It is a time-honored tradition at my grandparents’ house: sitting in the kitchen with Grandpa, and watching all of the football games of the past weekend. I don’t think there has ever been a time that all of us in the family wasn’t watching a game from any sport in the kitchen.
After watching this weekend’s games and watching the 2:00 a.m. replay of UMass vs. Michigan, I pulled out a pen and started scribbling some thoughts about what I saw and my opinion on several teams.
Iowa: it’s a loss. Deal with it. It’s not the end of the world. Two big mistakes put Iowa in the hole: the blocked punt and the kickoff return. Everyone knew that “bad” Ricky would show up sooner than later. To not think that Stanzi was going to throw a pick-six, is ignoring history. Besides that, Iowa showed resiliency and guts by coming back to tie it. Give Arizona props for responding on the ensuing drive.
But that’s all Arizona will get credit for. This game does not make Arizona’s season. Winning the Pac-10 title will make the Wildcats’ season and anything less, like a huge letdown to California this upcoming season, will render the win over Iowa useless. The last time Arizona won their league title? 1993. They have to go through Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, and an USC team on probation. They’re playing California this weekend. Don’t be surprised if they lose.
Competing for a national championship takes more than playing well, not making mistakes, and winning. It’s luck, a bounce here or there, and things to go your way. Things have a way of falling into place when you least expect it.
ISU: Whatever the defense couldn’t find last week vs. Iowa, they’re still looking for it, after K-State’s Daniel Thomas ran amok in Arrowhead Stadium last night (19-181 yds.). The pressure’s on Austin Arnaud to “get it done” or else. Plus, his WRs need to make catches. On paper, it was an evenly played game stat-wise.
If this continues against UNI next weekend, they’ll be trouble in Campustown. Speaking of UNI…
UNI: two very lackluster games against NDSU (win) and Stephen F. Austin (22-20 lost on Saturday). Three times, the Panthers were in the red zone, and three times the Panthers turned the ball over to the Lumberjacks. UNI doesn’t look good at all. No wonder why they were picked 4th or 5th in the MVFC.
Michigan: for all of those Rich Rod haters who still want him gone…I have bad news for you. Rich Rod (left) finally has the QB he needs to run his spread offense and Michigan looks good at 3-0. Somewhere Lloyd Carr and his loyalists are pissed. Good.
Nebraska: remember this name: Tyler Martinez (right). This kid is good and fast. Many didn’t think the Huskers would not only beat Washington, but they boat-raced them (56-21). Nebraska will win the Big 12 North this year.
Notre Dame: the best 1-2 team in America. Brian Kelly knows what he’s doing at South Bend. There’s a certain level of passion that this team plays with and they will be good. Keeping Dane Crist healthy is a high priority for the Irish.
Michigan St.: about damn time, Sparty. All of those epic meltdowns in the past were washed away by the play of the year (fake FG try turned into a 27-yd TD catch in overtime). But Mark D’Antonio will be out indefinitely after suffering a mild heart attack after the game.
I can’t wait to hear what Mike Valenti of WXYT has to say about the Spartans knocking off the Irish. It’ll be completely different than what he dished out in an audio clip below from 2006 after Notre Dame rallied from a 37-21 deficit to win 40-37 in East Lansing.