Welcome to week 2 of the college football newsletter. The first few weeks of the season saw more than enough bad play and exceptional effort to fill a semester’s worth of blue books.
The same goes for last season’s standings. High marks will only be for show, and failing marks have no chance of being reversed. Additionally, average tweeters will be blocked and inbox emails to complain will go straight to the trash folder.
Last week’s low ratings went to poor play at Tennessee, a forgetful day by a State punter at South Carolina and the putrid offense at Iowa. Top marks went to Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson and his play led to an upset win over Utah.
Week 2 college football winners and losers:Ups and downs for the SEC; Our Lady shocked at home
Saturday recap:Everything you need to know about college football’s top 25 Week 2 games
That being said, here’s the Week 2 analysis on how the fans, teams, players and coaches fared:
Millions for the $a Belt
Once upon a time, the athletic departments of the Power Five programs were willing to hand out millions to lower-status teams because they believed their fans and alumni would fill stadiums and enjoy three hours of uninterrupted, stress-free entertainment. Schools are still wasting money these days – but the football that accompanies these games is hardly without stress. Those who continue to plan this way in the future do so at their peril.
Three schools found out the hard way on Saturday.
Marshall took his $1.25million Notre Dame paycheck, drove to South Bend, quickly threw the ball down the Irishmen’s throats and gladly took three turnovers from them for good measure in a win. 26-21. And it really wasn’t that close.
About 1,100 miles south of Notre Dame Stadium, recruiting champion and self-proclaimed threat to Alabama, Texas A&M found itself in the same position as fellow Sun Belt conference member Appalachian State.
App State has done this stuff before (hi, Michigan) and has been a good program since moving from FCS. You think A&M cared? No. Not when they’re handing out checks for $1.5 million, just because. Another prize for the Mountaineers for their anger: they are hosting College GameDay next Saturday.
After the 17-14 upset win, App State head coach Shawn Clark also pocketed a $20,000 bonus for a clause in his contract called the “Competitive Scheduling” bonus, which he would have only gotten. the team won or lost.
And finally, Nebraska — with $1.423 million burning a hole in the blueblood’s pocket — continued down the abyss of mediocrity. This time, the Huskers gave up 642 yards and 34 first downs to Georgia Southern, losing at home 45-42.
Fun belt, indeed.
Took the money and won: A+
College football referees have had a lot of face-to-face time so far this season, making games that sometimes approach four hours even longer with their whistles and stoppages for a replay every two.
As these striped-uniformed warriors are armed and ready to throw down their oversized handkerchiefs at a moment’s notice, fans in the stands and viewers moan and moan about laundry on the field, whether the infraction is justified or not.
Syracuse was flagged 18 times in its opening week win over Louisville. Virginia Tech saw 15 flags against Old Dominion (the Hokies lost) and Alabama was also penalized 15 times in its narrow victory Saturday over Texas, much to Nick Saban’s chagrin.
Cleverly, the Tide players waited until the end of the match to throw the “horns down” gesture, but Saban still had none of it. He quickly shouted at his players “don’t do that (expletive)”.
Good luck in practice this week, Alabama.
And it was all yellow :F
As someone who has lived and survived in hot climates such as Arizona, Oklahoma and Iraq – and bared the heat while waiting on a New York City subway platform in the summer – it’s unclear what Southern Mississippi head coach Will Hall was thinking when he showed up to a game in Miami Gardens, Florida, wearing a white shirt and pants to coach a game of outdoor football in 1,000 degree humidity.
Sweating so much in the South Florida heat it would put Sean Miller and Patrick Ewing to shame, Hall probably needed a new collection of shirts considering how his team played against the Hurricanes on Saturday. It’s time to get back to wearing school-issued shirts and khakis.
I sweat to the elders :D-
The best and the worst of the rest
The year is starting off in an interesting way with some of these pieces.
– Holy Cross shocked Buffalo when Matthew Sluka hit Jalen Coker for a 46-yard touchdown as time expired for the 37-31 victory.
–Pittsburgh tight end Gavin Bartholomew passes a Tennessee defender en route to a 57-yard touchdown catch.
“A fan… just walked onto the field at LSU?”
“Who’s throwing a shoe?” Frankly!
Statistics for you:
— New Mexico’s special teams aren’t that special. The Lobos haven’t blocked a punt in 13 years. It’s the longest streak in college football.
– Temple wide receiver De’Von Fox is a special teams unit all on his own. He blocked three punts on his own in the Owls’ 30-14 win over Lafayette.
– Notre Dame saw its 42-game winning streak against teams that weren’t ranked in the media poll.
Dog of the Week: New Mexico State at UTEP
Check out these beauties, courtesy of the State of North Carolina.
Those pups probably weren’t looking at our dog of the week, but if they were, they had to look the other way for this game, which was the only game on the schedule featuring two 0-2 teams. Before meeting on Saturday, the two teams had scored a combined grand total of 38 points in their first four games. Wow, indeed.
But for the fans of these schools, the Bulletin still appreciates you. Oh, UTEP beat New Mexico State 20-13.
Follow Scooby Axson on Twitter @scoobaxson.