Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Evening QB

Well, weekend one is in the books, and I must say we saw some good games, great playmaking, poor coaching, and insane weather conditions. I love the Labor Day opening span; it gives us games from Thursday to Monday, five days of  football fun.

Thursday night we got to see Russell Wilson and Wisconsin keep it REAL all over UNLV. Neither Wisky back hit their high yardage mark - I think both finished in the 60's - but they looked great doing it and all the guys sat out the fourth quarter. I know UNLV is a hapless week one opener, but so were Western Kentucky and Utah State. I was impressed with how methodical the Badgers already looked and how much impact and flash Wilson's already having. This should be a gooooood team.

Friday night's highlight was Baylor edging TCU in a fun, high scoring affair in Waco. I told you to take Baylor; it was just their time. Will that translate into a great season? Probably not. Griffin cannot do everything alone and there are some big games down the line that will be harder to win than an emotionally charged home opener in front of an electric crowd. I got pretty drunk early, so I only remember Baylor building the lead early and then needing the late pick to secure the dub. Everything in-between - TCU's comeback - is a blur.

Saturday was an up-and-down day. Auburn's onside kick to stave off an upstart upset capped what was a very fun game to watch. The Roof was certainly on fire down on the plains, and in a rare case of misjudgement, Malzahn stuck to a game plan that was yielding no results. Mix that with a well-coached game from a disciplined team with a can-do attitude and some of the best hair in football and you get excitement.

Kerwin Williams, hair champion.
Ohio State and Alabama looked exactly how we all thought they would, lumbering to huge blowouts against the little sisters of Ohio.

The early afternoon games proved to be a little harder to figure out, mainly because of the weather. South Florida whipped Notre Dame before lightning around South Bend put the game on hold and Michigan was only beginning to pull away from Western MI when inclement weather did the same in Ann Arbor. This is about where I zonked out for a nice afternoon cat nap...actually, several of them. I know the games eventually came back on. I know that Michigan turned it on enough to be up three scores before the next delay and the eventual concession of the Broncos. And I know that ND-USF didn't finish up until the Irish had almost come back and Brian Kelley's face turned a nice shade of volcanic eggplant.

The twin kick-off classics were disappointing for me. First, I wanted to watch both games, but the geniuses at ABC/Disney/ESPN said 'fuck the ratings' and put the biggest games head-to-head. Highlights and stats make the LSU win over Oregon less impressive, as it seemed to have more to do with turnovers and sloppy Duck play than outright Tiger dominance. Not that I'm trying to take the glory from LSU. They beat what I thought was a pretty good team; it's not their fault the Ducks helped out so much. Still, though, it burned me in the picks.

The other game, Georgia-Boise State, sucked from stem to stern. Out of the gate, the Dawgs looked sloppy. While trying to implement new wrinkles on the first offensive drive, they drew two pre-snap penalties. Highly touted Isaiah Crowell's first carry was a turf slip for a loss of two yards. Injuries hit two of our most shallow spots: O-line and ILB. And, we saw some questionable coaching/scheming/decision making rear its ugly head again. Boykin gains 80 yards and a TD on one carry, so they never let him tough it again? A soft O-line getting whipped by Boise up front and you only use draws and screens on 3rd and long? No use of our better athletes in the slot? No defensive adjustment to the slants and curls until a quarter later? Both safeties five yards deep in the endzone on that first TD? I mean, Boise State did play a great game. They made few mistakes, adjusted to everything Georgia did, pushed them around up front, and cut them apart outside; they are a GOOD team, no doubt about it. It's just how Georgia lost that's driving me crazy. Richt's seat is about to get nuclear, because everything we saw Saturday night that led to the loss is all the shit we are all tired of seeing. People's short lists are heavy with Dan Mullen and Kirby Smart...but that's an issue for another time.

Sunday saw another win for lightning, with bad weather driving Marshall-West Virginia from the field twice. Holgo's debut was successful, but not glorious, so there will be some fans anxious to see what the offense truly looks like heading into next week's cakewalk with Norfolk St. I got screwed in my pick 'em, though. The spread was 23 points and I had WVU picked. They were cruising. Came back after the first weather break, still cruising. Up by 21, the game's called. Now I KNOW they would have scored at least one more TD. It cost me ten whole confidence points and was the difference between 4th and 8th place.

Texas A&M looked good against SMU. SMU also looked good against SMU at times. That onside 'kick' was one of the most ridiculous things ever.

Last night's game was pretty good, overall. Maryland's redzone woes kept it appropriately ACC-ish, though. Their State Pride unis, on the other hand, were blowing up. Whether you liked them or not, you were talking about them, and Under Armor saved millions on advertising.

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