The NBA lockout is still here, and that kind of sucks – but at least the next four months will be ever so slightly bearable with college football back. My scrambled thoughts on an exciting as ever opening Saturday, starting with my favorite team to ever lose at home to Sacramento State:
· Baylor: Holy shit! The season opener might have produced the most exciting game of the season! I can’t ever remember seeing a Gary Patterson defense being absolutely lit up like that – but then again how many quarterbacks are there like Robert Griffin III? I can’t wait to see dissect more Big 12 defenses.
· Auburn/Utah State: The best game on Saturday – it was really awesome to see
· Notre Dame: I like this new and unimproved Notre Dame – please oh please, don’t ever change!! There’s really no other way to describe it – that was an epic fail of the highest proportions. Literally every single time they were getting something accomplished and putting together a solid drive, they would come up with a costly fumble or interception. Just priceless – and an absolute treat to anyone who (like me) derives sick pleasure in seeing Notre Dame continue to disappoint all it’s naïve, brazen, hopelessly optimistic fans who keep thinking “This is the year Notre Dame is FINALLY back for good.” They’re a delightful bunch, aren’t they? Maybe one of these days they won’t look like they’re running in slow motion against elite teams’ athletes. Hell, South Florida isn’t even close to elite and they made Notre Dame look slow, so maybe one day the Irish will just catch up to them. Maybe.
o First of all, props to these teams for scheduling boldly (even if this is a pseudo home game for LSU). Everyone loves conference rivalries, but for me the best parts of college football are the intersectional games between highly ranked teams that we only get to see during early season non-conference play and January bowl season. It’s fun for teams from faraway locales and such disparate locations going head to head, representing their conferences and playing for regional pride. Northwest boys vs. Southeast boys for sectional bragging rights – maybe I’m crazy but this stuff gives me the chills. It’s fresh and entertaining for fans of the two teams to get to see teams that they don’t normally see, and for the two fan bases to meet and clash on a neutral site, with all their various traditions and party routines going head to head. I can guarantee you that the back and forth banter between not just Oregon and LSU fans, but between Pac 12 and SEC fans from this week will dwarf that of the OSU/Michigan game, for example, or Auburn/Alabama, Miami/FSU, etc. This is part of why I love the idea of a playoff – more of these matchups, involving the very best of the best teams from all the various regions and conferences – and I wish more teams would follow the lead of programs like USC, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, etc. and aggressively schedule games like this as much as possible.
o As for the game, I have to give credit to my man Aaron Torres – he had LSU all along because he knew this was the worst possible game to be breaking in three new starters along the offensive line. LSU always seems to reload with elite prospects on the defensive line, and that was on full display Saturday night as they constantly harassed
o My outlooks for both teams: I think Oregon will still win the Pac 12 (I think Stanford is overrated when you consider how much they’ve lost on their offensive and defensive lines, as well as one of the best head coaches in the country), but clearly they aren’t national title contenders. As for LSU, I still don’t think they’ll beat
o We’ll get this out of the way first: for those of you unfamiliar with me, although I am an Oregon State Beavers fan, I’ve made clear here before that I also strongly support Boise State for many reasons: I love their offensive schemes and creativity, I love that they represent the Northwest (and aren’t Oregon State’s heated civil war rival), I love their uniforms/colors/smurf turf, I love that they are the quintessential BCS-buster and stand in such staunch opposition to the postseason system that I hate so much, and they also fly in the face of all the pretentions big conferences and big conference schools, kicking ass and taking names with half as big of a budget and talent that the recruiting rankings can’t always measure. I guess I’m not a fan as much as I am a Boise State Broncos bandwagoner – but I have no qualms about it because I was on the bandwagon as far back as 2003, well before anybody else from other parts of the country were giving the Broncos the credit they deserved. I don’t pretend to claim any kind of objectively at all, and I don’t intend to do so anytime soon because this team means so much to me as a college football fan.
o At this point it’s time to stop doubting
o I know Kellen Moore was fourth in the Heisman trophy race last year, but I still get the feeling he remains wildly underrated among casual fans. I’ll say it: he’s the best quarterback in the nation. If I need a drive to score, and I can take anyone I’m taking Kellen. Forget Landry Jones, forget Case Keenum, forget even Andrew Luck, I’ll take Kellen Moore as the best passer in the country. People may look at him, 6-1 with a water pistol arm and think he doesn’t look like much of a quarterback – but here’s the thing: he always delivers. Period. He always checks
o Before the game, even though I picked them to beat
o I love how before the game southern fans was talking about how Boise State would be rocked by UGA and couldn’t handle SEC-style speed and physicality – yet now once Boise State crushes Georgia and suddenly Georgia isn’t a good team at all and this win means proves absolutely nothing about Boise State’s worthiness (as if anything needed to be proven, but whatever). Every out of conference win by an SEC team is proof of the league’s complete and utter dominance, but every out of conference loss is just a total fluke. It’s fairly amusing and comical – but at some point the double standard gets grating. Now I’m not saying ALL SEC fans are like this – in fact most of the SEC fans I know on twitter are very rational people who don’t get caught up in this kind of thinking (generally I find that twitter sports fans are smarter than the average sports fan – and I am the exception that proves the rule). But I still have seen a lot of people on blogs, message boards, and comment sections of articles try to piss on