Monday, September 5, 2005

Weekend Wrap-Up: Premiere edition

I know, I know, technically it's the Labor Day holiday and the weekend is still in progress, but we're debuting our Monday all-football post anyway.

Weekend Wrap-up is our look at the weekend's college action, as well as how the Cowboys and Texans did in their games, plus give you our Blogpoll vote for the week as well as a unique look at Monday Night Football.

We'd like to dedicate our first edition to the family and friends of former ESPN broadcaster Adrian Karsten, who died at his Wisconsin home over the weekend, and also to all the hurricane refugees out there.

College Football

Well, Aside from Texas's beat-down of Louisiana-Lafayette (who were probably just happy to be on the field after Katrina laid a beat-down on the state of Louisiana), the Big 12's top teams looked horrible. The Big 12 was 1-2 against all I-A teams not in the Sun Belt or named SMU, and that 1 win could have easily been a loss.

Texas Tech improved itself by doing absolutely nothing.
Big Story of the Weekend: TCU upsets Oklahoma 17-10

SoonerSports.comLeander's Paul Thompson gets sandwitched (SoonerSports.com)

I knew TCU was going to be better than they were last year. In my preseason preview, I picked them to win the Mountain West. And I gave them the #22 ranking in my first Blogpoll ballot, which I took no end of heckling for on TexasTechFans.com

But I figured they would be a 9-2 team. I certainly never thought they would beat the likes of Oklahoma.

Not only did TCU beat the Sooners, they made alleged Heisman candidate Adrian Peterson look human, as he only got 63 yards. Neither Sooner QB was particularly effective, but OU's recievers didn't help their passer any. They dropped a lot of balls. And the only types of blocks the offensive line appears to have mastered are the "OLE!" block and "Look out!" block.

Now, granted it's one game, and OU could still has time before their Big XII schedule to pull things together, but they looked horrible

TCU deserves a lot of credit for going into a hostile environment and playing great defense on a talented, albeit inexperienced and out-of-synch offense. A lot of the reason OU looked horrible was because the Horned Frogs got great pressure and made plays. And they justified their ranking in my poll, and I think a lot of people are waking up to this team.

The rest of the Big XII

Clemson 25, Texas A&M 24 - True, Franchione didn't help his team's chances when he went for two instead of one in the 4th Quarter, which could have made the game winning field goal a game-tying one instead, but that doesn't tell the whole story. A&M's defense was exposed by a Clemson team who is still going through growing pains as they transition to a new passing offense. Clemson utilized a lot of plays from spread formations that looked similar to plays run by Texas Tech, which Aggie fans should be concerned about. Oh by the way, the Aggie coverage teams, one of the worst last year, is already getting off to a bad start: They allowed a return touchdown to Chansi Stuckey, who's not exactly Danny Amendola or Selvin Young.

Colorado 31, Colorado State 28 -

Colorado's Mason Crosby is mobbed after making the game-winning play (Ed Andrieski/AP)
Not to rain on their parade, but Colorado continued the Big XII's day of bad play. Joel Klatt looked awful. Had it not been for Hugh Charles breaking off a couple of long runs and Mason Crosby making an early case for the Lou Groza award, we might be talking about 3 upsets today.

Texas 60, Louisiana-Lafayette 3 - I'll try to hold off on saying anything bad about ULL because the Ragin' Cajun players are probably going through a lot right now. Suffice to say, Selvin Young looks like he's recovered fully and Vince Young looked really good. Now they can focus on Ohio State.
On a personal note, I would like to thank all the UT fans in Austin for packing Memorial Stadium. My family and I had a shorter wait at Chuy's on Green Chile Fest weekend because everyone was at the game.

Missouri 44, Arkansas State 17 - Out of all the 4 teams that played Sun Belt teams this weekend, only Missouri and Texas actually looked impressive in their victories. Even though it was Kansas City, it was basically a road game for Missouri as KC is pretty much pro-Jayhawk.
I hope Jeremy from Sports and Bremertonians, currently an Arkansas State student, enjoyed the BBQ on his trip to Kansas City.

Kansas State 35, Florida International 21 - Texas Tech's opponent for next week forced 4 turnovers from the Wildcats, 3 of them on fumbles. KSU's defense was not impressive as they allowed 3 touchdowns to an FIU team picked by many preseason publications to finish dead last in the Sun Belt (a.k.a. "Division 1-A 1/2").

Kansas 30, Florida Atlantic 19 - Good news: Clark Green had 107 yards and 5.4 yards/carry, and the defense scored on a safety, forced a fumble, and held FAU to 70 yards rushing. Bad news: Neither Kanas QB was impressive (each threw a pick) and FAU QB Danny Embick had 299 yards passing and 3 TDs. Lucky for KU, FAU failed to convert 2 2-point conversions.

Baylor 28, SMU 23 - Ugly game. At least Baylor played a I-A opponent.

Nebraska 25, Maine 7 - Nebraska Blogger StrugglingJoe, who saw more of the game than I did, had these thoughts:
- The defensive line is good. Eleven sacks is a school record. Plus they held the Bears to (-15) yards on 37 attempts.

- The offensive line is not good. If you can't push around a 1AA team then you're not gonna push around anyone else. Nebraska had 126 yards rushing on 42 carries, a 3.0 average.

- The receivers are also not good. Zac Taylor had a pretty decent completion percentage in the first half but ended up just completing 16 of 36 passes. After reading a few game stories, it turns out the receivers dropped A LOT of passes.

