Tuesday, September 05, 2006

College Football Delayed Reaction

Quick thoughts on the first weekend of action.

1. Several favorites had a rough go of it in their openers over lesser teams. Top 25 squads Oklahoma and Alabama slipped by UAB and Hawaii respectively in close home contests. Michigan State sneaked by a game Idaho team in East Lansing. Kansas State won by a single point over non-Division I Illinois State. Dan Hawkins was not as fortunate as Ron Prince in his first gae at Colorado. The Buffs lost to non-Division I Montana State. Boston College held off Central Michigan after nearly giving up a 21 point 4th quarter lead. Iowa State won over Toledo in triple OT.

2. Tennessee stomped Cal (Lee Corso's preseason national champion) in Knoxville. Can Cal rebound from a terrible beginning and give USC a run in the Pac 10 race? Is Tennessee back, or was Cal simply a paper tiger?

3. Is BYU the Mountain West's best team? Utah was soundly defeated by UCLA and TCU struggled in winning at Baylor. BYU fought tooth and nail with Arizona before losing on a last second field goal. Truth be told, we don't really know how good Arizona is, but they were a trendy Pac 10 sleeper.

4. The middle of the Big East should be strong. Rutgers won at North Carolina and Pittsburgh trounced Virginia at home.

5. Where's the defense at Louisville? The Cardinals dropped 59 on the Wildcats, but gave up 28 (21 without the kickoff return), including two touchdown passes of over 70 yards. Were those plays aberrations, or indicative of a problem in the Louisville secondary.

6. USC seems to have reloaded. After a slow start, the Trojans dropped 50 of the Hogs.

7. Is Duke the worst team in Division I? The mighty Richmond Spiders shut them out.

8. My alma mater can't catch a break (no pun intended). Quarterback Ben Mauk broke his arm against Syracuse. My prediction for the Duke game: single digits in pass attempts for Wake.

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