Shaffee’s College Football Thoughts [WEEK 1]
College football is upon us and throughout the season I'll be providing my thoughts on a weekly basis here on WGRD.COM. I'll focus on the area's teams but will also touch on the entire national landscape. All I am is a fan. I hope you enjoy. - Shaffee
Alabama looked like a national champion but the Wolverines did not look like a BCS Bowl-winning 11-2 team. The Crimson Tide dominated from the very start of The Cowboys Classic eventually defeating Michigan 41-14. The game proved to be a reality check for Michigan and a nationwide display that the Wolverines are not anywhere near being where they need to be to compete for a national championship. The good news is that they won't have to face a team as good as Alabama the rest of the season and I expect them to bounce back quickly from this humiliating loss, but DO NOT take Air Force lightly!
The Spartans did what they had to do and escaped a scary opening game with a victory over Boise State, who has now lost only 7 of their last 80 football games. The Andrew Maxwell era has started and it's safe to say that as of right now, MSU really misses Kirk Cousins. Maxwell threw 3 interceptions but the Spartan defense was legit, not allowing a single offensive touchdown by Boise State. Running back Le'Veon Bell is a beast. This team is very strong on defense and can run the football, so they should be successful if Maxwell can limit his mistakes. However, they may be in trouble if they face a team that can find a way to move the chains with consistency and put up points. The Spartans should handle Central Michigan next week but will really be tested by Notre Dame in 2 weeks.
The Irish moved the ball at will against Navy in the Emerald Isle Classic in Dublin, Ireland and pounded the Midshipmen by a score of 50-10. Notre Dame has plenty of weapons on offense and a solid front 7 on D, but the secondary still looks slow. The special teams were shaky as well as the Irish failed to convert on 2 extra point attempts. With the toughest schedule in the nation, Notre Dame must play smart and take care of the football on offense in order to have a chance at improving on last year's total of 8 wins. Give them credit for doing what they were supposed to do, blowing out an inferior opponent. We'll know much more about this team after this week's game against Purdue.
The Broncos lost at Illinois 24-7. This is not the end of the world. Go out this week and get your first win of the season against Eastern Illinois and hopefully the experience of playing at Illinois will help in the tough upcoming games against Minnesota and Connecticut. Western's very respectable non-conference schedule should help them when they begin conference play in the MAC.
The Chippewas ran the ball very effectively in their victory over Southeastern Missouri State but doing that against Michigan State will be a much more difficult task this week. The good news is that Central is hosting the game and if nothing else, they've beaten MSU before in 1991, 1992 and 2009. MSU should roll, but every college football season has it's shockers.
The Eagles defense gave up 596 yards including 329 on the ground in a 37-26 loss to Ball State. That is not very promising. This will be another rough year for Eastern, but they could get a victory this week against Illinois State. If not, they're looking at an 0-4 start with Purdue and Michigan State in the next 2 games.
GRAND VALLEY STATE
A 48-20 victory on the road over Western Oregon is a beautiful way to start the season for the 7th ranked Lakers. Next up, Notre Dame (Ohio).
SHAFFEE'S PLAYER OF THE WEEK - SAM DURLEY, QB, Eureka College
Sam Durley, quarterback at Division III Eureka College set an NCAA single-game record by passing for 736 yards in a 62-55 victory over Knox. Durley completed 34 of 52 passes with 5 touchdowns. Houston's David Klinger set the NCAA FBS single-game passing yards record with 716 yards in a game against Arizona State in 1990.
SHAFFEE'S TOP 10
Based on what I saw this weekend, these are my top 10 teams in the nation as of right now. If you disagree with my rankings, then make your own. Our opinions are as credible as any of the so-called "experts", especially when you consider that Bob Asmussen of the Champaign News-Gazette voted Michigan #1 in the Preseason AP POLL. [SOURCE] Some expert that guy is.
RANK, TEAM, RECORD, THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT
1. ALABAMA, 1-0, Western Kentucky
2. LSU, 1-0, Washington
3. USC, 1-0, Syracuse
4. OREGON, 1-0, Fresno State
5. FLORIDA STATE, 1-0, Savannah State
6. WEST VIRGINIA, 1-0, No Game
7. CLEMSON, 1-0, Ball State
8. NEBRASKA, 1-0, @UCLA
9. OKLAHOMA, 1-0, Florida A&M
10. OHIO STATE, 1-0, Central Florida
If you missed it, watch a Boise State cheerleader get nailed...
A fan ran on to the field in Ireland during the Notre Dame-Navy game and took the ball, then danced. I apologize for the crappy video, but it's the best I could find. Note the nonchalant effort from security to remove the man. He probably would have been tackled hard in the States...