Where we aren’t

Thanks to Hurricane Harvey, I wasn’t able to get out of Houston to make my three game weekend in the Chicago area. I was to start in Bloomington for the Ohio State – Indiana game. While the Buckeyes pulled away in the second half as expected, the atmosphere looked awfully good in the first half. Friday was the BC – NIU game. Wouldn’t you know that the game went right down to the wire, when BC kicked a late field goal to avoid the upset.  Saturday’s Nevada – Northwestern had a 2nd half Wildcat comeback in another close game. So Hurricane Harvey kind of screwed me. I say “kind of” because at least my house in Houston stayed dry. That would have been a far worse result for the weekend.

My Thursday, Friday and Saturday, when not helping neighbors pull out wet drywall and fiberglass, was focused getting my man cave back into CFB mode. My observations from a weekend of watching instead of attending games:

Well, that was entertaining:

  • The Battle for the Black Diamond: The Hokies and Mountaineers renewed their rivalry after 12 years and it was worth the wait. Uh-oh ACC – Va Tech’s freshman QB, Josh Jackson had a better opener than Michel Vick did in his first game.
  • Meanwhile on another TV: Thankfully, I didn’t turn off the A&M – UCLA game even though the Aggies were just spanking the Bruins. Every time I glanced at the TV in the second half, it seemed liked UCLA was scoring. Even I didn’t have the heart to text my Aggie buddies to rub it in.
  • The Monday night game didn’t disappoint either. Tennessee gives the SEC a much needed win by beating Georgia Tech in OT.
  • NC State vs. South Carolina: This game delivered excitement throughout. It was a good back and forth battle that was worth watching.
  • The Terps upsetting UT: The Tom Herman era starts with a whimper and not a bang.
  • Louisville beat Purdue 35 -28 in a sloppy but entertaining game.
  • Based on the highlights, the USC – Western Michigan seemed to be pretty exciting, but I couldn’t seem to find it on my myriad of televised options.
  • ESPN’s College Football Final: I wasn’t the biggest fan of the show last year, perhaps because I really liked the Rece Davis, Mark May and Lou Holtz version. However, the show seemed to be in midseason form already. Well done, Adnan Virk, Joey Galloway, and Jesse Palmer.

Don’t jump to conclusions but:

  • I loved Lee Corso dishing out a bit of reality on ESPN Game Day when he said he would schedule all the cupcakes he could if he were still a head coach. The truth is coaches are measured by wins and losses and until the committee sends a message to do otherwise, the first three weeks of season will remain, for the most part, a trip to the bakery.
  • The Penn State offense looks really, really good. I know it was Akron, but Bowden has been steadily improving the Zips.
  • ‘Bama being ‘Bama: Honestly, we may be watching the best operating football program ever. Saban is making the case for G.O.A.T of college football coaching. The best example of reloading versus rebuilding in the game today.
  • I can’t tell if Michigan is really good or Florida is really bad.
  • Classy move by USC to bring on their blind snapper, Jake Olsen to get in the extra point snap.

How’s that sweet tooth?

  • Baylor loses to Liberty. I guess God likes tele-evangelist Baptists over traditional Baptists.
  • UNLV, a 45 point favorite over FCS opponent Howard, loses 40-43. How did that cupcake taste coach?
  • How far has East Carolina fallen? JMU is certainly a great FCS program, but it wasn’t too long ago that the Pirates were giving teams like the Hokies a challenge. Getting smoked by the Dukes 34 – 14? Arrrgh, indeed!
  • Dodging the bullet: Illinois, Nebraska (doesn’t say much for the Big 10), and Louisiana Lafayette escape with close wins. And Pitt needed OT to get past the pesky YSU Penguins.

Up next week:

  • I am considering a trip up to U Conn where the Huskies are set to host the 2-0 Bulls of South Florida. My challenge is that the current price of the flights is beyond the Somanystadiums budget. I am hoping a can get a steal on Tuesday night.
  • If I can’t make the trip, here’s the games I plan on watching:
    • Auburn at Clemson: I bet the Tigers win (hahaha)
    • Pitt at Penn State: I am hoping the rivalry elevates Pitt’s game. Otherwise it could be a long day for the Panthers
    • Oklahoma at Ohio State: The Big 12 really needs a good performance by the Sooners.
    • Stanford at USC: A rivalry that in the past has provided some great moments.