To say I was pissed off would be an understatement. First off, the Monday night Ohio State-Virginia Tech game was originally supposed to air on TSN3. It was removed at some point over the weekend and replaced with the FIBA Americas Basketball tournament since TSN has been pushing that thing to the moon despite the fact I’m sure the ratings aren’t that good for it. However, I was fine with that. TSN is a sports network and has the right to put whatever they want on there and make programming changes as they see fit. Putting the basketball game on what I found out was four of the five channels makes absolutely no sense but oh well.
So I figured hey, I have the U.S. College Sports Package, I’m sure it will be put there instead. I can’t find it. What the fuck? So I ask a Bell CSR about it and she goes on about how Bell has no control over the entire package and that ESPN can move and remove what they want which I can’t see being fully true. Why ESPN would remove one of the biggest college football games of the early season off of a package that does nothing but college football for a few months I don’t know. That’s why I believe someone at Bell dropped the ball (and possibly Rogers too). Knowing TSN switched their programming, they should have looked at all the OPEN FUCKING CHANNELS for the specialty pack and, oh I don’t know, picked one to put the game on. Too hard? Evidently it is. Finally I called back a third time and a CSR stated that she saw it on her guide there so it should show up tonight even if it doesn’t appear on the guide (something about updates not fully updating the guide or some shit like that). Guess what? No fucking game. Anywhere. I didn’t even bother calling back because I am sure I would have said something I regretted later. So yeah, pissed off, angry, upset, disappointed, you name it. My worry is that this will happen again during the season since almost no one with any fucking brains seems to understand how to run a seemingly simple package focused on college football. If it was hockey this would have been resolved in minutes.
Phew! OK enough of the bad, on to the good (for the most part). Time for the college football Week 1 recap. Before I get into individual game reviews, I’d like to look at something that affected a lot of games on the weekend. I mean were the gods pissed off that college football was starting? Look at the weather delays and postponements and cancellations. LSU’s game with McNeese State and Toledo’s game with Stony Brook were cancelled and many games had lightning delays with the game at Georgia finishing early. Crazy. I don’t remember this many games being affected by weather (other than from a hurricane) ever.
Alright on to the news and notes and recaps and shit and insanity (and I will pretty much stick to the games I actually got to watch…mostly…and do it in somewhat chronological order):
- Battle for the Carolinas – It was actually not much of a battle. More of a stalemate when the Red Carolina pulled it out in the end over the Blue Carolina. At least this way the Head Ball Coach didn’t have to make his team walk home from Charlotte.
- Upset City – Holy crap did we ever start early with this. FIU upsets UCF. You know, the team that beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl only two seasons ago? Yeah that team. Worst part? UCF could still win the American and the Group of Five New Year’s Six bowl spot.
- Not so Big XII – OK I know it’s only Oklahoma State (where Mike Gundy is the man!) but they should have been able to have their way with Central Michigan. The fact they didn’t doesn’t bode well for the middle-of-the-standings teams in that conference.
- Now THAT’S the Vanderbilt we know and love – Speaking of boring games, I was pretty shocked that WKU wasn’t piling the points up on a mediocre Vandy defense. Instead, the Dores stayed in it to the end but we all knew the Hilltoppers would prevail right?
- Hey did you hear Jim Harbaugh was hired to be the head coach at Michigan? – OK I get it, it’s a big deal. But did FOX ever blow their load on that game between the Wolverines and Utah. They must have sent 90% of their college football staff. We get it. You want the Big Ten badly and this was your way of showing how “good” you are. Well until we get FOX Sports One in this area, I hope FOX gets no more contracts. The Big XII and Pac-12 are good enough for them at this point.
- Not the best way to start Trevone – I have Boykin as my pick to win the Heisman. That was not the way to start. They barely beat Minnesota. Not that the Gophers are bad (and they have a great coaching staff btw), but TCU is ranked #2 in the nation. They might want to act like it.
