Been too long.
Oh, college football, how you have been missed.
Fortunately, when you return, you never seem to disappoint, either – save, of course, a stomach-turning effort usually given by one of my alma maters.
So, without further ado, we take a look at Week 1 — the real Week 1, not the half-baked, less than a handful of games, preseason-ish one offered in the final stages of families cramming in vacations before the start of school.
It’s pretty much become a QB-only award, so looking at the first full weekend of action, this is what we know:
West Virginia’s Will Grier (career-high 429 yards passing 5 TDs in 40-14 win against Tennessee) and Central Florida’s McKenzie Milton (346, 5 in 56-17 win at Connecticut) are for real, Arizona’s Khalil Tate probably is not … and the jury is still out on Penn State’s Trace McSorley and Oregon’s Justin Herbert.
A couple newcomers to keep an eye on are Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whom the media will push relentlessly, much in the Saquon Barkley mold of last fall, and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, who actually shined brighter than Double-T on Saturday.
For me, it was Grier and everyone else coming into the season … and he only cemented that belief against the Volunteers.
HARD 2 BELIEVE
It’s not often you see a team lose when it has a quarterback toss two TDs (with no INTs), a running back bust loose for 168 and two TDs (on just 11 carries) and a receiver rack up 104 yards and two TDs.
But by 46 points? C’mon, Oregon State. Ohio State is potent, for sure. Especially at home. The Buckeyes, though, also trotted out a new starter behind center, a new leader on the sidelines and have an entire nation of “should’ve” moralists casting a scornful eye in their direction.
Johnathan Smith’s first year directing the Beavers may be his only one doing so if such efforts prove the norm in 2018, regardless of his high standing among the administration and alums with his being a former star signal-caller for Oregon State.
UMM, YEAH, ABOUT THAT
Much was made of fast-rising Florida Atlantic’s visit to Oklahoma prior to Saturday’s game, mostly in the context of “hmmm, wouldn’t be surprised if the Lane Kiffin’s crew went up there and upset the Sooners.”
Just in case some weren’t convinced by halftime at what a farce those thoughts were, OU posted the first two scores of the third quarter to go up 56-0.
ENJOY IT NOW
Long-struggling Illinois barely got by potential Mid-American cellar-dweller Kent State, but the Illini at least got to witness the emergence of two standouts in a 31-24 victory. Fifth-year transfer QB AJ Bush was a revelation, throwing for 190 yards and rushing for 139 more and showing a subdued confidence that belied this being his first start. Meanwhile, sophomore LB Jake Hansen played like the second coming of Dick Butkus, registering 15 tackles, including a program-record six for losses.
That last stat posted would have led the team’s defense for the entire 2017 season.
We got it. Nick Saban heads the top program in the country and Brian Kelly leads the most recognizable one around the globe. They have some serious cachet, and with that, a lot of rope, too. Still, cut out the egomaniacal crap, guys.
Ahead by an insurmountable five scores against Louisville and Saban goes off Saturday night on one of his Alabama players — way past the point of making a point — for committing a completely inconsequential penalty. Later, Kelly provides his typical condescending commentary after Notre Dame posts a “meh” 24-17 win over equally overrated Michigan.
All, of course, for the national-TV audiences to soak in — despite the claims of not caring by both.
Yo, just give it a rest.