Boys. It’s back. College football is back. Yes, it’s been back for a week-ish, but last night it was really back. 16 game slate on a Thursday was a Godsend. It had everything, fans, a P5 conference game, non-conference G5 game, FCS team beating an FBS team, backdoor covers and naturally, a kickoff game sponsored by mayonnaise. Great slate last night and a great slate for the rest of the weekend so let’s get to it.
First off, HOME FIELD IS BACK. You think Ohio State stumbles in the first half if The Barn isn’t going nuts last night? Nope. You think UCF rides the momentum to a comeback win if the Bounce House isn’t going nuts? Nope. Going crazy before opening kickoff, the pop on a big play, the roar on third down are all beautiful things and I don’t think we’ll ever take them for granted again.
Some other quick hitters from last night:
– CJ Stroud is not good, he’ll lose the starting job at some point, but the WRs and RBs will still carry Ohio State to the CFP.
– Mo Ibrahim going down with what looks like a torn Achilles just robbed college football fans of a top 3 running back in the nation. Injuries happen, but sometimes football isn’t fair. And now Tanner Morgan will get exposed as a fraud cause he’ll have to put the team on his back. Hard not to root for PJ Fleck though. That guy BRINGS it on a nightly basis.
– UCF didn’t win that game, last night, Boise State lost it. Bachmeier forgot how to play QB and Avalos forgot how to call plays and they blew the lead. Even so, Boise was driving to win the game and Bachmeier throw across his body when he could’ve picked up the first down on the ground. Get outta here with the Gus Malzahn willed his team to win bullshit. That said, DG is still a dawg, but I still hate that he’s a lefty.
– App State and Chase Brice didn’t look great, but they didn’t look bad either. I think they’ve got enough to make a run at ULL and Coastal for the Sun Belt crown.
– Tennessee and Joe Milton still stink. They should’ve won 80-0 yesterday.
The rest of week 1 will be great. I love it because it sets the tone for the rest of the year. Will there be overreactions? Absolutely. But it’s a microcosm of things to come. Takes will be made, they’ll evolve and we’ll all be gloriously arguing about the sport for the next 4 months.
Tonight, UNC, Sam Howell and Mack Brown put Virginia Tech down before they even get going and turn the heat all the way up on Justin Fuente’s seat. There’s a lot of talk about a VT upset here but I don’t see Howell and Brown letting that happen. Howell has gotten ALL the hype, just for UNC to disappoint in the biggest games. Not this year. I think they go into Lane Stadium tonight and beat Virginia Tech so bad that they might steal the Enter Sandman entrance for themselves.
On Saturday, there’s a lot to take in. At noon, Penn State walks into Camp Randall and again, I think this is a game people are painting too close. Wisconsin will be forreal this year and I think James Franklin’s squad will be a disappointment for a second year in a row. No one jumps off the page for Penn State, Sean Clifford stinks and I really like Graham Mertz to be the first actually relevant QB for the Badgers since Russell Wilson. He’s no Mr. Unlimited, but he’ll be better than the usual slow white kid who is really good at handing the ball off.
The Terps kickoff against WVU and this is the year the Terps and Locks take a step in the right direction. They started to last year, but they were just inconsistent. They’ve got the 18th ranked recruiting class coming in which was defense heavy. If that side of the ball can just be competent, I think the Terps’ offense can roll and not only keep them in games, but win some. With all of the receivers around him and an improved OLine, Taulia goes off the Terps make a statement win against WVU and keep the momentum rolling.
As far as the two marquee matchups of the week, quite frankly, it’s SEC > ACC. I think the Canes keep it close for a quarter and then Saban puts them in their place as the Tide Roll. Period. In yet another game sponsored by mayonnaise, Georgia will upset “lil ole Clemson.” Georgia will miss George Pickens, but I like their defense to make Clemson one dimensional and put the heat on DJ Uiagalelei. JT Daniels has a legitimate case for best QB in the country and I think Kirby Smart has something to prove. Nothing does that better than a win over Dabo and co.
In another popular upset pick, everyone is jumping on the Rajun Cajuns as they visit Austin. In short, no fucking shot. Sark makes his coaching debut for the Longhorns at DKR (which will be ROCKING) amidst a battle for QB1. Yes, two QBs means Texas has no QB. But until they figure that out, they’ll lean on Bijan Robinson, who I believe is the best running abck in the country. Although ULL was good last year, they struggled against the run. I don’t know if you all remeber what Najee Harris did in Sark’s offense last year, but it was pretty good. Sark can’t lose this game or he’ll get run out of town. They take care of business and win by 2+ TDs.
Jumping to some PAC-12 action, USC and San Jose State face off in a good ole fashioned Trojans vs Spartans matchup. SJSU is catching 14 points in Vegas and i think they cover this number easily. Is USC better than San Jose State? Yes. But while USC has NFL bound Kedon Slovis, SJSU has 8th year senior Nick Starkel. I don’t like Clay Helton, I think he stinks. SJSU rolled in their Mountain West only schedule last year and already had a tune up game. I think USC will expect to roll through this with ease but I just don’t see it. Don’t be shocked if this one comes down to the wire. Last one with the ball wins.
LSU and UCLA is a good ole fashioned toss up. Can Coach O and the Tigers bounce back? Does Chip Kelly bring UCLA back to relevancy? He brought the visor back, so that offense may be back too. There’s a lot of question marks in this game, maybe we’ll get some answers when the dust settles.
Then, in what might be my favorite game of the weekend, Florida State hosts the Golden Domers. I think Notre Dame is in for a massive disappointment this season. I could be very wrong, but they lost a ton to the NFL and now in week 1 they walk into Tallahassee where a program is fighting for its life. First glance, you think Notre Dame will roll on principle BUT the Noles have two things on their side, McKenzie Milton’s comeback story and the ghost of Bobby Bowden. Noles don’t just cover, they win the game on Bobby Bowden Night.
This blog was much longer than I expected, but damn it, I love college football. I’ll be right about some things, I’ll be wrong about some too, but let’s ride boys. Football every weekend for the foreseeable future.