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The Fifth Quarter: Week 1 Winners & Losers

Les Miles, Erin Andrews

Finally, thankfully, welcome to a brand new season of college football — ya know, that sport played on a (sometimes) green field? — giving us a much-needed respite from an offseason rife with off-field scandals, arrests and, of late, more conference turbulence.

While the title’s been tweaked a bit, the review of the weekend’s action below is still the same ol’ one-stop slice of Les Miles-approved college football turf it was last year.  And, just as it was last year, and as will be the case every week from here on out, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

WINNERS

“OR-ih-guhn”? Try “Or-ih-DONE”
Their starting quarterback is facing a felony charge and is indefinitely suspended.  One of their leading returning receivers was ruled ineligible for at least the opener.  Their most experienced offensive lineman could be lost for the entire 2011 season.  And then there’s the whole Willie Lyles imbroglio looming in the background.  So, with all of that off-field mess going on, what does No. 4 LSU do?  Go out and beat the No. 3 and reigning BcS runners-up Oregon 40-27, that’s what they did.  It was far from pretty, with the Tigers the beneficiaries of four UO turnovers and 12 penalties while producing a meager 273 yards of offense.  And Jordan Jefferson‘s replacement under center, Jarrett Lee, was, well, Jarrett Lee, minus the backbreaking pick-sixes featured prominently on his QB calling card.  While Lee kept up the LSU tradition of throwing for less than 100 yards in four full quarters of football, he did avoid any type of turnover while also adding a touchdown pass as an unexpected bonus.  And that vaunted Ducks rushing attack?  Stonewalled, averaging just 3.4 yards on their 28 carries.  Add it all up, and it turned into a somewhat improbable win for The Mad Hatter, and set the Bayou Bengals on a course that could still end with a January trip to New Orleans.  Stay out of the bars, though.  Just sayin’ is all.

This spud’s for you
We can hear the critics now. “But PAAAWWWLLL, it wasn’t (insert Alabama, LSU, the 2006/2008 Florida Gators or the 1977/1979 Pittsburgh Steelers here)!”  You know what?  It doesn’t matter; No. 5 Boise State went into the heart of SEC country and is headed back to Idaho with a win over a ranked member of the preeminent conference in college football.  And it wasn’t even the margin of victory that was most impressive; rather, it was how the Broncos completely stomped all over No. 19 Georgia’s manhood in every single facet of the game.  Say what you want about their blue turf and their soft conference slate and whatever else, but the Broncos have shown in nearly every “national stage” moment of the past few years that that’s exactly where they belong.  One of these days, they’ll get the nationwide respect they deserve.  Because it was “just” UGA, however, that likely won’t be the case.  Again.

Just a bro bein’ a bro
Steve Spurrier shocked nearly every interested observer by announcing earlier this week that sophomore Connor Shaw would start the opener at quarterback against East Carolina instead of two-year-plus starter Stephen Garcia.  Fortunately for Spurrier and his Gamecocks, Garcia’s chill like that and doesn’t allow such slights to affect him in the least.  Trailing 17-0 to Conference USA’s East Carolina with Shaw in charge of the offense, Garcia was inserted into the lineup.  Two touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown later, the No. 12 Gamecocks were well on their way 56-37 season-opening win.  Regardless of whether it was just mind games or Spurrier truly believed Shaw was the best option, the Ol’ Ball Coach has no choice but to start Garcia in the SEC opener next weekend.

Scoreboard, Mother Nature
For the first time in the school’s long and storied history, a Michigan football game was called due to weather, with the Wolverines coming away with a 34-10 win over Western Michigan in a game that consisted of less than three quarters of play.  The Notre Dame-USF game in South Bend was suspended twice as well due to lightning in the area — the game ultimately took 5:59 to complete — prompting the stadium to be evacuated for the first time ever that anyone could recall.  Additionally, the Iowa-Tennessee Tech game was delayed for well over an hour due to a storm that blew through the area.  And that’s not all; the McNeese State-Kansas and Montana-Tennessee games were also delayed because of weather, as well as the Eastern Michigan-Howard game being postponed until Sunday.  We said it before and we’ll say it again: Craig James was the color man on the UM game; all this weather was The Big fan Upstairs’ way of saying #firecraigjames before somebody gets hurt.

