VETTEL: Week Two College Football Musings

Weekend number two of the college football season didn’t last five days, but it sure produced some thought provoking activity. The two biggest games, Ohio State/Texas and Notre Dame/Penn State were not the down-to-the-wire showdowns the hypemeisters had in mind.

The ACC is now wearing those phony nose and moustache eyeglasses to avoid being recognized. The Tennessee Volunteers are grateful to still be unbeaten and something very rare happened to the head ball coach.

That’s just a sample of some of the fascinating stuff in the week’s musings.

Heisman race has two clear leaders —– Certainly there is time for other guys to get the college football world’s attention, but two quarterbacks are way out in front. Brady Quinn’s 287 yards and three touchdowns against # 17 Penn State were impressive, but how about Troy Smith of Ohio State? The Buckeyes QB passed for 269 and two scores on the road against one of the nation’s most talented teams. The winning QB (assuming he has a big day) in the Florida/Tennessee game is going to start getting attention, too.

FSU can’t run a lick —– The ‘Noles picked up about 20 yards on Troy in the final three minutes to finish with 45 on the day. So in two games, the ‘Noles have rushed for 46 yards…. 17 fewer than Tim Tebow. It’s not Lorenzo Booker, it an offensive line that really has struggled for two years.

ACC almost completely humiliated —– The day started with Akron knocking off NC State in Raleigh. It continued with Virginia barely getting past Wyoming (13-12 in overtime) and the ‘Noles late rally past Troy and its “stretch but don’t break” Trojan motto, er game plan. Clemson blew an extra point and lost to Boston College while North Carolina was ripped by Virginia Tech. For final emphasis, Duke almost knocked off Wake Forest in front of an announced crowd of 26,000 in Winston Salem. It just might be time to bring by the Almost Competitive Conference jokes.

Where’s the fun, who has the gun? —– Steve Spurrier had not been shutout since the Reagan administration. You have to go back to 1987 to find a scoreless effort for the head ball coach on the collegiate sidelines. Rutgers did the deed back then, 7-0, but Georgia did it last night by the score of 18-0. That ended a streak of 193 games with scoring at least a field goal. The Gamecocks and Seminoles have the same problem; neither team can block. Bet on Spurrier finding a solution before Jeff Bowden does.

Vols decide against option —– Tennessee could not handle the option attack of the Air Force and barely held on for a 31-30 win in Rocky Top. The Vols were on the verge of putting the game away before Eric Ainge was intercepted and Air Force scored, recovered an on-sides kick and scored again. Coach Fisher DeBerry went for two and the lead with less than two minutes to play, but the Vols finally made a defensive play. Still, Tennessee might have gone down if the ensuing on-sides kick recovery by the fly boys wasn’t negated by an off-sides penalty. Think the Gators might add more option to this week’s game plan?

Pity Sylvester Croom —– Just about everyone is rooting for the first black head coach in SEC Football history to have some success, but you gotta start wondering. Year three for the Bulldogs mentor has opened with consecutive shutout losses to South Carolina and Auburn. That reduces Croom’s record to 6-and-18 on the Starkville campus. State was held to ten points or less seven times last year and to 14 or less seven times in 2004. So in 24 games as a head coach, Sylvester Croom’s team has scored 14 or less 16 times with five shutouts. The good news, he’s beaten Tulane the last two years and the Bulldogs face the Green Wave week.

Rough for Zooker and Illinoize —– The Illini were routed by Rutgers 33-zip, trailing by 30 at halftime. In the last three road games, Illinois has been outscored 110-5. Next up a game with Syracuse, which lost its eleventh straight Saturday. The Orange may be making progress. They really put a scare into a good Iowa team before falling 20-14 in double overtime.

Coming up, one of the best weekends of the year with Florida/Tennessee, Auburn/LSU, Nebraska/Southern Cal, Michigan/Notre Dame and Miami/Louisville.