Hey, everyone. It’s Dan Mount and normally I’m writing hockey columns for this website. However, I am going to be dabbling in college football for a weekly column every Thursday. It will be a review of last weekend’s action and a look ahead to this weekend’s slate of games. If you like (or don’t like) what you read, please leave comments below. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanMountSports.
Here’s what we learned last week.
Mack Brown and Lane Kiffin are now on the hot seat. Brown’s Texas Longhorns were stunned after getting trampled by BYU 40-21 and giving up 550 yards rushing (including 259 by quarterback Taysom Hill). The Horns have already made changes by firing defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and replacing him with former Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson. I know Brown was desperate for answers, but installing Robinson as the D coordinator is a bad idea. (Ask Orange fans about that one.) UT has to take on Ole Miss this week, and another loss would make the calls for Brown’s ouster grow even louder.
It wasn’t much better for Lane Kiffin as USC was upset 10-7 by Washington State. The worst thing about the loss was the Trojans (who have produced numerous NFL quarterbacks like Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley among others) only manage a paltry 54 passing yards. There are numerous calls to fire Kiffin and many websites and Twitter accounts devoted to it. The scholarship penalties from the Reggie Bush scandal may affect USC, but that’s no excuse for how bad they’ve been.
The Dawgs are still in the fight. Many thought Georgia was out of national championship contention after its season-opening loss at Clemson. However, the Bulldogs bounced back with a huge 41-30 win over fellow SEC East contender South Carolina. The Dawgs put together a complete offensive effort and neutralized possible future top overall draft pick Jadaveon Clowney. Georgia needed this win as they next go to LSU. No team that has lost the first week has ever gone onto the BCS Title game, but UGA could do so if they play like they did against the Gamecocks.
The ACC isn’t the SEC, but it’s getting there. Another week and another huge win for the ACC over an SEC opponent. In week one, it was Clemson over Georgia and last week Miami stunned 12th ranked Florida, 21-16. (Although Gator quarterback Jeff Driskel had a lot to do with it with his many turnovers.) Granted, the ACC doesn’t have the depth and the credentials of the Southeastern Conference, but these two wins could be the start of a sea change where the bigger conferences might be able to challenge. The bottom team of the conference aren’t as good as the bottom teams in the SEC, and that will be the only way the ACC will ever get just as good as the SEC.
Sad to see Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry go. In what might be the last meeting for a while, Devin Gardner racked up five touchdowns in the Wolverines’ 41-30 win over the Fighting Irish. The teams are not scheduled to play each other due to Notre Dame’s agreement to play most of its out of conference games against opponents from the ACC. Michigan’s Brady Hoke got the last laugh when he said Notre Dame "chickened out" on the rivalry. I am going to miss the rivalry as it is between two big Midwestern powers. I hope they can resume it again someday.
Next week, I’ll touch on the Oklahoma State scandal fallout and other things.
Here are the games I am watching this week. These are in time order.
(16) UCLA at (23) Nebraska, Noon ET: The Huskers have a score to settle after losing last season to the Bruins 36-40 in Los Angeles. Nebraska’s QB Taylor Martinez leads the traditional option attack along with RB Ameer Abdullah. UCLA is still dealing with the tragedy stemming from the death of redshirt-freshman receiver Nick Pasquale. Brett Hundley and Jordon James lead the Bruins’ attack.
Tennessee at (2) Oregon, 3:30 p.m. ET: The Volunteers face a tough task in beating the Ducks at Autzen Stadium. (Oregon has won 21 straight against unranked non-conference opponents.) The Vols have dominated less competition in its first two games, but Oregon boasts a high-powered offense that is second in rushing yards and third in points scored.
(1) Alabama at (6) Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m.: This is the rematch of last year’s game that signaled the arrival of Johnny Manziel in the Aggies 29-24 win in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide still won the national championship and looked downright awesome. A&M isn’t the only team dealing with controversy in the Manziel thing as Bama coach Nick Saban stormed off during a press conference about his players supposed dealings with agents.
That’s it for this week as I’ll be back next week with some more college football notes.
Dan Mount is an NHL and college football columnist for TJRSports.com. He is based out of Watertown, NY.