Tuesday, September 6, 2016

College Football: (Week 1) We made it out alive.

College football Saturday kicked off at 7:30AM EST and finally finished Sunday morning at 4:30AM EST. That means if you were somehow able to watch it all you gorged on 21 hours of non-stop, continuous football action.


I, did not.  In fact I started the day with Game Day on ESPN, watched UH/OU and then spent the rest of the day cooking food, drinking various forms of alcohol and figuring out where to set my 3 TV's to get the biggest bang for the buck.

There were a lot of choices.

I've recapped most of them on my last post so I'll just stick to Sunday and Monday here, and then throw some dirt on the first FIVE of the season which started, as most do, rather less good than planned.

If there was a theme on Saturday, Sunday and Monday night it was this:  Bad coaching makes good teams into bad teams very quickly. Whether it's Gus Malzahn doing questionable things with his quarterback rotation, or running the High School based, Wing-T offense (Odessa Permian represent) or Brian Kelly inexplicably going back to the Zaire well or even Hugh Freeze refusing to slow down his offenses tempo when he had a lead and the situation called for it, many of the losses that we saw were the result of bad coaching on the part of the losing side.

This is not to take anything away from Clemson, UT-Austin or Florida State. All three teams looked good and each is going to have a say in their conference championships methinks. But bad coaching is always bad coaching and it seems to be a constant when evaluating the losing side.

Before you suggest that I'm piling on, that's not true, because I've got my own personal bad to own up to:  Last week's Five.

1. Tulane on the ML for the upset over Wake Forest. L (0-1) - OK, to be fair, had I gone conservative and picked Tulane to cover (+17) the 3-7 score would have made me look smart. Instead, I pulled the trigger on the upset call failing to realize that Tulane has one of the worst offensive lines in the history of man.

2. FIU to cover 9.5. L (0-2) - For one half this was looking like a great pick. Then the 2nd half happened and FIU crumbled. The final score was 34-13 as it just took Indiana a little bit to get their offense on track. c'est la vie.

3. Clemson to cover -7.5. L (0-3) - Yet another pick that looked halfway decent late, until it didn't. It's not exactly a back-door loss as much as it's overestimating how bad Auburn was. They aren't that bad and their defense is better than I gave them credit for. In fact, they should have won this game.

4. Arkansas State to cover -3.5. L (0-4) - Not only did the Red Wolves not cover, they got destroyed 31-10 by a Toledo team that I think is only 2nd tier in the MAC, at best. I had ArkSt in with a chance at the Sun Belt Title. I'm going to have to rethink that over the next few weeks.

5. Houston to cover 12. W (1-4) - If only I had made this my "upset special" we might have been on to something.  By now I'm sure you've seen the highlights of the game. But what you didn't see was how the Cougars physically dominated the Sooners in almost all aspects of the game.  It hasn't been covered much in the media, but the hit that a UH put on Perine that knocked him out of the game was sudden and stunning. That's the type of hit that Perine typically puts on his opposition.

So, it's 1-4 to start the season which is actually an improvement over an 0-5 start last year.  The good news? I rebounded in week 2 and for much of the rest of the season.  Let's see if we can do the same starting next week.

On paper the list of games next week is not near as strong as what we had this week. But it's still college football, and it will still be chock full of surprises.

Now, let's all go get some rest.

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