Don’t tread on us — if you don’t mind
Long the butt of jokes, most of which were well deserved, the Big East decided to whip some ass on the opening weekend of the 2011 season.  Following West Virginia’s victory over Marshall on Sunday, the beleaguered football conference sports a spotless 8-0 mark after Week One.   Sure, four of the wins came against schools outside of Div. 1-A, and just one came against a school in a BcS conference (Syracuse over Wake Forest), but it’s the Big East and a non-basketball sport we’re talking about.  Baby steps, y’all.  Baby steps.

The prodigal son returns
Skip Holtz graduated from Notre Dame.  His father, Lou Holtz, won a national championship as head coach of the Irish and has a statue outside the stadium dedicated in his honor.  It was certainly an emotional return for the younger Holtz to South Bend as head coach of USF, made even more so by the Bulls “stunning”, rain-delayed “upset” over the No. 16 Irish.  After the game, Holtz brushed aside any notion of his past adding more weight to the present. “This game wasn’t about me – that would be selfish,” Holtz said following the 23-20 win. “This is a big win for our program. Our players weren’t even born when I was here. I wasn’t going to make it about me.”  Regardless of whether the Irish were overrated — again — it was a huge win for the USF football program.  And, even as he may not admit it publicly, it was huge for Holtz as well.

Neither Wile E. Coyote nor ACME were anywhere in sight
Saturday morning I busted the chops of the fledgling University of Texas at San Antonio just a wee bit.  Now, I come to praise them.  And their fans.  In UTSA’s first game ever, the Div. 1-AA (FCS) school ran over, through and around Div. II Northeastern State by the score of 31-3.  Not only was it the Roadrunners’ first-ever win, it was the first win for head coach Larry Coker – of the Miami Hurricane Cokers — since December of 2006.  Arguably even more stunning than UTSA breezing to the first win was the attendance; a whopping 56,743 were at the Alamodome to witness the momentous occasion.  So, not only do the Roadrunner players and coaches deserve a hearty “atta boy”, the program’s fans deserve a healthy round of applause for the phenomenal support they displayed.

Now go clean that pig sty of a room, young man…
The fact Nick Isham started Louisiana Tech’s opener against Southern Miss is not really all that remarkable in and of itself; after all, he came to the Bulldogs as a three-star recruit out of high school.  What makes Isham’s start remarkable, though, is the fact that he’s not even old enough to vote.  That’s right, Isham is a mere 17 years old, and won’t turn 18 until next month.  And the youngster actually acquitted himself well in a 19-17 loss to Southern Miss, completing 20-of-36 passes for 176 yards.  While he didn’t throw  a touchdown, he didn’t throw an interception either. And, oddly enough, Tech’s opponent also has some experience with young players at the position; Brett Favre was the same age as Isham when he made his debut for the Golden Eagles a couple of decades ago.

LOSERS

A win is a win is a loss
I get the fact that, including the best offensive player in the country as well as arguably the best one on the defensive side of the ball, Auburn suffered a tremendous amount of attrition this offseason and should not be expected to play at the level they reached last year this early in the season.  What also should not be expected — or accepted — is needing a last-minute touchdown at home against a WAC opponent that hasn’t had a winning season since Bill Clinton was in office.  The good news for the Tigers is they get Florida Atlantic at the end of this month.  The bad news?  They get Mississippi State and Clemson before then, and South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida and LSU in consecutive weeks after.  Attrition or not, Gene Chizik can’t allow another performance like that if he hopes to sniff five wins let alone a minor bowl berth.

Off the Mark, back on the hot seat
I really, really like and respect Mark Richt.  There are probably just a handful of coaches in big-time college football who I’d prefer coach one of my sons over Richt.  The reality is, however, the natives are beginning to get restless — again — and, after back-to-back disappointing seasons, the howling will likely be more vocal than at any point the past couple of years.  The thing is, after what UGA did in the Georgia Dome Saturday night, it’s not exactly unwarranted. Simply put, that was embarrassing, a veritable home game that turned into a romp for the supposedly inferior Boise State Broncos.  Coming off a 6-7 season, a beatdown at the hands of a “mid-major” was the last thing Richt’s warm backside needed.  Hey, speaking of hot seats…

Hornets, don’t you think you were a little hard on the Beavers?
If Mike Riley‘s seat was hot before the start of the season, that thing’s a veritable fireball after the opener.  Unbelievably, Riley’s Oregon State team dropped a game, in Corvallis no less, to Div. 1-AA (FCS) Sacramento State, a game in which they actually came back from a 21-6 fourth-quarter deficit.  And we can’t figure out what’s worse, the fact that OSU had to mount a two-score comeback at all, or the fact that they… ahhh, screw it.  It’s all equally bad for Riley & Company, especially when they look at the schedule and see No. 11 Wisconsin coming to town next weekend.

