I am not going to pretend that I watched every game of the college football weekend. But let’s put it this way, my brand new couch already has a butt-shaped groove worn into it after the full slate of games we enjoyed over Labor Day Weekend. Week 1 of the CFB season is full of interesting things to observe, so let’s talk about the takeaways.
The most recent performance of the good might have come from the best all-around player in college football. Braxton Miller is GOOD. The move to H-receiver clearly didn’t hurt the former QB in terms of his ability to impact a game. We can probably all stop scratching our heads at Urban Meyer decisions, even though he A) benched a team captain QB in favor of his OTHER stud QB B) Gave the best running back in the country 4 carries in the first half of a tight game C) never gave ME any playing time at Utah…. (scratch the last one, but the man does whatever the hell he wants and it just works).
Josh Rosen is GOOD. True freshman UCLA starter certainly didn’t face his toughest test in week 1, but his performance certainly justified some of the considerable hype he has generated since committing to Jim Mora. 28/35 for 351 yards and 3 TD’s (no picks). Decent for an 18 year old.
Hail Mary Finishes are GOOD: Hate on BYU all you want as a Utes or Aggies fan, but if you weren’t jumping out of your seat when Mitch Matthews pulled down that Tanner Mangum pass amid of slew of Husker defenders, you aren’t a college football fan. Mike Riley deserved a better start than that to his Nebraska tenure, but don’t your hate for all things Cougar-related distract from the fact that the Mormon Miracle was undoubtedly college football’s best finish of opening weekend.
Stanford and Washington looked BAD. Poor Desmond Howard made a case for Stanford to win the National Championship before a game was played. But Kevin Hogan showed up as his inconsistent self, the vaunted O-line underperformed, and the Cardinal got mowed over by a Northwestern team that may or may not be good. Washington had a tougher opponent, but looked defensively inept after losing a glut of NFL talent to the draft in the spring. Buddha Baker is maybe the lone bright spot.
Baton Rouge weather is BAD?? Wait what…? A lightning storm caused the cancellation of LSU vs McNeese State, aka the Tigers Tune Up. Not a big deal, as the game wasn’t likely to be competitive anyway. But it could be interesting to see how LSU handles the next matchup in Starkville without working out the kinks. Dak Prescott was a Heisman Candidate a year ago, but he’ll need to make a case on the home field against Les Miles’ crew if he wants to see his name mentioned again. Will LSU be rusty enough to set the stage for the mild upset? I just hope McNeese still gets their money for making the trip.
Penn State is BAD: Not even because they lost to Temple, but because of the lame ceremony the team conducted to put it in the past by LITERALLY burying the game film on the practice field. As in, actually interning the physical copy of the film in the ground with shovel and dirt. Was it on a tape? A DVD? A flash drive that they tucked into a tiny hole? Knock it off Penn State.
Look no further than the list of injuries. VaTech lost a starting QB, UCLA will play the year without VanderDoes on the D-line, and of course the Taysom Hill injury. Ohhhhh Taysom. Seeing the pride of Provo go down with yet another season-ender is nothing short of tragic. For the fans, for the university, for the team, but most of all for the player himself. Now instead of building an NFL resume with his freakish athleticism, Taysom will try and rehab one of the toughest possible injuries to overcome, debate on yet another run at things in college (which may not be in the best interest of BYU at this point) or try and convince an NFL team to take a chance on him despite his fragility and “age-maturity”. Durability is the most underrated part of talent, and unfortunately, the only piece of the puzzle missing for a guy who might otherwise have been a legacy player at BYU. I hope he proves me wrong, but I find it unlikely we ever get to see what Taysom Hill was actually capable of in a football uniform. His body simply wouldn’t allow him to prove his football prowess long term. Oh, and BYU will also have to replace Tuiloma, the best nose guard they’ve had in years, while facing down 3 more murderous games in just the month of September.
The Utes lost Evan Moeai. Tarean Folston from ND and James Connor of Pitt promised to be two of the more exciting running backs in ACC play this year (yes I am trying to get used to Notre Dame being an ACC team because that’s where they are headed). Injuries suck. But it’s part of the game. The Ugly Part.
Crazy fans are UGLY: Washington State players got ridiculed mercilessly by their own fans after yet another week 1 loss, and social media blow-hards managed to get under the skin of even good-natured Gianni Paul after he got flagged for some bad penalties last Thursday night. Go ahead and interact with these kids if you want, but remember they are in their early 20’s at best and that you most likely have zero understanding of what it is like to be in their cleats on game day. Heckling is one thing, but social media means it doesn’t stay in the stadium anymore, and people should be careful because of that.