pac 12 conference

5 Things We Learned from Week 1 in College Football

Week 1 of the highly anticipated college football season has come and gone. Here are 5 things we learned from the opening weekend.

1) The Loser of Michigan State @ Oregon may be out of the running for the National Championship- I can’t remember the last time a game played in week 2 had such impact on the national championship. This is a must win game for both teams. The PAC-12 and the SEC are the two toughest conferences in the country. I can’t see a team from either conference going undefeated. I think that a 1-loss team from the PAC-12 and a 1-loss team from the SEC will make the college football final 4. Oregon can’t afford to lose an out of conference game. If they do they can say goodbye to their National Championship dreams. The Worst thing that happened to Michigan State in the off-season was Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller getting a season ending injury. The Big 10 is not deep at all. Michigan State could go undefeated in their conference but still might not make the final 4 because of strength of schedule. If MSU can upset the Ducks they will be in great position to compete for a National Championship. I think this game will be close but Oregon’s Quarterback Marcus Mariota will be the difference. He is the best player in college football. He will find away to dominate the second half and lead the Ducks to a victory.

 

2) The SEC is wide open- Over their passed few games Alabama has continued to struggle against teams that control tempo and run a “hurry- up” style of offense. Texas A&M, Auburn, Oklahoma and even West Virginia have had success against Nick Saban’s defense. I don’t know if Blake Sims is the answer at quarterback for the Crimson Tide but LSU and Georgia have question marks at quarterback as well. One thing is certain; Georgia will go as far as Running Back Todd Gurley will take them. In the first game of the year against a tough Clemson defense, Gurley finished with 198 yards on 15 carries with three rushing touchdowns on Saturday. He also added a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Auburn looked good against Arkansas winning 45-21. Texas A&M blew out South Carolina at South Carolina 52-28. Kenny Hill threw for 511 yards. It is obvious that the Aggies don’t miss Johnny Manziel. I picked Ole Miss to win the SEC but if Bo Wallace doesn’t start acting like a senior they won’t go far. Wallace threw 3 interceptions in the opening game. He can’t continue to make these kinds of mistakes. If Wallace can play to his potential they can get to the SEC championship game.

3) UCLA Struggled against Virginia – UCLA junior Brett Hundley is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. I have him as one of my Heisman finalists. UCLA’s offense struggled against Virginia despite a  28-20 victory. UCLA’s defense scored three touchdowns in that game. The final stat line for Hundley reads 20 for 33, 242 yards and zero touchdowns or interceptions. He also ran the ball 15 times for 39 yards, including a 6 -yard touchdown run.

The problem with UCLA is simple; they have no game breakers with elite speed on offense. When I watch teams like Oregon, Baylor and Auburn you can see the speed on offense. They have world-class speed at numerous positions, UCLA doesn’t. The Defense will keep the Bruins in every game but their inability to have a game breaker on offense will keep them out of a national championship, even with Hundley.

4) If you don’t think Baylor is an elite program you haven’t watched college football over the past two years- Baylor opened up their new stadium with a dominant win over SMU 45-0. Bryce Petty is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Petty is 6’3 230lbs and runs that offense to perfection. As a first year starter last year he had 32 touchdowns, 3 interceptions and threw for 4200 yards. The Bears home field advantage may be as good as any college environment in the country. Art Briles has proven he can recruit with any coach in the Big 12 and his offense is unstoppable at times. Baylor is a powerhouse on the rise.

 

5) College football is everywhere – The popularity of college football has exploded across the United States. I have a basic cable package at my house and I get Fox Sports 1, ESPN 1,2,3 and U. I get the SEC network, and dozens of other sports channels. I can watch almost any college football game on any given Saturday. CBS, ABC, FOX and NBC all show college games. Campuses have become reminicent of World Cup soccer games on game day. Fans throughly enjoy the games before, during and after.  I think the 4-team playoff system is a step in the right direction. But we will see over the next few years that college football will add more teams. I think you will eventually see a 16-team playoff system. 

This is Monte Perez for INSIDE SPORTS

Straight Talk about the world of sports

For more sports articles follow me on twitter: Montetjwitter11

5 Things We Learned After Week 2 in College Football

There were a few marquee games in week 2 of the College football season. We are starting to see what teams are pretenders and what teams are legitimate contenders. Once again I am giving you maximum amount of information, data and stats in minimal amount of time. Here are 5 things we learned about college football after week 2.

