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Week One Winners & Losers

OK, we’re gonna try this.  Let’s attempt to take a warp(ed)speed look at the weekend that was in college football.

As always, your winners/losers mileage may vary,


College football fansWho else could lead off the list of winners from this weekend than the ones who have waited patiently since early January for real football to return?  Sure, there were the requisite blowouts featuring ranked programs feasting on a variety of cupcakes, but that matters not right now.  College football is back, and the world is once again right.

Mark HerzlichActually, this probably should’ve led off the list of winners.  The Boston College linebacker who was the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 missed the entire 2009 season while battling a rare form of bone cancer, and then missed most of summer camp leading up to the 2010 season opener with a broken foot.  Saturday, Herzlich was back in uniform and back on the field in BC’s 38-20 win over Weber State.  Any other storyline fails miserably in comparison to this one this weekend.

Rich Rodriguez & Denard RobinsonBased on the first game of the 2010 season, Rodriguez has hitched his future as Michigan’s head coach to Robinson.  Based on the results of the first game, Rodriguez has hitched said future to the right quarterbacking horse. In front of 113,090 fans packed into the renovated Big(ger) House, Robinson was a spread-offense virtuoso in leading Michigan to a 30-10 win over UConn.  Robinson set a school record for quarterbacks with 197 yards rushing, while also going an efficient 19-of-22 for 187 yards.  Again, it’s one game, but that corner may be in sight.

Robert Bolden & Aaron MurrayPlenty of games lay ahead for the Penn State and Georgia quarterbacks, but, after Game One of their starting careers, Bolden and Murray gave at least a hint of hope at the position.  For more on those two young guns, as well as the not-so-stellar debut of another hyped rookie Swamp starter, click HERE.

College football fans, the sequelThe TCU-Oregon State game is exactly why college football fans loathe the eight months between the end of one season and the start of another.  That was college football at it’s finest.  And the Horned Frogs ultimately gave non-BcS fans a reason to squeal in delight with their 30-21 win.

Mark ManginoHe may have been a big ol’ meanie to his players, but the former Kansas head coach never, ever lost to a school like North Dakota State.  By the count of 6-3, no less.  Again, the Div. 1-A Jayhawks scored a lone field goal against a Div. 1-AA school.  At home.  Here’s a prediction: the ego of soon-to-be-former KU athletic director Lew Perkins will continue to haunt and set the KU football program back for years to come. 

MACrifice my…The Red Hawks of Miami didn’t play too well in their 34-12 loss to No. 4 Florida. They piled up 4 turnovers (one being a pick-six) and committed 9 penalties. But the valuable experience playing one of the nation’s best teams can only give Miami some insane confidence they won’t get from playing any MAC foe. The Red Hawks won just a single game last year, and three over the past two years. Let’s look for a better year from them now that they have a good game in their pocket.

Michigan State’s ground gameThe Spartans rolled up 297 yards rushing in their 38-14 win over one of the directional Michigan schools.  Last season, MSU eclipsed the 200-yard mark just twice, with their season-high of 219 yards coming against, you guessed it, their opponent Saturday, Western Michigan.  It was a historic day for MSU as well; Le’Veon Bell became the first freshman in school history to rush for more than 100 yards in his first game.

Jimbo FisherReplacing a legend is never easy.  Replacing a beloved legend and struggling with the dessert tray on the field in the opener?  Fortunately, the new Florida State head coach doesn’t have to play the what-if game as his Seminoles easily dispatched his alma mater Samford 59-6.  Quarterback Christian Ponder eased into his Heisman campaign with 167 yards and four touchdowns in his only half of work.

That K-State RB. ya know, Ol’ What’s His NameThe name would be Daniel Thomas, and the hidden Big 12 running back gem just continues to produce whenever he’s given the ball.  28 carries, 234 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-22 win over UCLA?  Yeah, one of these days his plain name will become a household one.

College football fans, the threequelWe still have Boise State-Virginia Tech on Monday night.  As the esteemed Zac Brown Band opined, life is good today.  Life is good today.


Ole MissI’ll let THIS and the following CFT tweet encapsulate what happened in Oxford Saturday: “Ole Miss just got Nutt’d by 1-AA Jacksonville State. Karma, she’s a nasty, nasty wench.

Les MilesMy Elyria homeboy embarrassed himself tonight.  His LSU team came within five yards of losing to a North Carolina squad that was down nine starters.  Nine.  Starters.  You play a team that’s dipping that far into the depth chart and only come out with a 30-24 win?  As much as I’m embarrassed for him, Miles should take that and pound the performance exponentially.

Florida’s offense: At the half, the Gat
ors had scored more points (
21) than they had total yards (12, 13 or 14, depending on which account you saw).  Anything that happened after that against a vastly inferior MAC opponent could not mask the stench still lingering from the first two quarters of play.  Yes, it was only one game, but it was so horrendously bad and disjointed and lackadaisical and sloppy that it has to at least raise a flag that’s off-red in color.  Following the game, head coach Urban Meyer said he thought coming in that this unit would struggle, but “I didn’t imagine the offense incompetence that we experienced today.” We think the coach may have gone a little easy on his offense after what it wrought.