It’s, like, just the first weekend, man
Based on the first weekend, the Pac-12 probably can’t wait for Texas and Oklahoma to head west.  While the conference went 8-4, the losses — and even a couple of the wins — were not befitting a conference looking to improve their national image.  Of course, there was Oregon’s beatdown at the hands of LSU as well as the above-mentioned loss to a 1-AA school by OSU.  And UCLA’s 38-34 loss to Houston of Conference USA.  And Colorado’s loss to Hawaii in their first game as a member of the conference.  Throw in USC’s two-point win over Big Ten doormat Minnesota and Washington’s three-point win over 1-AA Eastern Washington, and it was a weekend that commissioner Larry Scott would likely rather forget.  Unless he adds UT and OU next week, of course.

Ya know what? Go ahead and grab that clipboard for a bit
Nick Saban came into the game against his alma mater Kent State with an open mind and a clear agenda as it pertains to the quarterback position: get both AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims equal reps and let the signal-calling chips fall where they may.  While both players tossed two interceptions during the 48-7 win, McCarron was the better of the two statistically — 226 passing yards and the lone touchdown pass for McCarron to 73 yards on just nine fewer attempts for Sims — and appeared more comfortable and poised for most of the game than did his counterpart.  After Saturday’s game, expect Sims to see more of the sideline next week at Penn State than he did this weekend.  And for McCarron to get a second consecutive start, with this one not including as much time off the field.

What the…
Leading BYU 13-7 with just over five minutes to play, and facing a third-and-27 from their own 21, the prudent call for Ole Miss would be to run the ball and, if you don’t convert, punt the ball to the Cougars and play defense, right?  Wrong.  Inexplicably, first-year Rebels offensive coordinator David Lee called for a pass play out of the shotgun.  Needless to say, things didn’t go according to Lee’s plan as quarterback Zach Stoudt was blindsided by BYU defender Kyle Van Noy, causing a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by, who else, Van Noy.  That proved to be the winning score for the Cougars, with what led to that score proving to be a WTF moment for any Ole Miss fan who witnessed it.

First-degree fashion felony
That’s PGA touring pro John Daly Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley‘s choice of game-day attire there on the right.  Nothing else needs to be written.  Or, more to the point, nothing else can be written as I’m temporarily blind.

First-degree aggravated fashion felony
Call me old, call me stuck in the past, call me whatever you want, just don’t try to convince me those uniform abominations Georgia and Boise State wore Saturday night were anything but uniform abominations.  My goodness, I flipped the channel from Oregon-LSU on ABC over to ESPN and my first thought was, “why the hell are they showing an Arena League game? I thought BSU-UGA was supposed to be on?”  Those things were called Nike Combat Uniforms at their unveiling; the only thing I was combating was vertigo and the urge to vomit.  Penn State and Alabama and the like may not be cool or hip or whatever, but I’ll take those over that any day of the week and twice on Saturdays.  Now, you kids, go and get off my lawn…

ODDS & ENDS

Tom Wort was chosen by his teammates as the first defensive player who would wear the No. 12 jersey of Austin Box, the Oklahoma linebacker who tragically passed away this offseason.  Following the Sooners’ 47-14 win over Tulsa, Wort was awarded the game ball by his team.

Everett Withers, named North Carolina’s interim head coach following the firing of Butch Davis, picked up his first career win Saturday, an easy 42-10 romp over James Madison.  In a move that simply oozes class, Withers announced that he would be giving the game ball for the win to Davis.  Withers, you’re a good man regardless of what happens in your coaching future.

– On Aug. 24, Richmond head coach Latrell Scott was forced to resign following a drunk-driving arrest.  10 days later, interim head coach/offensive coordinator Wayne Lineburg took the Spiders on the road to Duke — and came away with a 23-21 win.  While the circumstances certainly made this win all the more satisfying, it certainly doesn’t come as a shock; the Spiders have beaten the Blue Devils the last three times the schools have squared off (2006, 2009).

