Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Week 1 Review/Week 2 Preview

Week 1 Review: I Need a More Boring Hobby

(I named my pick 'em set "Football Tour 2009" because it appears I'll spend six of the first eight weeks of the season somewhere other than my couch. So to help set the scene, my weekly review will note where I actually was.)

Location: Northwest Ohio.

Games watched, at least partially: South Carolina/NC State; N. Dakota St./Iowa State (very end seen online); Oregon/Boise St.; Ohio St./Navy (on in the background); Iowa/UNI (radio, then TV); Notre Dame/Nevada; Michigan/W. Michigan (switched over at commercials); Alabama/Virginia Tech; LSU/Washington (parts); Ole Miss/Memphis; Colorado/Colorado St.; Miami/Fla St.

Iowa: “I need a more boring hobby.” That was my thought to myself seconds after Iowa blocked two field goals in the final seven seconds to preserve a win over I-AA powerhouse Northern Iowa. (If you were wondering 'man, has that ever happened before?!' the answer is no, it had not.)

My second thought was: “I need a drink.” I think Hawkeye fans suspected this team wouldn’t fire on all cylinders, considering the absence of a running game and a talented, motivated Panther squad. But down 10-3 at half? Fumbles and overthrowing receivers by five yards? Practically giving the damn game away? Needing historic special teams to get the win? Making this look like chump change? That was a bit much.

Paki O’Meara (21 career yards over two years) proved he is not yet a Division I running back. Adam Robinson (63 yards, 1 TD on Saturday) might be.

Notre Dame: I missed most of the first half recovering from my near-coronary, driving to Tina’s brother’s place, fighting unsuccessfully to link up to the wireless Internet and making a beer run. By that point, the game was over. I loved seeing Michael Floyd’s leaping catch (2-minute mark), and glad to see Jimmy Clausen look so sharp, but I didn’t really feel into the game. Hopefully that will change next week.

My Pick Six: BYU had the biggest upset win of the weekend. Texas, Georgia Tech and Nebraska cruised to easy wins. Ohio State and UCLA won, but too close for comfort.

Quigley Pick 6: Quigley made a bad call with Rutgers. Doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing them in the Top 25 anytime soon. The rest of his slate (Texas, LSU, Ole Miss, Utah, Nebraska) won, but Ole Miss looked shaky through three quarters, and LSU only beat Washington by 8.

TM Pick 6: Not formally released yet. But I think she has Oregon, who lost the game and their star RB in one fell swoop.

National roundup: Impressive win by BYU. Also kudos to Mizzou, Miami and Oklahoma State for proving to me they are for real (at least for now). I’d like to see Okie State win on the road in conference, but still they deserve credit for scheduling a tough SEC team like Georgia (even if the young QB had the flu).

Week 2: Hate Week

It’s hate week again ... seems like just yesterday we were celebrating this and this. It’s an odd year (and an odd-numbered year), so Iowa and ND travel to Ames and Ann Arbor. I feel worried after Iowa looked so out of synch on offense, and the defense didn’t exactly shut down UNI’s spread offense. ISU seemed to have their way with the Bison, so offense and defense need to step up quick.

This weekend I met a kid named Andy Bodell. That of course made me think of Andy Brodell, which makes me think of this:

Let’s pause to remember Marques Slocum, who once called his mother “da realest bitch alive” and sadly is no longer a Michigan Man. Please review his contribution to the literary canon, and ponder what exactly happened that made him so adverse to performance art.

ND/Mich is shaping up to be a great game, a return to when this game (and these two teams) mattered. Michigan’s two freshmen quarterbacks both looked sharp: fast and with the ability to throw on the run. I think this game will boil down to which “D” can stop the other “O” … can Michigan’s secondary force ND to run more than it wants? Can the Irish front seven put the necessary pressure on Forcier in only his second game? And how can we take the Forcier family seriously? Much like Slocum, I'm gonna hate this guy's school on pure principle. (Okay, his brother's school.)

National: The game of the week of the century is Ohio State/Southern Cal. After a shaky start, USC and Matt Barkley steamrolled San Jose State 56-3. Meanwhile, OSU struggled with Navy and their triple option. How will Barkley fare in a hostile environment? Can USC’s rebuilt/reloaded offense handle Pryor?

I also will be curious how UCLA does against Tennessee, and if Miami’s win over FSU was a fluke.

Pick Six: I mentioned OSU and UCLA earlier. Texas and Nebraska have cupcakes; BYU has an opponent with a pulse in Tulsa (averaged 47.2 points and 570 yards last year). Georgia Tech plays Thursday vs. Clemson.

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