Mike Pouncey and his attempts at shotgun snaps.  To use a golf analogy, the Florida center very closely resembled a 38-handicap attempting a Phil Mickelson flop off hard pan.  It was worm burners and skulls and shanks as far as the eye could see.  You could count on both hands the number of horrendous snaps by Pouncey, and would then need your feet or another’s hand(s) to finish tabulating.  No excuse from a veteran who just days ago called out the Gator freshmen to just play.

Oregon’s scoreboard operatorOregon scored 59 points and rolled up 429 yards of total offense on New Mexico in the first half.  The mercy rule was apparently in effect in the second half as the Ducks scored a meager 13 points, although they did finish with a staggering school-record total of 720 yards of total offense in the 72-0 win.

Tate ForcierThe sophomore was Michigan’s starting quarterback in 2009.  One year later, Forcier is buried behind a fellow sophomore (starter Denard Robinson) and a true freshman (Devin Gardner).  Expect those transfer rumors that have been floating around out there in recent weeks to pick up volume if the current pecking order remains the same.

Ron ZookStaked to a 13-3 halftime lead, the Illinois head coach executed a perfect play-to-lose strategy in the second half as the Illini allowed 20 unanswered Missouri points to come out with a 23-13 loss.  Take heart, Illini fans; the end of the Ron Zook Era is over in three months.  Or less.

Chris Fowler on ESPN‘s College Game Day In doing their analysis of the Oregon State-TCU clash, Fowler stated that the Beavers have “dribbled down their leg” of late in big games.  Given the 15 seconds of fame Rick Pitino achieved in an extortion case over the summer, “down the leg” might not have been the best choice of words.  Still too soon, we think.

Fowler, again  This time, the venerable Game Day host stated live on air that Jeremiah Masoli had not been cleared to play for Ole Miss and will not be eligible until 2011.  One commercial break and (probably) several really bad words later, Fowler corrected the gaffe.  In fairness to Fowler, it’s not like the Masoli situation was big news or anything.

Eye rollsI sprained that ability with the Masoli-Fowler thing.

John TaylorWhat kind of a jackass would pick Florida No. 1 in the nation?  The former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver/Duran Duran bassist, that’s who.  I don’t know what goes through some people’s heads sometimes.

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18 Responses to “Week One Winners & Losers”
  1. overratedgators says: Sep 5, 2010 2:30 AM

    Cheer up, JT. That “#1 Florida” pick of yours wasn’t all bad; one might even argue that their current #4 ranking is way too high after they stunk it up against Miami of Ohio (*snicker*) today.
    On the brightside, my CFT screen name is secure for several more months.

  2. burntorangehorn says: Sep 5, 2010 9:17 AM

    Mark Mangino
    He may have been a big ol’ meanie to his players, but the former Kansas head coach never, ever lost to a school like North Dakota State
    Eh, what? Didn’t Mangino-led Jayhawks lose to teams like Northern Iowa from time to time? Not that UNI is a bad FCS school, because they’re actually pretty good most years, but so is NDSU.

  3. steelers rule says: Sep 5, 2010 10:38 AM

    Funny how most of the losers are from the SEC!

  4. edgy1957 says: Sep 5, 2010 10:40 AM

    Mike Pouncey and his attempts at shotgun snaps.
    QB and C are the two hardest positions to master on the offensive side of the line and when you’ve got to replace both AND one of them wasn’t playing that position the year before, it doesn’t take a genius to tell you that things are going to be bumpy for a while (Though, it seems that when I pointed out that he should stay at guard, some people thought I was w—-, wr—, wro–, not right).
    Mike may prove a competent center but he’s not going to be as good as his brother and he’s not helping his draft stock with his performance (There’s a reason why teams don’t draft centers high and an even bigger reason why they play rookie centers even less than rookie guards and tackles). It will take every game on the schedule to wipe out his performance against Miami and they really need to put in a long term solution at center because he’s gone next year, good year or not.

  5. edgy1957 says: Sep 5, 2010 12:20 PM

    Jake Locker needed to up his game to prove Mel Kiper right and I didn’t see it yesterday. After starting off 9 of 14, he finished up 11 of 23. 20 of 37 would be a good thing for a freshman but he’s heading into his last year and he needs to show that he’s more accurate with his passes and he was playing against a unit that lost 5 of its 11 starters on defense. BYU’s combo plate was 24 of 40 for 262 yards and 2 TDs, while he was 20 of 37 for 266 yards and 1 TD (and no second half points).