– Injuries are an unfortunate part of football that carry no rhyme or reason to their occurrence. Unfortunately for several programs, injuries took a harsh toll on their roster in week one. Mizzou lost two defensive playmakers in defensive end Jacquies Smith dislocated his elbow and linebacker Will Ebner suffered a high ankle sprain that could sideline him for several weeks. Additionally, a pair of starters returning from season-ending injuries got off to a bad start in 2011. UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince got hurt — again — against Houston and Michigan cornerback Troy Woolfolk was carted off the field with an ankle injury. Even one of the new guys — Iowa freshman running back Mika’il McCall — broke his ankle against Tennessee Tech and will miss the rest of the season.

– Seven true freshmen were among the 69 Alabama players who saw action during the Tide’s 48-7 rout of Kent State.  I don’t know whether those numbers are high, low or about normal, but it sure seems like a helluva lot.

– As expected, Joe Paterno coached Penn State’s season opener from the press box as the living legend continues to recover from injuries suffered in a collision during summer camp.  Fortunately, an elaborate system involving the telegraph and toga-clad couriers made for a seamless transition and allowed JoePa to stay in constant communication with the sidelines.

– JoePa wasn’t the only “experienced” coach to view his team’s first game from above.  After being forced off the bus on the way to Gainesville Friday due to severe hip discomfort, Howard Schnellenberger took in Florida Atlantic’s loss to Florida from the coaches box.  Schnellenberger had undergone hip replacement surgery last month, which led to the discomfort and the very brief hospital stay.

FOR STATISTICAL PURPOSES ONLY

– In his first start at the collegiate level, North Carolina’s Bryn Renner set an ACC record by completing 22-of-23 passes (95.7 percent) in the Tar Heels’ 42-10 win over James Madison.  In fact, none of Renner’s pass attempts actually hit the ground; his lone incompletion was a second-quarter interception.  Renner completion percentage was just shy of former Tennessee QB Tee Martin‘s 95.8 percent back in 1998.

– After throwing for 310 yards in his first game back since suffering a torn ACL last year, Houston’s Case Keenum is now just 3,144 yards away from becoming the NCAA’s all-time leader in passing yardage.

– Following USC’s too-close for-comfort win over Minnesota, head coach Lane Kiffin said that his squad currently has “two good players”.  One of those players Kiffin was obviously referring to was wide receiver Robert Woods, who caught a school-record 17 passes in the 19-17 win.  The sophomore also caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Matt Barkley, who we assume is the second good player Kiffin referred to.

– Speaking of Barkley, the junior put his own notch in the USC record book, setting a school record with 34 completions.

Landry Jones did nothing to hurt his status as a preseason Heisman favorite, throwing for 375 yards and a touchdown.

– Florida’s Chris Rainey became the third player since 1996 to have a rushing, receiving and return (blocked punt) touchdown in the same game.

– Tajh Boyd was 20-for-30 for 264 yards and three TDs in his debut as Clemson’s starter.

– Arkansas wide receiver Joey Adams‘ two punt returns for touchdowns (61, 78) tied an SEC record for most in a single game.

– Chandler Harnish accounted for six touchdowns — five passing, one rushing — to give Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren his first career win.

– Questionable all week due to an injury, Washington’s Chris Polk rushed for 125 yards in the Huskies win — barely — over Eastern Washington.

– Cincinnati dropped 72 points on poor Austin Peay, the third-most the Bearcats have scored in the school’s history.

– UCF scored a school-record eight rushing touchdowns in a 62-0 pasting of Charleston Southern.

– This is a leftover from Friday night, but it’s still worth a mention: Baylor had 263 total yards in 45-10 loss to TCU last season. At halftime of their eventual 50-48 win over the Horned Frogs, the Bears had 367 yards.

– Ohio State tight end Jake Stoneburner was on the receiving end of three Joe Bauserman touchdown passes in the Buckeyes’ season-opening 42-0 cruise over Akron.  Entering the game, Stoneburner had two receiving TDs in his entire career.

– With Luke Fickell‘s win in his first game as Ohio State’s head coach, Jack Ryder remains the last coach to lose his debut at the school.  That was back in 1892, incidentally.  And the winning coach that day?  None other than Joe Paterno.

