published Monday, September 3rd, 2012

5-at-10: College football review

  • photo
    Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (10) pumps his fist after a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Michigan at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Want to know how big the start of college football is? They give us a holiday on Monday to recover. In fact, they know how much effort and energy goes into the opening weekend, so they even call the holiday Labor Day. Those folks think of everything.

For some, this opening Saturday was a Labor of Love. For others — including the Auburn defense, which looks SOOOOOO cute when they try to tackle — it was simply a Labor.

So it goes.

Since it's a holiday (well, newspaper folks are exempt apparently), the 5-at-10 will be a quick top five. We will have more Tuesday, but feel free to leave your biggest impression from the opening weekend. Here's our top 5 from the opening weekend so tough, awesome, exhausting and exhilarating, they gave us an extra day to regroup.

1) Alabama is N-A-S-T-Y. Period. Denard Robinson looked overmatched. Michigan was the No. 8 team in the country and Alabama made them look like Eastern Michigan. And how big were those headlights that sucked Michigan coach Brady Hoke into a tractor beam so strong he had one look — the "Whoa, that was a good play... wish he was on our team" look — that seemed to define all of Saturday night. And as bad as the 41-14 final was, it was a bigger butt-whippin' than the score portrayed.

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    Tennessee junior quarterback Tyler Bray greets fans after the Vols' 35-21 win over North Carolina State at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
    Photo by Patrick Smith /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

2) We've talked for at least a month about how big the opener was for Tennessee. And the Vols delivered. Did they play perfectly or even great? No, but that's not what counts. This team needed a win for a slew of reasons, and they delivered. That means Friday was a success. Period. Well, unless you are grading Derek Dooley's outfit, which was somewhere between athletic jammy-jams and/or a possible George Costanza athletic lounge wear. That said, Cordarrelle Patterson made the best Tennessee debut this side of Grand Ole Opry.

3) The 5-at-10's Fab Four plus 1 picks went 3-2. Not great, not bad, but pretty stout considering we started 0-2 with South Carolina and Georgia failing to cover out of the gate. The two things we voiced most consistently from the preseason — Alabama being as strong as ever and West Virginia having arguably the nation's best offense — looked pretty spot-on.

4) We still believe the Mocs are going to challenge for a playoff spot. South Florida's speed, especially defensively, was too much, and that's nothing of which to be overly concerned. UTC trailed 7-3 and scored late in the first half to make it 21-10. The Bulls used their starters for the majority of the game, and that's something. It does greatly highlight the need for success Saturday at Jacksonville State. It will be interesting to see how long the quarterback shuffle lasts and how it shakes down. Interesting times indeed.

5) We had two birthday parties this weekend at the 5-at-10 compound — a Beatles-themed shindig that included "Back in the U.S.S.R-ti-choke dip," "Let it Be-L-T dip" and a main course of "Eleanor Ribs-by" from Sticky Fingers and a Fire Fighters-themed party for our soon-to-be 5-year-old that included a real fire truck. Good times all around. We say that to cover the fact that we did not watch as much college football this weekend as we thought we might. Coupled with the fact that we caught the UT-NC State game on speed rewatch after the Baylor game Friday night/Saturday morning around 2 a.m., we are interested in your thoughts from week 1.

And enjoy the holiday.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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chas9 said...

A REAL fire truck? Holy Guacamole!

Looked like The University at Knoxville answered all (at least enough) questions. And Dr. B (he's a proctologist after all) was right about Corrdarelle. I'm guessing DD doesn't read the fashion advice in this space, because we've called him out before.

So, if, as reported elsewhere in this fine paper, BJ gets $5700 a week (good pay if you can get it), is that 52 weeks per annum, or only as many as he works? Er, plays?

Really enjoyed the view on my big screen TV for Vandy-SC and Kentucky-Louisville (ESPN). But the picture for the UT-Wolfpack tussle was so poor I couldn't even see the ball sail through the air on Bray's artful passes. It's always that way on ESPNU. Is my Dish service to blame, or who? Jay, if you want to really do a public service, investigate this one. Check some technical stuff and tell us why the HUGE falloff in picture quality.

And in roundball news, looks like Gillispie's really stepped in it again. Don't see how he can survive to season's opening. As we've said before, Lubbock's a different kind of place, but even Texas Tech can't stand that kind of old school, outlaw oppression. Bring back the softy Knights. And it gets harder to see how Kentucky could have made the big mistake hiring him.

September 3, 2012 at 11:44 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Good to see a 5 at 10 on Labor Day. If it makes you feel any better, I have to work too. However, I get to reschedule a paid holiday of my own choosing as compensation for working on a federal holiday.

Due to technology issues, I was not able to watch the UT-NC State game in real time due to the game airing on ESPNU and the basic cable package in my apartment complex does not carry that channel. So I had to wait until the rebroadcast was available on ESPN3 for streaming video (Instead I watched a Gravity Falls marathon until time for the game to be available on ESPN3. [Hey, it's a cool cartoon, don't be haten ^_~ Uncle Stan makes Homer Simpson look like Mr. Rogers]).

Moving on to actual sports. I was impressed with UT's playing and obviously was not paying any attention to Derick's wardrobe. Cordarrelle Patterson was definitely the man after seeing that beautful 67 yarder for a TD. This game was well worth the wait and a good start for the orange and white nation. My only complaint was the ESPN commentators making fun of the Dragoncon attendees. I had friends at that convention and newsflash: comic book fans are sports fans too and vice/versa.