- Congratulations to Charlotte – The 49ers start their first season in FBS with a win over Georgia State. And yes, Georgia State has staked claim to the worst team in the FBS. Do they play Idaho? If they do then that will be the Bizarro National Championship.
- They sunk our battleship – Western Michigan tried rowing the boat till they couldn’t row any more. Instead, Sparty sunk the damn boat by half-time and allowed them to float around like that jabroni in Titanic before letting them drift away. Or something like that.
- Bizarro SMU – Chad Morris you evil genius. What have you put in the water at SMU to allow the Mustangs to be tied with Video Game Briles and his Baylor Bears Express at one point? Yes they ended up losing by 35 but SMU might be fun to watch this season. Oh and Baylor will be fun to watch. Their game against TCU should be awesome (and hopefully I don’t have to PVR it since I can only add three extra hours to a program).
- Of course Army had to lose to an FCS team – I know they’re a service academy but they just aren’t at the level of the other two. When they are constantly losing to FCS teams and, well, pretty much every other team in the FBS, it gets to the point where you wonder why they aren’t planning a move back to FCS. They could easily join the Patriot League since the rest of their sports are there too. It wouldn’t be the most patriotic move but if any more realignment takes place, they should consider it.
- Petersen came thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close – How Boise State let Washington stay in that game is beyond me. The Huskies were terrible for more than 2.5 quarters. I have Boise running the table and now I am worried about that selection.
- The annual SEC Stats Padding FCS Game of the Year Results – Lightning saved ULM from being destroyed even further by Gerogia. Ole Miss beat the holy hell out of UT-Martin. Missouri took care of Southeast Missouri State. And finally the gods allowed some mercy to the FCS brethren by making it impossible for LSU to beat the snot out of McNeese State. In the end I much prefer these types of games in September than in November when the other half of the SEC teams do it. I get why they do it. I just don’t like it.
- David Shaw. Welcome to the hot seat? – I don’t know but man did the Cardinal look bad against Northwestern. Full marks to Pat Fitzgerald’s team as they have shown that they may cause some problems in the Big Ten West this season. But still, Stanford should have pulled this out. Many had them as Pac-12 North champs. I didn’t buy the hype and right now I am looking good (for at least one of my predictions).
- Speaking of basketball season – Is it here yet? Kansas fans want to know. To lose on a bobbled snap when you are trying to spike the ball so that you can get the field goal unit on the field…that is beyond ridiculous. And on top of that it was to South Dakota State. Not NORTH Dakota State (which would have been fine really). And somewhere Charlie Weis is eating a greasy cheeseburger and smiling (and still collecting paycheques).
- Mike Leach can’t be happy – And he shouldn’t be. His pass-happy offense should have put up at least 500 yards passing against a Portland State team that will struggle to compete in the Big Sky this season. Instead, Wazzu is trying to book their basement spot early in the Pac-12 North.
- I am putting in my resume to become a “Clock Management Technician” – What Fun Bobby Petrino was thinking late in the game against Auburn I don’t know (my guess is it had to do with motorcycles and pussy). Anyway, it is inexcusable in this day and age to be that bad at clock management yet it comes up at least a dozen times a season. Worst part is it kind of wrecked their inexcusable comeback against an Auburn team that looked like it was going to drop 50 on the Cards. And who the fuck OK’d those uniforms for Louisville? Fire that idiot immediately.
- The Rosen One – Whoever came up with that nickname is a genius (I think it was Joel Klatt who is one of the few people at FOX I like listening to). And he looked every bit the part against Virginia. Then again it was Virginia. Mike London, it’s going to be a long season for you just so you know.
- Did you see that Hail Mary? – Wow, what an ending to the BYU-Nebraska game. How that came about is amazing itself. Bronco Mendenhall’s balls are obviously the size of grapefruits for him to run the ball with that little time left to set up for the Hail Mary. Why the Huskers defenders didn’t knock the ball down I don’t know. More amazing than the Hail Mary? How blonde Mendenhall’s hair is. Like freaky blonde. Actually that’s more scary than anything. And somewhere Bo Pelini was smiling. Not because his new team won (although Youngstown State almost upset Pitt) but because of the ending. And the Huskers will somehow lose exactly four games this season in the most hilarious rendition of Groundhog Day in sports ever. Worst part of all of this is BYU losing Taysom Hill for the season.
