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Football Thoughts – Third Edition

A big, fun day in college football yesterday. With a week or so left in non-conference play the match-ups are getting better. And Saturday saw a big round of upsets… something which always adds some fun and makes the college game unique.

The Aztecs

With temps well over 100 the past few days fans stayed home for this game. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so few people at the start of the game. Then it just turned out that there were a ton of people hanging out in the hallways waiting for the sun to go down! The McLane family was on the home, shady side, but the heat really wore us down and we left after the third quarter. Week 2 of “everyone goes to the game” wasn’t quite as fun as week 1.

To me, the first two plays of the game dictated what was going to happen. On the first play our d-line pushed the North Dakota o-line back into the QB and running back. In the second play, our DB jumped a route and ran for an easy pick 6. North Dakota moved the ball… combined the game ended with just over 1000 yards of total offense. It was a classic track meet. The final score was too close for comfort but the Aztecs were never really in doubt about the outcome.

Notre Dame

Because the kickoff was the same as the Aztecs game I only caught the last few minutes of the game on TV. But, in watching highlights and reading all of the articles it seemed like a breakthrough game for Brian Kelly. I watched an hour long press conference on National Signing Day in 2010 which talked about all the defensive talent they had brought in. That press conference was on display yesterday in East Lansing. I’ve visited a bunch of college campuses on game day and a night game at Michigan State is one of the more hostile places around. To go in there and basically shut Michigan State down is very impressive. There’s a lot of talk today about Notre Dame being good enough for a BCS game this year… it’s too early to know that, but this was a major step in the right direction.

Upset City

This week in the sports media we’ll start hearing about parody. Outside of Alabama and LSU no one is overly dominant so anyone can win week to week. Case in point, UL Monroe took Auburn to overtime the week after beating Arkansas, Stanford reminded Matt Barkely that he’s no Andrew Luck, Utah handed their rival a reminder, BYwho? On and on it went. This will be a year when anyone can win on any given week… and that’s a lot of fun.

Conference Picks

Three weeks in it feels like I can gauge where some teams are. Here are my picks for conference champions of all the major leagues. I’ll even put the #2 team in parenthesis)

ACC – Florida State (Va Tech)

Big 12 – Oklahoma (Texas)

Big East – Cincinnati (South Florida)

Big 10 – Wisconsin (Michigan State)

Conference USA – Tulsa (Central Florida)

MAC – Ohio (Toledo)

Mountain West – Boise State (SDSU)

Pac 12 – Oregon (USC)

SEC – LSU (Alabama)

Upstarts of the Year

These are teams that are on the upwards track. They might not with their conference in 2012 but are headed the right direction.

  • Northwestern
  • South Carolina
  • Notre Dame
  • Arizona
  • UL Monroe (Is anyone going to schedule them next year?)
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