuring ends Thaddeus Gibson, Cameron Heyward, along with nose tackle Doug Worthington.  We think the Big Ten’s reputation takes another ding, as Carroll’s Boys say; “Goodbye Columbus,” and leave with their bellies fully gorged.

No.18 Notre Dame at Michigan (Ch.7, 3:30 p.m.)  What a difference a week makes.  Before their season opening performances, both of which were sharper than Dean Martin in a tuxedo, this game on paper fell into the “ho-hum” category.  One week later it’s moved into a “must watch” Emmy contender. 

There is now a line waiting to find a spot on the Irish bandwagon.  But, the wise philosopher once said, “One game does not a season make.”  This week we’ll find out if ND is for real or simply Memorex.  With Charlie Weis once again calling the plays, the performance of junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen along with the running of Armando Allen and the field stretching ability of best pair of receivers in the nation, in All-America Golden Tate, and Michael Floyd, even has Touchdown Jesus in a smiling mood.  The blitzing D is another matter for the Golden Dome faithful.  Although it pitched its first shutout of the Weis era last week, there are still a lot of candles being lit in the Grotto for their continued well being. 

The much maligned Wolverines coach Rod (Rich Rodriguez) is finally breathing easier, now that he has found not one, but two, duel threat quarterbacks, in freshmen Tate Forcier (starter) and Denard Robinson to direct his spread attack.  The running game is spearheaded by the tandem of Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor, and the bell tolls for the QB’s favorite target, Junior Hemingway.  The D’s front seven is stout led by All-America Brandon Graham and backer Obi Ezeh, but the secondary remains a question, which is not a good recipe in facing Clausen. Fully aware that we are never on the right side of a Notre Dame contest, we think, in this 37th meeting between the two winningiest college football programs, that it will be the speed of Michigan’s ferret quarterbacks who will carry the day, as ‘Hail to the Victors,’ rings around the Big House.

UCLA at Tennessee (ESPN, 4p.m.)  With a victory, Coach Rick Neuheisel and his UCLA Bruins, otherwise known as; the “other” team from the City of Angels, will garner some hard earned attention.  The offense under the guidance of his guru offensive coordinator Norm Chow is directed by quarterback Kevin Prince, with assists from tailback Johnathan Franklin, and wideout Taylor Embree.  If the o-line jells quickly, this could be an explosive attack.  The D is led by its All-America tackle Brian Price, with help from backer Reggie Carter, and a strong dose of the Bosworth brothers, Kyle and Korey. 

Newly minted Vols coach Lane Kiffin, who, “never met a man he liked,” has injected more life back into Knoxville than Dr. Frankenstein brought to the Bavarian countryside. The hope for the orange clad faithful is that, if there is a Saturday nightmare, it occurs on the visitor’s sideline.  UT’s catalyst is senior quarterback Jonathan Crompton, with assists from the nation’s top running back recruit Bryce Brown, (who’s already made an impact), along with a pair of wideouts in Quintin Hancock, and Marsalis Teague.  The D is anchored by All-America safety Eric Berry, with help from backers Nick Reveiz, Savion Frazier, and end Chris Walker.  In a close, hard fought contest, we think Boys from the West Coast fly home with the words to Rocky Top, ringing in their ears. 

South Carolina at No.21 Georgia (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)  South Carolina’s Head Ball Coach really likes his team.  Steve Spurrier has also found renewed energy and purpose, hiring six new assistants, and building, or rebuilding, what he refers to as a “new era” at South Carolina. 

Despite his legendary offensive credentials, it will be the Gamecocks attacking, stifling D, led by backers Shaq Wilson, Eric Norwood, and end Cliff Matthews, who will determine the success of the Cocks season.  Talented quarterback Steven Garcia is searching for consistency, almost as intently as Diogenes searched for an honest man. Spurrier, and the South Carolina faithful, are simply hoping that it doesn’t take as long for the quarterback to locate it.  If Garcia does indeed figure it out, this team could be more than just SEC spoilers.

Georgia has opened its SEC schedule with South Carolina every year since 1992, and during the Mark Richt tenure, the Dawgs have gone 6-2 against the Gamecocks.  The Bulldogs are directed by the steady hand of senior quarterback Joe Cox, with big assists from his All-America receiver A.J. Green and the pounding of tailback Richard Samuel.  The D is attacks behind its All-America backer Rennie Curran, and his fellow backers Marcus Dowtin and Darryl Gamble.  In a game that will have more hits than the Erin Andrews video, we can’t see the Dawgs starting the season 0-2. 

Stanford at Wake Forest        There’s been a long dry football drought on the Farm at Palo Alto.  Jim Harbaugh’s Cardinal, who are tilling for its first winning season since 1999, is led by its talented sophomore Andrew Luck, with assists from senior tailback Toby Gerhart and a pair of wideouts in Ryan Whalen and Chris Owusu.  The physical D, behind end Erik Lorig, Tom Keiser and backer Clinton Snyder, isn’t afraid to attack, and takes a bend don’t break attitude. 

If Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe can lead his Demon Deacons to its fourth consecutive winning campaign, it will be a first on the Winston-Salem campus since the Truman Administration in 1948.  The director of the Wake attack is its talented senior quarterback Riley Skinner who is helped by his tailback tandem of Kevin Harris and Devon Brown, and a pair of sure handed targets in Marshall and Jordan Williams.  The ball hawking D, features tackles Boo Robinson, John Russell and backer Jonathan Jones, but the secondary is young and inexperienced.  West Coast to East Coast, noon time kickoffs are brutal, but we think that the crop is finally fertile on the Farm, and Stanford flies home with a victory.

Last week’s record:  3-2.

Season Record:        3-2.

Season Record:        3-2.

Recap Week 1

What a start!  The number 3 team in the nation goes down, as does its Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.  In addition a pair of Division 1AA teams took down a pair of Division 1 opponents, and Army won its opener. 

It began on Thursday night with the latest start to the college football season since 1981.  The day also proved to be the Waterloo for the two previous football coaches of Boston College, as well as for another coach who used to diagram offensive plays a few miles up the road in Durham, New Hampshire.  Word came down early in the morning that “old friend” – Jeff “Greener $ Pastures” Jagodzinski – had been fired as offensive coordinator by the Tamp Bay Buccaneers, one week before the season started.  YIKES!!   Then on national television, for the second consecutive year, another “old friend” Tom O’Brien and his North Carolina State Wolfpack, gave the nation a stinkeroo performance in losing to South Carolina 7-3.  How bad was it – well with 12 minutes left in the game, NC State had amassed a paltry 99 yard of total offense. 

The final indignation came at the end of the Boise State vs. Oregon game, a 19-8 embarrassing performance by Oregon that saw its high octane offense garner a total of 151 yards of offense and only 6 first downs.  This Steven King nightmare also saw one of the Oregon players, tailback LeGarrette Blount; sucker punch Byron Hout of Boise State.  It was a night ending indignity for newly minted Ducks head coach Chip Kelly, who at one time was the offensive coordinator at UNH.  Kelly to his credit, suspended Blount for the rest of the season, but it wasn’t the way he wanted his coaching career to debut.

Elsewhere to the north, Syracuse, who has won a total of ten games in the last four years, looked like a real football team for 59 minutes against the University of Minnesota.  Unfortunately, the game is played in 60 minute or in this case overtime, and that’s when quarterback Greg Paulus, the former point guard at Duke, who hasn’t played in a real football game in over five years, tried to make a play, and instead, threw a game changing interception, allowing Minnesota to kick the winning field goal 23-20 in overtime.  But there appears to be some renewed life in the ‘Cuse program, particularly on the much maligned defensive side of the ball. It will be interesting to follow, especially with the charismatic Paulus leading the parade, and the equally likeable new head coach and former ‘Cuse player Doug Marrone.

A couple of Big Ten squeakers, Northern Iowa had the highly ranked Iowa Hawkeyes on the ropes for the entire game, with two chances to win by kicking a game ending field goal, but Iowa, not once, but twice, blocked the attempt, holding onto a 17-16 victory. Amazing.  The other near ringer came in the Horseshoe in Columbus, when Navy, with less than two minutes remaining, was a two point conversion away from tying the game.  But the Ohio State defense finally rose up and intercepted the conversion returning it for its own two points in escaping with a 31-27 victory.  It was the 31 consecutive opening win for the Buckeyes, but it had to be discouraging for the Scarlet and Grey faithful, especially with USC coming to town on Saturday.  The most disturbing part of the game was the performance of the OSU secondary and this against a running team.  It is not a good recipe in preparing for the Trojans, in a game in which that outcome, will once again, determine the reputation of the Big Ten.

In South Bend, the Domer faithful have all jumped back onto the Charlie Weis bandwagon, as Notre Dame looked scintillating in destroying Nevada 35-0.  Quarterback Jimmy Clausen looked like the reincarnation of Joe Theisman, but the real eye opening was the physicality of the defense.  Nevada is a talented offensive team, but highly respected coordinator Jon Tenuta worked his sorcery, game planning Notre Dame to its first shutout in the Weis era.

Back in Stillwater, in the school’s most anticipated game in its history, Oklahoma State – aka Boone Pickens University – took on SEC power Georgia.  It was the Ok State defense which gave the big boys from the SEC a lesson in tenacity, as the Cowboys defeated Georgia 24-10.  But to Georgia coach Mark Richt’s credit, it was the first time the Dawgs have ventured outside the South for an opener since 1958, and the first time Georgia played a top ten opening day opponent since 1968. 

