We begin the opening week of the 2014 season with a snap of inspiration.
Freshman Aaron Golub is getting the opportunity to be one of Tulane’s long snappers.
“Let me alert the media,” you say!
Well the big deal is; Golub is legally blind.
“Close one eye, then make a fist with the hole the size of a dime, and put that opening to your eye, and that is Aaron’s continuous view,” said his snapping instructor Chris Rubio.
The kid has overcome that Himalayan obstacle and is embracing the opportunity to compete on the team. “There is nothing you can’t accomplish, if you really want to do it,” said the snapper.
Tulane head man Curtis Johnson is equally impressed.
“Aaron is a tremendous young man who has not let adversity overcome his desire to fulfill his dreams of playing college football,” he said. Good for you coach. We need more guys like Johnson.
This weekend let’s “see” which teams, (with apologies to the Boss), are blinded by the bright lights, and which seize victory, seemingly in a snap.
No.13 LSU vs. No.14 Wisconsin – (ESPN, 9 p.m.) Houston Neither coach plans on announcing his starting QB until game time.
For the faithful it’s almost like waiting to hear the legendary voice of the recently deceased Don Pardo on the “Price Is Right” shouting in his mellifluous baritone for a contestant to, “C’mooon Down!!!”
In his nine years as the eccentric leader of the Baton Rouge eleven, Coach Les Miles, aka the “Mad Hatter” has compiled a stellar resume which includes 95 victories and a national championship.
Last year’s squad sent nine players to the NFL, so, while the cupboard remains stocked with talent, it is as thin as Barak Obama on experience, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.
Whoever is called upon (Anthony Jennings or Brandon Harris) to direct the Death Valley wagon train, he is cocooned in luxury by four returning o-line starters, anchored by its All-America tackle La’el Collins.
The Tiger faithful are also hoping that the next great Bayou back will be the nation’s top rated recruit; Leonard Fournette – (4.3 forty) – who will be expected to carry the early offensive load.
The D, led by ends Jermauria Rasco, Danielle Hunter, and backer D.J. Welter, has more speed than a West Virginia meth-lab, and must be the early season standard bearer.
Once again, the Big Ten has an opportunity to show the country; that when it lines up against the “big boys” its conference is no longer a card carrying member of the Humpty Dumpty Society.
And just as the swallows annually return to Capistrano, the staple in Mad-Town, is the Badger’s ground assault, which is the envy of all; including the Israeli Army.
Operating behind a road-grading offensive line, All-America tailback Melvin Gordon, and his partner Corey Clement, comprise one of the two best tandems in America.
We think Wiscy Coach Gary Andersen will ultimately decide on the more experienced QB Joel Stave to start the game, but if he should stumble, Tanner McEvoy will definitely see some playing time.
Regardless, whoever gets the call, he will be hamstrung by a receiving corps whose overall experience is Twiggy thin.
The D, anchored by ends Chikwe Obasih, Konrad Zagzebski, and nose Warren Herring, has been issued a mandate, to blitz more than the German Luftwaffe.
With apologies to Dorothy, we think LSU’s speed once again reinforces to the Big Ten, that they’re: “Not in Kansas anymore.”
No.16 Clemson at No.12 Georgia (ESPN, 5:30 p.m.) The king (QB Aaron Murray) is dead, long live the king.
The newly crowned ruler is fifth year senior QB Hutson Mason, who voluntarily redshirted in 2012 for this opportunity to be the lead Dawg between the hedges in 2014.
The Bulldogs will snarl behind its scintillating tailback tandem; All-America Todd Gurley, and his equally dynamic partner Keith Marshall (knee) arguably the best pairing since; Bogart and Bacall.
If Georgia’s passel of receivers: Justin Scott-Wesley, Michael Bennett, and Chris Conley, Jonathan Rumph, and Reggie Davis remain healthy, memories of Aaron Murray may fade faster than Scott Brown.
On the defensive side, newly minted D-coordinator Jeremy Pruitt promises a stouter group, and will lean heavily on All-America backer Ramik Wilson, and his talented partner Amarlo Herrera for stability.
But as the Athens faithful are painfully aware, the Dawgs colander secondary is as big of an unknown as presidential nominee for the Republican Party.
The Orange-clad Clemson zealots are about to discover what life is like “PTB” – post Tajh Boyd.
Senior QB Cole Stoudt had been handed the keys to the Tiger Cadillac, but how smoothly it runs, and in which direction it heads, will largely depend on a bunch of untested parts.
The running game will churn on the legs of former walk-on C.J. Davidson, and his partner redshirt freshman Wayne Gallman.
And the receiving corps, led by senior Adam Humphries, and rocket sophomore Mike Williams, remains very much in an incubation stage.
In the early going the D, featuring All-America end Vic Beasley (13 sacks), his bookend Corey Crawford, and backer Stephone Anthony, will be the main support beam for the Clemson season.
