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College Football 2007 – Who Was Up and Down During College Football’s First Weekend
The first week of college football was full of surprises and disappointments; This makes college football worth watching. College football is exciting, surprising and unpredictable all at the same time. There was some really bad news for the Michigan Wolverines, Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Florida State Seminoles.
The Wolverines first defeated Division 1-AA Appalachian State 34-32 at home in front of 110,000 fans at the Big House in Ann Arbor. Michigan entered the game ranked No. 5 in both preseason polls. Michigan was left out of the polls entirely when the poll results came in on Tuesday after Saturday’s game.
It is the first time since the AP Poll was expanded to 25 teams in 1989 that a highly ranked team has left the poll entirely. After the death of veteran Bo Schembechler, the Wolverines went 0-3 and gave up 108 points. .
“I don’t want to be on their practice field on Tuesday,” said victorious Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore.
To compare the two football programs, Appalachian State’s football budget is $1.5 million and Michigan is in the midst of a $226 million renovation of its stadium. I’d say forget the renewal and get some real players in Michigan. Many sports pundits and followers have already called the upset the biggest upset in college football history because an AA team has never defeated a ranked team in NCAA play.
Notre Dame then received a dominant 33-3 drubbing from Georgia Tech. The game marked the most one-sided opening game loss in Notre Dame history and marked the first time since 1985 that the Irish failed to score a touchdown in the opener.
Geez, where’s the crime? Charlie Weis is all about offense, but the Irish have clearly suffered from defensive weaknesses the past two seasons. I’m part Irish and a Notre Dame fan. I want to see Weis succeed big time at Notre Dame. Weiss is starting his third season and this opening game does not bode well for Notre Dame.
Last year the Irish scored 31 points a game (16th best among 119 Division IA schools) and gave up 24 points a game (67th best). Defense is a problem for the offensive-minded Weiss and will continue to be until he fixes it. It almost goes without saying that crime is a huge problem at the moment.
By Saturday’s end, No. 19-ranked Florida State had taken on too much swamp water and was upset by Clemson, 24-18. Florida State was conspicuously absent from Tuesday’s poll, and Clemson was ranked 25th in the AP poll.
The Clemson win didn’t surprise me because it was at home and Clemson only gave up 16 points a game last year (16th in the nation).
Here are some of the ranked teams that showed how to take care of business in the first week:
No. 2 LSU beat Mississippi State 45-0.
No. 6 Florida rolled over AA Western Kentucky 49-3.
No. 8 Oklahoma slapped around North Texas 79-10.
No. 10 Louisville turns poor AA Murray State into road kill, 73-10.
No. 11 Ohio State didn’t give up a touchdown to AA Youngstown State in a 38-6 victory.
No. 16 Rutgers defeated Buffalo 38-3.
No. 17 Penn State beats Florida International 59-0.
No. 20 Nebraska beat Nevada 52-10.
No. 22 TCU shutout Baylor 27-0.
No. 23 Hawaii outscored AA Northern Colorado 63-6 and led 49-0 after three quarters.
No. 24 Boise State defeated AA Weber State 56-7.
Other ranked teams that won but didn’t have impressive wins or gave up too many points were No. 3 West Virginia, No. 4 Texas, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 14 UCLA, No. 18 Auburn, No. 21 Arkansas and No. 25 Texas A&M.
At least three unranked teams shined in their openers: Indiana beat AA Indiana State 55-7, Kansas beat Central Michigan 52-7, and Cincinnati beat AA Southeast Missouri State 59-3.
I didn’t think Cincinnati could score 59 points on anyone; Last year the Bearcats averaged 21 points a game and gave up 20 points.
The other three teams did not shine as much. Bowling Green upset Big 10’s Minnesota 32-31 at home in overtime. Bowling Green led 21-0 at the half against the Golden Gophers (what a terrible nickname for Minnesota in this game).
In-state rivals are always unpredictable, and Colorado proved that again, easily defeating Colorado State 31-28 in another overtime game. One would say that proves that both teams have some offense. From this I would say that both teams lack defense.
In Oregon, many fans and pundits refer to the annual Oregon-Oregon State rivalry as the Civil War. The same can be said about this year’s Michigan-Michigan State rivalry.
The results of the other six games I singled out for special attention and comment.
Two of the six Pac 10 teams that beat the No. 15 Tennessee Volunteers 45-31 were the 12th-ranked California Golden Bears (many think this is the year to challenge USC at Cal Berkeley) and were led by redshirt freshman quarterback Jake Locker. Washington Huskies beat Syracuse 42-12.
Alabama did what new coach Nick Saban was supposed to do, posting a 52-6 win over AA Western Carolina in the Crimson Tide’s home opener. Alabama’s SEC fortunes should rise with Saban.
New Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio outscored UAB 55-18 as his new offense scored touchdowns on its first six possessions—an impressive run—to take a 42-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Michigan State’s Big 10 fortunes should also rise with Dantonio. I’m glad to see two teams I like to win their openers. Mike Price’s UTEP Miners outlasted New Mexico 10-6 in a lopsided game.
I still believe Mike Price was set up to be fired at Alabama before he even had a chance to coach the Tide. There are still a lot of Southern kids who don’t like Southern Yankees. In the second game, Wyoming defeated Virginia 23-3 at home. A lot of fans don’t care about Wyoming but I do.
I love the Cowboys because they play so hard at home no matter who is up against them. Wyoming is proud of its cowboys. Invade their territory and they might clean your watch and brand your rear end.
Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley
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