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24 Responses to “The Fifth Quarter: Week 1 Winners & Losers”
  1. bender4700 says: Sep 4, 2011 3:36 AM

    Thank you for not calling Boise a winner.

    They won a game they were favored in, ranked higher than, and the opponent is fresh off a 6-7 season.
    :)

  2. florida727 says: Sep 4, 2011 6:58 AM

    Guess we won’t be hearing any “Oregon is going to the SEC” rumors any time soon :) Averaged 47 points per game last season, then 19 against Auburn and 27 against LSU (including a meaningless 7 in the final seconds) in back-to-back games against teams from a conference that actually knows how to play DEFENSE. Are there people out there that still don’t believe the SEC is the best football conference in America?

  3. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 4, 2011 7:39 AM

    florida727: As you were told before, you are funny. Latest rumors we heard was Jimbo and school may rethink ACC membership and opt for SEC. Any scoop there?

    You are right. If you don’t have a really good defense, you won’t have success in the SEC. Seveal things really surprised me:

    1. LSU had so many take-aways; Oregon had so many penalties and give-aways
    2. LSU had better team speed than the speed merchants of Oregon who were smaller.
    3. LSU owned the line of scrimage.
    4. The LSU team did not seem too distracted by the recent fight and legal troubles. Wide receiver Randel said, “we weren’t allowed to be distracted!” ha.

    I felt bad for Houston Nutt and his team and we don’t feel bad for Ole Miss! I think I am getting soft as I age.

    Our new QB Lee did NOT lose the game for us and did what his coaches wanted. He should gain confidence. I wish we could have seen Mettenberger at the end but Lee needs all the game experience he can get, we understand. LSU secondary is fast and strong. southernpatriots has said for some time that if LSU can score over 33 points each game, their defense should be able to hold any team under that.

    Keep us in your thoughts…flooding everywhere in south Louisana and even for us in western LA, hoping the panhandle of FL is getting some rain, they were so dry.

  4. centexhorn says: Sep 4, 2011 7:45 AM

    florida727,

    Who cares about conferences? What conference you are in makes no impact on your team. Georgia and Mississippi are in the SEC, too. How’d that go this weekend? Hmm?

  5. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 4, 2011 8:16 AM

    centexhorn: Tell that to the eventual BCS champion who will be the SEC champion once again. Why? Better talent, better coaches, better money all down the line, etc.

    We always have our Ole Misses and Vanderbilts (God bless them) but we have our Alabamas, LSUs, Floridas, Tennesees, Auburns and others who play the best competion in conference and toughen up to face all comers by the end of the season, winning the BCS v. all comers from any and all conferences.

  6. florida727 says: Sep 4, 2011 9:25 AM

    Gee, I wonder if “centexHORN” is a Texas fan? This will come as a shock to you I’m sure, but FIVE national championships IN A ROW actually means something to most knowledgeable football observers.

    Brilliant catch though on the Georgia and Mississippi games. One thing you forgot to mention: SEC teams won the other TEN games. Overall (that means including UGA and Ole Miss in case you’re learning impaired) the SEC teams outscored their opponents 472 to, wait for it… 215.

    Your turn genius…

  7. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Sep 4, 2011 9:29 AM

    JT, only one Big East win came against a BcS school? Look, I’m all for kicking the little sister conference, but give credit where it is due. We all know despite being independent, Notre Dame is a BcS school with that convoluted formula that basically if they finish in the Top 16, they go to a BcS bowl. USF went to South Bend and overcame Mother Nature trying to give Notre Dame every chance to flip momentum, and won. Now, let’s kick the Irish for being overrated for the one hundred and thirty fourth consecutive year, or something like that.

  8. florida727 says: Sep 4, 2011 9:43 AM

    “snapper”, the FSU to the SEC rumors are out there. Some have them and VaTech coming to the East and Texas A&M and Missouri going to the SEC West, and there’s one of your four 16-team super conferences.