Clemson opening its season in Athens is kudos worthy, but Georgia in Sanford Stadium is as deadly as the Ebola virus, or a straight right from Hope Solo at a family party, and the visitors will feel its effects.
No.1 FSU vs Oklahoma State (Ch.5, 8 p.m.) Arlington, Texas – Jameis “Crablegs” Winston, the Noles reigning Heisman winner, is focused on leading the Seminoles to a championship redux.
When he isn’t being questioned by the cops, the Tallahassee assassin, is comforted by a seasoned offensive line starring All-America tackle Cameron Erring.
The dual-threat QB also has the luxury of targeting a pair of glue-fingered All-Americas; tight end Nick O’Leary, and wideout Rashad Greene.
The Kenyan quality running game, is led by its relentless plough horse; Karlos Williams.
The D, featuring end Mario Edwards, backer Terrance Smith, and corner P.J. Williams attacks from all angles, and moves faster than a UPS delivery man working on a Friday deadline.
It may be a season of dry wells for the faithful of Boone Pickens University; aka Oklahoma State University.
The offense is under the command of talented junior QB J.W. Walsh, who is ably assisted by tailback Desmond Roland, and a field stretching target in Big 12 sprint champ, Tyreek Hill.
(The kid flies, but can he catch?)
The D has only four returning starters, led by end Jimmy Bean, and backer Ryan Simmons, and will be tested more often than a Jet Blue pilot.
We think The Sons of Bobby Bowden celebrate with a post-game crab legs feast, as FSU begins its title defense in a dominating fashion.
No.18 Mississippi vs. Boise State (ESPN, 7p.m.) – Thursday Atlanta The Rebels haven’t been this excited since General Robert E. Lee’s victory at Fredericksburg.
The Sons of Archie Manning are directed by QB Bo Wallace, the Grove’s most dynamic gunslinger, since another Manning, with the given name of Eli, was illuminating the skies over Oxford.
This dual-threat marksman is assisted by a pair of talented tailbacks L’Tavius Mathers, and Jaylen Walton, while the receiving corps; Laquon Treadwell, and Vince Sanders will test any defense.
The D returns nine starters, led by All-America safety Cody Prewitt, along with backers Sederius Bryant, and Denzel Nkemdiche, but must end its proclivity of surrendering the big play.
There’s a new sheriff in Boise.
Iconic legend Chris Petersen left for the $$greener pasture$ of the University of Washington, and the Broncos reins have been handed to its new man; Coach Bryan Harsin.
Senior QB Grant Hedrick will be Blue-Fielders show pony, with big assists from starry tailback Jay Ajayi, and a pair of touchdown making wideouts; Matt Miller, and Shane Williams-Tehodes.
The D, anchored by a quartet of backers; Ben Weaver, Tyler Gray, Tanner Vallejo, and Blake Renaud, will attack from all angles.
Eighteen (18) is the official speed limit on the Ole Miss Campus, in honor Archie’s retired number, and unfortunately for Boise, 18 may just be the size of the Rebels margin of victory.
[As a wizened coach once said, “Remember you can’t coach speed,” and this is SEC speed.]
Boston College at University of Massachusetts (ESPN3, 3 p.m.) Gillette Stadium
Billed as the “Battle of the Bay State,” (must everything be saddled with a cliché name?) this is a scary game for the Eagles, who are in transition, or as Tom Menino once said, “Transmission.”
And unlike General Motors, BC hopes there won’t be an endless list of recalls on its new and untested parts.
QB Tyler Murphy, a Florida transfer, will direct the Eagles, with assists from tailback Myles Willis, but outside of wideout Bobby Swigert, the receiving corps remains as weak as the campaign of Don Berwick.
The D’s strength is a pack of backers featuring Mike Strizak, Tim Joy, Sean Duggan, and Steven Daniels, along with highly touted true-freshman Harold Landry.
This is the first time the blog has written about the State’s flagship university.
The Minutemen faithful are ecstatic over the return of Coach Mark Whipple, its football version of the “Belle of Amherst.”
The offensive guru, who should have been named the Eagles coach four years ago when Frank Spaziani was hired, is the right man to try and save the program, and just may spring the upset.
He has scrapped the spread attack, and returned to a pro-style set, which will be directed by a talented QB transfer from Marshall; Blake Frohnapfel.
Tailback Lorenzo Woodley will be the tailback du-jour, while receivers Tajae Sharpe, and Alex Kenney combine to comprise a quality receiving duo.
Last season’s sieve-like D, led by nose Daniel Maynes, backers Stanley Andre, Javon Santos-Knox, and corner Randall Jette must improve dramatically if the Minutemen are to be competitive.
We know this is a long shot, UMass could get run over, but the Amherst underdogs have the better coach, and we’ve got a feeling that if Rockwell were he alive, he would be painting a cover of Whipple.
That’s it from cyber-space. Make sure to read our recap which will be up and running by noon on Sunday. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music PK