The college football season has officially begun, with the first slate of games taking place this past weekend. Although it is just the start of the season, some teams may have already ended theirs in week one. Others, however, may have pushed themselves into the conversation of contenders.
Texas is not back
This one was a tough watch. Not just because of the 30-minute weather delay, but because we keep convincing ourselves that this is the year that Texas will go back to the old days. Everyone wants to talk about how much talent there is in the state of Texas and how they should be loaded. But let me ask you this, how many 5 star recruits have Texas signed in the last two years (Tom Herman era)? One just one. Georgia had eight last year alone. For a state that is reportedly littered with great football players, they can't seem to get any. Yes, recruiting isn't everything, just look at Paul Chryst in Wisconsin or David Shaw at Stanford. Both of those guys put out pretty good teams year in and year out with marginal players. But how many conference championships have they won in the last few years? How many college football playoffs have they been too? At the end of the day, you need really good players to be in the running for a championship, which is what Texas is chasing. I believe that this is another case of questionable coaching.
Even if you can't get eight five star recruits a year, you should still have enough talent to beat Maryland without their head coach. To me, I think Hermans seat should be getting a bit toasty. Not hot, but more like the crappy seat warmers in a car. You appreciate the option of a warm spot to rest your trunk, but in reality, it's actually kind of uncomfortable. But yeah I have questions about Tom Herman. When asked about what he thought was the reason they lost the game, instead of giving a sane answer he ended up quoting "Of Mice and Men."
"Lennie wanted so badly to touch the rabbit and play with the rabbit — he squeezed it so hard, he killed the rabbit," Herman said.
So not only is this dude a giving us a literature lesson, but he thinks the reason they lost is that they TRIED TOO HARD? Oh no, I'm having Bob Diaco relapses.
Will Grier and a workable schedule makes West Virginia a contender
As of now the Heisman hype for Will Grier seems to be legit. Sure it was against a pretty poor Tennessee team but it's better than putting up these kinds of numbers against a Furman or Appalachian State. Grier shredded the Volunteers' secondary by throwing for nearly 430 yards and five touchdowns. The biggest takeaway from this game if you are playing WVU in the future is to not let Grier get comfortable. You could see in the first half how he was sort of shaking off the rust as the offense only put up 13 points. But once he got a half of football in him, he leads the offense to a 20 point third quarter beat down.
Some may question if this kind of production can be sustained throughout the whole year. I mean just look at last year. They crushed the teams they were supposed to beat and lost the toss-up games against the ranked teams. Well, I'm willing to argue that by around week 10 they will already be deep in the playoff conversation. Why week 10? Because that's when they play their first ranked opponent in TCU. I don't know how they got away with this. Their schedule is essentially a 9- week warmup until they play the mighty horn frogs, who might I add may not even be ranked by then.
But I can guarantee that Oklahoma, who might I add also looked really good this weekend, will surely be ranked. Will West Virginia be good enough to take down the Sooners? I don't know, probably not. But that's a long ways off.
The SEC is all of a sudden back on top
I'm going to be honest, the last couple of years the SEC's glory days had seemed to be behind them. It was quickly turning into a one team conference until last year with the emergence of Georgia, Auburn, and sort of Mississippi State. But after a dominating 13-1 weekend, with quality wins like LSU over Miami, Auburn over Washington and the rest of the teams in the conference blowing out their opponents (except for Tennessee) the southeastern conference took it upon itself to inform the nation that it's back.
Let's start with Auburn over Washington. It was essentially a playoff game in week one, and both teams came out with a win or go home mentality. Both were extremely physical and bot needed big-time plays from their offense. What impressed me the most about Auburn was their defensive line. They disrupted the run game, and also had Jake Browning running for his life at times. I hate to say it, but the way the Tigers performed last Saturday gave me the impression that the Iron Bowl will once again be a winner take all.
Although that game was very impressive, the one I had the most fun with was with LSU over Miami. I always kind of had a soft spot for LSU because of Saban's roots there, and who doesn't love coach O. Based off of last season I really wasn't expecting very much from them. Yet by halfway through the first quarter I could see that this LSU was here and ready to rumble. They absolutely mugged the hurricanes and even stole the turnover chain schtick. It was mean, offensive, noisome, rude and I loved it.
What truly put the SEC head and shoulders over everyone else was the play from the proclaimed "best and deepest conference" the Big 10. Sure they were 11-2 on the weekend, but it was the substandard play from the top teams that really surprised me. Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State all looked really poor. Sure Michigan lost to Notre Dame but there was so much hype about how this was going to be the year for them, Harbaugh's never had a more talented quarterback, it's the best defense in the country, blah blah blah. But at least they didn't have to host such a tough team like Appalachian State to start the year. My goodness was that tough to watch. How does one let a small school like that come INTO YOUR STADIUM put up 38 points and nearly pull off the win in over time? I'm looking at you too MSU, letting Utah State hang around all game long.
Can't say I'm too upset though. I hope that the SEC is the deepest conference again. Maybe people will actually stay through half-time this year.
It was Tua obvious (oof that's bad)
Remember when I said that people will stop leaving before halftime this year? Well if nothing happens Tua Tagovailoa then that trend may not run its course for a few more years. The battle between Jalen and Tua was actually not that much of a battle at all. Tua looked WAAAAAYYYY better than Jalen. Anyone could see that there was just a different kind of energy when Tua was out there. It's not to say that Jalen is a bad player though. I'm sure we, Bama would have stomped on Louisville no matter who the quarterback was, it just would have looked differently. But the fact of the matter is that Tua can run almost as good as Jalen can, but he is a million times better at passing.
The quarterback position wasn't the only position that showed it's offensive depth. The tide goes 4 deep at running back and receiver, accompanied by an offensive line that performed ok but wasn't at full strength. That kind of combination should terrify whoever steps in Bama's way. The defense will always be among the best in college football, but if the offense is said to be even better? We may be looking at a cake walk.
Even though we, in fact, learned a lot about the teams in the first week of the season, people can't forget that it is in fact... the first week. Things change, coaches make adjustments, players get hurt, players get healthy etc. But until those kinds of things happen, I'd love to keep overreacting to small sample sizes.