Hangovers Part of The Game

Teams can have tough times following emotional games

College Football Preview: Week 5

> The Red Zone  |  Tape It Up  |  Strike The Pose  |  Breaking The Code
> B.J.: Say What?  |  Amsinger: Picks  |  Sorenson: 10 Questions  |  Braff: Inflated Irish
> Hart: Processing The Process  |  Trev: Hangover Saturdays  |  Can The Cards Be Saved?
> Blackburn: Dorsey Deserves More Pub  |  Crystal Ball: Weekend Predictions
> Caparell: Ducks Season Begins Saturday

Sept. 26, 2007

By Trev Alberts

Special to CSTV.com



Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com.
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You've got college football questions and CSTV football analyst Trev Alberts has answers and opinions. Each week Alberts will be answering questions and queries on the world of college football. So if you've got a question for Trev? Just ask him.


Did last weekend's win over Penn State prove anything for Michigan. Can they really compete for the Big Ten title? - Joe Penero, Cleveland




Absolutely. It proved an awful lot, like how Mike Hart has taken over the leadership of his team. As coach Osborne used to always tell us, coaches can only do so much -- ultimately the team belongs to the seniors. Hart did it in a public way and Jake Long and other seniors might have done it in a more private way. The players have stepped up and let's face it; Penn State was probably overrated in the first place. They were never going to be a top five team. It didn't take much to see through that.


Michigan obviously rebounded nicely. I think their confidence is higher and the defense is playing better with a renewed sense of urgency. I was really impressed and happy for Lloyd Carr after the beating he took to rally his team to two straight victories. They've made a lot of progress, and as we've pointed out before, the last time Michigan started 0-2, they won the Big Ten.


Michigan was built to beat teams like Penn State and I just think they match up fairly well with all the teams in the Big Ten with the exception of Ohio State. The conference will probably come down to that last game in November when the Wolverines host the Buckeyes.


Has the new kickoff rule had the kind of impact you expected. It seems like teams are getting better field position each kickoff, but a number of them are still going into the end zone. So much for the idea that there wouldn't be anymore touchbacks. - Andy, Massachusetts


I guess you could make the argument that the kickoff rule was supposed to have a huge impact. I just don't really see it. I haven't seen a bunch of injuries. I haven't seen teams starting off at the 50-yard line. I haven't seen a whole bunch of kickoff returns for touchdowns. So I think it's much ado about nothing. That being said, if you have a kicker who can't kick well, I don't know why you don't see more teams just kick it out of bounds. Why even risk it.


Teams that had good return teams still have good return teams and teams that have struggled covering kickoffs are still going to struggle.


As a player, is there really such a thing as a Saturday Hangover? A few teams that lost close games the week before really struggled with games they should have won easy this week like Nebraska and Florida. - Christa Wallace, Ottawa, Illinois


I think there is a hangover effect. Partly, it's due to the fact that you have teams -- like Nebraska and Florida -- which played high-profile, emotional games with a lot of energy in front of a national audience where statements were trying to be made. The next week, the game isn't on national TV and nobody is excited.


Motivation is a huge factor in college football, as it is in many other sports, but in college football its even more so and I think the good teams don't play down to their competition. Florida showed that it's a young team that will battle ups and downs all year. Just because they're so young, they're going to make a lot of mistakes, but hope their offense and general athleticism can overcome it. Nebraska's hangover wasn't necessarily from user inexperience, but just that they continue to be very, very poor, especially on the defensive side of the ball.