I always feel worse after coming off a three day weekend than I do a normal weekend. You think that you will feel good with an extra day of rest but really its just an extra day to make a bad decision.
Anyway, I hope the first weekend was good for you unless you are a fan of one of the many teams that lost to an FCS team. I had a fun time as Michigan won handily and the party I was at had Clemson fans and they were friendly and extremely fun after their team won. (They broke out their whiskey collection after the big victory, I am still feeling it on Monday. Getting old sucks.)
I will tackle the all things college football from the inside out. Lets start with Michigan…
Any easy 59-9 victory over Central Michigan. The game felt more like a scrimmage and was a much more enjoyable experience than last year’s opening game. Thoughts
1. Gardner: Had an up and down start. Threw a late int on his first throw but came right back the next two drives that led to TD runs. His pocket awareness is so much better than Denard’s but it also scares me when he runs because I feel like he is going to get hurt. His improv skills are impressive though. (Also Central clearly doesn’t read this blog as this happened on a 4th and 1. When will they learn?)
Shane had some decent throws and some jitters. As expected for a freshman. Ideally he would redshirt but Michigan can’t do that.
2. RB depth: Michigan has some. Fitz looked good and despite Drake Johnson getting hurt Michigan has plenty of talent to run the ball. Green looks like a monster that ate another monster he is so big. Encouraging start here.
3. The OL: Somewhat encouraging start for the run game. Kalis looks like all he is billed to be as he had some nice blocks. Lewan got a penalty for driving a guy 10 yards downfield which is fun. It was nice to see Michigan just line up and basically run out the game starting in the 3rd quarter. Michigan’s not all the way there but the path to get there is at least visible now. (And its nice to have depth. Have a mentioned about depth before? I like depth.)
4. WR/TEs: Speaking of a place Michigan lacks said depth is here. Gallon and Dileo do what they do and Funchess had some nice plays but there isn’t much behind them. Unless you count…
6. Borges Grade: B+. Michigan came out in shotgun for the first few series and slowly moved to under center and pounding the ball as the game got more out of hand. Clearly the still plan to use some shotgun sets but only if they have to. (If it were up to Hoke I think Michigan would run power 245 times. Maybe this is his end game.)
7. DL Depth: We has it y’all. Michigan played 13 guys and while there wasn’t overwhelming pressure with the front four they got better as they went on and guys like Ojemudia and Black showed the ability to get to the QB.
8. LB depth: We has that too y’all. Starting with SLB as Gordon and Beyer each had two sacks and look like they will be able to fill in for Ryan until he returns. I would even expect Mattison to get Gordon and Ryan on the field at the same time since Gordon looks so effective.
Desmond Morgan is the new Kovacs in that he isn’t the most talented of the group but is always there making the play. Ross was underwhelming but I guess it is to be expected when your offseason hype is insane. (Redshirt check, Gedeon’s is gone, McCray’s is in tact.)
9. CB Depth: Yes sir, we has it here to! Countess and Taylor started and true frosh Channing Stribling came in on nickel plays as Countess shifted inside. Holowell was the 4th guy in and Richardson and Lewis played as well. I was worried when they moved Avrey to saftey but clearly they feel good here. Speaking of safety…
9. DON’T GET SUSPENDED ANYMORE THOMAS GORDON. Josh Furman looked all over the place and Delano Hill and Dymonte are still freshman so we are in trouble if they have to start. The encouraging part was Jarrod Wilson who blew up a screen and nearly had an int as well. Luckily Gordon comes back for ND and Avrey should be back in a few weeks to give some decent depth.
10. Mattison grade: A. The defense knocked out the 1st string QB and held Central to 200 yards of offense. The most impressive part was they held Central to two field goals after Gardner’s interceptions. Plus Wilson played well at FS. The confidence in the defense is high.
Solid start and now we turn to Notre Dame as there will be too much said about what each coach said but that is part of the Michigan- ND rivalry.
1. Iowa- I was all set to write something nice about Iowa and then Jake Rudock threw a horrible int that lead to Northern Illinois winning 30-27. A tough loss but we had this game on the other TV so I saw a bunch of it and Iowa actually looked like a football team. Other than that pick Rudock looked good and they actually had a 1-2 punch in the run game with Weisman and Bullock. (I am sure this means they will both tear their ACLs in practice this week.)
2. OSU- I only watched half of it but their offense is legit and I think we all forgot just how good Jordan Hall can be when he is healthy. The defense will be tested in the upcoming weeks by Cal, Wisconsin and NW.
