Sunday, September 8, 2013

NCAA Football 2013: Week 2 Under Review

Week two of the 2013 college football season is now wrapped up, and there were some interesting happening from around the game. Upsets were again in motion, and the FCS was again an active part in those results, which is becoming a regularity more than an isolated moment, which is what it had generally been before now. That, in my opinion is a look deep inside of scholarship limitations being placed at 85 in FBS football. It has undeniably had a massive effect on parity not just between Mid-Majors and the power leagues in FBS football, but the top half of FCS football has seen an unprecedented move upward towards competitiveness and respectability when facing FBS members, as we have seen these last two weekends.
Of course, there may be a limited shelf life to the FCS phenomenon that we have seen as of late. In studying the progression of realignment, and what it means for various schools and conferences, up to and including the obliteration of long standing regional affiliations and rivalries, I have come to the conclusion that the NCAA as we know it will no longer exist in a relatively short period of time, meaning within the next 10 years. Some may think that this is a longer period of time than I am observing it as, but think of tit this way, the BCS is already on its last season, and doesn't it seem, at least to people like me who have been watching the game for 30 years or more, like the system was just recently created?
Why am I coming to this conclusion? It's simple. The power conferences are a short time away from a massive split from the rest of college football, and the NCAA in all sports overall. As these conferences have more flexibility in making their own TV deals, which is still far from finished, they will feel the burn of having to answer to a power that does not have their best interests in mind. When they come to the full realization that they can, legally and ethically, eliminate the NCAA governing body, the wheels will fall off of the wagon entirely, and the NCAA will cease to exist.
What will then replace the NCAA is several different governing bodies governing the individual sports, which makes more sense than one body governing every sport. In essence, the fall of the NCAA would allow sensible rules, and with that, conferences will more than likely increase scholarship limits once again. The athletes that are now attending mid-majors and FCS schools, would start to follow paths back to power programs, especially because exposure will become more difficult to get outside of major conferences on TV. With the fall of the NCAA as governing body, along with the realignment of divisions, which is more likely than not, this FCS raid on wins may be short lived.

With that said, let us take a look in review of what happened in college football this weekend!


Winners: UCF, Louisville, Rutgers, Houston, SMU

UCF, Louisville, and Rutgers had the easiest roads this weekend, with only UCF taking on a team from the FBS ranks. That being said, UCF got FIU, which was almost like getting an FCS game on the slate. With UCF's win, they scored the biggest PRS number by winning 38-0 on the road. Houston, however, got a break by taking their first conference game in a 22-13 win over Temple. Tony Levine may be getting off the hot seat.
Louisville and Rutgers picked up easy wins over Eastern Kentucky and Norfolk State, which were no brainers. The one interesting point from these two games was the incident in which Teddy Bridgewater tried to wave off the punt unit on a 4th and 2 play, bringing on the ire of head coach Charlie Strong.
SMU was one of my picks to become an upset victim to FCS member Montana State, and it almost happened. The Mustangs scored with 12 seconds remaining to knock off the upset minded Bobcats 31-30.

Losers: USF, Temple, Cincinnati, Memphis

There are issues at both USF and Temple, where new head coaches Willie Taggert and Matt Ruhle have gotten off to dismal starts this season. USF was in the game against Michigan State for a good long while, but ultimately fell apart late. Temple has scored just 19 points (9.5 per game), and their offense seems in ruins. The defense is giving up 25 points per game for the Owls.
Cincinnati was a heavy favorite in my mind at Illinois, but lost QB Muchie Legaux to a serious leg injury, and the defense never got off of the bus in the 45-17 loss.
Memphis, as always, is just Memphis, and fell 28-14 to Duke.


Winners: Boston College, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Duke, NC State

Any time your conference can pile up 7 wins, it's a good week, but Miami's win over overrated Florida really took the cake this week. The Hurricanes, although offensively inept at times, really defensively took a beating to the Gators at home, and this was the most lively that the home stadium felt for Miami in over a decade.
BC got a huge advantage with a solid home win over Wake Forest in the conference opener, giving Steve Addazio a 2-0 start, albeit against inferior opponents in my book.
Va. Tech, Maryland, and NC State picked up wins against FCS opponents, however, NC State almost felt the FCS sting, as Richmond gave the WolfPack all they could handle in a 23-21 win for NC State. Clemson also played and routed an FCS opponent in South Carolina State of the MEAC.
Duke had an easy week as well, and cruised by Memphis. The Blue Devils used two QBs and struggled to separate until the second half. However, the Blue Devils are 2-0, and this is a huge start for David Cutliffe.