    Couple thoughts in no particular order:
    — Yeah, who wouldn’t want their team to play in the best football conference in America?
    — However, they do already play in the best BASKETBALL conference in America (yeah, okay, there’s an argument for the Big East, but historically, the ACC rules; start by thinking “Jordan”)
    — What does FSU joining the SEC actually do for the SEC? What it does NOT do is open up another major media market. One of the attractions of Texas A&M is the opening of the Texas market. For Missouri, it’s the St. Louis market. No offense, but I’m guessing the Tallahassee market isn’t exactly a blockbuster boom to the SEC extending their reach :)

  9. polegojim says: Sep 4, 2011 10:09 AM

    I’m taking a Michigan Win on this one JT

    Much bigger tests to come, but many improvements. The weak got stronger.

    Most notable: watching Robinson mature as a ‘pocket passer’. No happy feet, patient and poised. As you all know, I was doubtful…I was wrong. Much better O line too. Much better running game w ‘running backs’. Great job Coaches Borges, Funk, Jackson

    Loved the new D attitude and agressiveness, but still lots to improve. Great Job Coach Mattison.

    Coach Montgomery – we need to improve the pass rush without the blitz.

    Coach Mallory – Tough deal on Wolfolk, best wishes and fingers crossed. Avery still needs help.

    Overall disposition and winning attitude – Great Job Coach Hoke.

    In Hoke We Trust
    Go BLUE

  10. ericdinosaur says: Sep 4, 2011 10:32 AM

    “Ay Pawwwl, mayn, them Boise state kids aint got nuttin on ‘bama, I tell you hwut”

    I wouldn’t be so optimistic as an SEC fan. The only teams I feel really good about, oddly, is Miss St and South Carolina. With Arkansas and LSU close behind because of not having key players.

    Florida – John Brantley was a good high school quarterback. He will only ever be a decent college qb. Especially because this roster is still shaped around a Tebow/Spread Option offense. Charlie Weiss can only do so much.

    Alabama – they’re not a school defined by their quarterbacks, but what theyve had during their most recent successful years is a poised leader calling the shots and taking charge. its unsettling that neither qb has distinguished himself going into next wk (which they should still win w/ poor qb play) but someone better stand out come Arkansas cause you gotta score some real SEC points then.

    Georgia – Buh bye Mark Richt. The act has worn thin. This is the first year since the Stafford/Moreno year that they have some expectations in the success department and just like that year, not quite sir.

  11. polegojim says: Sep 4, 2011 10:32 AM

    @alligatorsnapper – thank the Big 10 for training two of those excellent coaches. I just checked the Michigan bank accounts again, so also not better money ‘down the line’. We can loan you some cash if needs be… I’ll give you ‘better than some’…. in the Big 12, ACC, MAC, Pac10, or Big East ; ) ; )

    Have you heard from SouthPats today?

  12. rgarbonzo says: Sep 4, 2011 10:46 AM

    hmm kinda like saying (if you are a Browns or Bengals fan) well the AFC won 10 straight Super Bowls so we are better!

  13. pricecube says: Sep 4, 2011 10:54 AM

    @JT

    “Tennessee QB Tee Martin‘s 95.8 percent back in 1988.”

    I think it should read “1998”…

    Great first weekend of football!
    :)

  14. fatfreddystubbs says: Sep 4, 2011 11:08 AM

    “As expected, Joe Paterno coached Penn State’s season opener from the press box…..”
    ———————————————————
    And I can guarantee you there wasn’t a happier person on the planet than Mike McQuery (the tall red-headed assistant coach that seems to be getting reemed by Joe every time the camera pans to the sideline).

    Hopefully from the box Joe directed some of that venom at his QB coach.

  15. John Taylor says: Sep 4, 2011 11:29 AM

    @pricecube: Friends don’t let friends write at two in the morning. ;-)

    Thanks for the heads up.

  16. htimsr40 says: Sep 4, 2011 12:16 PM

    One of the things I L-O-V-E about fans and writers – everyone overreacts to each and every play, each and every series, each and every game.

    I have no idea how well Oregon will do this season, for example, but I don’t view a five-turnover opening game as evidence that the sky is falling. No mistake – the sky fell yesterday – but address the turnover issue (do-able) and Oregon can right the ship and win the Pac-10 still. Remember that VT loss to James Madison last year? Turns out they played a lot better the rest of the season and won the ACC (not the toughest conference, I know) The JMU loss did NOT define the season – even on the heels of their close loss to Boise. An 0-2 start and then 11 straight W’s. Oregon did NOT look worse than VT did against JMU.