- Did I call it or did I call it? – Oh I called it. I said Temple would break the longest losing streak (in terms of years) in college football to one team by beating Penn State. And they did. Here’s how Christian Hackenberg’s day went: Sack, sack, sack, run for your life, throw the ball away, short completion, hand the ball off two times, sack, sack, pressure, repeat. He was sacked ten times. His QB Rating was 3.2. He was flat-out awful. Not that the rest of the team was much better. Also, good to see Temple looking like a contender in the American for once. Don’t be surprised if they are seen during Conference Championship week going for a conference title.
- Well that took a while – Man did Tennessee look like they were struggling against Bowling Green. Don’t get me wrong, Bowling Green is one of the class teams of the MAC but Tennessee was ranked #25 to start the season. They haven’t done shit in half-a-dozen years! They finally pulled away in yet another weather-altered game (I was so glad I didn’t have to use the PVR this weekend).
- OK maybe Craig Bohl will be on the hot seat – Shutout against North Dakota (not even North Dakota STATE which would have been fine) in the first half? Inexcusable. Unless Bohl gets the Pokes to at least five wins and in contention to possibly go bowling, he may be shown the door which is a MASSIVE fall from grace considering where he came from.
- So much for “neutral site” – I don’t get these so-called “neutral-site” games that are anything but. 90% of the fans (I may be lowballing) were Aggie fans when Texas A&M played Arizona State. They can paint these neutral-site games in whatever way they want but games this close to a team’s home should be considered a home game, period. Either that or make them truly neutral-site and make sure a team doesn’t get to play in its own state during a regular season “neutral-site” game. Netural site my ass. Other than that, the Aggies did the same thing they did last year on opening weekend: upset a fairly highly-ranked team who had visions of something bigger. Hell, I pegged the Sun Devils for an 11-1 team this season. I think that prediction can be flushed down the shitter now.
- A scare in Lexington – Man Kentucky allowed the wrong team to get back in the game. Hulk Hudspeth’s Ragin Cajuns tied it up late in a game the Wildcats should have finished off early. The fact that they pulled it out doesn’t mean much since Kentucky does not look improved at all over last season. Mark Stoops better not feel too comfortable considering his ass is on the hot seat if he can’t turn this program around (and make people forget that basketball season starts in about two-and-a-half months).
- They are who we thought they were – And even more so. I didn’t think Texas would win but sweet baby Jesus did they ever get their asses handed to them in South Bend. Yes Notre Dame will be better this season and could sneak into a New Year’s Six bowl but they aren’t Alabama. Texas is going to struggle and unfortunately, Charlie Strong is probably going to pay for it.
- Bama shows why they are still one of the best – No panic. They just went about their business knowing that eventually they would put the game away. And they did. The surprise has to be the fact that the Badgers struggled to run the ball. Corey Clement was an absolute non-factor. The bread and butter of Wisky’s offense (the line of scrimmage) may be the worst it has been in years. I figured they wouldn’t have too tough a time at least winning their division but I could be dead wrong on that front.
- Hey did you see that Ohio State–Virginia Tech game? Because we didn’t. – I’m still bitter about that.
Alright, hopefully you enjoyed my novel. I was actually pretty tired Sunday morning from watching all that college football on Saturday. And there were no late-night games on. I guess I am just rusty from eight months off.
I should have next week’s schedule up tomorrow or Thursday (as long as Bell and Rogers cooperate). I will have the NFL schedule up by Friday as well so you are prepared for the weekend. My PVR is going to get a workout for sure. Luckily this week, according to my calculations, should be the worst weekend of the season in terms of game quality.