Losers: Virginia, Syracuse

You really can't be surprised by either loss here. Virginia gave up big play after big play against Oregon, which was hardly shocking.
Syracuse met up against a red hot Northwestern club, and the Orange defense was victimized often.

Big 10

Winners: Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Michigan, Minnesota

It was a huge week for the Big 10, and the Twitter wars between Big 10 and SEC fan is burning at an all time high.
Penn State burned up little energy in trashing E. Michigan, while Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Nebraska, Minnesota, and Northwestern all cruised. Ohio State's win over San Diego State may have been the most costly of the group, as Braxton Miller injured a knee in the win. It is not yet entirely known how bad the injury was, so Ohio State could be in trouble moving forward.
Michigan State, Purdue, and Iowa all have major concerns. The Spartans struggle mightily for three quarters before just getting by USF 21-6. Purdue had to hold on in a low scoring battle against Indiana State, a team that gave up 73 to Indiana the week before. Iowa also struggled early before pulling away against Missouri State, who had lost to Northwestern State the week before.
Then there was Michigan. The Wolverines and Irish played for the last time in the foreseeable future in Ann Arbor, and Devin Gardner collected 4 TDs, with three of them going to Jeremy Gallon through the air, and Michigan beat Notre Dame 41-30. Brian Kelly may think that Michigan-Notre Dame is not a major rivalry, but he'd be dead wrong, and his statement makes me wonder just how much he knows or cares about Notre Dame history and tradition.

Losers: Indiana

That's right, one loser only this week, and the Hoosiers really should have won this game against Navy, but they didn't, falling to the Middies 41-35. The Hoosiers defense has given up 76 points in two weeks. The offense may be solid, but their defense gave up 444 yards rushing to Navy, which is something to be concerned about long term.

Big 12

Winners: TCU, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Kansas State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech

TCU struggled for most of the first three quarters to put SE Louisiana away, but finally did, losing Casey Pachall for 8 weeks with an arm injury.
Oklahoma State and Baylor rolled up huge yardage, with Baylor breaking an all time record with 781 yards on 80 plays. Lache Seastrunk rushed for 150 yards on just 17 carries.
Kansas State had a nice bounce back win against a reeling UL-Lafayette team that has now failed to pull an upset two weeks running.
Kansas picked up a win against FCS member South Dakota, so that may be the one win that Kansas can pull off this fall.
Texas Tech crushed Stephen F. Austin, who has given up 111 points in losses to the Red Raiders and Weber State. Tech jumped out to a 45-7 lead at the half.
Oklahoma is an interesting team this fall, as they stumbled to a 16-7 win over West Virginia, who os clearly in the toilet after two weeks in which they almost fell to William & Mary and struggled to score 7 against OU. The Sooners scored exactly one TD in the game despite Brennan Clay rushing for 170 yards on the day.

Losers: Texas, West Virginia

If Mack Brown has been on the Hot Seat, I do believe that he has splashed down into the Dead Pool, barring a huge run that takes them back to the top in the Big 12, but their defense, especially their rush D, was highly exposed. Texas gave up 550 yards on the day on the ground, and Texas is in major trouble.
As is West Virginia, who scored a whopping 7 points in losing to OU. The Mountaineers have scored 31 points in two weeks, which is uncharacteristic for Dana Holgorsen.

Conference USA

Winners: East Carolina, Marshall, Louisiana Tech, Tulsa

ECU and Marshall plainly had great weeks, but La. Tech and Tulsa both struggled to get wins that ordinarily should have been easy. This conference is plainly without teeth for the most part. It's going to get worse.

Losers: FAU, FIU, UTSA, M. Tennessee, Tulane, Southern Miss, North Texas, UAB

Look at the list above. One major loss after another, especially a truly bad loss by Tulane to South Alabama. This is ugly, but credit must be given to North Texas and UT-San Antonio, who are the only teams that put up the good fight. UTSA and North Texas may both surprise some teams from within the league.


Winners: Navy, BYU

Navy's run game is well within range of its same old self, as they rolled up 444 yards against Indiana in a major road win.
BYU was the story of the day with over 500 yards rushing, as they have turned into the Sooners of Oklahoma from the 80's. BYU a rushing mega monster? Who knew?

Losers: Army, Old Dominion, Idaho, Notre Dame, New Mexico State

Nobody on this list really had a shot this weekend, including Notre Dame, who was playing a fired up Michigan team that was hosting the final game of this series for a very long time at least. Other than that, this list was completely expected.


