NCAA Week 1: Good Snark, Bad Snark
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The bromide has it that a team's most significant improvement in the college football season happens between the first two games.
If so, fans are gonna see some serious facelifts this coming weekend.
Of course, many of the errors and laid eggs could be attributed to the powerhouse matches arranged by ESPN and its cash reserves, even dwindling as they are.
Well, for fans, it isn't.
And who knows? With the extra dosh and an eight-team playoff, maybe the football dudes would emulate their basketball brethren and schedule even more of these compelling gems in the pre-conference phases so they'll be better prepared for the post-season.
Good snark: Cougars are doing it for themselves ... If you're for an expanded playoff format, here's your other favorite team. It's an eternity to December, and these are unpredictable 18- to 23-year-old athletes, but Houston became the peoples' champion by topping a solid Oklahoma Sooners squad. Fight the good fight, dudes!
Bad snark: Don't call it the Bristol Stomp ... The alleged World Wide Leader can make the matches, but they can't control the action. Fortunately, measures can still be taken. So when USC's Jabari Ruffin dishes a nard shot ...
... and LSU's Josh Boutte goes post-whistle to take out his frustration ...
... dudes got shelved.
In Boutte's defense, he was in the fog of trenches and suddenly saw the enemy running with a football. Les Miles believes him.
Jacksonville State is feisty, dangerous, and is often a mongoose to the SEC's snake. Frankly, LSU doesn't need to lose o-line personnel right now. Watch out for this one on the weekend.
Good snark: The 12th Sailor ... The Texas A&M tradition of cadets standing at games began in 1922 when E King Hill came outta the crowd to serve in pads. Little did he know he opened up a whole new revenue stream for his school.
Money's no obstacle at the US Naval Academy, but manpower issues exist there, too. Like when the Middies' starting QB goes down with his ship, who's there to save the fleet?
Ahoy, Malcolm Perry!
Dude got the mop-up duty in Navy's 52-16 torpedo of Fordham, but the real news was Perry played in Navy's junior varsity game on Friday.
Who knew there were still junior varsity programs?
Bad snark: Can't redeem air miles for wins ... Especially Hawaii's Rainbow Warriors. First, the financially challenged football program takes the ESPN appearance money to get whacked in Oz, and then they fight jet lag and the Michigan Wolverines in the Big House a week later.
Good snark: Locker room mentality ... Southern Miss players get new digs, feel good about themselves ...
... and then go take out an SEC team.
Apparently, those 30 consecutive Golden Eagle points came and went too quickly for SEC media coverage.
Bad snark: Opening with games that really count ... Shifting schedules for TV sometimes means opening the season, warts and all, against a conference opponent. Maybe the SEC was just hoping to sweep South Carolina v Vanderbilt under the rug while all the attention was on Week 1's marquee games. Then again, maybe the SEC should've spent Week 1 sweeping most of its games under the rug.
Good snark: Spending wisely ... FCS programs have only 65 scholarships to give, as opposed to 85 in the FBS. Sorta puts a premium on quality -- and signability -- over quantity. Here are three perennial FCS powers who have the formula figured:
- The Richmond Spiders rained on Bronco Mendenhall's debut parade at Virginia, 37-20;
- Northern Iowa's Panthers popped Iowa State by a not-so-surprising 25-20 count; and
- Eastern Washington claimed its second triumph over a Pac-12 opponent in four years, besting Wazzu, 45-42.
In the latter, the Eagles' Cooper Kupp may become the NFL's next Fred Biletnikoff. Some way, somehow, dude always gets open. Washington State must be wondering if he found a Klingon cloaking device on eBay. They knew how good Kupp was, and it still didn't matter:
Bad snark: Bambi meets Godzilla ... Of course, a time-honored Week 1 tradition was still present:
- Baylor 55 Northwestern State 7
- Louisville 70 Charlotte 14
- Oklahoma State 61 SE Louisiana 7
- Oregon 53 Cal-Davis 28
Keeping with the theme here, seems like Alabama couldn't wait until its annual November cupcake smashing to put its collective foot down.
Who knew Lou Saban was football's version of Dean Wormer?
Good snark: Second screen service, even without first screens ... In an attempt to make attending live sporting events as fun as watching them at home where mobile phone coverage is consistent, AT&T has taken to drones in order to satisfy fans who just can't watch a game without more input:
Bad snark: The Polls ... Some call them PR vehicles; at this site, they're simply called old-school clickbait. And absolutely nowhere should they be called criteria.
Week 1 gave us the first time since 1972 that two of the Pre-Season Top Five teams lost. Those would be No 3 Oklahoma and No 5 LSU.
The fallacy? Those were their first games, not to mention that their match-ups were ballsy. Who really knew the effect of outgoing and incoming personnel on these teams?
Save judges' rankings for events with bikinis, sashes, and make-up. The only poll around here that matters is The Daily Player 12. It's premised on taking the mickey out of the Selectors' poll. What's better is, in the first two years of existence, its formula produced the same results as theirs, and on a beer-&-nachos budget.
Snarkalicious:... Full marks to Pittsburgh's James Conner -- the ACC's 2014 Player of the Year -- for beating Hodgkin's lymphoma, the same disease that legendary Pittsburgh Penguin player and, now, owner Mario Lemieux conquered.
Dude returned to action in Week 1 and hit gridiron paydirt twice against Villanova. Yes, the Panthers won, but due to his pure determination and a top medical team, Conner was easily a winner even before the season's first kickoff.