College Football Rundown

Ban Glassman


With week one of the college football season in the books, the juicy storylines are already plentiful. Perhaps the most shocking result from last week’s games was Baylor’s 50-48 win over No. 14 Texas Christian University. The Horned Frogs looked nothing like the team that former star quarterback Andy Dalton led to the Rose Bowl last season. They found no answer for the Bears’s offense, and the offense that TCU did muster up came in the fourth quarter once most of the damage had already been done. It was not exactly the showing TCU was hoping for.

The marquee matchup heading into last Saturday’s slate of games was clearly No. 3 Oregon against No. 4 Louisiana State University. The Ducks, who re­turned last year’s starting quarterback Darron Thomas and starting running back LaMichael James, could not over­come the multitude of mistakes they made, and LSU capitalized for a 40-27 win. What was most disturbing for Or­egon fans after watching Saturday’s game was that James, who was a finalist for last year’s Heisman Trophy, only scrounged up 54 rushing yards on 18 attempts. It’s just one game, but without the explosive­ness that the running game exhibited last year, the Ducks are frankly just another run of the mill BCS team.

For Tiger fans, LSU’s opener could not have been more encouraging. Not only did Les Miles’s boys take down last year’s BCS Title runners-up, but they did it without the services of starting quar­terback Jordan Jefferson, who is under investigation for a felony battery charge after being involved in a bar fight earlier this year. Back-up Jarrett Lee stepped in for Jefferson quite impressively, which bodes well for the Tigers should the inves­tigation further prohibit their starter from returning to the lineup.

Elsewhere in the once-promising PAC-10, UCLA lost to C-USA member Houston, USC barely beat lowly Min­nesota 19-17, Washington beat Eastern Washington by just 3 and finally, Oregon State lost to an FCS team in Sacramento State, 29-28. While the PAC-10 is look­ing astoundingly weak early on, most of the other top conferences looked solid. The SEC suffered only one noteworthy loss – No. 19 Georgia at home against No. 5 Boise State – while succeeding on the big stage with wins by LSU, Alabama and South Carolina. The rest of the Top 25 were exceptional, particularly No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 7 Stanford and No. 11 Wisconsin, all of whom ran their of­fenses to near perfection while allow­ing an average of just 11 points to their respective opponents.

This weekend, No. 3 Alabama will be under the microscope of the college foot­ball world as they try to avoid an upset when they visit Joe Paterno and Penn State at Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions are ranked at No. 23, but at home in front of 107,000, anything can happen.

Nearly 400 miles away from Univer­sity Park on Saturday night, the Michigan Wolverines will host rival Notre Dame for the first ever home game under the lights in Michigan history. At 8:00, 110,000 crazed fans will funnel into the Big House to watch one of the most anticipated events in recent Michigan history. Quar­terback Denard Robinson will try to make the game a memorable one, as Big Blue faces an Irish team that came into the season ranked No. 16 but was removed from the Top 25 after last week’s loss to South Florida.

With so many intriguing matchups in week two of the college football sea­son – Penn State/Alabama, Michigan/ Notre Dame, Texas/BYU and Georgia/ South Carolina to name a few – it would be easy to look past the Patriot League. Lafayette will visit Georgetown for the two teams’ first league games of the sea­son, but the premier matchup will be an early game between the Patriot League’s top two teams in recent years: Holy Cross and Colgate.

We’ve already seen upsets, huge wins and devastating losses in the 2011 college football season – tune in this Saturday to see what else is in store as the hunt for the BCS Title begins.

Contact Ben Glassman at [email protected]