Winners: Bowling Green, Ball State, C. Michigan, Akron, Ohio

The Falcons are for real as it turns out. BGSU is moving in the right direction, and I have to believe that they are worth buying into right now. The win over Kent State also has them up on top early in the MAC race.
Ball State pounded Army, and is off to a solid 2-0 start. Pete Lembo is doing one hell of a job in Muncie early on, and the Cardinals could be a surprise team I the MAC come the end of the season.
CMU and Akron beat CAA members New Hampshire and James Madison by a combined 5 points. These wins were quality in certain ways, but terrifying in others.
Ohio struggled to get over on North Texas, and I am worried about the Bobcats after a fairly weak 1-1 start.

Losers: Kent State, Miami (Ohio), E. Michigan, UMass, Buffalo, Toledo, W. Michigan

One can't help looking at the above list and not think that the MAC may be on a down year in 2013. You have to think that especially hard when you consider that WMU lost to Nicholls State, Toledo is 0-2, and UMass lost to FCS Maine when CMU barely held off FCS New Hampshire. Oh, and don't forget Buffalo and their stellar D that gave up 781 yards to Baylor. EMU and Miami are just running
jokes right about now.

Mountain West

Winners: Boise State, Utah State, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nevada, Fresno State

This week was an even split. Utah State had the most impressive conference win, a 52-20 rout over Air Force, which gets them in the MWC win column. Look for the Aggies to move forward strongly from here on out.
Boise State got a much needed rebound win against FCS member UT-Martin, and it was an easy 63-14 pounding.
Wyoming also got a much needed win this weekend with a 42-10 win over Idaho, and the Cowboys offense has scored 75 points in two games.
New Mexico also picked up a much needed win over rival UTEP, a game that went into OT, with the Lobos winning 42-35 in the end. UNM, despite the win is not ready to get to a higher level, but this was a start.
Nevada and Fresno State got easy, but bumpy wins along the way against FCS members UC-Davis and Cal Poly.

Losers: San Diego State, Air Force, Colorado State, Hawaii, UNLV, San Jose State

San Diego State is in major trouble after falling 42-7 to Ohio State. The Aztecs are a mess, and are averaging just 13 points per game, while giving up 41.
Air Force took a major step back this weekend, falling to Utah State, dropping to 0-1 in conference play.
Colorado State had Tulsa on the ropes, but fell apart in the 4th quarter, allowing Tulsa to steal the win.
San Jose State had the highest quality loss, as they fell to Stanford. No shame in that, and they were competitive in the process.
Hawaii is an 0-2 disaster, but at least they played tighter than last week. They had Oregon State nervous for a half.
UNLV is a huge disaster that has given up 111 points in two weeks. Bobby Hauck has to be toast at this point.


Winners: Arizona State, Utah, Oregon, Cal, Colorado, Oregon State, Washington State, Arizona, Stanford

ASU, Utah, Cal, an Colorado all beat FCS opponents, but Colorado and Cal won ugly over C. Arkansas and Portland State. ASU and Utah beat Sacramento St. and Weber State by a combined 125-7.
Oregon is on the right track, and may have moved ahead of Stanford in terms of overall power right now. The 59-10 win over Virginia was effortless.
Oregon State looks like they could be in trouble long term after struggling with Hawaii for a half.
While Arizona completely dominated hapless UNLV, Washington State's 10-7 win over USC was the most meaningful PAC-12 win this weekend, and gets WSU one win up in the conference win column.

Losers: USC

Dead Pool Kiffin. That's now his name.  There is no likely way that Kiffin survives to coach this team in 2014. No freaking way.


Winners: Kentucky, Tennessee, Miss. State, Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Auburn, Vandy, LSU

Let's look at who the SEC beat...Miami (Ohio), W. Kentucky, Alcorn State, Toledo, SE Missouri State, Samford, Sam Houston State, Arkansas State, Austin Peay, and UAB. This group hardly constitutes murderers row right now, so, uh, awesome?
Georgia got the huge win at home against South Carolina, abut the defense looks to be a mess.

Losers: Florida. South Carolina

Can you find two bigger chokes than these two? Florida dropped a road game to Miami, while South Carolina saw their national title hopes go scampering out the door with a road loss to Georgia, which also drops them to 0-1 in the East.

Sun Belt

Winners: South Alabama, UL-Monroe, Texas State, Troy

USA got the best win, a 41-39 win over Tulane, which is huge for this young program. ULM, Texas State, and Troy picked up games against HBCU opponents, who have historically taken beating for pay checks.

Losers: W. Kentucky, Georgia State, UL-Lafayette, Arkansas State

WKU had the best shot for a win, but failed and turned the ball over 5 times in the 1st quarter on 6 plays.
GSU, ULL, and Arkansas State are off to a 1-5 start collectively.

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