Sunday, September 9, 2012

Saturday in Reverse....Week 2

Where we're putting the L in John L. Smith...

Hands down, the ULM Warhawks have the upset of the year to this point, with their overtime victory over Arkansas in Little Rock. The Warhawks defeated a 6-6 Alabama team in Nick Saban's first season, but this time it defeated a team considered to be a threat to win the SEC West.

How bad do Hog fans miss Bobby Petrino now with a showdown with #1 Alabama looming? Will this be like 1999 when Mike Dubose's Tide team lost to La. Tech in Birmingham then turned around and beat # 1 Florida in The Swamp? Probably not.

Speaking of missing, has anyone seen Big 10 commissioner Jim Delany? Here is a conference with 2 teams on probation and what is considered to be its other two best teams, Wisconsin and Michigan, have both loss in stunning fashion away from home to Oregon State and Alabama. Add in Penn State's field goal debacle, Nebraska falling to UCLA, Iowa losing to Iowa State, Illinios getting run out of the desert by Arizona State, Purdue losing late to Notre Dame, it was a lost weekend. Also, how does Michigan State and Indiana play road games at Central Michigan and UMass? But everybody still has that sacred cow of a Rose Bowl berth to fight for.

As for Penn State, while everything was centered around the transfer of Silas Redd to USC, the bigger loss was of its kicker transferring to Texas. The Lions outplayed Virginia, but its lack of quality special teams play killed them. Now that losing streak has reached 113.

On to the SEC, which Florida and Georgia won road games in hostile environments to newcomers Texas A & M and Mizzou. Both teams took a step forward towards chasing an eastern division title, which sets up an interesting week 3 match up between the Vols and Gators. As for A & M, looked alot like its 2nd half metldowns from 2011. As for Mizzou, welcome to Big Boy Football my friends.

In the about time department, Mississippi State beat a team not named Ole Miss from the SEC West for the first time in the Dan Mullen era. The Dawgs whipped Auburn in Starkville 28-10 and dropped Gene Chizik's record without Cam Newton to 21-31 and 16-12 at Auburn. The Tigers look bad and the lack of discipline in the program is rearing its ugly head on the field.

Finally, scary situations in the Tulane and Arkansas games yesterday with CPR being administered and players being carted off with head to head contact injuries. Football was almost shut down as a sport many many years ago due to injuries and deaths. With the pending concussion issues in the NFL, a dwindling youth football particpation from concerned parents and incidents like yesterday, the roots of the end of this sport as we know may have already been sowed.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Saturday in Reverse.... Week 1

Week 1 is finished and so are Denard Robinson's Heisman Trophy chances. So let's recap the weekend that was.

First and foremost, the first major blow of the year was administered by the same team the fired the final major blow of the 2011 season, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Recruit, Reload, Dominate your opponent. A recipe for success and once again, the game's best coach made another team quit on national tv, this time, in the first quarter. Things were so bad that when CJ Mosely returned a pick 6 to make it 31-0 in the 2nd quarter, the Tide fans already started the "SEC, SEC, SEC" chant.

Meeechigan was no match for the Tide as Denard Robinson and company had that deer in the headlight look all night. On the anniversary of the Maize & Blues season opening loss to Appalachain State, I don't know which defeat was more embarrassing. Atleast at home, you had a short drive to sulk about this, but this time you have an all day flight or drive back north. Alabama physically whipped the best the Big 10 has to offer and causing Jim Delany more heart ache.

And their is no truth to the rumor that the Legends and Leaders divisions have been renamed Irrelavant and Overrated. It was not a banner weekend for the BIG to say the least, with Ohio coming back to beat Penn State (more on that later), and Michigan State, Wisconsin and Iowa barely escaping defeat against Boise State, Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois.

Of course, the BIG could be the ACC or the Big East. Yes, their was Clemson's win over Auburn in Atlanta, which led to Dabo Swinney and staff screaming through the Georgia Dome tunnel "How about that ACC." I'm sure he was referencing the Tigers beating the Tigers, but then again, a #14 Clemson should beat an unranked Auburn. I also assume he was not referencing Maryalnd's stellar 7-6 comeback win over William and Mary or Pittsburgh's loss to Youngstown State. And who claims Pitt's collapse, the Big East or do they pass it on to the ACC along with Syracuse's secondary???

Another big winner was Notre Dame. No, the Irish are not back by beating Navy, but physically they looked better then they have in years. Now will that translate into wins over a USC, Oklahoma or Michigan State remains to be seen. But other games that might have been more difficult, such as Michigan, look much more winnable that before.

Winners of the I don't want to hear about schedule strength in December because a 1 loss SEC team is ahead of an undefeated team awards go to Oklahoma State and Florida State. Really, Savannah State??? It could have been worse than the 84-0 score and OSU covered the 67.5 point spread. And FSU pounding Murray State??? Same goes for you too when you run through the ACC and beat a mediocre Florida team.

Speaking of Florida and the SEC East, who is the front runner based on Week 1? Yes I know Kentucky hasn't played yet, but they're horrible. S.Carolina barely beat Vandy and in typical Vandy fashion, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory at home vs a ranked opponent. Missouri won against a nobody, UGa struggled with Buffalo, and know it wasn't the Bills but instead a MAC school, as did Florida against Bowling Green. Hands down, the Tennessee Vols, yes those Vols, had the most impressive performance of the weekend.

And finally Penn State, they lost to Frank Solich and the Tyler Tettleton (who must of ate Fruit Loops for pregame meal) Ohio Bobcats and had over 10,000 empty seats. That number of empty seats will grow, especially if they should fall to Virginia this week. The Lions, although they are better coached then they were the last few years, have no playmakers on offense and can't over power anyone. The lack of depth showed up in the 4th quarter as Ohio, not Ohio State, marched over 90 yards to put the game away. Trust me, as an Alabama fan, we witnessed these things from 1997-2007 with bad home losses and what is sure to be blowout losses on the road. And this is just the start from the football standpoint. My prediction is that when this probation runs its course, Penn State will never recover as a football power. The Keystone State has the 2nd oldest population in the US behind Florida and doesn't have the jobs or industry to attract younger people into the state. Therefore the gene pool of D-1 football players, that was plentiful in the state from the 1950's-1990's is drying up and will hinder the program from this point forward.

Until next week.