Lots to learn from Week 1, but don't believe all first impressions
After winning his Notre Dame head-coaching debut with an inarguably solid 23-12 victory over Purdue,
Easy, now. It's one game. Let's not go rushing to conclusions...
Yeah, right. Who am I to lecture anyone about presumptuous analysis when,
Oh, how hard it is to keep from reading too much into various first impressions after opening weekend. On the one hand, I feel like I learned a lot. On the other hand, I feel like I've been burned by many of the same parties before.
• When we last heard this: Last season.
• Why this might be presumptuous: See Forcier note above.
• Why this time might be different: Um, did you watch
The only concern is Robinson's durability. Can a generously listed 6-foot, 193-pound quarterback make it through a season running 25 times a game? He briefly left Saturday's game after a shot to the hip at the end of one run. "He probably ran more today than we'd like," said Rodriguez. "I think that's a little bit much, but at the same time, he can handle it."
• When we last heard this:The first half of 2008 and '09 .
• Why this might be presumptuous: The center snap is usually fixable.
• Why this time might be different: While
"It would be tough to win with this performance against an SEC team," said quarterback
Mind you, Florida's offense (its running game in particular) struggled early in both of Meyer's BCS championship seasons, and like those units, this one will improve. The difference: This time there's no
• When we last heard this: 2009, 2006, 2005, 2002...
• Why this might be presumptuous: The Irish began last season by pitching a shutout (35-0 over Nevada) and wound up 6-6.
• Why this time might be different: You could have made a laundry list of all the areas in which Notre Dame needed to improve under Kelly, and the Irish hit all of them against Purdue: offensive balance, fundamentally sound defense, more pressure on the quarterback and fewer penalties (two).
Still, it will be some time before we can truly gauge Notre Dame's progress. If the defense holds down Michigan's Robinson next weekend, we'll probably start seeing some "Return to Glory" headlines, but try not to forget that the Wolverines are themselves coming off a 5-7 campaign.
• When we last heard this: The first half of last season.
• Why this might be presumptuous: He was playing Hawaii.
• Why this time might be different: He did throw five touchdowns, and looked darn good doing so. Say what you will about
USC's signal caller will obviously face much better pass rushes as the season progresses, and we'll have to see whether his receivers (
So you may have heard about a little game taking place Monday night in Washington, D.C. There are so many things I'm curious about, I don't know where to start. Will
But perhaps the most intriguing question is: How will the pollsters react to the result? Boise State is already in unchartered territory (No. 3 in the AP, No. 5 in the coaches'). A Broncos win probably won't affect much for now (perhaps the coaches might deign to move Boise ahead of Florida?), but what if the Hokies win? Barring a blowout, there should be little shame in Boise losing to a fellow top 10 team, but I have a feeling the voters will drop the Broncos far more harshly (10 to 12 spots) than they would, say, No. 5 Texas if it lost to No. 8 Nebraska (four to six spots).
One thing's for certain: No. 6 TCU, coming off a 30-21 win over Oregon State, would move ahead of the Broncos in the non-BCS pecking order. Barring a colossal upset, you can pencil in the Horned Frogs for at least a 7-0 start (prior to hosting BYU). Is it too soon to look ahead to what could be the Game of the Year in the Mountain West when TCU visits Utah on Nov. 6? Talk about some defense. On Saturday, the Frogs held Oregon State to 255 total yards and Beavers star
Jacksonville State coach
At that point, however, the Gamecocks' coach of 11 years decided to make a change. "It's like a baseball manager working his pitching staff," Crowe said Sunday. "You go with your gut." All day, he'd been finding ways to use his talented true freshman,
Facing a do-or-die fourth-and-15 in the second overtime, Blanchard hit receiver
"There were three things he could do," said Crowe, "and he did the one thing I didn't think you could do." With an Ole Miss defender flying at him, Blanchard instinctively jumped and threw a short pass over the top to running back
The Gamecocks, who went 8-3 each of the past two seasons and led Florida State into the final minute a year ago, have gotten more competitive every year under Crowe, 62, himself a former SEC coach. Remarkably, Saturday's win came almost 18 years to the day after the then third-year Arkansas coach lost an opener to another I-AA team, The Citadel, leading to his abrupt dismissal the next day."If you stay in this long enough," he said, "it goes both ways."
Each week, I'll update my projected BCS lineup (as necessary) based on the latest week's games.
Nothing's changed since my preseason projections -- yet. Yes, the Huskies got drilled at Michigan on Saturday. But Pitt got outmuscled at Utah and Cincinnati's offense went silent at Fresno State. West Virginia played an FCS foe. If we were going solely by this weekend's results, the new Big East favorite would be ... Syracuse, which went into the Rubber Bowl and dismantled Akron, 29-3. And I'll wait for next week's Florida State game before rendering judgment on the Sooners.
• Georgia's season got off to a pleasant start Saturday with a 55-7 rout of Louisiana-Lafayette highlighted by new coordinator
• Late Saturday, I listened to an ESPN News anchor repeatedly say the name Kenjon "Barmer" during a highlight package from Oregon's 72-0 rout of New Mexico. The sophomore who ran up 207 rushing/receiving yards and five touchdowns in the first half is named
• With the Big 12's decorated quarterback crop of the past few years off to the NFL, it's time to make way for the runners. Oklahoma State's
• After their team's nearly disastrous collapse against North Carolina, LSU fans can at least take heart knowing what an absolute stud they have in cornerback
• Speaking of Yates, his unexpected 412-yard, three-touchdown performance -- six yards short of a game-winning drive -- makes you wonder just how good this UNC team could be had scandals not decimated its roster. Not to rain on the Heels' moral victory parade, but the NCAA situation figures to only get worse, as evidenced by defensive line coach
• Two presumptuously early candidates for All-America defensive ends: Missouri's
• Last winter's two highest-rated running back recruits wasted no time making an impact at their respective SEC schools. Auburn's
• It looked like old times at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium -- with a quarterback running the ball more than he threw it. In his first start, redshirt freshman
• I did a double take a couple weeks ago when I saw Louisville running back
• Washington launched an extensive preseason Heisman campaign for
• The Brian Kelly-to-
• The first game of the
• Heck of a debut for Cal's true freshman receiver
• I would say Kansas' ghastly 6-3 loss to North Dakota State marked a dark day for Jayhawks fans, but with the Northern Iowa hoops upset, a ticket-scalping scandal, a disgraced athletic director ... is it even in the top five this year?
Georgia State, an FCS start-up program led by former Alabama and Kentucky coach
The average FCS home attendance figure last season: 8,025.
More than anything, that's why Curry's program has a chance to be successful in a hurry. There is no larger city in the country more passionate about college football than Atlanta, and clearly the appetite is vast enough to accommodate more than just the Dawgs and Yellow Jackets. Even after the novelty wears off and the crowds dwindle to half that, you'll still be looking at a school with more resources, more support and more fertile recruiting turf than 90 percent of its FCS competitors.
Meanwhile, imagine what it must be like to be a Georgia State student. One year, your school doesn't have a football team. The next, it exists, and it's playing in the same stadium that LSU and North Carolina filled two nights later.
Twenty months after being diagnosed with bone cancer, Boston College's All-America linebacker was back on the field making tackles (four of them, while playing about 20 snaps) in the Eagles' win over Weber State. His much-chronicled journey has inspired millions around the country, including one very special sideline guest Saturday.
Along the way, Boston College AD
"My love for Notre Dame football has never been tested like this," she told the paper. "But how can I root against Mark?"