Chumping to Conclusions about Alabama, Boise State, Terrelle Pryor, UCLA, Tennessee, Steve Spurrier, Donovan McNabb, Calvin Johnson and when a completion is not a completion

Is Alabama really THIS good?  Let me get this straight.  They played their first two games without their starting running back.  Their second game was against a school we thought would be a worthwhile opponent in Penn State and they still controlled both games from start to finish.  On a Saturday evening in Tuscaloosa, the Tide held the fighting Paternos to three points and four turnovers.  From the looks of it, Nick Saban’s team is poised for a return to the national championship game.

There was only one city more downtrodden than Blacksburg, Va. on Saturday… and that was Boise, Idaho.  Just when we thought Boise State’s victory over Virginia Tech would shake up college football, we watch the James Madison Dukes, who finished last year at 6-5, do the exact same thing.  It’s okay, Broncos fans.  You can always take comfort in the fact that when Ohio State and Alabama run the table, you weren’t getting into that title game anyway.

Speaking of Ohio State, can we just go ahead and give Terrelle Pryor the Heisman Trophy right now?  Enough with all this Jake Locker nonsense.  Sure, Locker will pass for over 3,000 yards and thirty-something touchdowns but Pryor is the best player in college football on one of its best teams.  Besides, Pryor’s numbers this year might actually be as gaudy as Locker’s.  Pryor looks bigger, stronger and considerably more confident under center and Coach Tressel is finally allowing his quarterback to go vertical, leaving Buckeye fans giddy at the thought of returning to the BCS title game, where they’ll likely face yet another SEC team.  Not to worry, Buckeye fans.  Third time’s a charm.

How bad is UCLA? You know things have gone south when LA Times sportswriter, Bill Plaschke, questions whether the team is even worth watching!  They’ve already been outscored 66-22 this season and that includes getting shut out at home by Stanford on Saturday.  The Bruins are 115th in passing yardage and points scored this season.  Isn’t Rick Neuheisel supposed to be an offensive-minded coach?  In the words of Bill Walton, that’s just hooooorrible.

What in the world happened to the Tennessee Volunteers Saturday night?  I know they were home underdogs to Oregon but they were leading that game 13-3 midway through the second quarter and ended up losing 48-13, allowing the Ducks to quack out 35 second half points.  That’s no way to gain momentum going into what is perennially the biggest game on their schedule: Week Three against the Florida Gators.  Look at the bright side, Knoxville.  Lane Kiffin is no longer your coach.  That’s still a good thing, right?

Could this be the year Steve Spurrier returns to the SEC Championship game?  His South Carolina Gamecocks were awfully impressive in beating the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday.  With Tennessee’s lowly performance against Oregon, it looks like Spurrier’s only obstacle in returning to Atlanta might be his alma mater, the Florida Gators, who have looked impressive in only one of four halves this season.  Spurrier let his running back Marcus Lattimore do most of the talking against Georgia.  Lattimore carried the ball 37 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns.  South Carolina doesn’t play another divisional opponent for a month but over that time, they’ll play both Auburn and Alabama which will give us a better indication as to how good they just might be.

As I watched the end of Sunday’s Lions-Bears game, featuring the controversial Calvin Johnson touchdown that wasn’t, Fox announced that according to NFL rules, they couldn’t show us the final ruling and had to switch to their upcoming game… but not before they plugged an upcoming episode of Glee.  I sat and wondered whether the Lions had pulled off the upset or whether Johnson’s ‘catch’ would be ruled incomplete, which it ultimately was.  Five years ago, that would have been a touchdown, but according to the NFL officials, Johnson didn’t “complete the process” of catching the ball.  Kind of like how Fox didn’t complete their process of showing how the game actually ended.  Right or wrong, I understand the rule but whatever happened to catching the ball, coming down with it and being done with it?  When is a catch not a catch?  Apparently more often than we thought.  I’m starting to think too much instant replay might be a bad thing.

