Cullen Harper and the Clemson Tigers are in for a long season.
It certainly was an interesting week in college football. The books took a bit of a beating as a lot of the "popular" plays won. Still, there were some upsets as well in what was the start of another crazy college football season. Here are a few things that caught my eye during the first weekend of action:
--Remember when the ACC expanded and people were throwing around the phrase "Super Conference?" Oops. This league is so bad that one of the most impressive teams in Week 1 was Duke. Clemson is done. You can mark that down. Their offensive line - a concern coming in - was actually worse than I thought it would be. Plus, they are a mentally weak team. This reminds of a few years ago when Auburn had a lot of hype surrounding them in the offseason and then got blasted by USC in its first game. I look for Clemson to lose at least four games this year. With Virginia Tech starting Sean Gleanon at quarterback for the 12th straight year, I think the ACC is going to come down to Wake Forest and Florida State. Miami may be a sleeper but we'll know a lot more about the Hurricanes after this week's trip to The Swamp.
--Speaking of bad, the Big East isn't far behind the ACC. The Big East does have two teams that look strong with West Virginia and South Florida. UConn could compete as well but after that the conference stinks. Louisville made Kentucky's defense look like the 1985 Chicago Bears. This is a Kentucky team that is likely to finish around eighth in the SEC. Syracuse is an abomination. When you get blown out by Northwestern, you're program is headed in the wrong direction. Pitt won't do a darn thing until Dave Wannstedt is gone. I take what Bill Belichick thinks about coaches as gospel and he thinks Wannstedt is a joke. That's good enough for me. There will be a lot of blowouts in the Big East this year because the bottom teams are awful.
--One team that really surprised me in Week 1 is Nebraska. I thought Western Michigan would give them a lot of trouble but the Cornhuskers just toyed with them. I wasn't expecting much out of Nebraska this season but if Bo Pelini can improve that defense a little bit, their offense is good enough to get the Huskers to a bowl game. I had Nebraska as a "bet against" team but after seeing them in Week 1, I'm going to have to rethink that.
--Can someone tell me why Todd Reesing was in the game for Kansas throwing the ball with the Jayhawks up by 30 and under 5:00 to go in the game? Granted, I needed KU to cover 36 points, so I was all for it but it makes no sense. The Jayhawks were almost in a hurry-up mode trying to score. They did get down to the 1-yard line as time expired but couldn't put it in. However, it wasn't from a lack of trying. There was no need for Reesing - the team's most important player - to be in the game at that point. My guess is Mark Mangino was trying to cover the spread to make the boosters (and me) happy.
--I really don't like that Mississippi State squad. Last year they pulled a Virginia Tech, where they won games with defense and special teams but it's hard to that year in and year out. Quarterback Wesley Carroll is terrible. I do think Louisiana Tech is a much-improved team under Derek Dooley but if you want to be a contender in the SEC, you have to win that game. I see a long season ahead for the Bulldogs.
--I was really impressed with UCLA quarterback Kevin Craft. The way he came back from that miserable first half to throw darts in the second half and lead his team to victory is all I need to see. Some people like quarterbacks who can sling the ball 60 yards on their knees or throw it through a wall. Not me. Give me a guy who has moxie and guts to lead my team and Craft showed he has plenty of that. He's my new favorite player in CFB. Craft will be the best quarterback at UCLA since Troy Aikman. Mark it down.
--I say this every year now but the talent level between the teams in the major conferences and the second tier conferences continues to shrink. Sure, there are dominant teams like USC, Georgia, Florida and Ohio State but overall, I don't see much difference in talent between East Carolina and Virginia Tech. I'm watching Fresno State play and I find it hard to believe that they can't compete in conferences like the ACC and Big East. The bottom line is that those of us who like betting underdogs should be able to make a tidy profit because the talent is widely distributed throughout college football.
Great job this week Goodfella. Keep it up.
9-4 (+7+ Units 1st week) for me.... It's all good :)