Here’s what I learned yesterday after watching week one of college football.
1. Alabama can be beat. I’m not saying that they will be beat. I’m just saying that it is possible. They will improve as the season progresses, but it is significant that their first game this year against an unranked opponent was not as dominant as their first game last year against a ranked opponent. They have weaknesses to shore up—not the least of which is their offensive line. Also, if they can’t defend the run any better than they did yesterday, then they are going to have a tough slog against the rest of their SEC opponents (especially LSU). I still think they’re favored to win it all, but they don’t look as dominant as they did last year at this time. Going forward, this observation may be masked by their weak schedule. We’ll see how that plays out as the season progresses.
2. LSU has an offense. They can pass, and they can run. Mettenberger looks like the real deal. Yesterday’s game was too close for comfort. But if you take away one or two key plays, LSU would have won that one by two or three touchdowns (at least). I no longer think Texas A&M is the second best team in the SEC west. Right now, I think it’s LSU. If they improve in the coming weeks, they’ll have a shot at the division. Their strength, however, may be masked by their unbelievably difficult schedule going forward. They have to play Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida, and Georgia. That ain’t no cake-walk. By the way, LSU hasn’t lost a non-conference game since 2002.
3. Johnny Manziel needs an attitude adjustment. Yes, the jawing back and forth with Rice players was ugly. Yes, the personal foul penalty was egregious and selfish. But for me, that wasn’t the worst part of it. The worst part was the disrespect that he showed to his head coach after he walked back to the sideline. Coach Sumlin stepped forward to talk to Manziel, and Johnny Football bumped him and kept walking without even looking at him. I don’t know about you, but where I’m from that behavior is asking your coach to go medieval on you. And I hope Sumlin does. In my view, Sumlin ought not let Manziel start the next game.
4. My beloved LA Tech lost big to NC State. NC State! Looks like 2013 won’t be a break-out year for the Bulldogs like 2012 was. Ah, such is life. How bout them dawgs?
5. Tim Tebow, Vince Young, and Matt Leinart have all been cut from NFL teams. There are different reasons for these cuts, but the one that bothers me most is Tebow. I hope some team picks him up. [I know this isn’t technically college football, but indulge me a little.]