Not long ago, I asked which NFL team would have a better season, the Philadelphia Eagles without Donovan McNabb or the Washington Redskins with him.  Not to call out a friend and fellow sports nut, but Pat D. in Tampa answered “Regardless if Donovan McNabb is better than Kolb in 2010 the Eagles are still a far superior team than the Skins.”  I know we’re only in Week One but Kolb concussion or no Kolb concussion, early advantage Washington.  One thing I’ve learned over the years is never to underestimate a veteran quarterback and head coach with a chip on their shoulder.

I’d like to thank the Houston Texans for eliminating all talk of a Colts undefeated season in Week One.  Now there will be no discussion of whether Jim Caldwell should rest his starters in Week 14.

And finally, the Buccaneers won their home opener.  Too bad nobody in the area got to watch it.

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28 Replies to “Chumping to Conclusions about Alabama, Boise State, Terrelle Pryor, UCLA, Tennessee, Steve Spurrier, Donovan McNabb, Calvin Johnson and when a completion is not a completion”

  1. Pryor looked good against a good defense. Starting every possession at midfield doesn’t hurt either. Wouldn’t count on the Bucks going undefeated with that one-man offense,though. TP is no Tebow.

    Gamecocks need to at least beat Auburn, although they played Bama tough for 3 quarters last year… even with all Garcia’s miscues. Hope Superior sticks with the Beast, Lattimore.

    NFL Florida is 3-0 right now! Let’s call it a season.

  2. Chris

    Let’s just say that the NFL weekend prove to us one thing . Some teams on their opening day performances are as good as advertised .

    The Colts , Raiders and Cowboys had their asses handed to them on a silver platter !

    And if the system is apparently the best thing they’ve got within college football to adjudge the teams within the FBS then why is it that the BCS doesn’t want a playoff system ? Could it be that they’re entirely happy with the way the money is divvied up within the conferences ?

    Please tell me that Florida St and Miami (Hurricanes) can’t play any worse than what we all witnessed on Saturday ? If that’s the case then the ACC will have a down year .

    tophatal ………. 🙂

  3. Calvin Johnson came down with both feet in the end zone, maintained control of the ball while falling on his ass and THEN the ball hit the ground while he tried to get up. That is a touchdown. If the rulebook says differently then the rule (or the interpretation of the rule) needs to be changed.

  4. Han… with a Heisman and a national championship, Prior’ll at least be mentioned in the same breath.

    He’ll also get drafted considerably higher than Tebow and will probably be a better pro quarterback.

    I agree. The Cocks need to handle Auburn and at least be competitive against Bama.

  5. Al…

    You had to be pretty happy with the way your Pats performed on Sunday. They definitely had their popcorn ready. As long as Randy Moss doesn’t become a distraction, the Pats should be well on their way to 10+ wins.

    And I honestly expected Florida State to go into Norman and at least be competitive. That didn’t happen. Every time I looked up to check on a score, ESPN’s ticker was rolling up another 7 for the Sooners.

  6. Drew…

    As ridiculous as that was, I knew they were going to rule that incomplete.

    A running back can break the plane of the end zone, maintaining possession of the ball for only a brief second, then have it knocked out of his hands and it will still be ruled a touchdown. CJ had possession of that ball for a good four seconds and it was ruled incomplete.

    The NFL needs to look at that rule and what constitutes a catch before we have too many more of those occurrences.

    That’s not to say CJ shouldn’t have held on to that ball.

    Leave no doubt, CJ.

  7. Are you saying that James Madison doesn’t belong in the championship game?
    I thought beating Va.Tech pretty much sealed the deal.
    South Carolina looks pretty good. If the Gators don’t win the east I’d like to see Spurrier get another shot at the sec title.
    If the Bucs keep this up I may have to plan some Sunday morning road trips.
    I know this cool little sports bar down in Charlotte county.

  8. Aer….

    I’ll admit to drinking the Boise State Kool-Aid last Monday night. They looked good, moved the ball when they needed to and seemed to dominate what we thought was a good Virginia Tech team at home.

    Fair or not, that win was totally diminished on Saturday when James Madison rolled into town.

    The problem with college football is that we’re allowed only a small random sample that doesn’t always give us a fair indication as to who the nation’s best team is.

