Tailgate

The Week That Were: Kickoff 2014

For those of you new to our little corner of the intertrons, every Monday we’ll do a quick look back at the weekend’s major matchups, minor stories, and general acts of randomness.  As is our tradition, we’ll provide you with some mood music for your reading enjoyment… Remember, even though it‘s Labor Day there are still folks grindin’.

Welcome back, greatest of all sports!

We’ve survived the dearth of excitement, the false manufacturing of stories and #HotTakes, and now at last get to watch the little men in our televisions run around and tackle each other yet again.

While opening weekend is always excellent, it does make a Monday wrap-up a bit challenging. Like its bigger brother, college football uses “Weekend” loosely to create a five day celebration of the sport, with neutral site matchups abounding.  There were smaller games on prior to Thursday Night’s start, but we all know that this thing doesn’t really get exciting until the Power Five conferences ramp up their tailgates and revenue streams educational opportunities.

While I’ve often criticized the SEC for their propensity to schedule a late season FCS cupcake, I will have to admit that I enjoy their willingness to go big or go home on opening weekend. Texas A&M at South Carolina was not just an appetizer for the week’s game, it was like serving a person fresh out of the desert an entire five course meal.  With the shelling that aTm’s new QB put on the Old Ball Coaches, the question that stands out is whether or not Johnny Football’s numbers were due to his prowess or due to the system in College Station.  Browns fans shouldn’t think to much about that, though.

I’m not sure how South Carolina earned pre-season Top 10 ranking, given that they lost a good chunk of their offensive potency and their Clowneybot, but I guess the “you need to have 5 SEC teams in the top 10″ corollary applies here. What will be interesting to watch is how the Gamecocks only drop one spot (quality loss to an SEC team) while the Aggies leap to near the top of the rankings.

Oh, Lucy...

Oh, Lucy…

“God’s Conference” didn’t finish perfect on opening night; While Ole’ Miss beat the Ghost of Southern Idaho State University, the Commodores lost to Bill Cosby’s alma mater, in spite of having the appropriate forms. What hope did they have, really, after giving up the season’s first “Gravitationally Enhanced Student Athlete GoalPointUnit“?

For the rest of the weekend, though, the boys down south did pretty well for themselves. Most impressive, from the comfy couch at mi casa, was the Georgia Bulldogs decimation of Clem and his son. As a Buckeye, it was great to see Gurley’s performance in the game, if only to highlight a legitimate threat to Jameis’ efforts to “pull an Archie“.

Alabama managed to “roll” West By God Virginia, in spite of some interesting choices in coaching and in offensive gameplan execution. Even though they lost to Auburn, Bert is in mid-season form (remember, “round” is a “shape”). Idaho and Florida were cancelled due to rain (not even God wants to watch the Gators); unless you’re Mike Bianchi, then it’s still Urban’s fault. Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Kentucky also won, the latter beating something called a “Tennessee Martin“. I guess they’re not used to football success in the Bluegrass.

The late night game on Saturday (that was still on the continental US) managed to do the impossible- Someone screwed up the late minutes of a game worse than Les Miles in a head to head matchup. Wisconsin, dominant throughout the first half by running their Heisman candidate tailback Melvin Gordon all over the Tigers, decided to only give him two more touches in the second frame, and trust in their former JC safety turned quarterback to Bauserman up the place.  It was only the B1G’s second loss of the weekend, but did give us some excellent chubby guy salsa moves.

The other loss was Northwestern’s falling to a Cal team that may be very dangerous in a year or so. They’ve got the scheme, and now they’re starting to get the personnel… it didn’t hurt that the Labor Board in Evanston made their best offensive weapon transfer to another program.

Believe it or not, there were some great receptions across the B1G. Iowa looked sharp in their victoryHuskerCatch, and you can see that Nebraska didn’t need to pull a win out off their butt, but could of if that was called for. Indiana beat the Sycamores, Purdue and their awesome DJ defeated Western Michigan. Minnesota bounced back to win, as did Maryland and Illinois- the latter seeing first time QB records broken by a Veggie Tales character.

Big congratulations to the University of Michigan for managing to win a contest that they should have won the first time… when the school they were playing was still in the FCS.  Penn State looked good, early, and needed their Ficken Kicker to seal the deal against UCF.

In the “Gosh, both of these teams need to be regulated down”, Rutgers and their shiny “baked potato” helmets beat the Pirate Cap’n and Washington State in Seattle.  We had a correspondent present for the game, but he declined to send any photos, arguing that it was tantamount to excessive punishment.

Quick B1G thoughts- Not counting Columbus, the best running backs are in the west (Gordon, Abdullah) while the QBs are in the east (Cook, Hackenburg).  Pretty nice conference we’ve got here.

It was all academic at Notre Dame, who saw their QB return and ran away from Rice with tricky misdirection plays. Florida State struggled, but held off a very game TBPU Cow-man. Jameis made plays with his legs and was difficult to catch in a pinch- almost as if he was buttered or something.  Oh, and Dan Snyder just had an idea.

Texas seems to feel pretty good about itself; KState, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech won. Iowa State misses Tom Herman. The only thing that slowed down Art Briles’ team in Waco? Their fans own lack of coordination .

Out here on the Left Coast, UCLA struggled offensively but had just enough defense to pull off the win against Virginia. The Beavers had their hands full with Portland State, and Colorado dropped the cross-state matchup with Earle Bruce’s former squadron. We referred to the Hawaii game a bit earlier… Washington only managed a one point victory against the Warriors in paradise. Oregon, Arizona, Southern Cal, Stanford, and Arizona State destroyed the cannon fodder that they opened the season with.

Couple of interesting “smaller schools” notes. First, I think we’re just about done with the whole “novelty colored turf” game now. They probably should have taken the hint that the Gods gave them during pre-game and made other decisions. There was a wild and dangerous finish to a game that’s worth looking at as well. Here’s hoping that there’ll be a quick recovery.

Mount Union? Still undefeated.

Big games of note this weekend- Michigan travels to Notre Dame for the last time in a long time; Oregon hosts Michigan State in a battle of the green (Nike money); Stanford’s band is sure to have fun with the Trojans, will the Cardinal also fare so well? Also, there may be a game on CBSSportsNetwork this Thursday that could be interesting, if you’re not too enthralled with the NFL offerings.

And, of course, the Buckeyes start their home schedule with a huge night game against Virginia Tech. It’s a big recruiting weekend, they’ll introduce the new seating and tunnels, and there may be another wrinkle or two that will make for an exciting week.

Be sure to stay plugged in here at tBBC for all the news and notes from around Buckeye Nation… and in the meantime, celebrate your Labor Day in however is your bag.

About MaliBuckeye

Preaching the Gospel of St. Woody on the Left Coast. International scalawag, appropriately whelmed. #TeamPie

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