We are finally here, sportsfans. We made it through the darkness of the offseason, which saw multiple NCAA sanctions handed down to various programs (more on that later), the most awesome Fulmer Cup in recent memory (Congrats Georgia!), and a conference apocalypse tease that ended up seeing nothing like what we all wanted happening. But, you've all already read about that, so let's just get to the games!
-Idaho opened the season at home for the first time in years, and absolutely slaughtered North Dakota 45-0 (which was the same score the last time the two met). There were a couple issues, namely the O-Line needing to stop being made out of wet tissue paper and getting called multiple times for encroachment (which is, in fact, the dumbest penalty that you can commit). Of course, since next week sees the Vandals at Nebraska, who knows what this could mean for the season. Personally, I'm just hoping for no injuries.
-USC and Hawaii was pretty interesting. We all know that going to the island tends to mess with teams a bit. But messing with you to the point where a WAC team puts up 600 yards on you? Yeeeeeesh. That should be "fun" for USC in conference play.
-Arizona killed Toledo Friday night. This isn't notable, except for one little thing. Last year, Toledo beat Colorado handily. And somehow, Dan Hawkins is still employed by CU.
-Speaking of CU, the annual game against Colorado State was Saturday. Nothing of note, except this little tidbit. Before it was announced that Cody Hawkins would not be starting for CU, the spread was in CSU's favor by 14 points. After that announcement? It swung the other way. Interesting how when Hawkins didn't start his son, people suddenly viewed his team as legitimately decent.
-Penn State started a true freshman at quarterback, which lead to a shakey first half. Honestly, it looked like Youngstown State might pull off the upset. And then suddenly, with a couple minutes left in the 2nd, PSU found their groove. Will they be able to survive the rest of the season, including a trip to Alabama next Saturday? Who knows. But their chances are definitely looking a little bit better after that second half.
-I'm not going to cover the variety of blowouts by OSU, Florida State, Miami, Bama et al. Individually at least. I will address their scheduling in a rant in a bit.
- TCU status: Still really good.
-Fresno State beat Cincy pretty easily. Cincy, who had an 18 game regular season winning streak. Seriously, the Big East is a BCS conference, why?
On Schedules and Week One
So, with most of week one behind us, we have seen the two different styles of scheduling that are most prominent in FBS football. There is the cupcake game, like Idaho having UND come visit (holy crap does it feel good to say that). Then, there is the marquee game, like Oregon State-TCU. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of a cupcake game:
-Time to work out any kinks that may appear in a relatively safe environment.
-Mental boost from starting the season with a W, which can be quite powerful.
Disadvantages of a cupcake game:
-If you lose you are screwed in perception for the rest of the season, no matter how things actually turn out. For example, do you remember what happened to Michigan the year Appalachian State beat them at home in the season opener? Most people’s answer: They went 3-9. Actual answer: They beat the University of Florida Fightin Tebow’s in the Sun Bowl. So, not the best thing, but not nearly as bad as what people think.
-The mental block of knowing that a team you should have manhandled beat you. Only time will tell how Kansas and Ole Miss will recover from their losses to FCS teams.
Advantages of a marquee game:
-Exposure. This goes even more for neutral location games. You can’t tell me that Oregon State didn’t impress some Texas recruits, even if they lost.
-Money. Does this really need to be elaborated on?
Disadvantages of a Marquee game:
-Loss of positive perception if you are one of the later day games. Read some football forums right now. People hate both VT and BSU, purely because they have been having them shoved down their throats every five minutes. Granted, this is a pretty minor problem, since it self-corrects within 6 days.
-Hope your team is ready for the season from day one, because you have absolutely no time to work out any problems during the game. This can be a very bad situation, especially if you are/were a potential NC contender.
So, there are convincing reasons for both scheduling types, and really, there is no right answer for any individual team. Personally, I love the couple of great games we get each year to balance out the POWERHOUSE VERSUS EAST ASSHOLE MISSOURI. Of course, it is a lot more fun when EAM beats the powerhouse…
Anyway, that’s all for this week. Look forward to next week, when the most amazing day of football in recent memory happens. PS: Don’t call me, I’m not answering from 10 AM-11 PM.