Football Thoughts – Second Edition

It’s week one of the NFL season. As a college fan, the only thing I like about the NFL is seeing where my favorite college players have ended up. It’s exciting to see that Miles Burris will be starting for the Oakland Raiders today as a rookie.

Here’s what I saw in week two of the college football season.

Powder Puff City

There weren’t a lot of great match-ups going into this week. It was tough flipping for the at-home viewer yesterday… lots of very boring games. The top 5 didn’t really play anyone. LSU & Alabama continue to show us why they should be in the AFC East. Seriously, the SEC is in a league all their own right now. I watched parts of a few games and the teams, the crowds, the level of play… it far surpasses the other leagues right now. It’s really not even close.

Perhaps Arkansas will get kicked out of the SEC for what they did yesterday. UL Monroe beat an SEC team? I didn’t even know UL Monroe existed.

Up and down the schedule there weren’t many top teams playing interesting match-ups. I’m looking forward to next weekend when we have a few more top 25 match-ups.

Pac-12 B Crazy

USC struggled with Syracuse? In football? Yeah, that was weird. And the Oregon game… OK, so most of the 25 points game during garbage time. But you’d think Oregon’s 3rd string could hold Fresno State. Also in the league you had Washington getting blown out by LSU, Oregon State beating up Wisconsin, and then Colorado and Utah losing to community colleges.

I’m not sure what to think of the Pac-12. They are better than last year, but more schizophrenic than ever.

Penn State

Each week I find myself cheering for a new, more random team. This week it was for Virginia, who are going to win 4-5 games this year in a weak ACC. While PSU didn’t fold like they did in week one they continue on the downward spiral national television is there to capture. One of my twitter friends described watching Penn State like its a rerun of a train wreck. You know what’s coming but wow… you have to keep watching. 

I expect for them to get a win against Navy next week before getting beat up badly in the Big 10.

The Rest of the Big 10

So, when your conference favorite gets beat by a lower tier Pac 12 team… where does that leave you? Michigan State is in the drivers seat now. Ohio State is looking a little better. Michigan is going to be helter skelter depending on Robinson. The irony is that Wisconsin is still the favorite, right? But based on their non-conference games it’s really hard to know who is who, yet.

Notre Dame

I only saw bits of the game so I don’t know a lot. Any time we beat Purdue, I’m happy. But needing to go to last year’s hapless starter in order to get a 2-minute offense going isn’t a great sign of things to come. Each time I see them I can see that Brian Kelly has them on the right track. The key is if the fans are willing to wait out an actual rebuilding process which might take 5-6 years or if they are going to continue to fire perfectly good people. The team noticeably tackles better, has more depth, and more talent than during the Weis years.

I think we’ll get pounded by Sparty next week. We always get beat there. 

One thing I noticed yesterday, and I think its new, is that they were piping in music like a regular stadium between plays and at time outs. The house that Rockne built was bumping like it was built by Jay-Z yesterday…. I love it! (It’s part of the AD’s new “Take a StaND” initiative.) The atmosphere at Notre Dame stadium is, by default, way too formal. I liked hearing the music as it definitely brought the fans (and students) into the game a bit more. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told to sit down and be quiet in that stadium. It’s really no fun going to a game there… I hope its changing.

If you’ve never been to Notre Dame stadium, it is worth going. Just know that they have cranky church ushers in yellow jackets. Literally, if you stand up and cheer too loud you can be kicked out. Seriously. 

San Diego State

Um, wow. I didn’t see us rolling over Army. Player for player we were faster than the Black Knights… it felt like we were playing at normal speed and they were playing with heavy shoes. We were 6 point underdogs and the entire 4th quarter was garbage time for the back-ups to get reps. A very impressive showing on both sides of the ball. My favorite play was Colin Lochhart’s 96 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. My second favorite play was when Ezell Ruffin stiff-armed an Army defender in the open field and scampered 57 yards down field.

Week two of Rockyball was non-existent. I don’t think they went for it on 4th down, ever. And they kicked field goals and extra points where you’d expect them to. I don’t know if he just threw that hot mess out the window or if it just wasn’t needed this week.

This was our first game where all 5 McLane’s reported to section 36. We even tailgated for the first time, which went flawlessly. And while its definitely fun to barbecue before the game and soak in some of that atmosphere I’m not sure tailgating is in our future. In truth, its just so much easier to take the trolley than it is to drive. Plus, the parking lot was like a tarmac yesterday so we all got overheated.

All-in-all, we’re pumped about home games next week versus North Dakota State and the week after against San Jose State.

Question: Will LSU or Alabama lose in 2012? 



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7 responses to “Football Thoughts – Second Edition”

  1. Brandon Pachey Avatar
    Brandon Pachey

    The Michigan game was terrible, we should have run over them. But they are a good team in their own division I think. Glad we finally found some form of defense in the end. Too close though. Its gonna be a tough year for us for sure.

    1. Adam McLane Avatar

      It always amazes me to see teams struggle with a form of the option. And it makes me wonder why more schools don’t run the option. Remember Nebraska? They were unstoppable when they ran it well.

  2. Shawn Kiger Avatar

    come on Adam my Virginia Cavaliers are going to win more than 4 or 5 games! They won 8 last year and are even better this year. Glad you watched the game though. Did you see me on tv!

    1. Adam McLane Avatar

      I saw pictures of you, Shawn. Hilarious…. meme worthy! Sorry for my low expectations for the Cavaliers… maybe they will shock me?

  3. Jeffrey Dick Avatar

    I thought of you on Saturday as my son Josh and I attended our first game at Notre Dame. The dudes in the yellow jackets are a bit much – and the crowd (we were in the opposite end zone and other side of the student section)m was fairly formal. Being above the Purdue band, there were a fair number of Purdue fans which made it interesting as well.

    The face value of our tickets was $73 and we are sitting on this old, unstained wooden bench. Really now, what is with that? No internet and very spotty cell phone coverage – one gut next to us said they keep promising to fix it but….

    The band was awesome – and first time I have been at a sporting event where God Bless America was sung and everyone stand up to sing. Cool.

    As to the game. The Irish were poor at clock management and using their time outs. Twice they took a time out and then when they got on the field, it was as if they forgot what they talked about. One instance they came out and got a motion penalty. Not real sharp. They should beat Michigan, but Michigan State should pound them.

    As to Michigan, they are not looking great – barely looking good.

    Nice thoughts in your post.

    1. Adam McLane Avatar

      Was there a prayer before the game? That’s uniquely Notre Dame.

      And i think I heard the Dropkick Murphy’s right before kick off!

      I’ve actually had yellow jackets threaten to kick me out for cheering and standing up. I’m sure you are like me and that $73 seat barely fits my bootie. That place is insane.

      1. Jeffrey Dick Avatar

        Fortunately we were in row 58, top row in that section. Behind us was a cement slab that we could sit on, gave us more leg room and fanny room. Plus, a wall to lean against!

        As to music blared out between plays, some folks got into it…the grey hair guys around us seemed confused.

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