Now on to the Mocs. In my opinion, I got more out out of this money game then I had imagined. I agree with Huesman in the fact the defense won the day. They were stout, battle-hardened, and I was screaming Holy Cow repeatedly after that beautiful interception from Lott. Here's what I can take away from this game. USF is not an SEC school but the program has knocked off a lot of giants in the program (Their non-conference wins include Auburn, Florida State, Notre Dame and couple of others). UTC has proven while it cannot go toe to toe in the big conferences, they have expanded their range to better compete with the big boys. Regarding the offense: It sticks. To much Chinese Fire Drill for my tastes. However, any doubts I had about Huesman 2.0 was lifted. He's the starter until further notice. End of Debate.

SMU-Baylor. Watched that game via regional action. UGGGGGLIEEEEE!!! Baylor did their best Alabama impersonation all over the Mustangs defense. I had to cut it off at the start of the third quarter.

September 3, 2012 at 12:03 p.m.
Stewwie said...

After seeing Vandy-South Carolina, I can't tell if Vandy is just way underrated or if the Gamecocks are way overrated. Probably a little bit of both.

Florida looks very vulnerable. I'm thinking it will be a long year in Gainesville.

We all know that Alabama is a great team, but after a whipping like that on Michigan, it's apparent that the Wolverines are not a top 10 squad. Top 20 maybe.

Spot on about the South Florida super-speedy D against the Mocs. And B.J. Daniels made his share of plays that the Mocs won't see from anyone on the FCS level. On one play, he juked both Dothard and Key out of their jockstraps. Yikes. But other than the Mocs' stupid penalties, there's not a lot of bad to take from the game. On to Jacksonville State.

September 3, 2012 at 12:08 p.m.
chas9 said...

Agree with beef stew about Florida. Didn't show much. Can you play the game without a quarterback? Bet they'd like to have Bridgewater back in state.

Run JMC's right that ESPN didn't know what to do with Dragoncon. But it's the rare sports common tater who can pull off smoothness when he has to ad lib off script, especially away from sports.

September 3, 2012 at 12:38 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

B.J. Daniels was impressive and I predict he will probably be picked up at best in the third round of the next draft. However, he still got sacked a few times which means whatever hussle and drive the Mocs are applying in the D is apparently working.

JSU, while more of a thorn-in-the-side than an actual threat (compared to Appy State), will be a better test of the Mocs skills set after post tweaking of the offense. JSU however, will be out for blood themselves after the thumping they received that same night against #10 Arkansas.

September 3, 2012 at 12:50 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5, sounds like a great birthday party for the young'un. As only you (and your wonderful missus) could pull off.

A good, not great, first weekend of college football. Alabama is, most assuredly, really, really, really good. So is USC. Georgia has oodles of talent but you shouldn't struggle with a team that plays north of the Arctic Circle on a steamy August afternoon. Million-dollar talent. 10-cent heart.

The Irish also looked very good against Navy. I was impressed by Clemson playing as well as it did without its best player. Auburn's got some work to do (especially on defense and that's not a shot at VanGorder, who is still Satan's spawn).

Elsewhere ... I have to see Chipper again before he hangs it up for good. Who could have written that script Sunday for the Braves? And Bobby V is still a useless tool.

Anxious to see how Tech (the good one) does against Tech (the evil ones) on the road tonight in Blacksburg.

September 3, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.
fechancellor said...

It should be no surprise Bama's performance solidified the Tide's claim on the number one spot. As Ten Ring and at least me said though not exactly, "You got to beat the man to be the man," LSU. We will know the answer when Bama shoves the "Red Stick" up LSU's bum in Baton Rouge. Until then, the road to the SEC Championship and the BCS Title runs through Tuscaloosa.

Gee, Ten Ring, the Vols did a little more than just beat NCSU. The defense intercepted four balls from an experienced QB in Mike Glennon and shut down All-American shut down corner Dave Ameson, while the ground game pumped out 200+ yards. This performance is worth more than a casual wave of the hand.

In a rare double for me, The Signal Mountain Eagles also returned to their winning ways Friday night.

A satisfying weekend so far with the cream of the PGA at the top of the chase for the Fed-Ex Cup will make for compelling viewing this afternoon.

September 3, 2012 at 1:37 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Yes troubling times for Billy the Kid.

Not sure about B.J.'s salary, but believe it's each week from now through the end of the season.

We'll see what the cable folks have to say about the picture quality on ESPNU.

Run JMC —

Comic book fans are people too.

We believe the Mocs have positive things in front of them. And could very well be the third- or fourth-best team in the state considering MTSU lost to McNeese State and Memphis lost to UT-Martin.

Will be interesting to see if T-Rob or Huesman will take the first snap and how much longer the tango lasts.

And B.J. Daniels can play.

And Florida looked flawed for sure. But so did Auburn.

Stew —

Yes, Michigan got exploit. It's going to be funny to watch them run the rest of the schedule and then remember the beat down they took from Bama. (We can hear the Big Blue faithful talking about how they didn't have their tailback, blah, blah, blah...)

Think USC(east) didn't play well, but they may be a touch overrated too. Still should have covered the 7.

Spy —

Tonight could be the most interesting matchup of the weekend. We're stoked — and it's the first game this weekend that we did not have something scheduled over the top of.

Yay.

You do need to go check in on Larry. Tell him we said hello.

— 5-at-10

September 3, 2012 at 1:50 p.m.
jgreeson said...

FE to the C —

We're not downplaying the Vols win. We're saying that above all the background noise the utilitarian nature of UT's success was the most important thing this morning. And to be truthful, the put their feet on the necks of an NC State team that will win 8 or 9 games this year.

Louis Ooosathusoisianajsjs played some flat golf on Sunday.

— 5-at-10

September 3, 2012 at 1:57 p.m.
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