The week we all were looking forward to is finally over and it has definitely left me with more questions than answers. And while it was nice watching the 2007 college football season kick off, I couldn't help but find myself bummed by the fact Utah played so poorly in their opener. It's tough watching other teams' seasons get off to a roaring start, while your team fizzle.
Regardless of what happened Thursday night in Corvallis, there were some interesting stories from week one.
Lloyd Carr is done. Michigan's loss to Appalachian State should have never happened and the fact it did probably means this will be the last season Lloyd Carr ever coaches again. I doubt he will be fired, but the writing is on the wall and Carr is a smart enough man to realize when it's time to step aside. Carr was lucky he survived the 7-5 season two years ago, but coaching the first ranked team to ever lose to a D1-AA opponent is unacceptable.
I honestly expected Michigan to lose a couple of games this season, even though some touted them as a possible championship contender, but I don't think anyone could have thought a loss like this would have been possible. Well it is and you better believe coaches will be taking D1-AA opponents seriously the rest of the season.
Michigan isn't the only one. Rice, fresh off its best season since the Kennedy administration, kicked off the David Bailiff era with an embarrassing 16-14 loss to Nicholls State. Showing us that no matter how badly we think of Utah's loss to Oregon State, it could be worse.
Bailiff replaced the successful Todd Graham, who left for Tulsa and promised to keep Graham's spread offense. Except in their opener against a rather poor D1-AA opponent, the Owls only managed a meager 14 points. That's not a good way to gain the trust of the fans and I wouldn't be surprised if Rice returns to its roots of being a conference cellar dweller. And Utah should be familiar with Rice, as I still have nightmares about the 51-10 loss to the Owls in 1996. That. Was. Crap.
Other new coaches also struggled. Bailiff wasn't the only coach to struggle in his debut. Former Texas assistants Gene Chizik (Iowa State) lost to Kent State 23-14, while Tim Brewster (Minnesota) lost to Bowling Green 32-31. Tom O'Brien, who left Boston College for North Carolina State, lost to Central Florida and his replacement with the Eagles, Jeff Jagodzinski, defeated last year's ACC Champions Wake Forest.
Other coaches to lose were Mario Cristobal at Florida International, Robb Akey at Idaho, Todd Dodge at North Texas, Jim Harbaugh at Stanford and Neil Callaway at UAB. I'd list all the coaches that had success in their first game, but I actually like to delight in someone else's misfortune. Yes, I'm an evil SOB sometimes.
- Speaking of losers. Along with those coaches listed above, you can add the following to your hot seat list. Tommy West at Memphis, as the Tigers lost an embarrassing home game to Mississippi. Mark Snyder at Marshall, who took over a non-BCS power and has nearly run it into the ground. Phil Bennett at SMU, because, well, the Mustangs continue to suck. Kyle Whittingham at Utah, since a losing season is quite realistic and Rocky Long at New Mexico, for only mustering 3 points against UTEP. That doesn't include the already long list of coaches who have staked out their spot for a while now.
Louisville is going to be tough. Ok, so it's just Murray State, but yikes. They dropped 73 on them and could have easily pushed the score well into the 80s. And while I expect Utah to put a better fight than that, it could get really ugly fast. Hopefully Brian Johnson is back by then, but I actually think we have a better shot of Tommy Grady making a decent throw than that happening. And if you've watched Grady, you know even that is a long shot!
He looks down field...he throws...misses by a mile!
No luck of the Irish this year. I'm an Irish fan, well I was, not so much anymore. But I grew up in an Irish Catholic family and it was pretty blasphemes to have any negativity toward them at all. In fact, trashing The Pope, Kennedy or Notre Dame football was a big no-no in my house, so I was more or less raised an Irish fan. But I hate how overrated they are at times, so sometimes I enjoy watching them fall flat on their face, like in the Sugar Bowl against LSU and Saturday's game against Georgia Tech. The Irish not only lost, they were dominated and their offense looked more impotent than Bob Dole.
I don't know what the Irish will do, but I expect this season is going to be tough and might bring back some unpleasant memories of the Ty Willingham era. It'll be interesting to see how Charlie Weis, quickly dubbed one of America's best coaches after '05, can steer the Irish through treacherous waters. I'm guessing his image will take quite a hit by the time this season is over.
Whoa boy, that there was an ugly one.