Here are my opening weekend thoughts…
Games Watched: Wagner at Florida Atlantic, Ohio at Penn State, Bowling Green State at Florida, Murray State at Florida State, Clemson at Auburn, Michigan at Alabama
Wagner (FCS) @ Florida Atlantic (Sun Belt)
Quite possibly the ugliest game I watched. FAU squeaked by with a late touchdown and held on to win. I know there’s a new coach but come on guys. As far as the QBs, Curtis is the future, but Wilbert looks like he’ll keep FAU competitive in games they can win. Plus FAU’s about to embark on it’s SEC money games against Georgia and Alabama so they need to be in a position to win against Middle Tennessee next week.
Ohio (MAC) @ Penn State (B1G)
Wasn’t able to pay too much attention to this game and I’ll admit to a bit of schadenfreude here. I’m not entirely sure Penn State should be fielding a team and I feel bad for all the players but this is really only the start of a very long time in the cellar of the Big Ten. Only a bit of roster attrition this year but like everyone else I’m expecting a lot more following the conclusion of this semester.
Bowling Green (MAC) @ Florida (SEC)
Another awful game. Florida didn’t gain control of this game until halfway through the 4th quarter. Bowling Green isn’t an FCS school but Florida’s got a week to get it’s house in order or else they’re going to get a rude awakening in College Station. At one point the Gators had Trey Burton, Jordan Reed, Jacoby Brisset and Jeff Driskel all on the field. That’s four Gator QBs for those counting. I’m not entirely sure how Driskel ended up in charge of the Gator offense but I agree with #TeamGuyWhoHandsItToGilly. Gillisee is going to have to carry this offense. I’m just afraid to watch when Florida meets a defense that is determined to stuff the box.
Murray State (FCS) @ Florida State (ACC)
Standard FCS opponent disclaimer but this was the second best game I watched this opening weekend. Florida State had pretty good control of this game from the opening kickoff. The Oline kept the quarterbacks upright and opened holes for the running game. The defense played like one of the best in the country. Next week is another tune up for the Noles but I’ll be there in person.
Michigan (B1G) @ Alabama (SEC)
Alabama proved that Alabama is still Alabama and Michigan is still playing catch up. The Tide once again look like world beaters and I can’t see how anyone will stop them up until November when they face LSU in a night game at Death Valley. Michigan’s going to have to iron out those kinks before they host Notre Dame in a couple of weeks.
Other Random Thoughts
I’m not one to cheer for other teams in my conference but come on ACC. Maryland and Wake Forest barely got past their FCS foes and NC State got embarrassed in the Chick-Fil-A kickoff against Tennessee.
I like Samantha Steele. She held her own during Gameday and made it through her missteps relatively cleanly. Since she’s going to be compared to Erin Andrews in every way, I’ll go ahead and give her a solid B+ for this weekend. Erin decided to make a career move but I don’t think ESPN will really miss her at all.
Gameday has two new commercials both featuring Jimbo Fisher. Stickers is far and away the better one. Cards just makes Corso look old and forgetful. Neither of which is a good look for ESPN.