Sept. 6, 2005
By Eric Sorenson
Special to CSTV.com
The first weekend is completed and we've already discovered a lot about the 2005-06 season. So while wondering why there's such a loud cheer coming from
Question No. 1
What state is smiling the most after this weekend?
A: The state of
First the Longhorns. Did you see the scores in the Big 12 South? Holy cow, Mack Brown might win his first conference title in 22 years of coaching. The Horns have to be grinning like the Cheshire cat after seeing all of their rivals either lose, struggle or look unimpressive. Take a look for yourself:
▪ Clemson 25 , Texas A&M 24
▪ Oklahoma State 15, Montana State 10
▪ Baylor 28, SMU 23
▪ And, of course
▪ TCU 17, Oklahoma 10
Speaking of TCU, add it as well. The Frogs lost the chance to wrap up a bowl spot last year with a heartbreaking loss to Tulane in their final game. But I guess this win in
And finally, UTEP. The Miners showed that there may not be much drop off from their hugely successful 2004 campaign by thumping local rival
Question No. 2
Whose Heisman campaign is out the window already?
A: Adrian Peterson (OU) and Jared Zabransky (
So, 22 carries for 63 yards against a defense that was ranked No. 99 in the country last year? Ouch! But it's not that A.P. isn't talented enough to be a finalist again, absolutely not. But that O-line is weak and the quarterback play was abysmal, which, together, made for an awful offense. It doesn't appear that Peterson has much of a chance this year. But he'll be back in 2006.
Zabransky needed a win over Georgia to have any legitimacy at all. And, well, throwing for 70 yards and giving away four picks in a huge loss isn't exactly Omar Jacobs-like.
Question No. 3
Which coach had the best debut?
A: Charlie Weis, Notre Dame
I don't think anybody saw this one coming. Most considered Pitt and star QB Tyler Palko as legit threats to make it to the BCS, again. Well, the Irish spit into the wind here and came out clean with a big 42-21 win. Maybe all that hype about him being an offensive genius isn't just talk, right? We see bling-bling in the Irish future after all.
Question No. 4
Who had the best uniform change for 2005?
Harkening back to their "QB Factory" era, the Cougars came out in blue unis and dual-stripe white helmets sporting the traditional "Y" on them. We're just assuming the Cougar head stickers are going to be added once again. Those navy blue/gold/white "bib" jerseys they had for a while and the navy helmets were just fads. Thankfully they're gone, just like that whole boy band thing.
Question No. 5
What were the best and worst observations of the weekend?
A: The best line: From analyst Steve Israel: "If you notice, the teams with new quarterbacks that had some experience or split time with another quarterback in the past, had success. Those teams that had a completely inexperienced guy, didn't."
Looking at TCU, Virginia Tech,
The worst line: From
"To be honest, I'm kind of shocked. They just threw a monkey up in here or something like that."
Let's assume he wanted to allude to the old "monkey wrench in the works" adage.
Question No. 6
What "comeback players for 2005" did I miss in last week's article?
A: Brian Calhoun, RB, Wisconsin
Though he had some bright moments in his two years at Colorado, this 258-yard explosion was just the tonic Coach Alvarez was hoping for, after the departure of Anthony Davis and the uncertainty of Booker Stanley.
Tye Gunn, QB, TCU
It's hard to remember Mr. Gunn, given his three previous injury-shortened seasons. But the former two-time C-USA player of the week delivered a steady, solid orchestration in the upset of the Sooners. If he stays healthy, the Mountain West trembles.
Question No. 7
What conference had the best opening weekend?
A: The Big Ten
All10 teams that played, won. Although most were favored and playing at home, you didn't see that black eye or two to a MAC school or to a big conference bottom-feeder. It just didn't happen this time. In fact, teams like Iowa, Ohio State and
Question No. 8
What is it with kickers making headlines in week one for the second year in a row?
A: At least this time it was for good reasons. In light of last year's week one debacle by placekickers (remember
Question No. 9
While we all hope for the best for the future of the Sugar Bowl, why has it always been the best bowl game?
A: The party atmosphere
Question No. 10
Last question ... what are the "keepers" and what do we "86" from this past weekend?
▪ San Diego State's "gradient" black-to-red helmets. Modern, but in a good way.
▪ In-state matchups. Colorado-CSU, Miami-Florida State, Maryland-Navy and Louisville-Kentucky were all down-to-the-wire games in lieu of the usual boring non-conference plonks we're subjected to.
▪ North Carolina State's Chuck Amato's Oakley shades. It was a night game, Coach.
▪ Kentucky QB Andre Woodson's post-TD taunt of the
▪ On-the-way-to-the-locker-room interviews of coaches. You gotta know the coaches just loathe them.
▪ The Tomahawk Chop. I bet most non-Florida Seminole tribesmen consider this "abusive and hostile."
And for good measure...
Question No. 11
Okay, last year we were subjected to Bubba Sparxx's indecipherable rap, and this year it's Big-N-Rich's country/rap fusion. Can we finally get some good old style punk for next year's ESPN Gameday opening?
A: We can only hope.
Read Eric's last column: Preseason Top 10 Questions
Eric Sorenson is a regular football and baseball contributor to CollegeSports.com. Email your thoughts to Eric.
Is it finally Mack time for Texas?