- In saying that the receivers aren't any good, Frantz Hardy put on a show catching 7 passes for 156 yards. At one point in the first half he had like 140 of Taylor's 170 passing yards. It's obvious that Hardy is Taylor's favorite target. It also helps that they were teammates last season at Butler.

- Losing LB Steve Octavien for the year with a broken fibula obviously sucks, but maybe the drop-off won't be that bad as Bo Ruud, who had the defensive touchdown that saved the night, will start in his place.

- I should give credit to the entire Husker defense tonight and not just the defensive line. They were one crappy 52-yard TD pass away from holding these guys to under 100 yards of offense.

- We also like freshman kicker Jordan Congdon, because he kicked four FG's. If we had the usual Husker-type kicker, this game may have not resulted in a Husker win.
Iowa State 32, Illinois State 21 - Yeah, the Cyclones won, but they also were burned by long touchdown passes and they only had 8 points in the first half.

Oklahoma State 15, Montana State 10 - OK, when you're a Big XII team and it takes a last second pass to beat Montana State, you're in trouble.

Texas Tech had the week off and will take on FIU on Saturday

Around the State

UTEP 34, New Mexico State 17 - Well, UTEP didn't disappoint, jumping out to a 31-0 lead at halftime before putting in the backups. The Miners' D picked off 3 passes, got a fumble and recorded 8 sacks. NM State didn't score a touchdown until the 5:19 mark of the 4th quarter when the walk-ons were playing.

Oregon 38, Houston 24 - We covered this in our weekend preview, but I think it's safe to say that it was Kellen Clemens' coming out party.

North Texas at LSU - Postponed. Still being rescheduled.

Rice had the week off and will face UCLA on Saturday

TCU and SMU were covered above.

Blogpoll Ballot

Obviously, we're waiting to see how FSU-Miami turns out tonight, so I can't give you my ballot yet, but we can take a look at how my top 25 and the other teams fighting for recognition fared.

1. USC - Beat up Hawaii, despite the jet lag. Still #1
2. Virginia Tech - The defense looks good. Ron New Mexico looked OK, but not like Ron Mexico. May slip a bit
3. Michigan - Despite Brian and Joey's misgivings, they didn't really hurt themselves with that win over Northern Illinois
4. Georgia - Basically out-played a very good Boise State team and.
5. LSU - Obviously, LSU stays here because they couldn't play.
6. Oklahoma - I wouldn't drop them completely out, but now it's they who have to prove themselves.
7. Texas - One of the few Big XII teams that didn't take their opener off
8. Louisville - Yeah, they beat Kentucky, but they let them hang around. Not good. Will slip.
9. Miami - We'll see after tonight
10. Iowa - Laid the smack down on Ball State.
11. Tennessee - Only scored 17 against UAB, which hardly justifies the ranking most people are giving them. 11 is still about right
12. Texas A&M - Look out below! That wasn't just a loss, that was an "exposure" loss. And to a Clemson team that didn't look impressive in beating them.
13. Arizona State - OK, they beat Temple. I can put together a team of flag footballers who can beat Temple. Wait until next week.
14. Ohio State - Could move up after Justin Zwick led them to an impressive opening day win.
15. Florida - Well, we now know Chris Leak is strictly a drop-back passer.
16. Purdue - took the week off
17. Florida State - needs this victory tonight.
18. UTEP - Won big against NM State
19. Texas Tech - May move up for doing nothing because they are the second best team in the Big XII
20. Boston College - There's no religious angle to it. BC simply beat BYU on their own merit.
21. Colorado - Sorry, I don't care if it's a rivalry game, CU can't simply beat CSU on a last second field goal, they have to show me that they want to play.
22. TCU - Nice win by the Horned Frogs.
23. Fresno State - Did not play
24. Utah - Beat Arizona to complete a Mountain West sweep over the Stoops brothers.
25. Bowling Green - No D against Wisconsin? No ranking for you!

The rest of the teams

Moving up: Oregon, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Alabama
Not Moving: North Texas, Southern Miss, West Virginia, NC State
Moving down: Cal, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Auburn, Boise State
Moving out of consideration: BYU, Northern Illinois

Cowboys/Texans

Both of the pro teams finished their preseason on Thursday. However, the Cowboys signed Peerless Price to bolster their recieving corps.

Monday Night Football vs. CSI: Miami

I love all the CSI shows. Outside of sports, this is my favorite thing to watch. This, however, creates a bit of a problem during the football season, as I don't have a DVR and have to choose between CSI:Miami and Monday Night Football. So I'm going to compare the two to see if the Monday Night Football game is actually worth not watching CSI:Miami

This weeks' "MNF" (Florida State at Miami): OK, it's not an NFL game and Al Michaels and John Madden are off until Thursday, but it is a football game on Monday night in prime time on ABC, so it might as well be "Monday Night Football". Besides, the only real difference in between FSU, Miami, and pro teams are the fact that it's legal to pay the pros.

Anyway, FSU has slipped in recent years while Miami has come back from probation in the late 1990s to re-establish itself as one of the premiere programs in college. This year, both programs have great talent, but are debuting new QBs in the game. Should be a good game.

This week's CSI:Miami ("One Night Stand"):
From the Yahoo! TV Listings -
The murder of a bellboy during tourist season leaves detectives with many suspects, but the luggage he had been loading helps them to uncover a complex counterfeiting operation.
I've seen this one before.

Verdict:
Since this is a rerun, it's an easy choice
Florida State vs. Miami
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