The second weekend of the college football season is a lot like the first. We are treated to a large serving of highly-ranked teams fine-tuning their engines against lesser opponents (or in some cases, burning out the clutch while flooring it up a hill with the parking brake on, I’m looking at you, Wisconsin!), except in the second weekend, we don’t have the Kick-off Classics sponsored by your favored purveyor of fried chicken, be that Chick-fil-A or Jerry Jones. Despite the lack of quality match-ups this past Saturday, as fans, we must learn from all gifts that are bestowed upon us by the football gods. I’ll do my worst to break those lessons down for you after the jump.
What We Learned:
· Pumping crowd noise into your practice facilities and having a caged tiger staring menacingly at your players during game prep does nothing to prepare your team for LSU. Bear Bryant once said, "Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world for a visiting team." If he hadn’t been in Slidell the night before, he probably wouldn’t have added the last prepositional phrase. Also, Les Miles.
· After dominating the Army All-American game for the past decade, no less than 2 of those same USC WR recruits have blossomed into absolute monsters on the outside. That’s a 10% hit rate for those of you scoring at home, but the Lee/Woods combo is fun to watch, even if seeing Kiffen on the sideline reminds you of the turd you were back in 7th grade.
· X-TREME sports training and bro’ing more than all the other bros are both noble pursuits, but neither will guarantee your team a win over an inferior opponent. John L. Smith and Bret Bielema both found this out the hard way on Saturday.
· The theme onto which ESPN talking heads have latched and will now repeat ad nauseam for the rest of the 2012 football season will be the inability of Big XII teams to play effective football for more than 30 minutes. Mizzou lost on Saturday not because they played a more talented, experienced team that is probably correctly ranked in the top 10, but high school games are only 8 minutes long in the farm belt so the teams can provide helping hands during harvest time.
· TCU ex-pats are obnoxious. Asking the bartender of the one bar in San Francisco with a LHN slingbox that doesn’t require you to book a table a week in advance to change the TVs to the TCU-Grambling game is not only outrageous, it’s embarrassing. If you’re reading this, you Bama-banged douche, I’m the guy who kept crop-dusting your girlfriend.
What We Already Knew:
· Steve Spurrier is a better QB coach from the golf course than…well…anyone. Back-Up QB Dylan Thompson exploded for 330 yards and 3 TDs in the Cocks’ 48-10 win over East Carolina. Somewhere down in the keys, in the dark corner of a shanty/bar, Steven Garcia wiped away a tear and whispered to no one in particular, "Bro…"
· The PAC-12 is going to be the most entertaining conference in the country this year. It’s going to be like the MAC, but with games televised on Saturdays, hot chicks, and a side of Mike Leach.
· Watching Big 10 football in 2012 is going to resemble watching a large trash fire from start to finish. You know it’s going to be nasty, you know it’s going to smell, but you can’t turn away because you just have to know if that family of possums is going to make it out ok. Urban Meyer looks to be the king of the North American marsupials this year.
· Now that they are part of the SEC, A&M traditions are no longer weird and creepy, but beautiful and pure rites of unity in the face of a soulless world of technology that no longer values the fighting farmer. A friend of mine who happens to be a Gator fan put it nicely on Saturday, "Their fans are just as deluded and insufferable as the rest of us. They’ll fit in quite nicely, and that’s not a good thing to say about an academic institution."