In Knoxville, the Lane Kiffin era started in a big way, as Tennessee hung a 63 spot on Western Kentucky, while piling up 657 yards of offense.  It was UT largest margin of victory in 2000, but it won’t be that easy next week against an improving UCLA team.

Happy Valley began its quest on a happy note as the ageless (82) Joe Pa and his Nittany Lions opened the season with a 31 – 7, victory against overmatched Akron.  The game  saw PSU had racked up 344 yards of offense to Akron’s 8 in the first half.  YIKES!!  It’s too bad the NCAA allows teams to schedule these Cupcake U matchups.

May the force be with you, as Air Force flew all over Nichols State 72-0. 

After dispatching Wake Forest, the Baylor Bears, and their starry quarterback Robert Griffin, the best quarterback in the nation that nobody knows, may indeed be on its way to a bowl invite. 

As we stated, the biggest shocker of the day took place in Dallas which saw the third ranked Sooners of Oklahoma, lose to BYU 14 – 13. Not only was OU uncharacteristically sloppy, but for the most part, were totally outplayed.  But the biggest blow wasn’t to their ego; it was to the shoulder of its Heisman Trophy defending quarterback Sam Bradford, who will be out between two to four weeks with an injured shoulder joint.  But all is not lost for the Sooners, the talent is there to hold the fort until Bradford returns, somewhere between the second and fourth week, and hopefully, before the Texas showdown.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.  It was another bad performance in a big game for a team from the ACC.  In a slug fest, a 34-24 victory for the Sons of Bear Bryant, the ‘Bama D showed that it might be even better than last year’s squad, as they completely dominated the Hokies, and stifled VA Tech’s quarterback Tyrod Taylor into a 9-20-91 yards of passing, pathetic performance.  Alabama’s first year starter, junior quarterback Greg McElroy, looked like a seasoned veteran, while tailback Mark Ingram was virtually unstoppable against a very good VA Tech defense.  And amazingly, VaTech is now 0-21 on the road against top five teams.

The Al Groh death watch is officially on in Charlottesville, as William and Mary of all teams, embarrassed the Cavaliers 26-14.  Al Groh is officially on the clock.      . 

David Cutcliff is finding out just how hard it is to win a football game at Duke as the defending Division 1AA Champion Richmond Spiders, defeated his Blue Devils, 24-16,      adding another black mark against a seemingly overmatched program. 

In the good news category, first year coach Rich Ellerson and his Black Knights of Army won its opener 27-14 over Eastern Michigan.

On a gambling note, the University of Florida opened up as a 73 point favorite over Charleston Southern, but it subsequently dropped to 63 by kickoff.  Final score 62-3 Florida:  here’s today’s lesson:  when you can get 60!! Take the points!!!

That’s it from cyber space.  We’ll be up and running Wednesday night with our week two preview.  Until then – Peace Out.   pk

What a start!  The number 3 team in the nation goes down, as does its Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.  In addition a pair of Division 1AA teams took down a pair of Division 1 opponents, and Army won its opener. 

It began on Thursday night with the latest start to the college football season since 1981.  The day also proved to be the Waterloo for the two previous football coaches of Boston College, as well as for another coach who used to diagram offensive plays a few miles up the road in Durham, New Hampshire.  Word came down early in the morning that “old friend” – Jeff “Greener $ Pastures” Jagodzinski – had been fired as offensive coordinator by the Tamp Bay Buccaneers, one week before the season started.  YIKES!!   Then on national television, for the second consecutive year, another “old friend” Tom O’Brien and his North Carolina State Wolfpack, gave the nation a stinkeroo performance in losing to South Carolina 7-3.  How bad was it – well with 12 minutes left in the game, NC State had amassed a paltry 99 yard of total offense. 

The final indignation came at the end of the Boise State vs. Oregon game, a 19-8 embarrassing performance by Oregon that saw its high octane offense garner a total of 151 yards of offense and only 6 first downs.  This Steven King nightmare also saw one of the Oregon players, tailback LeGarrette Blount; sucker punch Byron Hout of Boise State.  It was a night ending indignity for newly minted Ducks head coach Chip Kelly, who at one time was the offensive coordinator at UNH.  Kelly to his credit, suspended Blount for the rest of the season, but it wasn’t the way he wanted his coaching career to debut.

Elsewhere to the north, Syracuse, who has won a total of ten games in the last four years, looked like a real football team for 59 minutes against the University of Minnesota.  Unfortunately, the game is played in 60 minute or in this case overtime, and that’s when quarterback Greg Paulus, the former point guard at Duke, who hasn’t played in a real football game in over five years, tried to make a play, and instead, threw a game changing interception, allowing Minnesota to kick the winning field goal 23-20 in overtime.  But there appears to be some renewed life in the ‘Cuse program, particularly on the much maligned defensive side of the ball. It will be interesting to follow, especially with the charismatic Paulus leading the parade, and the equally likeable new head coach and former ‘Cuse player Doug Marrone.

