The 2015 regular season opened on Thursday evening with a Georgia Tech rout of Mississippi’s other Land Grant university. Alcorn State fell to the Yellow Jackets by 69–6. The Mississippi A&Ms should steer clear of the Ramblin Wreck, and yes, I’m still smarting over the 2014 Orange Bowl. South Carolina edged North Carolina in a game decided by which team would figure out a way to lose. The Tar Heels solved the problem.
The premier game on Thursday pitted the #2 ranked Horn Frogs of TCU against the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. This was no easy opener for TCU, and they managed to get a hard earned W. There’s a lot of pressure from the media for the top ranked teams to win by obscene margins, such as Ole Miss drubbing little Tennessee Martin by 73 points, but a win over a Big Ten team in September will look pretty good in the final polls.
On Friday, I was disappointed that #23 Boise State managed to eke out a close 16–13 victory over Washington. I’d picked the Huskie’s to upset the Blue Broncos, but it was not to be. When Friday night ended, I stood at 0–2 in my fearless predictions, having lost the North Carolina and Washington picks. Maybe things would pick on Saturday.
Indeed they did. I managed to pick three out of four, including A&M’s 38–17 upset of the #15 ranked Arizona State, Sun Devils. Along with the Aggies, I picked Alabama and Notre Dame, but I underestimated Auburn’s defense and overestimated Petrino’s offense. The Plainsmen won their opener in Atlanta, and a win is a win, no matter how ugly. I finished the weekend 3–3, which I suppose is about average — or at least it’s 50–50. Do the math.
There were other games that almost made it worth suffering through the same six commercials for close to ten hours. I particularly enjoyed the Temple Owl’s trouncing of Penn State. I suspect that their first win since 1941, marked the end of the Franklin era in Happy Valley. I didn’t see the end of the BYU–Nebraska game, but I understand that there’s a good chance that Ave Maria might be added to the Tabernacle Choir’s repertoire. Northwestern’s upset of Stanford added to the Pac 12’s woes.
Finally, I’ll share my thoughts on the Magnolia State’s SEC schools. I’ve already mentioned the Ole Miss humiliation of Tennessee Martin. I’m sure the Rebs didn’t intentionally run the score up; I mean what more can you do than move defensive linemen to wide out. Sometimes you just have too many studs in the kennel to be able to call off the dogs. Fresno State will be less of a patsy, but in the end, there will be a multi-touchdown win for the Rebs.
My Bulldogs finally managed to subdue the feisty Golden Eagles of USM 34–16. The score doesn’t reflect the struggle. Southern played lights out for all four quarters, and managed to force Dak Prescott to do something other than hand the ball off in the 2nd half. One thing that bothered me, was our passive scheme on defense. We are waiting on the offense to commit, and as a result, many times, USM was able to move the line of scrimmage three or four yards before we reacted. Their offensive line continued to win the war in the trenches, and only our superior size and speed kept us in the fray. If we allow the much bigger and much faster Bengal Tigers to set the pace, it’ll be a long night next week in Starkville.