1) This is no longer Chip Kelly’s Oregon Ducks- Former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly took a mediocre program and turned them into a national powerhouse over night. In Kelly’s 4 years at Oregon he had a combined record of 46-7, including three straight 12-win seasons. Kelly built his team on speed. He had undersized receivers and running backs but they were lighting quick and fast. Over the past two seasons a physical Stanford team muscled and pushed the Ducks around and beat them in back to back years. This off-season head coach Mark Helfrich made a conscious effort for his team to get bigger and stronger. Oregon’s first test of the year came from the #7 ranked Michigan State Spartans. MSU has one of the best defenses in the country and they may be the most physical team in college football. Early on in the game the Ducks were faced with a 4th and goal. Ducks running back Thomas Tyner (5’11, 210lbs) ran right up the middle and scored. This sent a message early that the Ducks will not be pushed around anymore. The Ducks struggled in the first half but outscored MSU 28-3 in the second half. They won the game 46-27.They were aggressive on offense and defense. I would be very surprised if Oregon can go undefeated in the PAC-12 but quarterback Marcus Mariota is the best player in the country. If he stays healthy they have a legitimate shot at a national championship. The Ducks are fast and physical and beat MSU at their own game.

2) What happened to the Big-10?- #7Michigan State lost to Oregon 46-27, #8 Ohio State lost to Virginia Tech in Ohio 35-21 and Michigan got shut out by #16 Notre Dame 31-0. The highlight of the day for the Big -10 came when Nebraska running back Ameer Adbullah caught a 58-yard touchdown pass in the last minute of the game to beat McNeese State in Nebraska 31-24. Michigan State should be able to go undefeated in the conference but that still might not be enough to get them to the final four because of their weak schedule. In 4 years at Michigan head coach Brady Hoke has had a record of 11-2, 8-5, 7-6, and 1-1. His teams erode over time and his offense looks sophomoric at best. He is on the hot seat and I wouldn’t be surprised to see San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh coaching Michigan next year. The Big -10 was 2-5 in bowl games last year. Only the Mid-American conference had a worse winning percentage in bowl games (0-5).

 

3) Pat Haden’s actions were inexcusable- During the highly contested battle between USC Vs. Stanford, Pat Haden (USC’s athletic director) came down from the press box to the field to discuss a call with the referees. This request came via text from the USC coaching staff. Is Pat Haden the commissioner of a pop warner football or is this big boy football? USC coach Steve Sarkisian needs his boss to come down and fight his battles for him?

Haden was fined 25,000 by the PAC-12 and rightly so. The conduct by [Haden] was inappropriate,“ Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. "Such actions by an administrator in attempt to influence the officiating, and ultimately the outcome of a contest, will not be tolerated.” USC won the game 13-10.

4)Notre Dame needs to win all of their September Games – The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame have a pretty easy schedule in September. They are 2-0 after dominating Rice and Michigan. Their next two games should be victories as well. They play Purdue and Syracuse.

Then their schedule gets brutal. ND will play Stanford, North Carolina, Florida State, Navy, Arizona State, Northwestern, Louisville and end the season at USC. Besides the SEC teams, this is the toughest schedule in college football. If ND goes 10-2, that would be a great accomplishment.

5) My top 5 teams in the country

1) Auburn Tigers- Until they lose, I have Auburn as the best team in the country. They have great speed on both sides of the ball and a great innovative coach in Gus Malzahn. Their schedule is just as brutal as Notre Dame’s so they will struggle to do undefeated.

2) Oregon Ducks - Outscoring Michigan State 28-3 in the second half a must win game was very impressive. There is something special happening with this Oregon team.

3) Oklahoma Sooners - Speed, speed, speed, Oklahoma keeps rolling. They have scored 100 combined points in their first two games. They play with an attitude and have tremendous confidence after beating Alabamba last year in the Sugar bowl 45-31.

4) Florida State Seminoles -  FSU has all the talent in the world. But when you schedule the Citadel and only win 37-12 at home, I am not impressed. FSU plays in a weak conference and shouldn’t be challenged by anyone in the ACC.

5) Baylor Bears- Baylor has one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Bryce Petty. Their offense is scary, fast and potent. Baylor only knows how to play one way, aggressive. I love their team and their mindset. Their biggest test will come on November 8th at Oklahoma and November 22 against Oklahoma State. If the Bears can win those tough games, they can get to the final four. 

This is Monte Perez for Inside Sports

Straight Talk about the World of Sports!

For more articles follow me on twitter: Montetjwitter11