3. Wisconsin: New coach but the same old Badgers. Three RBs ran for over 100 yards and Abbrederis had 2 TD catches. Showdown in 2 weeks against ASU in the desert. (Yes I will be staying in to watch that night Cal/OSU and Az St/Wisco, you should do the same.)
4. PSU: Hackenberg got the start and we saw there are 2 different types of PSU offense; with Allen Robinson and without him. Robinson was out the first half but played in the 2nd and had over 100 yards receiving. The fighting Ron Englishes are up this week.
5. MSU: The 4 way QB dance continues. Sparty’s D is legit again and their offense is a mess. This pleases me.
6. Nebraska: Speaking of teams with the same problems, the Huskers gave up 602 yards to Wyoming! Christ that is a lot of yards. UCLA visits in 2 weeks, we will see if the same problem happens.
7. Northwestern: I was a few glasses of whisky deep at this point to this video sums up how I viewed the game unfold pretty well.
8. Minnesota: Gophers got a win and Nelson looked good at QB. The battle against Iowa in the first B1G game may end up huge for bowl eligibility. (Mmmm Pig eligibility)
9. Indiana: I just want to use this space to remind you that Tom Crean is an ass hat.
10. Purdue; Rough start for Hazell. Clearly they miss Robert Marve. I know I do.
11. Illinois: Nope
1. Clemson: This entrance was cool already and then the game lived up to the hype. The Tigers won 38-35 in a shootout that had everything from Watkins and Gurley big plays to players tearing ACLs in celebration. Clemson is for sure at title contender and has 2 big dates left on the schedule with FSU and South Carolina. Meanwhile Georgia now has to host Clowney and the Gamecocks this week and must avoid falling 0-2.
2. FCS> FBS: Seven FCS schools beat FBS schools this week including North Dakota State upsetting Kansas State. With the playoff formating looming next year expect less and less of these matchups to happen. (Except for the Horror redux next year. Thanks Dave Brandon.)
3. Washington: As I kept looking over to watch the Wash/Boise St game I kept expecting some type of Boise St esque comeback and it just never happened. The Huskies dominated from start to finish and signify that the Pac 12 North is going to be a bear this year. The Huskies have a bye week before the travel to Chicago to presumably beat the crap out of Illinois.
4. Johnny Manziel: I can’t stop doing the “Getting Money” celebration. Even now as I type I want to stop typing and do it. So much fun. Anyway, the #Sporthottakes will only get hotter for Manziel as we head into Alabama. The hypocrisy of Manziel coverage is just too much fun.
5. Alabama: Speaking of Bama, they were underwhelming for them which means they are just really good and not insanely good. Biggest struggle for them was their O line which had to replace 3 starters. They have a bye week before A&M and Sports Illustrated has said they have a story dropping about the Crimson Tide. I just assume they have a photo of Saban meeting with the Devil.
6. LSU: Les Miles just plugged in place more guys on his defense and away they go. It is pretty clear that Les Miles just does not give a shit what you or I think.
7. Oklahoma State: I am still kind of pissed the final score of their game was so pedestrian by their standards. Still (water) a good win for them.
8. Oklahoma and Florida: Each team was put on upset alert but in total they gave up 6 points. A stiffer test for each this week as the Gators travel to Miami and the Sooners host WVU.
9. Kingsbury Watch: TTech started a true frosh walkon and prceeded to win easliy over SMU. Baker Mayfield was the first TTech QB to start as a frosh since, of course, Kingsbury himself.
10. BAYLOR WATCH: 69-3 romp over helpless Wofford. Their path to the national title game is still paved with Gold. (Am I overly excited for the future Baylor/Texas Tech matchup? Yes, yes I am.)
11. Fresno State and Northern Illinois: With Boise losing these two become your BCS party crashers.
12. Tommy Rees watch: Touchdown Tommy threw 3 TDs as the Irish opened with a W. The Big House is next. (Hopefully this will be the last Tommy Rees watch week.)
13. Louisville: The Cards slaughtered the Bobcats as Bridgewater started his heisman campaign. I still have a tough time thinking they can be a title contender with that schedule.
14. FSU vs Pitt: I am typing this up before the game happens so I assume Pitt lost and Jameis Winston is in fact the best QB prospect since Jimmy Clausen. (Yes that is a shameless Clausen joke to end the piece but its hate week. The hate must flow through you.)
Its a short week so we should be back to drinking and football soon. Until then have some advil.