Welcome to Sobered Up, an account of the best, worst and general happenings of the week that was in college football. Here you'll find all of the visor-tossin', sunset-framed stadiums, dawg barkin' and fumble recoverin' from across the country. If you're looking for a recap of last week's picks, they'll show up...with this week's picks. Fairly simple.
So fill up your glass with leftover bourbon from Saturday's game, make sure your laptop's charged up, and enjoy our review of Week One. And remember, not much longer before the NFL arrives, the Best Thing to Do While Nursing College Football Hangovers.
East Carolina 27 Virginia Tech 22
USC 52 Virginia 7
Maryland 14 Delaware 7
UNC 35 McNeese State 27
Alabama 34 Clemson 10
Good God, is there any doubt that the ACC is the worst BCS conference out there right now? The Big East would be their only competition for that dubious honor, and there is a chance the WAC or Mountain West could put up an effective argument for their spot in the BCS.
The thing that is weird about the ACC's descent into mediocre-at-best college football is that a lot of these teams have BCS-caliber talent...the coaching is just atrocious. The next quality offensive playermaker Frank Beamer signs will be the first of the millennium. Al Groh, supposedly a master recruiter, has taken UVA a step back since he took over the program. Ralph Fridgeien has turned Maryland into yet another 6-6 ACC team du jour. I still think Butch Davis is a heckuva coach, and I like UNC this year, but Saturday's score shows there is still alot of work to be done in Chapel Hill. We've covered Tommy Bowden ad nauseum. His (mis)use of his running game and subsequent embarrassment by the 5th or 6th best SEC team on a neutral site has to make even his last 12 remaining supporters realize that no matter how many 4 game winning streaks he can rattle off, he's not a coach that will lead them to a title of any significance or prominence. And that includes a still-possible ACC title this season.
More thoughts on the weekend that was:
Sylvester Croom's bid for the coveted title of 10th best coach in the SEC took a major hit this weekend with a loss at Louisiana Tech. That, combined with the loss of Jamar Cheney for the year, makes it extremely unlikey for the other 'Dogs to make it back to a bowl game. I realize beating up on Steve Kragthorpe's shell-shocked Louisville program is rapidly becoming commonplace, but what Rich Brooks continues to do at Kentucky (two straight 8-win seasons, becoming the premeir football program in the bluegrass state) is more impressive than even what Croom did last year. I realize the difficulties facing a coach that needs to build a program in Starksville (and do it cleanly, as opposed to Jackie Sherril's JUCO-bought appearance in the '98 SEC title game), but Croom really put himself behind the 8-ball with this loss. A win by Ole Miss vs. Wake Forest and in the Egg Bowl could go a long way toward unraveling any goodwill Croom had sewn up last season.
I still think RichRod was a great hire for Michigan and they will be back to prominence soon...but I was unprepared for how poorly the current talent at Michigan fits his scheme. I was thouroughly impressed with Utah's performance, but Michigan's offense looks like there is a 6 or 7 win ceiling for that team right now.
Mixed feelings regarding Auburn's 34-0 dismantling of LA-Monroe. As always, the defense looked spectacular. And, as always (albeit in a different way), their offense was inept, scoring only two touchdowns against the plucky Warhawks.
As anyone who was in Athens on Saturday can attest, trying to scalp tickets is going to be a hellish process this season. Your best/only bet for getting a cheap ticket this season will be this Saturday's CMU contest. Other than (maybe) the homecoming Vandy game, you are looking at dropping $100+ per ticket for each home game this season.
As for the Georgia game, there is really not much to bring away from this one. It was your typical Georgia game versus a significantly inferior opponent. Tons of penalties? Check. Sloppy tackling? Check. The offense predictably taking advantage of good field position and turnovers? Check. Richt showing a failure (/ class act) to run up the score while Urban Meyer and Pete Carrol show no likewise restraint? Check. That being said, there were some positives to take away - mainly the freshmen looked great (the PLAYERS! sheesh) and our big guns took care of business - but we will definitely know more about this team in 2-3 weeks.
The Jeff Owens injury hurts, obviously. If there is a silver lining in all of this, it's that it happened in this game, and not 3-4 games down the road, making him eligible to play next year. Looking forward to Dewberry and Boling coming back this week.
Major props to the Atlanta Sports Council and Chick-Fil-A/Home Depot for putting together College Football's answer to the Daytona 500. Clemson and Bama fans poured into Atlanta all weekend, and by all accounts, the downtown/Centennial Park area was an epic party scene on Saturday. The Gameday/ESPN crew seemed impressed, and hopefully this kickoff is here to stay. (I would love to see UGA play in some of thse games in the future.) That being said, the only possible negative I see to this idea is when combined with the Chick-Fil-A (Peach) Bowl, you could see some overlap in teams and an eventual fan weariness of traveling to Atlanta for a football game multiple times every few years. Hopefully between the two games, the ASC can switch it up enough times to bring in some fresh blood, though I am guessing that UGA/Clemson/UT/Bama/Auburn will always be able to sell out their games at the Dome.
And now, Sue's Top 10 for Week 2:
1. UGA - Showed nothing that made me question if they really are the best team in the land, though you have to give a closer look at...
2. USC - ...because they have just friggin' reloaded their proverbial pistol. Sick talent level across the board, and anytime you can dismantle a BCS school 52-7 on the road, you have to take notice. I still see them losing or looking bad in some random Pac-10 games as they have a tendency to do when on cruise control, but right now they're still in the elite of the nation.
3. Ohio State - I don't think anything was wrong with playing Beanie Wells in the early 3rd quarter while up 26-0. This is football, it's a physical game, that kind of shit is going to happen. If he was in there in the 4th, that would have been a different story, but that looked like a freak injury anyways that could have happened in practice. Just rest him this week, hand the keys over to Terelle Pryor, and let us sit back in anticipation of OSU-SC in two weeks.
4. Florida - I guess I'm impressed they were able to blow out Hawaii without Harvin, but that's an awful Hawaii team.
6. LSU - Hey, I halfway expected Appy State to give them a little bit of a fight, especially once the game was moved to 10 am, the least ideal time for an LSU game. Really impressed with LSU right now. Speaking of the 10 am time, can you imagine being in college for a 10 am kickoff? Going out all night partying, waking up after between 0-2 hours of sleep and wandering around feeling like you've just been hooked up to an I.V. of hallucinogens, watching a football game after the sun has only been up for 2 and a half hours? To say this must've been an unusual weekend in Baton Rouge is an understatement.
7. Alabama - Not a hype pick...we had 'em here last week.
9. Mizzou - The good: One of only two teams to beat a ranked opponent this week. The bad: Gave up 42 points like it was nothing to Illinois, and benefitted from two special teams touchdowns, something you can't exactly rely on every week. Wait and see with these folks.
10. West Virginia - Would like to put Auburn here...but that offense...
Your thoughts on the week that was? This week's slate of games looks even less impressive than this past week's, but I'll say it again, Thank God college football is back.