Did everyone mark themselves “safe” from the Sun Belt takeover this past weekend? No? Don’t worry, you weren’t alone. The Fun Belt came out swinging, and took down three of the “blue bloods” of college football. And honestly, it came really close to being a total weekend of unranked upsets.
– I watched maybe two minutes total of the Alabama-Texas game, and it sounds like my prediction last week of 65-17 was slightly off. I think it’s a bump in the road, but it appears that I (and maybe Alabama as well) underestimated the importance of Gary Patterson at Texas. I think this could be less of a steamroll and more of a roller coaster to a national championship for UA, but I think the ride still ends with a title.
– In other “I wasn’t able to see it, and I wish I had” news, apparently Nebraska would have been better off playing the “It’s CORN!” song over the PA system at Memorial Stadium than taking the field against Georgia Southern. Scott Frost is gone, and for a program that once was considered a part of the upper echelon of college football, they’re at a crossroads. You know, like the school the coach of Georgia Southern—the team that took the Huskers to task Saturday—was let go from.
– I grew up when Marshall had Chad Pennington and Randy Moss. I thought they were held in similar esteem as what we think of Appalachian State now. They weren’t able to sustain it over the course of the last 20 years, but as Notre Dame learned, never underestimate the HERD.
– Speaking of Notre Dame, as Matt asked on the podcast this week, do you think Brian Kelly saw the writing on the wall and bolted? Maybe. But I’m willing to bet that between the FSU fiasco, and the Fighting Irish not being able to put up more than 21 against Marshall, it was worth three more LSU touchdowns on poor Southern than was probably planned.
– I’m not sure how Auburn managed to pull the out the hard-fought, close game against *checks notes* San Jose State(?!?) on Saturday, but I know there is a still-employed coaching staff that’s glad they did. We’ll chalk it up to looking ahead to the biggest non-Iron Bowl game in Jordan-Hare in some time, but that was almost too close for comfort.
– Speaking of San Jose State, ESPN 8’s constant shots of the head coach were both charming and alarming. The guy reminded me of some of the coaches of 8-man teams I covered back in the day: someone’s dad who volunteered, and gosh-darn it, he loved that team. That’s not an insult, it’s just the most accurate thing I could think of. Good on the Spartans for holding and SEC school close against a former Mountain West coaching foe; bad on the Mountain West officials to almost get more screen time.
– One day, teams are going to stop scheduling App State for these “cupcake” games. Don’t you know what they can do to people? Haven’t you heard the “AND THE MOUNTAINEERS HAVE BEATEN THE MICHIGAN WOLVERINES!!!” clip (from one of the last times we had little enough social media and tech that iconic moments stayed iconic; I miss you, 2007) enough to know that they can and will rip the hope from your team’s heart? They’re I-A now too, son. This ain’t for pure embarrassment anymore; they’re coming for your playoff spot. SEC, you want to expand into other conference footprints? Forget Texas and Oklahoma, forget Clemson and FSU, go ride up into North Carolina and sign App. State and go get that Knoxville to Charlotte market.
– I knew Texas A&M wasn’t going to live up to the hype this season, but I don’t know if I expected a loss at home to App. State. Jumbo’s gold for the next few years after beating Alabama last year, but let them drop a few more like this—or worse, when Texas joins the SEC—and it may be a different story.
On to Week 3!