    UGA, ND, USC, Auburn, UNC … they have all played ONE GAME and we don’t know how the season will look. We don’t know if the first game is an omen of things to come, or an aberration that means little.

    But, by all means, that shouldn’t stop any of us from acting as if one game is the definitive answer to the question “how good are you in 2001?”.

  17. Deb says: Sep 4, 2011 4:10 PM

    @ericdinosaur …

    I’m fond of Greg McElroy, but he wasn’t exactly another Joe Namath. We won the 2009 championship on our defense and our running game. And that’s our strength this season. McCarron actually is already a more skilled QB than McElroy. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sims were, too.

    @JT …

    Well, Paaaawwwwllll , those ol’ Broncos didn’t come close to playing the cream of the SEC crop and if they want me to take them seriously, tell them to stop playing on Muppet Field ;) (Darlin’, I hope you were appropriately reverential when you typed 1977/79 Steelers ;) )

    @htimsr40 …

    If this were the NFL, I wouldn’t read anything into one game. But in the NCAA, one loss is enough to kill your championship chances. I know, I know … you could still wind up with a nice ranking and a bowl game. Woo-hoo. To me that’s like the Bear once said of ending in a tie–about as exciting as kissing your sister.

  18. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 4, 2011 4:18 PM

    florida727: Thanks for the info. Real interesting and some good possibilities and insight.

    polegojim: southernpatriots family and tigersgeaux are all resting in a hotel in Dallas after the tailgating and game. They have delayed their trip back until Tuesday because so many roads remain under water and storm damage (up to 60 mile per hour gusts) have blown many trees down over roads, etc. I know southernpatriots is due to meet with the major again on Wed about the neighborhood watch so hopefully they can all make it back by then.

    They said they served about 200 Oregon fans who loved Cajun food and many returned after the game to see if food remained…ha. The Duck fans said to the chef and cooks that their food helped to make their long trip worthwhile, after the play of their team. southernpatriots had fun with the Duck fans and told them their team did not play poorly, it was the pressure of the faster and stronger LSU defense that produced those results…ha.

  19. cometkazie says: Sep 4, 2011 4:53 PM

    alligatorsnapper says:
    Sep 4, 2011 4:18 PM

    polegojim: southernpatriots family and tigersgeaux are all resting in a hotel in Dallas after the tailgating and game. They have delayed their trip back until Tuesday because so many roads remain under water and storm damage (up to 60 mile per hour gusts) have blown many trees down over roads, etc. I know southernpatriots is due to meet with the major again on Wed about the neighborhood watch so hopefully they can all make it back by then.

    +=+=+=+=+=+

    I read earlier that I-20 was closed at Longview and Tiger fans were having a problem driving home.

    They were rerouting to US-80 around the closure which was due to wildfires.

  20. bhansen88 says: Sep 4, 2011 5:45 PM

    Hilarious. Joe Pa’s not quite that old. 1892??? Go Bucks!

  21. paulbrownsrevenge says: Sep 4, 2011 11:53 PM

    What will be funny is when Notre Dame beats Michigan next week, then we can talk about two crappy tradition loaded schools. Michigan’s defense looked pathetic just like the last 3 years. Mike Martin is a stud, and that’s about it folks. Irish over hyped every year, Michigan defense still looks like swiss cheese.

  22. polegojim says: Sep 5, 2011 12:40 AM

    @alligatorsnapper – thank you. Drought and wildfires on one extreme with storms and flooding just one state away. Ouch.

    @paulbrownsrevenge -

  23. einstein30184 says: Sep 5, 2011 12:59 PM

    Some might question my fanhood in regards to Georgia, but I don’t think I am angry about the loss to BSU. I think I am just disinterested now. I believe this is probably worse for the program than anger.

  24. Land Snark says: Sep 6, 2011 11:59 AM

    Lots to read and think about here.

    But we all know one thing.

    BSU won’t be taken seriously until they play one of the top tier teams in the SEC.

    Problem is there’s almost zero chance that an SEC team puts them on the schedule.

    Why would they take a challenging out of conference opponent when they aren’t forced to do so?

    They already have a few in conference games that will challenge their ability to stay afloat in the rankings.

    So it will always be catch 22 until either BSU takes less money and agrees to a 1 time game or one of the SEC teams schedules BSU on a whim.

    Until then they’ll never “prove” their worth to SEC and fans at large in the BCS system.

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