Did You See That? Week 1 in the Big Ten and Whatever Else I Watched
Does that title need work? Fine, I’ll work on it. And you know how long “regular features” last around here. If it’s not SBF or the Predicto, it usually is gone sooner than Boilerdowd when you’re talking to him at a tailgate and he spots the buffalo chicken dip. (The metaphor-as-joke needs some more work, too? Okay, fine. It’s Tues after Labor Day, get off my back.) But my hope is to bring you a synopsis of the week that was in college football on a somewhat regular basis. One of the big reasons is that Purdue football continues its quest to make us hate life, sports and college football, so we need to remind ourselves that we love this game and it’s a great time of year. So let’s leave the Purdue-Marshall dead horse over there where it is and move along.
We’ll definitely talk Big Ten and then sprinkle in some more observations.
Da B1G (Have I told you how much I loathe that stupid logo and one-word-ish usage?)
Utah 24, Michigan 17 – Pants McKhakis had a rough first big day on the job as it turns out a new coach doesn’t make a bad team better. Hey, we coulda told you that! The UM rushing attack was impotent as a man wearing cheap-ass khakis looks, sporting a 2.6 ypc average and totaling just 76 yards. Jake Rudock did not Rudock the house, forced to pass the ball 43 times, three of which went to Utah players. Harbaugh will make this program great again, I have no doubt, but it may take a couple years.
TCU 23, Minnesota 17 – People will make a big deal out of the Big Ten’s mediocre first week, but this kind of game isn’t a horrible loss. If TCU is really the #2 team in the country, then Minnesota is obviously pretty good and last year’s season was no fluke. And I know Purdue fans who were putting the Minnesota game in the “maybe” column.
MSU 37, Western Michigan 24 – So, sure, if you’re a Sparty fan you can find reasons to be concerned. WMU kept is respectable but MSU only allowed 18 total rushing yards or a 0.8 ypc average. Wow. WMU did manage to throw for 365 yards on 50 attempts and returner Darius Phillips went bananas, with 185 return yards including a 100 yard TD gem. But MSU may have possibly begun looking ahead once they got out to a two TD lead. They do have Oregon this week.
Illinois 52, Kent State 3 – Poor Illinois. They just wanted to start their season and then Friday night lightning caused the game to get pushed to Saturday, when there were reportedly no crew members available to work the game, meaning it couldn’t get televised. BTN’s Mike Hall went on twitter to make this point and let everyone know there was no one to “work cameras and push buttons” and so sorry… then soon after he did that it was announced that the game would be streamed on BTN2Go. Maybe the fans operated the cameras and boards necessary to broadcast a game online? Regardless, Illinois made quick work of Kent State, presumably picturing Tim Beckman’s dumb face on each of the woebegone KSU players.
Northwestern 16, Stanford 6 – Another team many Purdue fans had on the “maybe” list (along with Minn and Illinois) was the Cats. They had, to me, one of the conference’s most impressive wins of the week. Nobody knew is NW would be good and facing ranked teams has not gone well for them ever since their showdown with OSU two years ago. Was Stanford perhaps a bit overrated coming in from the conference everyone is suddenly in love with? Perhaps.
Maryland 50, Richmond 21 – Who cares? I mean, Richmond has a football team? Maybe it’s me, but is there a less interesting matchup than this? And a less Big Ten-feeling game? Randy Edsall parlayed a win at Notre Dame with UConn into a job in a big conference and has seemingly been on the hot seat since. His tests will come.
Rutgers 63, Norfolk State 13 – Wow, Rutgers beat Norfolk State like they wanted something out of Norfolk’s house. (BOOOM!) I do hope everyone has had fun with these delicious cupcakes because with the nine-game conference season looming and the eradication of playing FCS schools, this kind of automatic alum-satisfying hammering is going to be a thing of the past soon. The stats in this one are funny, though – RU won while only throwing the ball a grand total of 15 times, completing 13, for 248 yards and four TDs. They rushed for 291 on 47 attempts (6.2 ypc), while allowing Norfolk minus-3 rushing yards. That’s a pasting.
Temple 27, Penn State 10 – In the game that you know was the most enjoyable outcome for everyone with a soul, Penn State took it on the chin versus a team they hadn’t lost to since, like, the Coolidge administration. Christian Hackenberg was mediocre yet again and continues to be the poster child for players who come into college seemingly talented…..and then never develop further. Curtis Painter is a member of this club, but Hackenberg has paid his 2015 dues. Also, James Franklin is overrated and always has been. Even his Vandy teams that he gets credit for “turning around” were routinely pummeled by good teams. Even their faithful are turning on them and it’s awesome. Ooh, but he took the names back off the jersey and he tweets! Whoop-dee-do.
