Sports Desk: College Football Reminds Us Just Why We Love It
Going into week two of the college football season, it looked like we were in store for an onslaught of cupcake wins for the nation’s elite. And while we did see a little of that, this week was a prefect example of what makes college football so unique.
Who would have thought that a 30.5 point favorite would lose? Not many, apparently. Twitter and FaceBook exploded after Louisiana Monroe’s upset victory over the No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks. ESPN’s official FaceBook page even had a little fun with the dramatic upset.
But let’s look at all the huge surprises that happened over the weekend.
I think it’s safe to say we were all a little shocked on Friday when the Utah State Aggies took down Pac-12 hopeful Utah 27-20 in OT. I mean, it was the first time that USU beat their rivals in 30 years. We’ll go into more details about how bad this loss was later in the column.
To kick off Saturday morning, we got to see Penn State choke once again. Kicker Sam Ficken was 1-5 on field goal attempts (including the would-be game winner) and had a PAT blocked. Memes are beginning to make their way around the web, and crude suicide jokes as well. Just check out the comments on this blog.
Ficken’s performance reminded me of Alexis Serna’s horrible day against LSU at the start of 2003 season. And how about those Beavers? Yeah, they made some headlines as well. The Pac-12 as a whole was like an old western movie with guns blazing and complete anarchy. What looked like a terrible week for the conference turned into a masterpiece.
The Pac-12: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
I’ll be honest – I didn’t think the Beavers had a snowball’s chance in hell of taking down the two-time defending Big10 champs. Yes, Wisconsin lost a ton of talent from last season (some guy by the name of Russell Wilson) and looked horrendous in week one, but I assumed wrongs would be righted by the second week. But lo and behold, the Beavers were able to pull the upset, 10-7 over Wisconsin.
And how about UCLA and Arizona? I thought the Bruins under new coach Jim Moore would make their contest agains Nebraska competitive, but fall just short. Same thing with the Wildcats and new head coach Rich Rodriguez.
UCLA and Arizona both move into the top-25 at No. 22 and No. 24 respectively. USC and Oregon remain at No. 2 and No. 4 while the Stanford Cardinal move up four spots to No. 21. Five Pac-12 teams are now ranked.
It’s difficult to call Oregon “bad’ considering they did exactly what they needed to do by beating the Fresno State Bulldogs, but that second half of the game was about as bad we’ll see the Oregon offense all season.
Starting quarterback Marcus Mariota showed he is human, fumbling twice and looking completely out of sync. Center Hroniss Grasu struggled as well with a plethora of poor snaps that were all over the map.
The Washington Huskies, however, had a much worse performance on Saturday. Not many fans or analysts expected Udub to pull an upset over No. 3 LSU, but a 41-3 trouncing is just embarrassing. Hey, Coach Sark! How’d that tiger at practice help?
At 0-2 in loses to an FCS school and Colorado State, the Colorado Buffaloes may be even worse in 2012 than 2011… if that’s possible. I’m very confident the Buffs will not get a win in the Pac-12 this season.
And Utah. I referenced it earlier, but the loss against Utah State was the first in 30 years. It looked like Utes might be the team to challenge the Trojans in the south, but that’s hardly the case anymore. UCLA is probably the new team in-line to make the Pac-12 south competitive.
So What Does All This Mean?
It means college football is finally back. Yes we had some interesting games in week one. But week two was everything we expect in college football – the unexpected.