College Football: the best reality show around
After a summer of expert prognosis from experts across this land, and after another round of rock solid facts in week 1, the college football world reminded us once again that the only sure thing other than a coaching gig in the State of Washington is . . . . strike that. There are no sure things.
We forget year after year that the socialist polices of the NCAA actually do level the playing field to the point that cup cakes only exist in the minds of fans caught in the past where empires could be built and small schools knew their place. Now "Major University" is but a few injuries or a bad recruiting class away from losing to "Weathervane State College" and sending their fans into a frenzy of doom and despair, and sometimes costing the coach his job.
Of course, sometimes coaches loose their jobs for reasons other than losing. You can bet on that.
Here is exhibit A for "you never know" – The Ohio State Buckeyes were said to be ready for the NFC Central after their impressive display against Washington. After San Diego State pushed them around all day, there is a question as to whether they could win the WAC. Husky fans scratch their heads and wonder how the Aztecs could be so much more confident and fired up in their appearance at the Horseshoe.
Either the Huskies took it all out of the Buckeyes in a physical pounding of the kind never seen before by a 25-point loser (look, we are reaching here) or we had better not schedule the Aztecs any time soon. North Carolina State was said to be the Bucks big test, but Wake Forest, a doormat no more, as Duck fans can tell you, smashed the Wolfpack into the scrap heap right next to Auburn.
Speaking of Pre season #1 Auburn, the War Eagle has slammed its beak hard into the ground, as it has yet to score a touchdown in two games. Someone should untie the bird.
Notre Dame struggled to beat their regularly scheduled home opening cup cake.
USC was cruising against BYU until the LA boys got distracted by their press clippings and fell asleep for most of the second half. Wadsworth III reports from LA that BYU loaded up to stuff the run in an attempt to make Matt Linehart beat them. Well, in a spot of bad news for the rest of the Pac 10, Linehart beat them. It wasn't always pretty, but it didn't have to be because of the defense. The Trojan's D is suffocating, fast, and makes plays when needed. No one has figured out yet how Pete Carroll can put 13 men on the field at once. Washington found out the hard way that 12 men are too many.
This bit of pre season thinking seems to remain true – the Trojans are the class of the Pac 10.
Mike Reilly needs to destroy 99% of his playbook, in particular the pass plays for Derrick Anderson, and just give the damn ball to Steven Jackson. Teams that load up to stop Jackson and make Anderson beat them should be as successful as Fresno State was. It was a gutsy win for the Bulldogs, but they needed all the help that the Beavers gave them. The Beavers need to just bite the bullet, become groundhogs, and let Jackson run, and then run some more.
This weeks BCS championship game participant is likely to be next weeks shocking upset victim. You can get voted off the island by any team on the schedule, and big brother is always watching thanks to the miracle of satellite TV. There is no fear factor for underdogs facing favorites.
The one thing that has not changed is the vaunted ‘Canes of Miami. If you had not noticed over the last three seasons, Miami is Miami once again. They mine the mother lode of talent in their back yard and reload with a new set of future first round draft choices. The Cane – Gator match up was an instant classic, as Brock Berlin shook off a horrible first half and ignored the boos to lead Miami back from a 33-10 deficit to a 38-33 win. The Gators are no slouches either and may have the best three freshman quarterbacks this side of Isaiah Stanback. In addition, Florida State is ready to terrorize the ACC again. Some things remain comfortably familiar in college football.
Throw Reggie the damn ball
Race Bannon – still trying to get in Husky Stadium
The incomparable Reggie Williams once again lit up a sleepy Husky Stadium and lit up his team as well on a 71 yard jaunt through the stunned Indiana defense to pay dirt. The revived Huskies then went on to dispatch the undermanned but game Hoosiers of Indiana, 38-13.
The Hoosiers had some talent but no depth and that turned out to be the difference.
The Huskies unveiled the long awaited debut of Kenny James and Shelton Sampson, but it was the familiar Rich Alexis who led the way for an improved Husky rushing attack. All three should get plenty of chances this fall, and Sampson showed some good speed on the corner, while Alexis and James are the better inside runners.
Isaiah Stanback made his Husky Stadium debut and has fans dreaming of the future. IS gave a glimpse of his option skills, and appears to be the best athlete on the team not named Reggie.
The Huskies have a bye week ahead to get ready for the pride of the Palouse- Idaho. Just keep working hard and getting better. The Indiana game showed there is still plenty to be done to compete in the Pac 10.
Note to the Husky athletic office – there is a home game on the 20th, please have more than one gate open. Fortunately, casualties were kept to a minimum as fans broiled under a hot sun waiting for the pimply faced teenager staffing the only open gate, searching bags, and taking tickets.
The game day experience continues to be the best as the thousands of fans dressed as empty seats can attest.
Echoes awake just in time
Leonard L. Epricon
The Notre Dame fighting Irish spotted the WSU Cougars a 19-point lead then stormed back to win the game in overtime by a strangely familiar score of 29-26. The speedy but smallish Coug D was finally worn down by the lack of support from the offense and the Irish power saved the day for Ty Willingham and his offensive offense. You would think that a school that can name their recruits each year would figure out how to play some offense someday.
The Cougs failed to take full advantage of big Mo when he was on their side, as they squandered multiple opportunities to put the game away. The vaunted Cougar running attack managed 1.8 yards per carry, and Matt Kegel could not deliver the big plays when needed.
After the Cougs blew all of the lead, Kegel did lead them on an 80-yard drive which wound up in potential glory when Sammy Moore made an incredible catch of a wobbly duck to force overtime. However, all that did was prolong the agony for the Coug fans. Sympathetic Husky fans cheered the Cougs on when the scores were announced at Husky Stadium. Until the final was announced, which brought loud cheers from the student section.
"It was a great moral victory," said Coug fan Bud Schmidt as he hoisted a leg over the Aurora Bridge rail.
Another chance for the Cougs to get a big non-conference win against an opponent worthy of respect. This match up brings us Doba against Barney in a clash of the genius giants that should have viewers riveted to the edge of their bowls, err, couches.
This time Barney's improving yet still inept offense meets it match with the mini-me defense of the Cougs.
WSU – 6, Colorado – 3
Around the World: . . . Oregon held on to beat the well coached Chris Tormey Nevada Wolfpack......we have been unable to view the game, but hope to hear from Mallard N. Moore when he gets back from New York......Again the Duck offense seems to vanish once the bag of tricks is empty......Nevada's 4th string QB had some success against the vaunted Duck secondary....Cal lost a heartbreaker to Colorado State.....State is led by one of our favorites, Bradlee Van Pelt........Cal is much improved under Tedford, but are at least a year away....Missouri moved out to 2-0.....UCLA lost to Colorado as the Buffs return to dominance and the Bruins head to Oklahoma...Good luck Coach Dorrell....Michigan routed Houston, plays Notre Dame next week, then it's the big one at Autzen....Oregon gets Arizona next....I smell an upset......the well coached Wildcats are better than 52 point losers to LSU at Bear Down Field...45 points? Sure, but not 52.....Duck players will watch that film all week...Better not be dreaming of Wolverines...since next weekend is a bye for the Huskies, I plan on watching every game available so you don't have to.. Another public service from your faithful correspondent. Enjoy the ride and thanks for reading...Race.
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