bill-swift - September 5, 2012
It is time. Time to break out the ole' lucky t-shirt; time to dust of the trusty rally cap. Time to make sure that the body paint you got on sale at the end of last season does not have any lead in it. Time to show some love and support for the Warriors of the Gridiron; the Boys of Fall.
Yes, Sports Fans--college football is back.
This past weekend saw the college football season open. At this point in the season there are not too many tough games scheduled. That doesn't mean that their will not be any or that there still can't be some awesome and crazy moments to welcome in the 2012 college football season.
Quality competition was not on tap in too many places this past weekend. It has been a common practice for many teams to schedule a weaker opponent to start the season in order to give their first team units some time to work out the kinks. Hence the yawn-fest that was Oklahoma State's 84-0 win over Savannah State, an FCS opponent that has only won 18 games since moving up from DII to FCS in 2000 (for shame OSU).
A lot of the top teams followed suit with similar easy opponents. Most of the top 25 teams had games like Nebraska did against a lesser opponent like Southern Missouri and had a similar blow out score (49-20). However there were a few that did struggle as they tried to work in new starting quarterbacks. No. 12 Wisconsin had a hard time with Iowa (26-21). No. 14 Clemson had a rough time with Auburn (26-19). No. 24 Boise State dropped its first game without Kellen Moore 13-24 to the No. 13 Michigan State Spartans.
The FCS typically does get spanked pretty bad by the FBS teams, but there is often one team that manages to shock their FBS opponent. This season it was the Youngstown State Penguins shocking the Pitt Panthers 31-17. What makes this one even better is that the Penguins are not even a good FCS team; last season they were just 6-5.
Not everyone is scared to play someone though. Credit has to go to No. 8 Michigan and No. 2 Alabama for putting their national title hopes on the line so early in the season. As it turns out, the Tide may not have as much trouble defending their title as believed. Alabama dominated Michigan, 41-14.
The USC Trojans are the current favorite to unseat the SEC, winner of the last six BCS Championships. Senior quarterback Matt Barkley looked like everything he's been advertised to be in a 49-10 rout of Hawaii.
This past weekend saw a couple of coaches return to the college ranks after being away. Mike Leach left Texas Tech after being accused of mistreating a player. He made his return with Washington State against his alma mater, BYU, but came out on the wrong end of the score 6-30.
Urban Meyer had much better luck in his debut with Ohio State. He might have to wait before he can compete for a national title, but he got off to a good start with a 56-10 demolishing of Miami (Ohio). Even though he can't win a title this season, one of his players (Devlin Smith) will be in contention for catch of the year for this grab in the corner of the end zone.
Penn State began life without Joe Paterno and started on the road to recovery from the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The Nittany Lions started off well, but fell apart in the second half en route to a 24-14 loss.
Notre Dame had a mini-scandal on its hands prior to its season opener against Navy. Radio analyst Allen Pinkett commented on how the Fighting Irish needed a criminal element on the team, a few bad citizens in order to return to dominance among the college football elite. They proved they could win without them by sinking the Navy Midshipmen 50-10 in Dublin, Ireland.
No word if the Fighting Irish picked up any actual fighting Irish from the IRA while there.
Tragedy struck at the Tennessee-NC State game held at the Georgia Dome. A 20-year old fan was celebrating a Volunteer touchdown when he fell from the upper deck and landed on another person 35 feet below. He died later at the hospital.
Tennessee coach Derrick Dooley had to be proud of his team on the field. In one 38 second stretch his boys scored 16 points, a 72-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Bray to Zach Rogers, a safety after NC State QB Mike Glennon fumbled the ball out of bounds in the end zone after being sacked by linebacker Curt Maggitt, and a 67-yard run by Cordarrelle Patterson.
What would a weekend of college football be without someone doing something silly and a record being broken. Sam Durley of Eureka College in Illinois will be the toast of the town after setting the NCAA single game passing record with 736 yards in a 62-55 win over Knox. Andre Parker from Kent State will be the exact opposite after attempting to return a muffed punt the wrong way.
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