Updated Sep 5, 2011 - 11:53 am
Finally, college football returns
It was nice after an offseason of high-profile scandals and conference realignments to finally get to some Saturday football.
While Miami and Ohio State played shorthanded this week due to suspensions and all of the remaining Big 12 teams played under a cloud of uncertainty, we did find out quite a bit about the season in Week One.
For starters, the newly-formed Pac-12 did not have a good week. Oregon, a favorite to win the national championship, was mauled by LSU. They turned the ball over four times and star running back LaMichael James was held in check gaining just 54 yards on 18 carries. Oregon averaged 47 points a game last season but in its last two games, including last season's national championship game, against SEC teams they have scored a total of 46 points. I don't care what anyone says about how the SEC's speed is the key to its success -- the conference has won the last five BCS National Championships -- the key to the success of that league is the strength of its defensive lines and ability to shut players like James down.
Outside of Oregon's loss, Oregon State had an embarrassing overtime loss at home to Sacramento State of the FCS.
So much for Rick Neuheisel returning prominence to UCLA. The Bruins lost to Houston and Neuheisel, who is beginning his fourth year as the Bruins' head coach. He is 15-23 overall.
Both USC and Washington squeaked out wins. The Trojans, still suffering from the loss of 30 scholarships, needed an interception in the final minute by Torin Harris to hold off Minnesota 19-17.
Washington needed an end zone interception by Desmond Trufant to beat FCS champ Eastern Washington, 30-27.
Colorado began its first season in the Pac-12 by getting doubled up by Hawaii, 34-17.
Outside of the Pac-12, we did see some huge upsets including TCU getting beat by Baylor and Notre Dame losing to South Florida. We now have quarterback controversy in South Bend and we are only one week into the season. Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly, who looked like he popped a few blood vessels when screaming at one of his wide receivers after an interception near the end zone, benched Dayne Crist for Tommy Rees.
Auburn should have lost to Utah State. That was one of the games I watched and I'm still not sure how the Tigers pulled that one out. Utah State had that game won.
The other thing that was of notice to me was just how good the wide receivers are this year. Michael Floyd, caught 12 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns for the Irish. Kendall Wright, made 12 catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns for Baylor. Ryan Broyles caught 14 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown for Oklahoma. Justin Blackmon caught eight passes for 144 yards for Oklahoma State. Robert Woods made 17 catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns for USC.
All in all, it was a good week for some talented wideouts and it was a good week for the fans to put all the off-field incidents behind them and watch some football.