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College Football 2007 – Who Was Up and Down During College Football’s First Weekend
The first week of college football was full of surprises and disappointments; it’s what makes college football worth watching. College football is exciting, surprising and unpredictable all at once. There was some really bad news for the Michigan Wolverines, Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Florida Seminoles.
First, the Wolverines were defeated by Division 1-AA Appalachian State 34-32 at home as 110,000 fans watched in the big house in Ann Arbor. Michigan entered the game ranked No. 5 in both preseason polls. When the poll results came out Tuesday after Saturday’s game, Michigan was completely out of the poll.
It is the first time a team ranked this high has been completely eliminated from the poll since the poll was expanded to 25 teams in 1989. Since the passing of the legendary Bo Schembechler, the Wolverines have gone 0-3 and given up 108 points. .
“I don’t want to be on their practice field Tuesday,” Appalachian State winning coach Jerry Moore said.
To compare the two football programs, Appalachian State’s football budget is $1.5 million, and Michigan is in the middle of a $226 million renovation of its stadium. I’d say forget the renovations and get some real players in Michigan. The upset has already been cited by many pundits and sports followers as the biggest upset in college football history since an AA team has never defeated a ranked team in an NCAA game.
Notre Dame then took a 33-3 drubbing of Georgia Tech. The game was the worst home opener in Notre Dame history and the first time the Irish failed to score in a home opener since 1985.
Yes, where is the fault? Charlie Weis is all about offense, but the Irish have been plagued by defensive weaknesses the past two seasons. I’m part Irish and a Notre Dame fan. I want to see Weis succeed at Notre Dame. Weiss is starting his third season, and this first-game loss doesn’t bode well for Notre Dame.
Last year, the Irish scored 31 points per game (16th among 119 Division IA schools) and gave up 24 points per game (67th best). Defense is a problem for the offensive Weiss, and until he fixes it, it will remain so. It almost goes without saying that offense is a huge problem right now.
Late Saturday, No. 19 Florida State took on too much swamp water and was upset by Clemson, 24-18. Florida State was notably absent from the poll Tuesday, with Clemson ranked No. 25 in the AP poll.
I wasn’t surprised Clemson won because they were at home and last year Clemson only allowed 16 points per game (16th best in the nation).
Here are some ranked teams that showed how to take care of business in the first week:
No. 2 LSU shut out Mississippi State 45-0.
No. 6 Florida rolled over AA Western Kentucky 49-3.
No. 8 Oklahoma beat North Texas 79-10.
No. 10 Louisville’s poor A.A. Murray State turned in a road kill, 73-10.
No. 11 Ohio State didn’t give up a touchdown to AA Youngstown State in a 38-6 victory.
No. 16 Rutgers beat Buffalo 38-3.
No. 17 Penn State shutout Florida International 59-0.
No. 20 Nebraska beat Nevada 52-10.
No. 22 TCU shutout Baylor 27-0.
No. 23 Hawaii AA outscored Northern Colorado 63-6 and led 49-0 after three quarters.
No. 24 Boise State hammer AA Weber State 56-7.
Other ranked teams that won but didn’t have impressive wins or gave up too many points include No. 3 West Virginia, No. 4 Texas, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 14 UCLA, No. 18 Auburn, No. 21 Arkansas and No. 25 Texas A&M.
At least three unseeded teams shined in their opener: Indiana defeated AA Indiana 55-7, Kansas defeated Central Michigan 52-7 and Cincinnati defeated Southeast Missouri State 59-3.
I didn’t think Cincinnati could score 59 points on anyone; Last year the Bearcats averaged 21 points per game and gave up 20 points.
The other three teams were so brilliant. Big 10 Minnesota was upset at home by Bowling Green 32-31 in overtime. Bowling Green blew a 21-0 lead against the Golden Gophers (what a terrible nickname for Minnesota in this game).
In-state rivalries are always unpredictable, and Colorado proved it once again when it was defeated by Colorado State 31-28 at home in another overtime game. Arguably, this is a testament to the fact that both teams have some offense. I’d say it’s a fact that both teams lack defense.
In Oregon, many fans and pundits refer to the annual rivalry between Oregon State and Oregon as the Civil War. The same can be said for this year’s Michigan vs. Michigan State rivalry.
The other six results of the game I have singled out for special attention and comment.
Two of the six Pac 10 teams in attendance saw the No. 12 California Golden Bears defeat the No. 15 Tennessee Volunteers 45-31 (many think it’s Cal Berkeley this year to take on USC) and the quarterfinals. led by red Jake Locker. Washington Huskies beat Syracuse 42-12.
New Alabama coach Nick Saban did what he hired him to do, beating AA Western Carolina 52-6 in the Crimson Tide’s home opener. Alabama’s SEC fortunes should rise with Saban.
New Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio led the Spartans to a 55-18 rout of UAB as his new offense scored impressive touchdowns on its first six possessions while building a 42-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Michigan State’s Big 10 fortunes should also increase with Dantonio. I was happy to see two of my favorite teams win their opening games. In a very obscure Mike Price game, the UTEP Miners cruised past New Mexico 10-6.
I still believe Mike Price was fired at Alabama before he was even given the chance to coach the Tide. There are still many Southern boys who do not like the Yankees in the far South. In the second game, Wyoming beat Virginia at home with a score of 23-3. A lot of fans don’t care about Wyoming, but I do.
I like the Cowboys because they play so hard at home no matter who lines up against them. Wyoming is proud of its Cowboys. Invade their territory and they may just wipe your clock and mark your back.
Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley
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