Well I got off to a pretty fair start on predicting the outcome of the games with a 15-6 record. Granted some of the games were almost too easy. I did predict that Va. Tech would edge Boise State and missed that one. The Broncos came back and took the game close to the final gun. Missed a few others also. I predicted that Ole Miss would edge Jacksonville State but the results were otherwise. I truly believed that IAA SFA would give the Aggies of A&M some problems but the result was a blow out. The same result in the Mississippi State/Memphis match up. The Bulldogs may well be a better team than is usually the case or perhaps the Tigers are just pathetic. Could be a combination of both. East Carolina may not be as down as the pundits think. They took down a pretty darn good Tulsa team over the weekend. I was fairly certain that Pat Hill's squad would beat the Cincinnati and that Utah would knock off Pitt. The Big East appears to be overrated with perhaps only West Virginia being a true threat. Time will tell.
It appears that Middle Tennessee State will be ready for Sun Belt action. They had chances to beat the Gophers but just did not prevail. Now MN. is probably at the bottom of the pack in the Big Ten, but the game that the Blue Raiders played showed that they should be able to compete for the top spot in the Belt. Not so with Troy. It is possible that they need to pick up the pace. They did edge Bowling Green of the MAC but not in convincing fashion. Florida Atlantic beat a poor UAB team, but none of the other Sun Belt squads that were in action even came close to a victory. Got some good paydays though.
Over in Conference USA East Carolina appears ready to compete in the East. Their conference win over the other Canes showed us a few things. U of H was not challenged as expected. Southern Miss just did not look good against South Carolina but that may be more attributable to the Gamecocks being a good team rather than the Golden Eagles being bad. Tulane edged an in state IAA program which proves very little. Memphis was blown out which may or may not say a good deal about the Mississippi State program. UTEP beat a SWAC school which proves very little. UCF ran over a IAA opponent, and UAB was knocked off by Florida Atlantic. Very little was proven in the first week of play other than the fact that UAB, Memphis and probably Tulane are not going to have good seasons (imagine that) and that ECU may not be as down as many writers think.
Over in the WAC, you know the conference that gets no respect, the Broncos knocked off a legitimate top ten team. That is becoming a habit with the Boise State squad. Are they ready for another BCS run. Quite possibly. Still a long way to go yet. Fresno State took down Cincinnati and that was almost predictable. Pat Hill will play anyone and sometimes they knock off a big boy. Idaho won their first game and may again make some noise in this conference. SJSU was not in the same league as Alabama but that was to be expected. Hawaii had a commendable performance when the Trojans visited the Islands and the Warriors may be much improved over last year. Louisiana Tech should have caused a bit more damage in their victory over SWAC school Grambling State. Nevada turned in a non impressive victory over IAA Eastern Washington. It must be noted that EWU is ranked in the IAA poll however. Utah State gave the Sooner club all that they could handle. Were the Sooners looking forward to their game with FSU and discounting the Aggies? Perhaps. Perhaps it may be that Utah State will be an unexpected force to reckon with, much like the Idaho team was last (and perhaps this) year. Hard to say at this point.
The Big East is down. I think only WVU will salvage the conference image to some extent. Still too early to tell of course. Pitt may yet make some in conference noise but their loss to Utah was a blow. Cincinnati may still be able to compete for the top spot with perhaps UCONN or USF, but with the probably exception of WV, none are BCS Bowl caliber. Louisville will need to rebuild as will Syracuse. Of course it must be noted that Cincy and UCONN lost to quality opponents. The wins that Rutgers and USF logged mean nothing. They should be embarrassed for scheduling down to such an extent.
The Mountain West does it again. Or at least the top teams did. Utah beat Pitt and TCU took down Oregon State. Both of those opponents were predicted to make some noise in their respective conferences and may still yet but....Most of the other games that the Mountain West played meant very little. Now Colorado State showed that they were not up to the level of a BCS team with their loss to the Buffs. Granted this is a rivalry game and the Colorado squad was looking for revenge. Wyoming certainly did not seem impressive in their victory over the IAA Thunderbirds. How will they stay on the field with the Longhorns this weekend? They won't. SDSU proved very little by thumping a small school from Louisiana. No other victorious team in the MTN West really played a quality opponent. New Mexico was demolished by Oregon as was to be expected and UNLV did turn in an adequate performance against the Badgers. It looks again like Utah and TCU are for real. Probably the Cougars are also. Anyone else? Doubtful. Maybe the Air Force Academy will prove to be pretty good. Time will tell.
