We are just 2 weeks in to college football and a game into the NFL and we have already had multiple reminders of why we love our football. Saints-Packers on Thursday was everything you, me and the NFL wanted (times 10) out of the season opener. Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers put on a show and the Saints almost pushed the game into OT on the very last play. A high-scoring, fun game devoid of offensive mistakes that stayed close till the very last play. Could Roger Goodell have scripted a better season opener to emerge from the lockout? Don’t think so. Exciting game, but if I were a fan of either of those teams, I would be a little concerned about the defense. Granted, they were both going against a great QB and good offenses, but it didn’t look like they can stop a whole lot of teams. The Saints especially looked really weak on defense as Rodgers did whatever he wanted. I will reserve judgment for another week so that I can see these defenses in action against another team, but neither defense looked to be of Super Bowl quality on Thursday. Thats great news for fantasy owners with Brees on their roster. I think he might have to have an even better season than expected for the Saints to be any good. The fun will continue Sunday with Pittsburgh-Baltimore and Dallas-Jets being the headliners. Philadelphia at Saint Louis and Detroit at Tampa Bay are the other intriguing match-ups. Well, it’s week 1. Each and every match-up looks appetizing to me. Everybody is ready to roll. Especially Adrian Peterson and Troy Polamalu – the 2 veteran superstars who were given huge extensions the day before the season.
College football was not a slouch either in it’s week 2. ASU started off a fun weekend with an OT win over Missouri on Friday. Great win for Pac-12 and good exposure for ASU as they try to creep up the top-25. Of course it would have been an awful game for ASU if they had lost. They gave up a 14 point lead and almost lost the game in regular time. Luckily, they won it in OT after making it a nail-biting affair. Michigan and Notre Dame played an amazing game like they always seem to do lately. They combined for 3 TDs in the last 2 minutes and Michigan’s stud QB Denard Robinson sealed the deal with a TD pass with 2 seconds to go. Tough loss for the domers as they were leading comfortably at one point in this game, which was the first night game at the Big House. It was a great college game between 2 storied programs in an awesome atmosphere. Instant classic in front of 114,00 fans, college football’s record crowd. Michigan’s rival, Ohio State scraped past Toledo 27-22 and Texas survived BYU 17-16. South Carolina and Georgia played a fun one in Athens as the Ole’ ball coach won on the road and added on to Mark Richt’s pain. Auburn upset Mississippi state 41-34 in the other marquee SEC match-up. Speaking of the SEC, it continued it’s dominance over the Big 10 today as Alabama crushed Penn state and Joe Pa 27-11. Out west, Oregon bounced back from their loss at LSU with a win against Nevada as they dropped 69 points on them. Cal, Stanford and USC, all won their week 2 match-ups as well. USC won the first ever Pac-12 conference game. They beat Utah 23-14. Cal won a good one against Colorado but it was a previously scheduled non-conference game and won’t count in the conference standings. Interesting twist.
Aside from the great action on the field, the other big news in college has been the conference re-alignments that has the Big 12 pretty much disintegrating soon. First, Pac-10 added 2 teams including Big-12’s Colorado. Now, Texas A&M is trying to bolt to the SEC. Call me a traditionalist, but I don’t like too much change in such matters. I miss my Pac-10. I always liked the geographical integrity of our conference. It was all West coast though Arizona is not technically a state on the Pacific coast. Now, thats all gone. I guess Utah and Colorado still qualify as “West coast”, at least in the eyes of some East coast honks, but all geographic logic are under threat as the SEC is now getting Texas A&M and Pac-12 might still bring in Oklahoma, though the conference is denying that possibility. Hope we don’t end up with Boston College in Pac-16 and the BYU in the SEC in 2015! There is now a threat of a lawsuit and all kinds of rumors in Big-12 and unfortunately, Pac-10 was the initiator of all this confusion. I am still amused that Pac-10 had issues with the almighty dollar because they were nestled away in the West coast with late night games and not so committed fan base in some schools, but they are the ones growing. They were apparently not generating the same revenues as some other football-crazed conferences, but they went and poached from Big-12 instead of the other way around. I guess tradition and the Pac-10 label is still strong enough to help them breakup other conferences, with or without top-of-the-line revenue. Utah and Colorado should help the Pac-12 because it brings 2 entire states on board and those states will tune into football as not much else happens in those hoods. The only good news for the NCAA with regard to re-alignment is that it takes attention away from all the scandals that dominated the college football’s off the field newswire. Of course the action on the field is compensating for everything off the field.