BYU 33, Nebraska 28 – Hoooo-boy, this is gonna be fun. Now, I wish I didn’t like Mike Riley, but I do. But man, does any fanbase/AD deserve a kick in the balls more than these people? It’s weird because I never liked Pelini at all, but seeing a guy win 9+ games a year for his entire tenure get fired because it “wasn’t enough” is just….offensive. To anyone who lives in 2015. This isn’t 1970. Who the hell wants to go to Lincoln, Nebraska? But I digress. It was a good game but one in which the Huskers looked poised to win. Then this happened:
Do the Mormons do Hail Marys? I guess they do. What an amazing finish and the fun begins in Lincoln.
Indiana 48, Southern Illinois 47 – IU narrowly avoided the kind of loss that should cost a coach his job almost on the spot, especially a coach with the level of success of Kevin Wilson. Southern Illinois’s – an FCS school – QB, Mark Iannotti, passed for 411 yards and four TDs against zero INTs. The Salukis rushed for 248 yards (a 5.4 ypc mark) and in total (for you math majors) rolled up 659 yards of offense. They decided to go for the win in the final seconds with a two-point conversion attempt mainly because that’s what the “little guy” does when on the road in this kind of situation. There are some who point out that if you’re rolling up that kind of offense, you should play for the tie and then win it in OT since clearly you can score. Problem is, they couldn’t stop IU, either, and you know those guys had to be wearing down. So sure, IU is 1-0, but man, that defense may be worse than ever.
Alabama 35, Wisconsin 17 – Turns out Alabama is still monotonously good. There’s also a feeling building – and bdowd touched on this in our last Handsome Hour – that Paul Chryst simply isn’t the second coming. Sorry, I mean, that perhaps he’s not the savior who can keep Wisconsin sipping wine. Perhaps the program will need to be resurrected once he’s done with his time.
Ohio State 42, Virginia Tech 24 – OSU continued to do what they do. They let Va Tech hang around for a half and even take a halftime lead, but then master motivator Urban Meyer unleashed the hounds and plays like this happened. Seriously, that is one of the coolest/best CFB plays you’ll see all year, and it was by a former QB playing on a repaired knee. Urban also didn’t tell either QB who was starting until literally they were both jogging onto the field to go to the huddle. Maybe he was just trying to make it interesting for himself. Ohio State remains good.
Oregon 61, Eastern Washington 42 – Yes, Eastern Washington put up six touchdowns on the Ducks. Their defense being bad would actually make Oregon more fun because they’ll now actually need to score 60+ every week to keep winning. The Eagles aired it out for 438 yards and five TDs, but Oregon rushed for 485 yards and six scores. Mercy.
Tennessee 59, Bowling Green 30 – A battle of a coach Purdue pursued against one of Purdue next upcoming opponents. BG was down 49-30 through three quarters. I’m not sure Purdue will have seven TDs after three quarters when the two play in a few weeks.
Texas A&M 38, Arizona State 17 – Sumlin doin’ what Sumlin do. The Kevin Sumlin who went to Purdue and coached at Purdue and who Purdue could have hired to follow Tiller. Yeah, him. No, we’re not still bitter. Wait, yes we are.
Notre Dame 38, Texas 3 – Maybe Mike Riley and Charlie Strong can just switch programs after this season. I know people like Strong in Texas and there’s a lot to like, but they do not handle losing well and he has to get this turned around. Word seems to be that Mack Brown was a pretty awful recruiter towards the end. That excuse can only last so long (unless you’re the kind of person still blaming Tiller and Hope for Purdue’s situation).
Patriots: Still Cheaters – The New England Patriots are cheaters. This is not a recording. But man, is NBC ever loving this since the Pats are on their opener on Thursday night. This is one of those “smell test” things that we’ve talked about before. Do I think Brady deserved a quarter of the season for whatever his involvement was in deflating footballs? Of course not. Do I think he was involved and knew damn well what they were doing? Of course. And only a person lacking common sense would say otherwise.
"Did You See That?" is (maybe going to be) a regular feature of Boiled Sports, in which we recap the weekend in college football and whatever else J watched. We might cover an old rom-com, you never know.