  6. Backlund in 2012 says: Sep 5, 2010 12:40 PM

    steelers rule says:
    September 5, 2010 10:38 AM ET
    Funny how most of the losers are from the SEC!
    You’re right, there was Ole Miss and….. nobody else. Since you’re a Stooler fan, I guess you like Pitt and Coach Wanny. Another epic fail from Pitt, but we’ve gotten used to that. And Penn State will lose when it counts the most, just like they always do.
    Like Big East teams and teams from PA being choke artists and losers, people are now used to SEC teams winning national titles. At least you have the Rapist QB in the NFL that can be your shining beacon of light.. hopefully, he’ll keep it in his pants this time.

  7. steelers rule says: Sep 5, 2010 1:30 PM

    OK Buckland, I am NOT a Pitt fan. I am Penn State fan and can’t wait for the Bama game. Knowing those Bama hicks, they will try to back out of playing at State College next year like they did in 03-04! Nice game played by LSU vs Carolina’s backups! The Sec has Bama and Florida and the rest are also rans!

  8. Codebeard says: Sep 5, 2010 2:49 PM

    Are we reading the same article? In the losers section it lists Ole Miss, Les Miles (LSU), Florida’s offense, Mike Pouncey (UF), and the final one is John Taylor getting ripped for picking Florida as his #1. 5 of 11 losers from the article are due to the SEC. (Not counting the second Fowler one since that’s not really the fault of an SEC team/player/employee.) It’s not “most”, but it is just under half of them.

  9. locked86 says: Sep 5, 2010 6:44 PM

    @steelers rule. I think someone is mad. Alabama is going to run wild on Penn state. I don’t know why Alabama was not mentioned in the winners. McElroy completed 13 passes out of 15. Robert Bolden, on the other hand, went 20 out of 29 and threw an interception. An interception to a team like Youngstown State? Alabama is missing their Heisman trophy winner and still running over people.
    I think you’re forgetting a few teams. Arkansas is going to have a great year. Georgia is really good this year. Lsu is a great team with a high school football coach.
    The only sad thing about the sec: we have to all play in the same conference. If the Sec was split into different conferences, It would be majorly unfair.

  10. steelers rule says: Sep 5, 2010 9:23 PM

    Locked86 must not knwo football. Boldin is ONLY 18! He threw 2 tds! Bama played SanJose State and gave up a TD??? I thought they were rankes #1? How does a #1 ranked team give u points to San Jose State? Arkansas, LSU and Ga will all ahve 4 losses easily becasue they do nto play anyone outside the SEC, since they are AFRAID!

  11. tryagain says: Sep 5, 2010 11:07 PM

    get a grip steelers rule- first off, the only person any sec player/team/fan may be scared of is your scumbag animal of a qb, no one wants to be attacked. secondly, learn how to type and spell. if you can manage to do that, then come back and talk some trash.

  12. steelers rule says: Sep 5, 2010 11:27 PM

    I was typing the way you southern talk!

  13. tryagain says: Sep 6, 2010 1:36 AM

    no, you really weren’t- i’d say it was way more reminiscent of a spastic chicken pecking on a keyboard.

  14. locked86 says: Sep 6, 2010 1:51 AM

    @steelers rule Wait; did you say Alabama gave up a TD to San Jose? Lol, no, they gave up a field goal. I’m not going to insult you, sir. I’m sure you’ll do a great job of it yourself, if you respond to this post. I do, However, have a question for you. Do you even watch college football? You seem like you know nothing about the subject. If you think Penn state has a chance to beat Alabama, then you’re going to be very disappointed.
    @people talking about Les Miles I really like how everyone puts Les miles down, but they don’t say anything about the major coaching fail that happened in the BCS bowl last year. No, lets not just go into the locker room. I know They’re wrecking us, but why would we to just go to halftime. That game was a way bigger deal, but no one seems to talk about it. I’m confused how a “team” that manages time that poorly would get into the national championship. Well, it’s easy if you don’t play in the sec. I know that Les Miles is a bad coach, but I don’t think he would even dream about doing something that stupid. Yeah, Les is a bad coach. Yes, they should just get rid of him, but I think it should be for losing to such a bad team like Penn state in the first place.
    @steelers rule. I never said that LSU was going to do good this year. I said they had a good team, despite, having one of the worst coaches of all time. Arkansas has a good team this year. Ryan Mallet, is a great QB, I’m sure they’ll end up in a great bowl game. Yeah, the SEC doesn’t love playing teams outside of the SEC. Lol, I’ve never heard an SEC fan fret over playing a non-SEC conference opponent. I’m glad we’re playing Penn state, an easy win gives Ingram more time to heal.

  15. blitz4848 says: Sep 6, 2010 9:49 AM

    @steelers rule
    You are as bad as I am–you just throw stuff out there to stir the pot…LMAO

  16. steelers rule says: Sep 6, 2010 11:57 AM

    To all SEC fans.. Enjoy your opposum pie on Labor Day! Oh by the way Northwestern beat Vandy at Vandy! Big Ten 1 SEC 0!

  17. edgy1957 says: Sep 6, 2010 1:51 PM

    You might add Joker Phillips to the list of winners. If he had lost to Louisville, it would have been a bad start to his career at Kentucky.

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