    I’m feel pretty confident when I say Bama and Ohio State are a STRONG 1 & 2.

    I was trying to remember the last time Spurrier allowed a back to carry for 40 times in a game. Maybe he lost his playbook on the way out of the locker room.

    And I’m afraid none of us will be watching the Bucs home games on TV any time soon.

    Wait, I take that back. The Steelers are in town soon so that should sell out. Their fans travel.

  9. Chris

    By the end of the first half that game was beyond the reach of the Bengals and the points they scored were merely bucket points.

    The ‘noles went into Norman alright but they went there not to play ball but on a sightseeing trip. And for the idiots out there who thought Ponder was Heisman trophy material now’s the time take your feet out of your own ass ! Can you hear me Jesse Palmer ?

    tophatal …….. 🙂

  10. I did hear Palmer say that about Ponder and thought to myself… What? Why?

    There’s really only a handful of guys at the beginning of each season that has a legit shot to win it, and I’m not even sure Ingram was on everybody’s radar last year. Needless to say, he has the hardware for it now.

    If Pryor leads his team to either zero or one loss, I’d be hard-pressed to see how they can give it to anybody else.

    But that’s just me chumping to conclusions.

  11. Thanks for the visual of Mr and Mrs Dungy in the bedroom, Al. Pretty sure they have separate beds but that’s none of my business.

    Yeah, NFC West sucks. You know it’s officially football season when everyone and their mother is trashing Alex Smith.

    They’re right though. When are they going to invest in someone else?

  12. Man, I have no idea what to make of the Va Tech loss. I guess this means they need to beat Oregon State by 100 points to make the title game! I guess the ACC plain sucks this year.

    Pryer has looked great this year, we’ll see if he can keep it up. He’s got a great O-Line, which I think is understated in his success.

    Megatron’s non-catch, was VERY much a catch. It would’ve helped my fantasy team out too, oh well. I was more happy that I won my bet and the Lions covered like I thought they would! I loved that Cowboys loss, anytime they lose it makes me smile…

  13. Chap…

    Maybe it’s time to disband the ACC and let the other major conferences have their pick of the litter, although Boston College might be decent this year. Every team in the Coastal Division already has a loss!

    I have a few close Ohio State fan friends, so I’ve got to watch my fair share of Buckeye football over the years. I never understood why Tressel wasn’t letting Pryor throw the football. Well, this year, from what I’ve seen so far, TP should have career highs in both passing yardage and passing attempts and that should bode well for Columbus. The reins are officially off. They don’t have a big game, though, until Oct 16 when they travel to Wisconsin.

    It would have been nice for Detroit to start off the season with a win. Instead they’re 0-1 and have a quarterback with a bum shoulder. Fickle sport, this football.

  14. Yeah man, it might be time to blow up that ACC!

    You’re talking me into Pryor haha. I think Tressel’s sweater vest always made me not like him for some strange reason. It’s pretty much you either love the Buckeye’s or hate them, so I’m more on the hater side. I like their schedule in that they should be able to go undefeated…

    Poor Lions, I didn’t know Stafford got hurt until last night, that sucks for them when it looked like they were finally starting to move in the right direction. Break out those paper bags now!

  15. Let’s just put it this way, Chap. I’d rather have him than Brantley right now.

    In fact, I’d probably rather have him than probably any other college QB right now. Kid’s 6’6″ 240, can run, pass and is clearly the leader on that team.

    And I was just talking to someone else about this. That would have been a HUGE opening win for the Lions. Instead, they lose the game and their quarterback.

    Tough one.

  16. Chris

    You of all people know how these Christian protagonists tend to be . I’m sure the Dungy’s live by the gospel of going forth and procreating generously.

    Jesse Palmer is simply an conundrum to me ! I just don’t get it he’s not smart enough to be a third option at qb on an NFL team but his lame ass is up there on tv letting us know what he thinks about the college game ? Look ’til Paris Hilton becomes a legitimate candidate for a congressional seat then Palmer shouldn’t be allowed anywhere within 100 ft of a dais or podium espousing his views of college football much less any type of sporting activity.

