The Morning After: Alabama Crushed Michigan, Pitt and Maryland Were Brutal, Lane Kiffin is Still Classy
41-14: Michigan was not as good as Alabama. Not even close. Even the most ardent Michigan partizans were well aware of this. It is why they were two touchdown underdogs. The Crimson tide are a greased up hellish machine functioning at full capacity. The Wolverines are still under construction. Michigan is not in the same stratosphere. Neither is any SEC team except, perhaps, LSU. Seven of Alabama’s eight SEC opponents lost by three touchdowns or more to them at some point during 2011. The outlier, Mississippi State, lost by 17.
Opinions will swing wildly. Alabama will be indomitable BCS title shoo-ins. Michigan will be terrible, overrated and lucky to make a bowl game. Reality will be constant, more or less. Alabama are still strong favorites to play for the BCS title, depending on what happens at LSU Nov. 3. The Wolverines must cloak line vulnerabilities but remain among the favorites for the Big Ten title. More worrying than the performance for Michigan are the injuries sustained. With a still threadbare cupboard, extended absences from the Wolverines’ best offensive lineman and best cornerback could cripple them.
Penn State still plays football. Bill O’Brien’s first game could have gone better. The Nittany Lion defense got steamrolled by a MAC team in the second half. The offense, despite O’Brien’s wizardry, suffers from a dearth of both talent and experience. Matt McGloin threw the ball 48 times, and averaged just 5.4 yards per attempt. They disappointed, despite reduced expectations, though calling this an upset may be short-changing Ohio. With a very good quarterback in Tyler Tettleton and a very forgiving schedule, an undefeated regular season looks plausible.
Who was the FBS team? FCS losses can happen, but Pitt did not just lose to Youngstown State in Paul Chryst’s first game. They got beat down. The Penguins were never behind. They converted 11 of 16 third downs. This was a team Pitt had outscored 79-3 in their two prior meetings. The Panthers are not making a strong case to want away ACC teams. Pitt has a short turn around before facing Cincinnati on Thursday. We’ll see whether that’s good or bad.
Not a dark horse. Geno Smith and West Virginia? They picked right up where they finished against Clemson. The opponent was Marshall, but the Mountaineers still had 69 points and a balanced 655 total yards. Smith completed 32/36 passes for 323 yards and had five total touchdowns. Posting sick numbers for an exciting 9-10 win team in the Big 12 can win you the Heisman…
Ferentz… Whenever Iowa sounds good, they stink. Whenever Iowa sounds dreadful, double down on them making the BCS run. This year, they sounded terrible and were pegged correctly. The Hawkeyes needed a late touchdown to escape 18-17 against Northern Illinois. Their offense averaged less than four yards per pass and per rush against a MAC defense. Ferentz is the fifth-highest paid coach in the country. His Iowa teams are 30-26 in the Big Ten since 2005.
The Marcus Mariota Experience: Oregon’s redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota showed why he won the starting job. In his first college snaps against Arkansas State, he completed 18/22 for 200 yards and three touchdowns as the Ducks ran out to a 50-3 lead in the second quarter before going into sleep mode. We won’t confirm which TBL scribe sent a late night email referring to him as “the tits.” Long queue to get on this bandwagon.
Crank Up The Burners: Jeff Tedford’s Cal team lost 31-24 at home to Nevada. This was not quite the effort befitting a $321 million stadium renovation and new football facilities. Cal may not want to fire Tedford. With what he has done for the program he may not deserve to be, but falling behind in the Pac 12 arms race may leave them with no choice.
Fear For The Turtles: Maryland players leapt in celebration, after beating FCS William & Mary 7-6 at home on a fourth-quarter touchdown. A winning start, but not exactly a new beginning after last year’s 1-10 vs. FBS effort. Coach
Bligh Edsall spun this positively: “We’ve got so many things that we can take from this game to improve upon, and we will.” Terrapin football has gotten so bad it has driven John Ourand to snark.
Historic Cover: Oklahoma State was giving 67.5 points at home to Savannah State, the largest point spread in college football history. They covered it, by the third quarter. The final score was 84-0.
Classic Kiffin: Lane wanted to cover, SC style. Not only was Matt Barkley in the game with USC up 32 in the fourth quarter, but Kiffin went for it on 4th and 3 and threw for a touchdown pass. The needless score put the Trojans within a field goal of the 42-point spread, but the gambling gods had other plans. Matt Barkley sustained his Heisman candidacy. Marqise Lee announced his with 10 catches for 197 yards and two touchdowns (one receiving and one on a kickoff return)
50: The number of touches by Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell against Boise State. He had 265 total yards rushing and receiving. He’s also on pace to touch the ball 2.5 times as much as Rex Burkhead did getting worn down for Nebraska last year. That workload is obviously unsustainable. If the passing game does not become tenable, Michigan State could face some trouble later in the season.
Highlight You Might Have Missed… Northern Illinois’ Martel Moore made a ridiculous leaping catch during the team’s narrow loss to Iowa.
[Photos via Presswire]
- Rich Rodriguez’s 50th Birthday Featured a Mariachi Band [Video]
- The Evolution of Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen is the Craziest Set of Photos You’ll See This Week
- Champions League Final: Arjen Robben’s Late Goal Wins it for Bayern Munich [Video]
- Champions League Final: Neven Subotic Makes Terrific Sliding Stop to Thwart Sure Goal [Video]
- LeBron James and Michael Jordan Have Now Been Compared to God by NBA Players
- resolutedefense on LeBron James and Michael Jordan Have Now Been Compared to God by NBA Players
- vermincain on LeBron James and Michael Jordan Have Now Been Compared to God by NBA Players
- Monster is Meth on The Evolution of Chris 'Birdman' Andersen is the Craziest Set of Photos You'll See This Week
- Jason McIntyre on Champions League Final: Arjen Robben's Late Goal Wins it for Bayern Munich [Video]
- jekyll on The Evolution of Chris 'Birdman' Andersen is the Craziest Set of Photos You'll See This Week
28 Responses to “The Morning After: Alabama Crushed Michigan, Pitt and Maryland Were Brutal, Lane Kiffin is Still Classy”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.