What’s Hot and What’s Not in College Football’s First Two Weeks of Action

Two weeks into the 2013 college football season, 6 games really stick out relative to the AP Top 25 Poll:

#8 Clemson at home did beat #5 Georgia by a field goal, 38-35, in the first week, and unranked Washington gave #19 Boise State its worst whipping in 8 years, winning 38-6, knocking Boise State right out of the poll the first week.

Georgia, no slouch on offense with 35 against Clemson, hosted #6 South Carolina in week two and won 41-30. The point: If Georgia can put 35 on Clemson and 41 on South Carolina, how good is the Bulldog offense, and how porous are Clemson and South Carolina on the defensive side of the ball?

Four additional games in week two jumped out in the stat sheet:

#17 Michigan hosted #14 Notre Dame at the Big House in Ann Arbor and held its own, beating the Brian Kelly’s Irish by a solid 11 points, 41-30, as Notre Dame looked hurting on defense.

Unranked Brigham Young, which lost its home opener by a field goal on the road at Virginia, bounced back against #15 Texas, easily upsetting the visiting Longhorns, 40-21. Texas flew right out of the Top 25. Clearly, Texas fans who bloviate about their Longhorns are spending too much time in the fantasy football world.

Brigham Young ran for 550 yards, the most ever allowed by Texas. Coach Mack Brown fired Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz less than 24 hours after the game. You might want to call Brown’s move Texas justice, but Diaz might not have felt the same.

Another apparent wannabe, #25 Southern California, at home lost to unranked Washington State, 10-7, raising the question: Is Southern Cal THAT bad or is Washington State THAT good? Answer: Washington State is a lot better than Southern Cal is good. The Trojans also dropped right out of the Top 25 with the loss.

#12 Florida found out road play is not good, losing to unranked, home-state rival Miami, 21-16. The good news for Miami? The Hurricanes replaced Texas at #15 in the AP Poll. The bad news for the Gators? It’s get real time in Gainesville.

Looking into the AP Poll for week two, 4 things popped:

#7 Louisville defeated Ohio and Eastern Kentucky by scoring 93 points and giving up 14. Not to be outdone, #20 Wisconsin knocked off Massachusetts and Tennessee Tech by scoring 93 and not allowing a single point. #22 Baylor was a tad out of control, beating a weak Wofford team and a lame Buffalo 11 by scoring 139 points and giving up 16.

And then there is Ole Miss. You remember Old Miss, the team that used to matter when Eli Manning was around, and hasn’t for years. Mississippi beat Vanderbilt by 3 and Southeast Missouri State by 18. Poll voters were enough impressed that they made the Ole Miss Rebels #25, replacing that troubling Southern Cal team.

As happens every season, a bunch of AA teams hit the road to be lambasted by A teams looking for an easy victory, willing to give up a huge payday to support lesser light athletic programs.

Occasionally, the big boys have a tough time with AA competition. Take Purdue, the Boilermakers could only beat Indiana State by 6. Southern Methodist (or SMU to Texans) barely beat Montana State, 31-30. Last week, Nebraska could only outlast Wyoming by a field goal, 37-34.

Then there are some big boys who know how to act around AA teams. Like Georgia Tech over Elon 70-0, Arizona State over Sacramento State 55-0, Wisconsin over Tennessee Tech 48-0, and Marshall over Gardner-Webb 55-0.

And now let’s talk about the A teams that lost to AA teams, and there were too many during the first two weeks:

Towson upset Connecticut 33-18.

Southern Utah upset South Alabama 22-21.

Samford upset Georgia State 31-21.

North Dakota State upset Kansas State 24-21.

Northern Iowa upset Iowa State 28-20.

Maine upset Massachusetts 24-14.

Nicholls State upset Western Michigan 27-23.

Eastern Illinois upset San Diego State 40-19.

McNeese State ripped South Florida a new one, 53-21. Ouch! Are you kidding me?

And the topper? Eastern Washington upset #25 Oregon State 49-46. Could we assume that the Beavers have a lot of nasty looking teeth but no defense?

Always there are some troubling scores, well, at least for one team. In the only overtime game in the first two weeks, Fresno State at home outlasted Rutgers, 52-51. Any Rutgers team that gives up 51 points on the way to a loss is spending too much time with the Jersey Shore crowd.

Texas A&M weaseled its way up to #6 this week by winning twice, giving up 31 points to Rice and 28 to AA Sam Houston State. Coach Kevin Sumlin had better hope that Johnny Manziel (aka alternately Johnny Football or The Mouth) does not come up against a really good defensive line and secondary.

#13 Oklahoma State won but gave up 35 to Texas-San Antonio.

In two more weeks, this AA nonsense will stop and we will be in serious league play leading to the last BCS march before the new playoff system begins next year.

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