What We Learned From The First Week Of CFB, 2018

What We Learned From The First Week Of CFB, 2018

Who looked good? Who looked bad? Who just made you feel sad?


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.

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Why Nursing School Friends Are So Vital

Pun intended.


When I started nursing school, I knew it would be difficult. I wasn't naive. I heard the stories. I knew what I was getting into…to a certain degree.

It was everything I thought it would be and more. The highs were higher and the lows were lower. The thing you realize quickly in nursing is that it's not something you can achieve on your own. You have to have a support system. It's how you survive. It can feel like you're on your own because you have to perform the skills and make the grades, but really, there are so many friends standing behind you pushing you through.

I've seen it over and over again. I've been a part of it, witnessed it and had help myself. The truth is, even the most intelligent students need help in some sort of way. It might be hard to realize it when you're so inwardly focused, but when you look around you, everyone is walking the same path. They just have different strengths and weaknesses. It's an incredible thing when others use their personal strengths to offset your weaknesses. Nursing friends see in you what you don't see in yourself. Nursing friends share your passions, sleepless nights, early mornings, stress, panic attacks, victories, and failures. Nursing friends are your own personal cheerleaders.

It's no secret that we deal with some pretty gross stuff. Who else can you count on when you're walking down the unit trying to find an extra pair of hands to help you change the clothes of a morbidly obese patient who's covered from shoulders to ankles in their stool? Your nursing buds.

What about when your patient goes into v-fib (ventricular fibrillation), and you need someone to relief on chest compressions? Your rock star nurse friends are there to lend a hand or two.

Or what about when you are scrubbing into a C-section for the first time and you're kind of, sort of, secretly concerned you might get queasy or faint? Your nursing squad will remind you how tough you are. They'll assist you as quickly as possible and when you are finished washing your hands a thousand times, they'll make you laugh or smile. They'll always be there to help you with dignity, support, love, and encouragement.

Your nursing friends know which supply closet you go hide in when you are about to lose it or when class is so long it's giving you a headache so they pass you some Tylenol. Nursing friends are the backbone of your nursing school experience. I always love it that whenever I need hand sanitizer, Tylenol/Advil/Motrin or even a Band-Aid, someone always has it.

Even if you don't talk every day, or you take different class times, there is always someone waving hello or asking how you're holding up. You are all so different, but at the same time, you feel like you're surrounded by so many who are just like you. They care as much as you do. They love as much as you do. And the best part? They just love you. Even on your worst days. There will be times when you trip up on the easy stuff you know that you know, but they'll be there with open arms telling you about when they were in the same place. They are the ones who “fight in the trenches" with you. They'll carry you when you can't keep going, and you'll do the same. No woman or man left behind.

Nursing friends are incredible lifelong blessings. So, remember to thank them every once in a while. Keep cheering each other on, keep fighting together and keep reminding each other that the end goal is closer than it seems.

Cover Image Credit: Maddy Cagle

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The Truth About Responsibility

Part three of a five-part series on leadership.


In this five-part series, I'm not going to give you a definition of leadership. I'm not even going to try to come up with one on my own, because your idea of leadership is exactly that, YOURS. My only hope is that my ideas can help you better understand your idea of leadership.

By now, you may have noticed that these articles are structured in a specific way. If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, go check out the first two articles in this five-part series. I tell you why a respective trait, this week that trait is responsibility, is so much more than its definition. Then go on to explain why it's crucial for being a successful leader and leave you with something to ponder.

However, now and in the future, I am going to add a general example to help solidify my point and allow you to see the full picture. These examples are for your use. Interject characters or people you know into the scenarios to better illustrate it for yourself. Maybe you've been in one of these situations, I would love to hear about it.

Part 3: What is responsibility? And what does it have to do with leadership?

Responsibility is similar to leadership in that everyone you ask will probably explain it with a story rather than a definition. This makes sense because it is just too broad to be accurately defined in one statement. I could probably come up with some ideas for stories to illustrate my point about responsibility, but I don't think that would be helpful to you.

Google would tell you that responsibility is "the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something". I actually like this definition! But to better illustrate my point, try this little thought experiment. Think back to the last time you had "a duty to deal with something".

What was that something? Who charged you with that duty? Was it really yours to deal with?

Too often we think of responsibility in mundane terms. Some may say that responsibility is shown by getting an assignment done or showing up to an important meeting on time. I would generally agree that doing these mundane activities show responsibility, but only in a mundane sense. The completion of a duty that someone else charges you with is just too simple.

Think about responsibility. It is so much more than just getting things done. It is so much bigger than an assignment or a meeting.

Responsibility is a mentality. Responsibility is a way of life.

You should really be thinking about responsibility as an ideal which you strive for, not a box that you check. Welp, I was responsible today! I made all of my meetings, check! I finished all of my work, check! Guess I don't need to be responsible tomorrow!

See how well that works out.

Responsibility is about taking ownership of what you do, in all situations. Everything you say and everything you do. The things that you are proud of and those which make you feel ashamed. Each one of your successes, as well every single one of your failures and shortcomings. That last one isn't easy, I know.

Responsibility is also seeing things through to completion. If you start a project, you finish it. If you set a meeting, you make it there on time. If you say you will do something, you do it. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Responsibility is completing a duty which you charged yourself with, regardless of that duty.

But when you start thinking this way, day in and day out, responsibility becomes natural. It becomes the way of life you want it to be, ubiquitous and easy to see. This is when leadership comes into play.

Being more responsible in your everyday life will make you a better leader.

Regardless of the situation, responsibility will carry over. It will also spread. As more and more people see you taking ownership and seeing things through to completion, they will follow your example. Friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family will appreciate the fact that you actually care enough to do what you say you are going to do.

Leading by example, isn't that the best form of leadership?

Here is a scenario for you to view through your own eyes. You are part of a group which is charged with completing a project in a given amount of time. For simplicity, say your boss has appointed one person to be the "leader", charged with scheduling meetings and holding members accountable to the work they say they will do.

As time goes on, this "leader" is often late to meetings or doesn't show at all. This leader often forgets his duties and brings nothing of value to the meetings. This so-called leader is not being responsible, and the group is suffering. You are no closer to your goal then the day the group was formed.

This appointed leader is not showing leadership because he or she is not being responsible. Why should anyone else show up on time or complete what they said they were going to if the leader doesn't do the same? Change starts with you setting the example of responsibility.

Whether you are in the office, on the assembly line, or at home, being responsible will change you and those around you. It will make life better because it makes life easier. Just imagine how much better your life would be if every person who made a commitment to you, followed through on that commitment.

To end and to drive this point home, we will get a little meta. The next time someone breaks a promise or cancels a meeting, accept it for what it is: a lack of responsibility. Then, when it's your turn to keep a commitment, keep it. Don't be petty by saying "Well they did it to me, why can't I do it to them?". A cancellation for a cancellation makes the whole world uninformed.

Lead by example by taking ownership of your commitments and seeing them through to the end. People will respect your responsibility and return it in kind.

Personal photo used.

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