With relatively few shockers, most games went how the experts picked them. I would like to point out ESPN analyst Mark May’s pick of Nevada over Notre Dame. Yeah, right May. That pick was a laugh. It goes to show most of what these guys spit out is fueled not by what they really think, but what’s in the script. At least in my opinion, its painfully obvious May was just trying to but a damper on Lou Holtz’s weekend bycalling an upset. If Mark May honestly believed a team returning with every starter on offense, and led by on-the-ropes coach Charley Weiss would loose to a sub-par Nevada team, he doesn’t deserve his spot on ESPN.
Ok, let’s talk about the week’s biggest game. I’m sure you all saw the Alabama Crimson Tide (#5) triumph over Virginia Tech (#7), 34-24 in the Chick-Fil-A Kick-Off Challenge in the Georgia Dome Saturday evening. First, I’d like to point out that Tech is no Clemson. That being said, they’re no Alabama either. Beamer-ball looked as if it might be victorious, but Bama’s brute strength seemed to overpower the Hokies by game’s end. Mark Ingram apparently caught his second wind with 99 of his 185 total yards coming late in the fourth quarter. Give Beamer credit; with a physically undermanned squad there wasn’t much he could do. As always, the Hokies excelled in special teams gaining 30.1 yards per kick return, and holding Javier Arenas, Bama’s go-to return man, to a relatively pedestrian game. One of the low spots for Tide fans was the team’s very uncharacteristic 10 penalties for 83 yards. Junior heavy-hitter Rolando McClain’s two unsportsmanlike penalties, I’m sure, will not go overlooked in Saban’s practice. I’d look for next week to be relatively penalty free. I also would like to say that Tech fans are some of the few in college sports that I respect. They know football and they know their team. I wish there were more like you out there, especially in the SEC.
Going with the flow of this rant, LSU fans should take note. I feel bad for the sweet passive northwestern American fans of Washington. Dealing with drunken, happy LSU fans is terrible, dealing with drunken, angry LSU fans… watch out. As for the overpaid over-rated Les Miles, thanks for sticking with LSU. He rides Saban’s recruiting coattails and ends up making $3.2 mil a year. A small note, his contract stipulates that his salary must match that of the highest paid coach in the SEC. I mean how much does this guy benefit from the existence of Nick Saban. Enough about that; lets get on with what really makes me happy — LSU’s vaunted defense, the reason why some picked them to win the SEC west, hah, was anything but, Saturday night. Husky QB Jake Locker was 8-11 passing for 137 yards, ON THIRD DOWNS! This stat is ridiculously awesome. If LSU can’t get their defense off the field then their untested offense will suffer tremendously. Jordan Jefferson is a bright spot, but I can’t honestly say I’m sold. WR Terrance Toliver made lousy defenders miss on his way to 117 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns on 4 receptions. Jefferson only threw for a total of 172 yards; 117 to Toliver; the other 55 yards coming from short easy throws. Miles needs to be thankful for Toliver; and he better do something quick or the disaster of 2008 could be repeated in ’09.
Of note, USC’s trouncing 56-3 victory over San Jose State goes to show quality recruits can live up to the hype. USC’s Blonde Bomber, Matt Barkley looked like a third year starter, after a few mandatory hiccups that any true freshman starter encounters. An exceptional game for most, Matt Barkley — 15 of 19 for 233 yards and one touchdown with NO Interceptions — only looks to get better. I’m sure Jim Tressel isn’t as excited about facing this rebuilt USC team as he was a week ago. USC vs. Ohio State or is it Barkley vs. Pryor, or maybe Carroll vs. Tressel. Look for USC’s stable of backs to set the tempo with Barkley playing solid ball to keep USC’s offense on the field. It’s going to be a good one, but USC comes out on top with a dominating rush attack.