    Any fool can ride with the tide and say that these two teams atop of the rankings are the best in college football. But as the season goes anything can happen and more often than not the teams that’ve done enough to warrant consideration have been left out in the dark because of bias shown by the writers and the coaches who have the say as to the adjudication. Never mind the idiocy of using computer geeks to be a part of the whole shebang.

    Rex Ryan and his entourage will now join Mary Anne , ‘The Skipper’ and Gilligan on the island . God knows Revis was nowhere to be seen last night . Ray Lewis knocked the “bejesus” out of Keller with that his ferocious hit. Keller’s testes are no doubt lodged in his throat ?


    tophatal 🙂 * 🙁

  17. Chris

    Do the Colts have a running game ? And if so where is it ? The Texans made them their bitches on Sunday in more ways than one don’t you think ?

    Texans’ running back Arian Foster made that Colts’ secondary seem like a bunch of friggin’ geriatrics. The guy ran for over 200 plus yards and 3 TD’s ? Rue McClanahan would’ve been proud .

    tophatal 🙂

  18. It didn’t surprise me to see Palmer up on the four-letter, Al. He’s a pretty face, went to a major program, learned from a major head coach and then was made famous on that Bachelor show. I don’t really take anything he has to say all that seriously as I’m sure most football fans don’t.

    And like I said, Al, remember what happened last year. Florida, Bama and Texas all ran the table until the SEC championship game. Were Bama and Texas the best two teams in the nation? Who knows? That’s the way it panned out. Personally, I thought Florida was but they didn’t show up against Bama and thus got shut out of their chance to repeat.

    The BCS screwed up last year when they matched TCU and Boise together. They could have put them both up against major programs and resolved all this debate.

    This year, however, I honestly think that Ohio State and ‘Bama have the most talent pound for pound in the nation. It would be a title game worth watching. If not those two, then who, Al?

  19. And how about all these injuries in Week One, Al.

    It looks like the league was collectively released into the wild like a bunch of rabid dogs waiting to kill someone.

    I’m sore just watching that Ravens-Jets game on TV.

  20. I wonder how much of that home stadium money came out of Ohio State, Texas and on and on to pay off Va Tech to take a dump against James Madison? Bet the Hokies would lay down for a cool million… Let’s see divided by what, 10 teams? That’s only 100 grand each! Chump change right?

  21. I love conspiracy theories, Bobert, as long as they’re founded.

    Could it be that Virginia Tech just sucks?

    Or could it be that nobody, not the fans, the coaches, the sportswriters nor the pollsters, have any idea which programs are decent and which are not?

    I say we come up with a screenplay where the major college programs conspire to keep the smaller schools down… now THAT’S something I can sink my teeth into. Ah, but would it be fiction or non-fiction?

    Let me know if you’re looking for contributors. I am eternally for hire.

  22. Chris

    Those injuries will kill the aspirations of quite a few teams in the NFL. In some cases their seasons are as good as over.

    In the national championship game the team was ill prepared and that wasn’t a typical Meyer like coached performance by the team. ‘bama had their way with the from start to finish.

    Whoever prepared Bush’s statement was extremely smart in terms of that worded statement concerning his forfeiture of the Heisman. Any admission of guilt on his part and he could well be facing a potential law suit from a number of parties or possible indictment.

    But poor ol’ Lane he was quick to point out that this was all in the past and the program has started afresh ? Who the hell is he kidding ? Things are still very much the same in spite of a new AD and university president.

    He seems to forget that he’s already ran afoul of the NCAA since he’s been at USC for a number of minor violations.


    tophatal ……………. 🙂

  23. Meyer may not have been prepared, Al, but as a Gator apologist, that Dunlap arrest really threw us for a loop. Assess blame appropriately. I wasn’t involved.

    Poor Vince Young is even CLOSER to a Heisman Trophy than he ever was… but NOT.

    And if this is the worst that the USC program is being held accountable for, then they should consider themselves fortunate. Not to throw stones, as Chris Rainey is currently looking to regain some bail money.

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