Sunday, September 07, 2008

Thoughts on College Football: Week Two

Week 2 of the college football season is almost in the books, so it's time for another weekend's worth of thoughts. Not as many games this week, thanks to channel lethargy and a lack of compelling matchups.

Vanderbilt 24 - South Carolina 17
I missed most of this game watching the NFL season opener, but, yeesh, South Carolina sure wasn't impressive at all. In particular, the vaunted defense looked mediocre. Looked like a couple mediocre teams.

Ohio State 26 - Ohio 14
Good defense (7 points on a fumble by Boeckman on a sack following a bad snap near the goalline), mediocre offense (last 7 points came on a punt return). This looked like a game without Clarett from 2002-think the 23-19 game against Cincinnati. The biggest surprise of this game, for me, was how mediocre the receivers looked. Jenkins, Holmes, Ginn, Gonzalez-these guys were very good or better college wideouts, with serious NFL-type athleticism. A scouting profile I read of Robiskie had him projected as a 5th-6th round pick, though, and he looked it today. Hartline's maybe a couple rounds higher, but not a #1 pick like the guys I listed earlier were.

Michigan 16 - Miami-OH 6
You know why you don't see more upsets of BCS teams? It's because the non-BCS teams, to be honest, suck. Miami's projected as the #2 team in the MAC East by Phil Steele, but that doesn't mean they're very good.

BYU 28 - Washington 27
Two teams that looked surprisingly even-not a great sign for BYU's BCS hopes, but they did what they needed to do in winning. Controversial ending to this game, as Locker tosses the ball well into the air after scoring the TD to get to 28-27 with :02 left. Unsportsmanlike conduct is called, of course, as that's a violation this year, and BYU blocks the potential game-tying PAT.

Notre Dame 21 - San Diego State 13
Notre Dame's better than San Diego State, but didn't look all that much better. The Aztecs had played, albeit in a loss to Cal Poly-SLO, which may explain some of that, but that's still not an encouraging sign for the Irish. ND's +8 yard pass attack seemed to consist mostly of jump balls/fades to not particularly tall players, which strikes me as not particularly wise, even if it is a relatively common college strategy.

Wake Forest 30 - Ole Miss 28
Is Ole Miss actually ... competent? Jevon Snead, transfer from Texas, had a surprisingly good game, and the Deacons needed a last-second field goal by Sam Swank to come away with a win. The Rebels had a good game against Florida last year, and may be a team to keep an eye on this year. Wake's offense looked ok enough, and may have the ACC's 2 best non-conference wins so far. Well, ok, last week was Baylor, so I'll just limit that to 2 BCS wins.

East Carolina 24 - West Virginia 3
Let the Bill Stewart Watch begin! Pat White, Noel Devine, and you score 3 points against East Carolina? VaTech was getting out lynch mobs after scoring 22 on the Pirates last week, and a team with some talented players can't get into the end zone? Awful, awful, awful. And this wasn't an undeserved result-from what I saw, ECU really did outplay the Mountaineers as much as the score would indicate.

Texas A & M 28 - New Mexico 22
I missed the last comeback (stopped flipping in at 28-10), so I can't say anything about that. What I saw was commensurate with the 28-10 lead, TAMU simply a much more talented team than the Lobos. See above re Miami-Michigan.

South Florida 31 - UCF 24 (OT)
USF annoys me-they're relatively recent in their rise to prominence, are pretty good, then do totally stupid things. QB Matt Grothe does this-scrambles away, and then throws a pass into triple coverage or takes an even worse sack (he had a howler into 2 defenders and 0 WRs). The Bulls shoot themselves in the foot with penalties. Jim Leavitt butchered the clock and the endgame situation-this game should never have gone to overtime. I want to like this team, but I just can't. UCF-let me know when you can complete a pass downfield with any degree of reliability. AFTER throwing the game-typing TD pass, the QB was 17/32 for 150 yards. 8.8 yards per completion, 4.7 yards per attempt-that won't cut it.

Florida 26 - Miami-FL 3
The Gators with 17 4th quarter points, including a field goal with 25 seconds left, to make the margin look better than it was. If Miami was any good, they could easily have won this game. If UF plays like they did tonight, they'll lose at 3 games this year. Oh, that field goal with :25 left? The line was UF by 21.5, so it resulted in a cover. UF could have just run the clock out, but Saint Urban had to appease the fanbase as well.

Texas 42 - UTEP 13
The Mike Price Watch is probably on, as UTEP never looked particularly competitive after ESPN2 switched to this game after the end of USF-UCF. The "best" moment was when Price opted to attempt a 65 yard field goal down 14-6. The field goal was short, and Texas player Quan Cosby was apparently the only player on the field who realized the kick was short and he could return it, as he was able to get to the Miner 30 on the return.

AND that's all I saw enough of to say anything about this week. Not quite the remote control overload of last week, but I still have another day of football to go. I don't plan to start doing posts like this for NFL games, though.

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