Saturday, September 15, 2007

Week 3.... "..But will you be an 'Evil' coach?"

Some thoughts on the college matchups today….

Its mid-September and USC begins its season in earnest against Nebraska this evening in Lincoln after a Labor Day weekend scrimmage against Idaho preceding a bye week last week. This is mentioned only because in USC’s two national championship seasons under Pete Carroll (’03 and ’04), they opened up the season with impressive road victories over Auburn and Virginia Tech respectively. Limited data points to be sure but something worth noting just the same.

This game is being touted as one of those “barometer” games for the Nebraska program that has been rebuilding and transforming from the run-oriented I-back offense that dates to the Triassic period to the pass-oriented West-Coast offense under head coach, Bill Callahan.

To a lesser degree, this is a “barometer” game for the USC program as well. Despite the #1 ranking and the “best defense in the nation” status conferred by many, we have some doubts about this Trojan team, mostly on the offensive side of the football. As posted before, we hate… absolutely detest the running back by committee that SC employed last year and the game against Idaho did not reveal any frontrunner for that position. Also, the receiving corps though talented is young and will face its first real test after the departures of Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith.

It will be interesting to see then, how the stockpiling of all this 5-star talent and the soon-becoming-legendary “competition Tuesday” Trojan practices will handle the hostile environment of Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. In fact, this game has the feel of the USC-Notre Dame game of two years ago in South Bend. A proud program on the rebound, pulling out all the stops at home in a highly-charged and emotional prime-time affair to see if they could knock off the Goliaths from the West Coast.

…and speaking of Notre Dame… we are on our knees to the football gods for a Michigan victory over the Irish and a Washington Husky victory over Ohio St. in Seattle. That would of course leave ND at 0-3 and Washington, coached by previous Irish coach Ty Willingham, at an improbable 3-0. (If nothing else, it will prove that the Huskies are back and that football in the Pacific Northwest is back, and that is a good thing).

For years, Notre Dame has supposedly been this beacon of virtue putting academics and ethics above mere mortal football wins and losses. Of course, its all been B.S. (you mean to say that Notre Dame was the only place Lou Holtz ever coached at that was not penalized in some form by the NCAA?) as epitomized by the institution’s unceremonious dumping of Ty Willingham for the glitter and allure of the fat man, Charlie Weiss. We do like Michigan in this one. For the first time this year, they won’t be facing a quick team with a dynamic quarterback that is running the spread offense.

Tennessee at Florida… we like Florida in this one. In fact we like Florida to cover the 8 points they are giving. This just in… Urban Meyer can coach. In fact, we suspect a little “evil” in him. If trends continue as they have, we are looking forward to a nice little silent rivalry between USC and Florida in years to come. One can sense that since Meyer took over in Gainesville, the two programs have been eyeing each other, seeing what the other is up to. The locales, the coaches, the talent pools in which they reside… its all there. Stay tuned.

Florida St. at Colorado… This is the sort of intersectional road show that put FSU on the map 25-30 years ago. We’re still not sure what the hell has happened down there in Tallahassee. It has become the place where 5-star high school recruits go to disappear. They still get the athletes so its gotta be the coaching, right?

Hawaii at UNLV… The Colt Brennan Heisman Trophy show hits the mainland. As noted here at this site, Mr. Brennan can’t afford any slip-ups in his quest for the honor.

Enjoy the games!

1 comment:

FeedM2Mongo said...

Some of us think that Ol' Coach Bowden would vault his 'Noles right back to the top of the polls if he gave that kid Weinke a shot at QB!