College Football Kickoff Weekend Recap
In the short time the Motion Sports Network has existed I’ve been putting out a weekly blog on Fridays, but this week I didn’t. The truth as to why I didn’t? Because my boss was out of town. Nah, not totally but somewhat. I started three different blogs but they weren’t turning into anything I liked. There was a baseball one, a kickoff weekend preview, and a college football Saturday viewing schedule. They had some good-ish things going for them, but it didn’t flow and work and simply I didn’t like them.
So what did I settle on? I decided to enjoy what the NCAA was doing this Labor Day weekend and just recap it when it was over. It was great to have a sports season start off with pretty much no COVID restrictions. Last year was tough with near empty stadiums, scaled back schedules, and much uncertainty as to how the season would play out. Don’t get comfortable that life and football are free from another lockdown because that can’t exactly be assured now. But this seems closer than any other sport had been able to celebrate the start of it’s season in a long while.
I went into the kickoff weekend with a few thoughts and opinions as to how things would play out over the course of the season.
-The SEC will finally show to be overrated
-The ACC will turn it up this season and challenge the SEC as the top conference
-The 2 schools leaving the Big 12 will suffer
-Non Power 5 teams will balance the playing field
Thank goodness I make my money from giving out my opinions and not having to be right about them. I just get to be an opinionated sports fan. Take my feelings as to what’s going to go down and analyze them against how it played out. I’m not afraid to be wrong. If I do turn out to be wrong I’m willing to admit it, use the data I have at hand, and go into next week with a new perspective.
Let’s take them from the top. The SEC is overrated. Maybe it’s a bias I carry but I’ve been sick and tired of being told it’s the SEC then everybody else for quite some time. The rest of the NCAA has to catch up some time right? Well it surely wasn’t after week 1. Alabama blew the doors off Miami. Georgia shut down Clemson allowing only 180 yards. Texas A&M and Florida did what they were supposed to to. Every SEC team won except Vanderbilt and LSU. A-ha. There it is. That’s where you may start to see some small backwards steps from the SEC, from those teams in the middle of the pack. But my overall point that the SEC will start to look more human, doesn’t look very good.
So if the SEC is going to falter there needs to be someone to step up and I said the ACC would be it. That line of thinking looks terrible after week 1. I just said how Miami and Clemson didn’t do diddly or squat with their chances to punch the SEC in the mouth, their other ranked team, UNC, got worked by Virginia Tech. Looking down the schedule there are only a couple more shots for the ACC to try to salvage some quality wins out of conference, but a very average looking ACC might just end up knocking each other around this year and hoping for the start of basketball season.
On to Texas and Oklahoma just playing it out in the Big 12 until 2025 when they get into the SEC-I get half credit on that after one weekend. Oklahoma let Tulane stick around all the way until a 4th down scramble comes up half a yard short. I think the Sooners are believing their own hype that they can’t wait to get to face those SEC powers. You think you are on par with Alabama and Georgia after seeing all 3 teams this weekend? Ha! You’re joking. Texas did handle a ranked University of Louisiana but that is far outweighed by the poor performance of Oklahoma. They will have plenty of shoutouts in the gunslinging Big 12, but they should have stomped a mud hole in Tulane, a team that I give much respect to after this weekend. All the turmoil they have gone through with Ida wrecking their state and having to have that game moved becoming a de-facto home game for the Sooners.
How did some teams fare that aren’t in the Power 5 conferences? Notre Dame had to survive OT against Florida State, Louisiana got stampeded by the Longhorns, Costal Carolina got an opening weekend win, Louisiana Tech almost beat Mississippi State. Tulane put a scare in Oklahoma. C-USA has Charlotte and UTSA get wins over ACC-Duke and Big Ten-Illinois. Then the are the MAC and Mountain West that didn’t do as well when facing off against the SEC and Pac-12. I’ll call this one a to early to tell but if you are a fan of those smaller schools don’t be dismayed by losing to powerhouse conferences, there are some wins for them to hang their hats on as well.
This was simply an enjoyable weekend of college football, as most of them are. Some upsets, some statement games, some teams showing they have got some work to do (I’m looking at you WVU), and some teams ready to show they are ready for the expectations on their season. I didn’t even really say much about the Big Ten because I simply overlooked them outside that Penn State-Wisconsin game, I’m going to dive deeper into them later this week as they could be the conference I thought the ACC was going to be.