A couple of Big Ten squeakers, Northern Iowa had the highly ranked Iowa Hawkeyes on the ropes for the entire game, with two chances to win by kicking a game ending field goal, but Iowa, not once, but twice, blocked the attempt, holding onto a 17-16 victory. Amazing.  The other near ringer came in the Horseshoe in Columbus, when Navy, with less than two minutes remaining, was a two point conversion away from tying the game.  But the Ohio State defense finally rose up and intercepted the conversion returning it for its own two points in escaping with a 31-27 victory.  It was the 31 consecutive opening win for the Buckeyes, but it had to be discouraging for the Scarlet and Grey faithful, especially with USC coming to town on Saturday.  The most disturbing part of the game was the performance of the OSU secondary and this against a running team.  It is not a good recipe in preparing for the Trojans, in a game in which that outcome, will once again, determine the reputation of the Big Ten.

In South Bend, the Domer faithful have all jumped back onto the Charlie Weis bandwagon, as Notre Dame looked scintillating in destroying Nevada 35-0.  Quarterback Jimmy Clausen looked like the reincarnation of Joe Theisman, but the real eye opening was the physicality of the defense.  Nevada is a talented offensive team, but highly respected coordinator Jon Tenuta worked his sorcery, game planning Notre Dame to its first shutout in the Weis era.

Back in Stillwater, in the school’s most anticipated game in its history, Oklahoma State – aka Boone Pickens University – took on SEC power Georgia.  It was the Ok State defense which gave the big boys from the SEC a lesson in tenacity, as the Cowboys defeated Georgia 24-10.  But to Georgia coach Mark Richt’s credit, it was the first time the Dawgs have ventured outside the South for an opener since 1958, and the first time Georgia played a top ten opening day opponent since 1968. 

In Knoxville, the Lane Kiffin era started in a big way, as Tennessee hung a 63 spot on Western Kentucky, while piling up 657 yards of offense.  It was UT largest margin of victory in 2000, but it won’t be that easy next week against an improving UCLA team.

Happy Valley began its quest on a happy note as the ageless (82) Joe Pa and his Nittany Lions opened the season with a 31 – 7, victory against overmatched Akron.  The game  saw PSU had racked up 344 yards of offense to Akron’s 8 in the first half.  YIKES!!  It’s too bad the NCAA allows teams to schedule these Cupcake U matchups.

May the force be with you, as Air Force flew all over Nichols State 72-0. 

After dispatching Wake Forest, the Baylor Bears, and their starry quarterback Robert Griffin, the best quarterback in the nation that nobody knows, may indeed be on its way to a bowl invite. 

As we stated, the biggest shocker of the day took place in Dallas which saw the third ranked Sooners of Oklahoma, lose to BYU 14 – 13. Not only was OU uncharacteristically sloppy, but for the most part, were totally outplayed.  But the biggest blow wasn’t to their ego; it was to the shoulder of its Heisman Trophy defending quarterback Sam Bradford, who will be out between two to four weeks with an injured shoulder joint.  But all is not lost for the Sooners, the talent is there to hold the fort until Bradford returns, somewhere between the second and fourth week, and hopefully, before the Texas showdown.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.  It was another bad performance in a big game for a team from the ACC.  In a slug fest, a 34-24 victory for the Sons of Bear Bryant, the ‘Bama D showed that it might be even better than last year’s squad, as they completely dominated the Hokies, and stifled VA Tech’s quarterback Tyrod Taylor into a 9-20-91 yards of passing, pathetic performance.  Alabama’s first year starter, junior quarterback Greg McElroy, looked like a seasoned veteran, while tailback Mark Ingram was virtually unstoppable against a very good VA Tech defense.  And amazingly, VaTech is now 0-21 on the road against top five teams.

The Al Groh death watch is officially on in Charlottesville, as William and Mary of all teams, embarrassed the Cavaliers 26-14.  Al Groh is officially on the clock.      . 

David Cutcliff is finding out just how hard it is to win a football game at Duke as the defending Division 1AA Champion Richmond Spiders, defeated his Blue Devils, 24-16,      adding another black mark against a seemingly overmatched program. 

In the good news category, first year coach Rich Ellerson and his Black Knights of Army won its opener 27-14 over Eastern Michigan.

On a gambling note, the University of Florida opened up as a 73 point favorite over Charleston Southern, but it subsequently dropped to 63 by kickoff.  Final score 62-3 Florida:  here’s today’s lesson:  when you can get 60!! Take the points!!!

That’s it from cyber space.  We’ll be up and running Wednesday night with our week two preview.  Until then – Peace Out.   pk