College Football Musings - Week 1

Once again this season we'll start off each new week with an assortment of assessments from the previous weekend's action. The first weekend of college football gave us a disaster for a former Gator head coach and a near disaster for another.

It gave us a reality check in Athens and a loud warning form the SEC West and reduced the list of potential second time Heisman Trophy winners to one. We'll have all of that that and more in our 2009 debut of the weekly musings.

How the mighty have fallen ---- It's not often you feel badly for a guy making almost $2 million a year, but it pains me to watch Steve Spurrier on the sidelines. Now in his fifth year at South Carolina the Head Ball Coach "won" his opener with North Carolina State 7-3. When he was at UF, Spurrier would consider that a lousy first quarter offensively.

GadZOOKs ---- Illinoize had hopes of being a Big Ten contender this year after a disappointing 2008 campaign but those hopes are largely dashed. The Illini were favored in their "neutral site" game with Missouri and instead got completely dominated by the supposedly rebuilding Tigers 37-9. Missouri ran up 442 yards of total offense in winning the fifth straight game between the schools in St. Louis. For Zook, that makes him 18-31 in Champaign – 9-4 in their surprising Rose Bowl season and 9-27 in the other 36 games.

Those guys were good ---- One of the most ridiculous thoughts I heard verbalized (or typed) in the pre-season was that Georgia would be a better team this year. The Dawgs lost QB Matthew Stafford, RB Knowshon Moreno and WR Mohamed Massaquoi and yet somehow the offense would be better? It was an absurd notion reinforced by rolling up 10 points against a crummy Oklahoma State defense. Seven of those points came on a game opening 80-yard drive but the Dawgs could not reach the end zone again. The loser of this week's Georgia/South Carolina is going to have a miserable week, if not season.

Alabama reloads ---- You try not to overreact to what teams do against defenses in the Almost Competitive Conference (ACC) but Alabama's performance against Virginia Tech was impressive. The Crimson Tide tripled the Hokies' total offense and pulled away late for a 34-24 win. The Tide offensively line looked impressive and QB Greg McElroy passed for 230 yards to lead the way. Running backs Mark Ingram (150) and Roy Upchurch (90) ran wild against what was supposed to be the best defense in the ACC.

Opening for NYC Trip ---- Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford saw his repeat chances disappear with a shoulder injury in the first half of BYU's stunning 14-13 win over the Oklahoma Sooners. Bradford is likely to miss a month or more and that eliminates him as a candidate for college football's top honor. Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy top the Heisman list, but keep an eye on California runner Jahvid Best.

What the Duck? ---- Oregon had by far the worst weekend of any college football team. The Ducks were outplayed and outclassed by Boise State. Their best player turned thug and was suspended for the year. And their Athletic Director and former head coach openly (though probably unintentionally) undermined his hand picked successor. Oregon began the season ranked No. 16 and could end it with a losing record.

Notre Dame/Michigan might matter ---- This rivalry has lost a lot of significance in recent seasons, but this week's game will have a lot of significance to it. Notre Dame opened with a 35-0 win over Nevada; a game in which the "0" was the more important number. Michigan routed Western Michigan 31-7, coasting home after taking a 31-0 halftime lead. The winner this week is truly on its way back while the loser is, well the loser.

BCS Blues ---- Not only did Boise State and BYU claim wins over ranked teams, but Utah stood up to a challenge from Utah State to post a win over one of their big in-state rivals. Add in TCU which should be pretty good and the chances are very good there will be at least one BCS interloper and possibly two.

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