Yes, finally - once again comes that time of year when I feed, clothe, and bathe myself not out of dumb habitual routine, but to live to see the next day. I'm not rich, or superbly educated, or particularly good looking, nor is my job all that great, and I don't have a girlfriend/wife and certainly no dependents keeping me here. So often times I find myself, not even on particularly shitty days, wondering: "what's it like to be dead?" Can it be much worse than this daily grind? I'm going to be super, super fucking pissed if I eventually die and it's just a non-stop party and everyone looks really sexy, including myself. But not as pissed as I'll be if I die and there's no TV to watch college football on. Even if, in the afterlife, I've got a sweet 6 pack and like an 8" dong...if there's no CFB on fall Saturdays I'd rather be alive, paying $2.95 for gas and working 8-5 every day as long as my Saturday respite is going to be there.
Nay, I do not take care to continue living to see the very next day exactly - I live for the next SATURDAY. Oh yes. September 1st has come and gone. I feel that the spirits have got me, they've taken hold - they've said "you will do nothing on each and every Saturday, and even most Thursdays, and a few Tuesdays in November (thank you MAC conference)...except watch college football." And I can't very well disagree with these spirits.
Usually the season begins with its own version of a "bang". And by this, I mean it starts with one of those pistols that folds out that "bang" banner when you pull the trigger. The NFL, which I consider a slightly inferior product AS A WHOLE, usually is vastly more entertaining in its first weekend than the college game. But not this year...and who do we have to thank? Llllllllloyd Carr, that's who.
And the best part is, I practically called Michigan laying this dud. To be honest, I would consider myself more knowledgeable than probably 99% of "college football fans" out there. I knew Appalachian State was a very fucking good team. I knew they'd won two straight national championships. But, like the rest of this 1%, I also knew that they were a 1-AA team. I knew that they had 1A cast-offs and transfers, players who couldn't make the grade academically at the likes of FSU (yes, apparently it is possible to have a 1.25 GPA and score a 138 on the SAT), undersized guys and players who'd rather take a scholarship offer at ASU than try to walk on at Tennessee.
But I also know that Michigan, the past few years, has come out with some absolute duds for opening week games. They've let SDSU, Miami OH, Northern Illinois, and a few other teams stick around for a little too long. But those teams are not teams that are particularly used to winning. ASU is, and they showed it to the world. Honestly, it didn't surprise me that much. It's still hard to believe, but it all makes sense.
With that, a rundown of the weekend's action in the top 25:
USC 38 Idaho 10
USC as a whole looked rather pedestrian, but it's understandable given their opponent. Idaho is just not very good and most of those Idaho players were recruited by a now-SC coach. The one bright spot for USC was their running game - they must have thrown 6 different backs out there and they all looked great, especially Johnson. I don't think they'll miss Moody too much.
LSU 45 Mississippi State 0
Despite the final score, LSU didn't look all that great. Much of this 45-0 stomping came thanks to something like 37 interceptions thrown by MSU "quarterback" Mike Henig. A much bigger task at hand against VT this week, though my money's on the LSU secondary fielding a few more fly balls at the hands of VT QB Sean Glennon.
West Virginia 62 Western Michigan 24
This is at least somewhat surprising - WMU is usually a pretty decent team. I think this just goes to show you the caliber of player that Rich Rodriguez is putting on the field this year. Slaton and White ran all over the place and even Youtube sensation Noel Devine got in the act with a touchdown.
Texas 21 Arkansas...State 13
Yes, this score is for real. Texas, who usually steamrolls in their opener, beat lowly Arkansas State of the Sun Belt by 1 score. And for them, it's a good thing they scheduled a Sun Belt opponent - practically any other competent team from a major conference would have likely pounded Texas if they'd put up this performance again. I thought they were overrated last year and they proved it with losses to KSU and A&M down the stretch. Their biggest challenge is still the OU game, and at this point (I know it's early), I'd take OU by 14 at the very least.
Appalachian State 34 Michigan 32
Don't really need to say anything about this. Growing up on the Ohio/Michigan border, this pleases me to no end, especially among the MASSIVE contingent of UM fans who were no doubtedly spouting "Appalachian Who?" I can't stand casual fans who act like they have the right to claim any insight to the game. This shoves it down their throats and up their asses and meets somewhere in the middle with a glorious loss to a school that can't even technically be ranked in the "top" 119 football schools in the country. One for the ages.
Florida 49 Western Kentucky 3
Ugh, I'm sure Tebow attributed this crushing of newly D-1A W. Kentucky to Jesus or some such other shit he worships every night before laying his head between his girlfriend's gigantic fake boobs. Next.
Wisconsin 42 Washington State 21
Wazzu hung in there for a while and made a game of this, but Wisconsin emerges the clear Big Ten favorites on the strength of...a passing game? I figured this would be a game where they'd just feed P.J. Hill until the defense was battered and broken (see the BGSU shoot-out from a few years back), but the Badgers look volatile in the air as well as on the ground.
