Column: It's the most wonderful time of the year
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 23:09
This past weekend I did something that not many college students do on a Saturday morning; I woke up at 9 a.m. to watch ESPN College Gameday. It’s been a Saturday morning tradition for as long as I have been a sports fan. From Big and Rich’s opening song “Coming To Your City” to Lee Corso’s headgear pick, I don’t move from my television set until the show is over.
Then of course, you have the Saturday slate of games. Since this is the first weekend of college football one might argue these games don’t matter or they’re unimportant. Wrong. College football is one of the few sports where every week matters and every game is important. So here are my thoughts on a handful of games from the first week of college football.
Boise State/Michigan State
In one of the only games where both teams were ranked in AP Top 25, we saw Michigan State come out on top 17-13. For Boise State this may pose problems as their strength of schedule may keep them out of the BCS with the one loss. The victory by the Spartans was one of the only bright spots for the Big 10 this weekend with losses by Penn State and Michigan.
I’m sure I am not the only one that feels Notre Dame Football should be taken off the pedestal they have been put on. The 1940s are long gone, Rudy is an old man and Knute Rockne is not roaming the sidelines. Nevertheless I checked in with Notre Dame and Navy during commercial breaks on ESPN, mostly because of the fact that the game was being played in Dublin, Ireland. Notre Dame won big 50-10, I’m sure Lou Holz immediately predicted Notre Dame to go 12-0.
Penn State/Ohio University
Personally, I feel this game should not have even been played. After everything that happened with the Paterno/Sandusky scandal, the program should have been suspended. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the current Penn State players should be punished, but they did have the opportunity to play somewhere else without penalty. But I’m not in charge of the NCAA and they felt that it was OK for Penn State to take the field. Ohio University earned a 24-14 victory after scoring 21 unanswered points. This is perhaps the biggest win in school history for the Bobcats; however this victory would take on much more meaning if Penn State were playing under normal conditions.
What a barn burner we had this weekend in the Carrier Dome. At one point Northwestern held a 35-13 lead over Syracuse, but the Orange came storming back to take a 41-35 lead with 2:40 left in game. The Wildcats were not finished with Syracuse though, as Northwestern engineered a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to win the game with only 44 seconds left. If Syracuse was to win this game, it would be good for the Big East to knock off a Big Ten team. However Syracuse is taking their talents elsewhere next season so as Huskies we can all enjoy this Northwestern victory.
This game was probably the best game going into this first weekend of college football. The No. 8 and No. 2 teams in the country faced off at Cowboys Stadium in what felt like a bowl game atmosphere. The Alabama Crimson Tide picked right up where they left off at the end of last season. Alabama’s dominant offence led them to a 41-14 victory over the Wolverines. For the Crimson Tide, they passed their first test of the season with flying colors. As for Michigan, they will face some Air Force next weekend, followed by UMass and will not face a Top 25 team until Oct. 20. If the Wolverines are going to make any splash this year, they will most certainly have to put up some quality wins against ranked opponents late in the season.
One last thought; any weekend that Boston College and Syracuse lose is a good weekend of college football in my book.
Follow Tyler on Twitter @TylerRMorrissey