College football’s first full weekend delivered everything we count on the sport to deliver. There was the upsetting: (Liberty over Baylor, Howard over UNLV), the near upsetting (Portland State scaring Oregon State, Youngstown State forcing overtime against Pittsburgh), and the unsettling (Central Michigan needing six interceptions and three extra periods to survive Rhode Island at home, Rutgers co-eds frolicking in a hot tub atop the student section).
A five-day jamboree started with with sluggish JT and ended with a GT rambling wreck just shy of the goal-line. The crown jewel of the weekend — Alabama-Florida State — didn’t exactly live up to the nine-month hype. Thankfully and dutifully, six programs helped create magic on Sunday and Monday nights. Virginia Tech outlasted West Virginia, UCLA did the impossible against Texas A&M, and Tennessee came back from the dead against Georgia Tech.
The other 38 college football wrap-up columns are chock-full of deep analysis and delicious nuggets. Some are even behind a paywall, only available to subscribers, so you know they are good. But let’s be honest here. You come to this site for the clickbait. So clickbait you shall have, each and every Monday this season going forward.
Actually, Alabama Isn’t Good: Nick Saban’s guys made Florida State’s incredible athletes look a step slow. A suffocating defense allowed just seven points and 250 yards. Consider for a moment how pedestrian Jalen Hurts and the Crimson Tide offense were. The sophomore quarterback completed 10 passes for 96 yards. A run-heavy offense managed only 172 more on the ground. Alabama was 3-for-16 on third down. Despite all this, they breezed to an easy 24-7 victory over the No. 3 team in the nation. Imagine what the Tide will do when the offense shows up against a lesser, slower, and weaker resistance. Alabama isn’t good. They are great again.
Florida State’s Offense Will Improve With DeAndre Francois’ Season-Ending Injury: The Seminoles lost their dynamic sophomore signal-caller. They must turn to the very green James Blackman in relief. A rail-thin (6-foot-5, 185 pounds) three-star recruit, Blackman worked his way up the depth chart with an impressive spring. Still, the uncertainty is real and the pessimism understandable throughout #FSUTwitter. The bright side: Blackman is a lock to lead the Noles to more than seven points in every game he plays, so, technically, that’s an improvement.
Jim Harbaugh Just Notched His Biggest Win at Michigan: Miracle worker and Michigan Man Jim Harbaugh has built himself a machine in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines defense — which lost eight players to the NFL draft — looked just fine harassing Florida’s shaky quarterbacks. The Gators earned nine first downs and averaged 0.4 yards/rush. Big Blue’s defensive line, led by Rashan Gary and Maurice Hurst, out-muscled and outperformed their counterparts en route to six sacks. The Wolverines look like a top-5 team outside of Wilton Speight’s habit of throwing pick-sixes in big games. And this was a big game, even bigger than the 2016 Citrus Bowl, Harbaugh’s previous signature win.
14 Reasons Why The Big Ten is the Best Conference [Slideshow]: Jim Delany’s boys went 10-2 in non-conference games. The top looks great, as expected. Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, and Wisconsin all found form. Michigan State regained competency while Nebraska survived a late scare. Maryland messed with Texas and Minnesota rowed to the win column. But it’s what the perceived bottom of the Big Ten — long known as a scourge to the Midwest and college football in general — did that raises some eyebrows. Purdue fought Louisville tooth and nail. Rutgers made it interesting against visiting Washington. Fear the footprint.
This is anything but a regular PAT.
Jake Olson, blind since age 12, just snapped for the first time in a live game. https://t.co/amyHcFoVue
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) September 3, 2017
USC’s Blind Long Snapper Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity: Jake Olson’s incredibly journey with the Trojans program culminated in executing a flawless hike on a PAT attempt.
N.C. State Loses in Most N.C. State Way Imaginable: Look at this. It’s beautiful. Or beautifully haunting, depending on your proclivity.
Meet the College Football Player Who Scored a Touchdown Nine Months After a Stroke: Michigan State cornerback Tyson Smith doubted he’d ever play football again. He not only played in in the Spartans’ win over Bowling Green, he returned an interception 38 yards to paydirt before being mobbed by his teammates.
Millennials are Killing Texas Football: Tom Herman’s debut performance featured a cast of not-ready-for-primetime players. The Terrapins went down to Austin and pushed the Longhorns around. Agitated home fans showed their frustration by lobbing objects onto the field.
The only place Texas is back is to square one. Kevin Sumlin and A&M built a 44-10 lead, then blew it in magnificent fashion. Some people just want to see the world burn. The resulting heat from the fire, though, is warming the underachieving coach’s seat. TAMU also lost starting quarterback Nick Starkel to a season-ending injury. Baylor somehow managed to author the worst Lonestar display by dropping a home contest to Liberty. Liberty! The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy rebuild.
Baker Mayfield Perfectly Destroys Defense With This One Weird Trick: Oklahoma’s Heisman hopeful was brutally effective against UTEP. He completed 19 of his 20 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns. His backup, Kyler Murray completed 10 of his 11 attempts. Third-string Tanner Schafer brought the average down by going 3 for 5.
Les Miles’ Twitter Account Has People Googling “25th Amendment”: What a weak for The Hat. First he ducks out of a live ESPN Megacast to relieve himself. Then he conducted one of the more entertaining live blogs of Tennessee-Georgia Tech. Once again, more proof positive that some of the most powerful people in the world are real wildcards.
Idiot Blogger Forced to Own Problematic Jim Mora Column After Epic Bruins Comeback: It me. I published a piece on UCLA’s difficulty in parting with Jim Mora with the score 44-10 in Texas A&M’s favor. Like the rest of you, I believed the Bruins would not be mounting the second-largest comeback is FCS history. Oops. To be fair, there’s no guarantee Josh Rosen can continue to pull rabbits out of his hat weekly behind a porous O-line. And the $11 million buyout still looms.
Iowa Football Has a New Tradition And It’s Adorbs: The Hawkeyes took care of Wyoming, 24-3. Josh Allen’s draft stock wavered. The Kinnick faithful waved to kids staying at the Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
That Kid From Band Camp Grew Up and You’ll Never Guess What He’s Doing Now: For some reason, the Clemson marching band couldn’t resist getting in a cheap shot at the Buckeyes.
Classic band stuff here. Writing checks that the jocks will have to cash later in the CFB Playoff.
Speaking of that …
Who Would Be in the College Football Playoff If The Season Ended Today
*It Doesn’t End Today
- Ohio State
What Time Does the [NEXT BIG EVENT] Start (An SEO Play)
Oklahoma at Ohio State: Saturday 8 p.m.