Oklahoma 79 North Texas 10
JESUS CHRIST. Oklahoma had its starters in for exactly 2 quarters and they still nearly put up the century mark on UNT. One bright spot: those all white uniforms that North Texas was sporting look really sharp. DeMarco Murray runs for 5 TD for OU and Bob Stoops is finally back to reloading instead of rebuilding. Look the fuck out, Texas. OU has Miami next week and it wouldn't surprise me if the game is over by halftime.
Virginia Tech 17 ECU 7
Blah. Super boring game. Not surprisingly VT kept it slightly out of reach for ECU because of a defensive touchdown. I'm looking for them to get absolutely cleaved at LSU next week by at least two touchdowns.
Louisville 73 Murray State 10
This might not look like that much of a stretch but if I'm not mistaken, the Cardinals put 49 up by HALFTIME. Steve Kragthorpe confirms my belief in him. Whatever helped freaking Tulsa score anything is going to help UL break records. Bobby Petrinwho? Remains to be seen if Kragthorpe can recruit like Bobby did, but let's face it...Louisville is on the map as a national power. It shouldn't be difficult, especially with the talent in Kentucky HS football.
Ohio State 38 Youngstown State 6
Critics will point out that App State threw up 49 on YSU last year, but these critics are idiots. Old Sweater Vest built his rep coaching at YSU and was in no way going to run them into the ground. OSU probably could have gotten Chris Wells 300 yards and 7 touchdowns if they really felt like it. OSU has more good young receivers (O RLY) to compliment Robiskie, and Boeckman looked serviceable with 225 yards in obviously limited chnces.
Cal 45 Tennessee 31
This game was a 14 point win any way you look at it. Yes, it was close to being 52-31 as a final but it was just as close to being 45-38, and if not for some absolute bumbling plays by both teams probably should have ended 52-38. UT is going to really, really hurt unless they find some homerun threats at receiver. Ainge is more than competent but just doesn't have that many targets left.
Georgia 35 Oklahoma State 14
This game was an interesting matchup. The score says it all, but I'll say this: The odds that Georgia puts up 35 against SEC competition or that Oklahoma State only scores 14 against Big XII competition is 0%.
UCLA 45 Stanford 17
Rutgers 38 Buffalo 3
Here's a surprise, Rutgers absolutely molests a hapless Buffalo team. This may look like a close score considering the massive gap in talent, but Schiano knows what it's like to be fodder for a power program so I'm just guessing he took it easy.
Penn State 59 Florida International 0
Fucking hell, FIU would suck ass even if they were still in 1AA. Seriously, how can you not pull any recruits as a D-1A school in FLORIDA? Penn State now licking their chops to get to Notre Dame. It might get really ugly next Saturday.
Auburn 23 Kansas State 13
KSU had this game wrapped up, but Auburn "pulled an Auburn" and found a way to win this. I'm not sure who the KSU left tackle is, or who is responsible for coaching him or putting a back over to help block, but they should all be replaced come next weekend.
Clemson 24 Florida State 18
I thought I wouldn't see a worse job by an offensive line with that K-State performance. And then FSU came on TV. There was a bomb threat at Clemson, but as Holly Rowe said, nobody was worried. I mean, they were probably expecting it. FSU's offense is a threat to bomb every time they take the field and this game was no exception. It's plain and simple, folks: FSU didn't field an athlete on offense even remotely comparable to Clemson's James Davis/CJ Spiller, and they didn't have a defender as intense and reliable as Clemson's Watkins.
Nebraska 52 Nevada 10
Wow, must be a really off year for Nevada - I know Marlon Lucky is a lot to deal with defensively but Nevada usually fields a pretty competitive team.
Arkansas 46 Troy 26
McFadden and Jones are awesome. We knew that. Casey Dick still BLOWS - this is somewhat disappointing. Clemson and Arkansas are so similar it's eerie. Two extremely talented backs, an offensive line to compliment them, and practically nothing in the vertical passing game. Teams are going to stack the box against Arkansas/Clemson and they're just going to have to figure out something else eventually.
TCU 27 Baylor 0
Yawn. Huge surprise, TCU still good and Baylor still horrible.
Hawaii 63 Northern Colorado 6
N. Colorado makes it through a week of practice without a punter getting stabbed. Losing by only 57 to Hawaii without any knifing incidents is a positive week for Northern Colorado.
Boise State 56 Weber State 7
Hey look at that, a BCS caliber team mopping the field with a 1AA opponent. Hmmmmm.
Texas A&M beats Montana State
I don't even want to look up the score. Why is TAMU ranked?
Notre Dame looked awful.
Well, shouldn't this have been expected? Georgia Tech is a good team and ND was returning nobody of note outside of Zbikowski. Weis has poached a billion recruits out of Ohio from the likes of OSU and Michigan, but most of them do absolutely dick this week - except for Robby Paris, who looked like he'll develop nicely as a big receiving target for Jesus Clausen.
Can't wait for next week. I'm considering looking into having myself cryogenically frozen between Saturdays. Fuck work.
Welcome. Grab something to read. The seat is nice and warm...
This is the Pre-Game Dump, where our need to babble about sports and shit that bothers us aggregates on a daily basis. Feel free to drop us a friendly line or scathing hate mail: firstname.lastname@example.org