To paraphrase the starter at the Indianapolis 500, “The games have begun!”
We’ll start in South Bend, where Notre Dame’s championship fantasy was crushed, by a coach named Holtz. As Skip Holtz’s South Florida Bulls, in a bizarre, storm delayed, and sloppy game, defeated the Irish 23-20. The Irish turned the ball over five times, including three inside the 5 yard line!! YIKES!!
It is now 23 years and counting, since the Domers, led by another Holtz, Lou, sipped from the championship cup.
Notre Dame looked tight, and what’s up with Coach Brian Kelly constantly screaming and imploding on the sideline every time a kid makes a mistake.
Compare that display of petulance to a couple of coaches with legitimate teams, Les Miles of LSU, and Chip Kelly of Oregon. When a kid made a mistake in their game, he’d come to the sideline, each coach would speak, not yell at the player, smile, and pat him on the back with encouragement. Maybe Kelly really isn’t the right guy.
The best game of the weekend occurred on Thursday night in Waco, Texas.
The Baylor Bears, led by its sensational QB Robert Griffin III (21-27, 329), who threw five touchdown passes, and at one point completed 15 in a row, knocked off mighty TCU 50-48. It usually takes a month before the Horned Frogs surrender 50 points!!
Baylor had a 47-23 lead heading into the fourth quarter, only to see TCU storm all the way back with three touchdowns and three two point conversions, then took a 48-47 lead with just under five minutes to go on a field goal!
Griffin then led Baylor down the field for the game winning field goal; 50-48. Amazing!!
This is also some irony to that 50 point number. This was the 107th meeting between these ancient Texas rivals, and the record now stands: 50-50-7, which is quite a contrast from the first time they played in 1899, which ended in a scoreless tie.
In Madison, it was a Broadway worthy debut for former NC State QB Russell Wilson, as he led the Badgers, albeit against a woeful UNLV team, to a smashing 51-3 destruction.
His Tony Award performance (10-13 255 yds.- 2 touchdowns) was sealed when the dual-threat scampered untouched 46 yards for a touchdown.
But there was an ominous sign for the Wiscy faithful, UNLV ran all over what is supposed to be a very good defense. If they are going to challenge in the Big Ten, they will have to tighten that up, and quickly.
Congrats to Coach Doug Marrone and his Syracuse Orangemen, as the Cuse stormed back from a 29-14 fourth quarter deficit, to defeat Wake Forest 36-29 in overtime.
It was the Orange’s first victory over a Div. 1 team in the Carrier Dome since 2009! That’s how far the once mighty Cuse has fallen.
The faithful in Houston want to thank the NCAA for granting its starry QB, Case Keenum, a sixth year of eligibility, as he completed 30 of 40 for 310 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Cougars to a 38-34 win over UCLA.
It is now a jump ball as to whose seat is hotter; Mark Richt at Georgia, or Rick Neuheisel at UCLA. The Bruins also lost starting QB Kevin Prince to a concussion.
USC coach Lane “Violation” Kiffin escaped with a 19-17 victory over Minnesota in the Coliseum. In that game two Trojan records were established; QB Matt Barkley completed 34 passes, and wideout Robert Woods caught 14 of those balls.
But newly minted Gopher coach Jerry Kill gives some hope to the Minnesota faithful that things will get better.
Watch out for the Mad Hatter!! Les Miles LSU Bengals are a nasty bunch, as they throttled the vaunted Oregon Ducks offense in a 40-27 beat down!!
In the other marquee game, Boise State QB Kellen Moore did what he always does, play a near flawless game, (28-34 -261-3 touchdowns) as Boise State once again showed they can play, and beat anybody, crushing Georgia 35-21. And with South Carolina next for the Bulldogs, it could be a very long year in Athens.
Speaking of South Carolina, I think it’s safe to say that the ‘Ol Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier can finally settle on a starting QB, as the oft-suspended Steven Garcia came off the bench to rally the Gamecocks past a stubborn East Carolina Pirates squad 56-37. The Pirates are led by quarterback Dominique Davis, the one time BC QB.
Finally, the best calls of the extended weekend belong to Brent Musberger and the referee in Friday’s TCU-Baylor game.
Brent opened ABC’s coverage of the LSU-Oregon game played at Cowboy Stadium with:
“You are looking liveeee, at Cowboy Stadium!” conjuring up the days when he dominated the NFL pre-game airwaves.
The referee said, at one point in the game on a penalty call:
“Illegal procedure against everyone, except the center.” Classic!!
That’s it from cyber-space, we’ll be up and running with our handicap of week 2 Wednesday evening. Until then, Peace. pk