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Football Thoughts: Fourth Edition

This season is beginning to take shape. Some teams are exactly who you thought they were while other teams are emerging for breakout years. Here’s a quick rundown of what I saw and what I think headed into mid-season.

Notre Dame

For the second week, the SDSU home game start time prevented me from watching the game. But I followed along pretty closely nonetheless and watched highlights later. What is happening is Brian Kelly’s investment in the defense is starting to pay off in spades. As reported on ESPN, Denard Robinson now has the same Heisman hopes as his left tackle. The Michigan QB, who looked like Mike Vick against the Irish for the past 3 seasons, called his play “the worst game of my career.” There was a stretch in the second quarter where I’m sure Mitt Romney looked at the TV and thought, “Wow, they are having a horrible week, I feel so much better about myself.

Also impressive was the noise factor at Notre Dame stadium. It was loud and buzzing and starting to act like a college stadium instead of a church. They retrained their ushers and did some PSAs…  you won’t hear “Down in front” or “Sit down” anymore.

With a bye week ahead and a gaudy 4-0 record, they’ll be in the top 10 this week. And since they don’t play they’ll have the chance to move up again before playing Miami on 10/6. I expect them to be #9 today and #7 by 10/6. Trust me, NBC wan’t ND vs. Stanford to be as high a ranking as possible on 10/13. 

All of a sudden Notre Dame looks like they could got 10-2 or 9-3. Either of those is good enough for a BCS bowl bid.

San Diego State

Offensively, we did pretty good in scoring 34 points. Unfortunately, the defense continues to suck. So while we enjoyed going to the game and it was entertaining… we won’t win many games giving up so many points.

Worse than the defense is the special teams play. Just kick the ball out of bounds and give it to them at the 40. Or go for an onside kick. Special teams play lost this game for the Aztecs and exhibited the lack of depth for the team.

The really bad news is that San Diego fans won’t come watch a .500 team. If it weren’t for the 10/6 Sky Show I’d expect 15,000 fans for the Hawaii game. If we lost a couple more we’ll be in the 10,000 range again very soon. And that’s unfortunate.

The Big 10 Isn’t

Central Michigan beat Iowa? Wisconsin struggled with UTEP. Ohio State and Penn State‘s games don’t count. Michigan literally handed– make that tossed — the game to Notre Dame. And only Michigan State and Northwestern handled their business. Those two teams are in the drivers seat. Which will be in the Rose Bowl and will anyone care?

The Pac 12

I thought Arizona would play Oregon tough… but I think they are the only team who can give Alabama a run for their money. (Only if its outside of the south, though.) The only team that is impressing me in the Pac 12 (besides Oregon) is Oregon State. Again, with Oregon headed for the national championship game will anyone really care to watch a Northwestern vs. Oregon State Rose Bowl? At least they will have a cool parade.

Other conferences

The Big East is a turd this year. The MAC looks like the best mid-major. The Mountain West is somewhere between awful and terrible. And the Big 12 should get an award for not playing a decent non-conference game among all member teams. Seriously, what’s that about?

5 Responses to Football Thoughts: Fourth Edition

  1. corey September 23, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Hey, no props for Minnesota in the Big 10? Granted, they’ve played nobody, but in past years their weak opponents would crush them.

    • Adam McLane September 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      If Minnesota gets by Northwestern in a couple weeks, then maybe. Right now they look like a team who hasn’t played a quality opponent. And when a team is as bad as they’ve been in recent history it’s real tough to give them early season props. :)

  2. Dheepa September 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    to be fair, Oklahoma has a very tough schedule and will be playing the stellar Irish defense in a few weeks and Iowa State is rated as having one of the toughest schedules in the nation. however, I see your point regarding some of the others in the conference who haven’t chosen to play quality opponents. I would also include Minnesota’s impressive start along with Northwestern’s. Also, I wouldn’t count out Purdue as a sleeper in the big ten. their defense line is formidable as we saw against the Irish and they have some playmakers on offense.

    at this point, I think the Irish defense is for real. in many ways this team reminds me alot of the 2002 team coached by Willingham (but was really comprised of Davie’s recruits) that went 10-2 in the regular season with a stout defense and a mistake-free offense (ND set the NCAA record that year for least number of turnovers with only 8). Ironically, that was also the last time the Irish beat both Michigan and Michigan St. in the same season and if you look at the schedule it was similarly formidable in comparison with the one the Irish play this year (6 top 25 teams). I think we can expect a similar campaign this year. However, if Golson’s talent is able to overshadow his mistakes then anything is possible.

  3. Ben Cook September 25, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    No love for Colin Klein? K-State is one of the best teams in the country and beat Oklahoma because they play as a complete team and are fundamentally sound. If they beat West Virginia then they may have a chance at the BCS Championship Game…..and I agree with you on Oregon State. Impressive victory at UCLA this week and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them in the Pac-12 championship game.

  4. Adam McLane September 29, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    A quick wink to those who said Minnesota should get some love. They are getting blown out by Iowa… 24-7 in the 3 Q. And Iowa got beat by Iowa State & Central Michigan…

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