Maybe it was because last year the uncertainty of COVID caused the college football season to be somewhat disjointed but the most fun I’ve had in awhile came Saturday. I watched 16 hours of my favorite sport over the Labor Day weekend and the games I watched left me eager for more. The Good was obvious, with heavy underdog Tulane taking mighty Oklahoma to the wire before losing 40-35, and then top-ranked Alabama crushing a good Miami club 44-23, and finally No. 5 Georgia beating No. 3 Clemson in as physical a defensive slugfest as I can remember.
On Sunday I loved the pluck Florida State exhibited before Notre Dame won, 51-38, in a spine-tingling overtime and Monday’s 43-24 tussle against Louisville was a perfect way to set up some great second week game.
The BAD started Thursday when Tennessee struggled and coughed its way to a 38-6 win over a badly outmanned Bowling Green. The Vols have a plethora of excuses for playing meek; from an entirely new coaching staff, a record number of player defections, and a floundering fan base, but the bottom line is the Orange is a three-point underdog with Pittsburgh playing at noon this week. Pitt mauled UMass last week, winning by a 44-point margin. Vanderbilt’s 23-3 loss to East Tennessee State was horrible and Chattanooga’s 30-20 loss to Austin Peay was a big letdown.
The UGLY occurred at a number of games when fans actually chanted “F*** Joe Biden! F*** Joe Biden!” This is unprecedented and most certainly unacceptable at a college football game. First, a lot of children, women, decent types and Christians go to football games. The NCAA ought to come down hard on this one and security officers should escort “Public Profanity” from the stadiums. This is hardly freedom of speech, and the same goes for the drunk who bellows, “Number 42 … you suck!” Go to YouTube and you can see a good number of tapes. Oh, and No. 10 North Carolina was upset by unranked West Virginia, 30-24.
Obscenity violations could be squelched easily with scoreboard violations. All you need to do is allow the referee to deduct team points from the scoreboard – it would be so efficient with gambling lines, etc., obscenities would immediately stop.
You can also go to YouTube and watch the fights between fans. The best this week – with Smart phones taping the action better than network cameras - is “UNC Fan Tries to FIGHT Virginia Tech Fans” on YouTube. It shows a man in a Tarheel Blue shirt wade into the Hokie student section and clobber some kid. How do you get away without an assault charge when it’s on over 100 iPhones. Whisk the bum to jail.
On Saturday night, when Ed Orgeron, the LSU coach, was walking through the tunnel at UCLA when a heckler got under Ed’s skin he spouted, “Bring your ass on … in your sissy blue shirt!” Within 24 hours that was a mad rush for ‘sissy blue shirts,” this compounded by the fact the Bruins upset LSU in the opener, 38-27.
A host of Chattanoogans fell in love with the University of Montana when the FCS championships were played here some years ago but what about the Grizzlies upsetting No. 20 Washington, 13-7, last week. It was the fifth time a FCS team has upset a ranked FBS team since 1978 and the Gritz were 1-17-1 against the Huskies. Oh glory.
Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim had his ninth-straight 100-plus yard game against Ohio State, but the 45-31 loss was foiled by the fact Mohamed snapped his Achilles tendon and was lost for the year.
I love this: When Va. Tech throttled No. 10 North Carolina 17-10, it was the first time time VT had beaten a top 10 team without Frank Beamer as head coach in 57 years. In 1964 Jerry Claiborne led the Hokies over Florida State.
Kenneth Walker, not a big bullish running back, sailed for 250-plus yards and four touchdowns in the 38-21 victory against Northwestern but after a gasser against Youngstown State this week, he’s got to meet up with Miami and Nebraska this month.
Also, please notice: Butch Jones, the former Tennessee “brick by brick” coach, earned a 40-21 win as his Arkansas State bested Central Arkansas. Next in line for Butch is Memphis, Washington, and Tulsa … that’s a lot of bricks.
LOOKING AHEAD AT THIS SATURDAY…
Here are the games I look forward to this weekend: We’ve still got a lot of “guarantee games,” of mismatches - where smaller teams play the big boys for guarantees (gate money) but here are some good matchups:
* -- Illinois (1-1) at Virginia (1-0)
* -- Iowa (1-0) at Iowa State (1-0)
* -- Missouri (1-0) at Kentucky (1-0)
* -- N.C. State (1-0) at Mississippi State (1-0)
*-- Oregon (1-0) at Ohio State (1-0)
* -- Pittsburgh (1-0) at Tennessee (1-0)
* -- South Carolina (1-0) at East Carolina (1-0)
* -- Stanford (0-1) at Southern Cal (1-0)
* – Texas A&M (1-0) at Colorado (1-0)
* -- Washington (0-1) at Michigan (1-0)