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College Football Roundup: Week 1
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“His daughter was my first kiss, back in the day.” —West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett on how well he knows Alabama coach Nick Saban. Probably not the best thing to say days before your team plays Saban’s team. Trickett quickly clarified: His father coached alongside Saban in the early 2000s, and Tricket and Saban’s daughter were 6 years old at the time. Good to know.
THINGS TO KNOW
Several Top Teams Struggled
In other words, no team stood out as a clear-cut contender for the national championship.
Let’s go down the list. Defending national champions and No. 1 Florida State battled back-and-forth with unranked Oklahoma State through all four quarters, eventually pulling out a 37-31 win. No. 2 Alabama played a similar game against unranked West Virginia, winning 33-23. Unranked Navy held No. 5 Ohio State to a single-possession game through the first half, as did unranked Arkansas against No. 6 Auburn. No. 7 UCLA, who many have picked to win the Pac-12, struggled against unranked Virginia, though UCLA eventually won 28-20.
The exceptions to the rule were No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 8 Michigan State, No. 11 Stanford, and No. 15 USC, who dominated lesser opponents in cupcake games.
No. 21 Texas A&M Embarrassed No. 9 South Carolina
In an all-SEC matchup, South Carolina was expected to roll over Texas A&M in the first of many games that would cinch South Carolina’s spot in the SEC title game. With a 52-28 loss, South Carolina’s chances of playing in the SEC Championship are a lot less likely.
Why wasn’t Texas A&M expected to win?
Texas A&M lost several offensive all-stars, including award-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, to the NFL draft this year, and South Carolina’s defense was expected to dominate.
So what happened?
Turns out, Texas A&M’s sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill is pretty good, too. He even broke Manziel’s single-game passing record with 511 yards.
Sports fans are also questioning the caliber of South Carolina’s defense. Only time will tell if Texas A&M is really that good or South Carolina really that bad.
SEC Teams Won This Week’s Power Matchups
Everyone had their eyes on two big matchups this week: No. 16 Clemson at No. 12 Georgia and No. 16 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 LSU. Not only were the opponents ranked, but the games pegged some of college football’s biggest conferences against one another, serving as the first test to see which conferences will eventually come out on top. The result? The higher-ranked, SEC teams won, but not without a fight.
Tell me about Clemson and Georgia.
Clemson, a member of the ACC, held Georgia, a member of the SEC, to a tied game heading into halftime. After the half, however, Georgia broke out its biggest weapon: junior running back Todd Gurley, who led Georgia to a 45-21 win with 198 rushing yards on 15 carries with four touchdowns. That’s an average of a first down every time Gurley touched the ball.
What about LSU and Wisconsin?
SEC team LSU won too, though in a different fashion. Wisconsin, a member of the Big Ten, appeared to have the game in-hand when they led LSU 24-7 early in the third quarter, but LSU roared back and put 21 unanswered points on the board to win 28-24.
LOOK AT IT THIS WAY…
Do you enjoy watching Disney movies?
Former USC captain Josh Shaw is reinventing a classic. Shaw became a modern-day Pinocchio this week when college football fans realized he lied about how he sprained his ankles. He did not, in fact, jump from a balcony to save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning in a pool, which is what he told school officials on Monday. He actually just fell. He also has been suspended from the team indefinitely.
Note: This isn’t the first time a high-profile player has been caught in a high-profile lie. In 2012, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o lied about having a girlfriend who died of cancer, when in fact that girlfriend never existed. You’d think these kids would learn.
Cupcake — Not just a dessert.
A “cupcake game” is a game in which one team is overwhelmingly picked to win and the other team is overwhelmingly picked to lose due to the size and caliber of the football programs. The expected winners win 99 percent of the time.
High-caliber teams often schedule cupcake games as cushions (hence the term “cupcake”) at the beginning of the season and just prior to facing difficult opponents or rivals. Many of this week’s games were cupcake games with unsurprising results.
GAMES TO WATCH
USC (#15) at Stanford (#11): ABC/ESPN3, Saturday, Sept. 6, 3:30 p.m. EST
Michigan State (#8) at Oregon (#3): FOX, Saturday, Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m. EST
Michigan at Notre Dame (#17): NBC, Saturday, Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m. EST
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