By: David Folz
After a somewhat dull week one in college football, were people upset in week two? Well the spoiler to that is yes, and man, were they big. With that said here is what we learned in week two in the world of college football.
The Big Ten should not go out west for a long, long time: The saving graces for the Big Ten on Saturday were Ohio State beating UCF, Michigan barely beating Air Force and Northwestern winning over Vanderbilt from having a completely embarrassing weekend. The Pac 12-Big 10 matchups were horribly in favor of the west coast this weekend, and other than Nebraska-UCLA they were not even close. Arizona State trounced Illinois 45-14, the aforementioned Bruins beat Nebraska 36-30 and Oregon State provided the biggest upset of the day for the west coast conference, beating Wisconsin 10-7. Before you look at that Oregon State score, the game was a lot more favorable to the Beavers than the score indicated because the defense harassed Danny O’Brien all day and contained Montee Ball on Saturday. The Big Ten should be glad they didn’t have a completely embarrassing weekend on Saturday.
Louisiana-Monroe…Now you have heard of them: Arkansas fans may be blaming the loss on Tyler Wilson’s injury but they fail to realize the fact that Kolton Browning just obliterated the 11 players that Arkansas over the off-season decided to call a defense. Seriously, here is Browning’s stats alone: 42 of 67, 412 yards and 3 touchdowns and an interception, to go with 69 rushing yards and the game winning touchdown in overtime. On top of that? How about 30 first downs for the Warhawks, 550 yards of offense to 377 for Arkansas, and the fact that the Warhawks won 34-31. That loss tumbled Arkansas out of the rankings and for very good reason and the worst thing wasn’t the loss to ULM, it’s the fact that Alabama rolls in next week. Yeah those 11 players who decide to not play defense at all cost either learn this week, or just hide for a long time because Alabama is going to roll.
Pac-12 is a legitimate conference this year: Usually they are a top heavy conference with Stanford, USC, and Oregon, but this year there is Arizona State, Oregon State and Arizona to that mix as well. The first two teams were listed with the Big Ten debacle but Arizona gets good recognition, beating Oklahoma State 59-38 on Saturday night (or early Sunday morning most everywhere except the west coast.) Had Utah and Colorado actually won their games as well, the Pac-12 would have had a perfect weekend and would have experienced its finest hour in football. Nonetheless, I think they will take three big upsets over mid-ranked teams.
The FCS/FBS scheduling isn’t going away sadly: I think Pat Forde explained it well this week about why teams like Savannah State take the money for a colossal beatdown from a different team. Of the many reasons, the free check is one, and that money actually helps many ways towards keeping the health of the program around. With the economic times, the trust funds are shrinking at many colleges and that means cuts, sometimes even football programs. It’s the harsh reality of economics and football, and why many teams have to take the free money for a fifty or more point beating. There are many ways to fix this, but unless they fix it, you will see these games more often.
Week Three should be as dramatic as Week two: With the start of some conference seasons and some key rivalries going on next weekend, we should have a great weekend of football. Alabama opens up against Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida are in the ranks and at Neyland Stadium this weekend for their rivalry, Stanford and USC do battle in Palo Alto, and Notre Dame faces Michigan State in a huge test for both teams who share a common dislike for each other. So this next weekend should be very intriguing indeed.