For the most part the SEC does what the SEC does best. Schedule opponents that are outclassed. South Carolina did schedule a pretty tough opponent in Southern Miss and of course Kentucky met (and defeated) Louisville in a non conference rivalry game. Florida looks like they need some work and Ole Miss may already be down for the count. LSU won their game against NC but it is doubtful they will be a factor this year. They certainly need to work on fundamentals. No one else played a game that had any real meaning other than a chance to give their starters some real game work. Oh and Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt.
The ACC looked pretty good I suppose. The Tar Heels' loss to LSU was a blow, but it must be noted that they were competitive with most of their starters off the field. The Terps victory over the Naval Academy was a boon to the program. I am surprised that Virginia beat Richmond in such convincing fashion. I am actually surprised that they even won the game. They are probably better than I anticipated but have honestly not "scouted" a good many teams in this conference. The Hokies loss to Boise State does not come as a shock. Both of those teams are top ten squads and the Hokies certainly are not out of the running for a BCS Bowl. The rest of the games really meant and proved nothing. The SEC has nothing on the ACC in scheduling outclassed opponents. That is a result of the BCS system to be sure, but I won't get into that here. I must give credit to VA. Tech for "manning up" and taking on the Broncos in the opener. It says a lot.
The Big Twelve had a few games that were pretty interesting. The Horns were not very impressive in their win over Rice, but perhaps Mack just chose not to run up the score. He is also breaking in a new QB and that may have been a factor. Texas Tech beat a much improved SMU squad that may well be a factor in the CUSA race. Nebraska played a scrimmage against WKU and I suspect that Pelini chose to not embarrass the visiting team. There may be some issues to resolve at Oklahoma. They better get on it; the Seminoles loom large. Texas A&M won in convincing fashion and KSU looked pretty good in the win over UCLA. Snyder is a good coach but he sure is a weird bastard. Iowa State took down Jerry Kill's MAC squad and I am a bit surprised. Kansas looked stupid. Is Turner Gill ready for the "big time?" Missouri beat Illinois which may or may not prove anything. Oklahoma State took down WSU but that proves not so much. They did it in convincing fashion though. For the most part the rest of the games are not really worth mentioning. All teams in this conference were victorious other than the Jayhawks.
The Big Ten had some games of interest last weekend. Michigan has some things to prove and they got a start on it last week. I like Rich R. but think he should have stayed at WVU. Ohio State had little trouble with Marshall, but the Badgers ran into a bit of a scare (for a while) out in Las Vegas. Penn State pounded the Penguins but may not be ready for Alabama later this week. Minnesota had some trouble with a pesky Sun Belt squad and could very easily have wound up on the losing end. Michigan State took down a supposedly improved Western Michigan squad also. Northwestern handled Vandy. Illinois stayed fairly close to Missouri. Zook needs to win this year or he is most likely out. Purdue lost to the Irish. Is Notre Dame back? I hope not. I try to be impartial but there are limits. Most other games are not worth mentioning. That has become typical of most first week action.
Over in the PAC 10 things did not look so good. USC is not a factor no matter their eventual won/loss record. Hawaii hung tough with them last week. This Kiffin will likely prove to be a bad hire. WSU hammered by Oklahoma State? Not really much of a surprise I suppose. Oregon State's loss to TCU was to be expected but they did hang tough. Oregon did smash New Mexico but all that really shows is that they are willing to run up the score on an outclassed opponent. UCLA loses to KSU. Those two teams were pretty evenly matched. Arizona pummelled Toledo, but at least they played a D1 opponent. The other games are not worth mentioning.
As usual for the most part the first week did not prove a whole lot for the majority of teams. There are too many schools scheduling down to the point of it being ridiculous. It does my heart good when an outgunned opponent sneaks up and bites one of the big boys on the ass. We may see more of it before the end of the year.
I did not get to watch as much as I wanted this week due to a good friends' father passing away. That man loved his LSU football and was a Saints fanatic. I am glad the Saints are the NFL champions. He followed them in good times and bad. A fair weather fan he was not. He was buried in a Saints t-shirt along with his Marine Corps items. I certainly liked that man. Semper Fi Tommy!