Why did you leave for us so long, college football?
In what must have been a temptation that only Satan himself could offer, college football fans were treated to gridiron gluttony from the first waking moment on Saturday (the Penn State-UCF game in Dublin, Ireland kicked off at 8:30 AM Eastern) to well past midnight. All of that was on top of the action that took place to officially begin the season last Thursday, as Texas A&M of 2014 A.J. (After Johnny) stunned South Carolina 52-28 in Columbia. The National Football League football season begins in mere moments, but let’s thank the action in college football last week for satiating many people’s incurable addiction for football. We await what the Green Bay Packers and defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks can do to top what last week provided for us on the college side.
We know six people who can deliver the goods at any time, and that’s our esteemed A Lot of Sports Talk‘s College Football Top 25 panel. If you need a reminder of the “fun bunch” who provide their weekly polls to create our combined poll that you’ll see below, here they are: T.J. Basalla (super fan, marketing professional, WJPZ Alumni Association President), Pavan Sandhu Eckhart (Texas A&M graduate, Sales Rep at Ferring Pharmaceuticals in Dallas), Basil Mitchell (former TCU and Green Bay Packers RB), Sandy Weintraub (super fan, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards at the University of Oregon), Adesina Koiki (Football Writers Association of America member/voter, A Lot Of Sports Talk editor-in-chief) and an anonymous staff member at a Division I-FBS school. If you have any comments and/or complaints, write them below on the Facebook window or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you, as always.
The word out of Norman earlier this summer was that this year’s defense will be as good in 2014 as the Big 12’s league-leading defensive unit last season. No reason to think otherwise after last week’s evisceration of Louisiana Tech. (Adesina Koiki)
I dropped them because they barely beat a mid-level Big 12 team. (Pavan Sandhu Eckhart)
Although, Oklahoma State looked about as good losing as possible. (Sandy Weintraub)
Either Oregon shows it has the potential to be a national title contender against Michigan State on Saturday or we get a repeat of last year’s Stanford game. (T.J. Basalla)
To the surprise of many outside of the Alabama locker room, Blake Sims, not Jacob Coker, got the start under center against West Virginia, and outside of a couple of throws that highlighted his lack of elite-level arm strength, Sims more than held his own. Oh, and the fact that the Tide rushed for 288 yards as a team didn’t hurt Sims’ cause, either. (Adesina)
Wisconsin missed its chance to make a statement for the B1G. Now Sparty has its turn in Eugene on Saturday. (T.J.)
After not starting the season opener because of his offseason marijuana citation earlier this summer, Nick Marshall came in at the right time for the Tigers against Arkansas, starting the second half and helping Auburn to a win over the Razorbacks. (Adesina)
Suddenly, the SEC East looks like it’s made for the Dawgs to win after their impressive performance against Clemson combined with Texas A&M’s rout of prohibitive East favorite South Carolina. (T.J.)
That was an under the radar win the Bears pulled off last Sunday. Stunning to ever shut out a June Jones coached team, regardless of the circumstances. (Sandy)
Life after Johnny Football may not be bad after all. Kenny (Hill) Football? OK…too soon. (Adesina)
There seems to be two types of “Les Miles Games”: The bizarre ending/baffling playcalling games and the “unstoppable force comeback” games. Last Saturday night was the latter. (T.J.)
During the Jim Harbaugh/David Shaw era, I worry less about the Cardinal during Pac-12 play when they play marquee opponents than when they play conference foes they’re supposed to beat. Therefore, the edge, for me, goes to the Tree when it hosts USC on Saturday. (Adesina)
Still a very good team. But that offensive line is going to cost the Buckeyes at least 1-2 games this season. (T.J.)
Unlike most people in the media, I did not hold it against the Bruins for winning by just a single possession against Virginia, given the fact that it was a 9 AM local kickoff and they were playing a much-improved Cavaliers squad. That Bruins offensive line, though…? (Adesina)
Big test vs. Stanford this week, but this is a team to watch out for. There’s a new focus and purpose under Coach Sark. (Sandy)
Notre Dame looked VERY good last Saturday. They played Rice. Michigan looked VERY good last Saturday. They played Appalachian State. Now let’s get a clearer read on both of these teams. (T.J.)
The Badgers may not lose another game this season and will kick themselves for the rest of the season over what happened in Houston. (T.J.)
So how many points will the high-powered Sun Devils score against New Mexico and Colorado in their next two games? My over/under on the combined point total is 97. I’m taking the over. (Adesina)
Not the cleanest performance in the season opener in Atlanta (credit Boise State to a certain extent), but the Rebels handled their first test just fine. (Adesina).
One of our former pollsters, national college football writer Lisa Horne, is “all in” on the Wildcats as one of her national sleepers. Before a nationally televised home game in two weeks time vs. Auburn, a road trip to Ames and a game against an already wounded Iowa State team awaits. (Adesina)
Bo Pelini’s Huskers gained a Big Ten record 784 yards against Florida Atlantic, the school that controversially dismissed Bo’s older brother, Carl Pelini, as head coach last October. I’ll let you interpret that any way you want. (Adesina)
The Tigers’ next two games are not against teams from a Power Five conference, but they are tricky ones nonetheless: a road trip to the Glass Bowl to take on Toledo from the MAC, then a home date against a very good UCF team from The American. (Adesina)
Looks like life with Bobby Petrino as head coach is going to be just fine for the Louisville football team…again. (Adesina)
No shame losing on the road to Georgia, especially when they were even with the Dawgs for most of the game…well, that was the case, until Todd Gurley went all “Heisman” on the Tigers. (Adesina)
One of the six pollsters picked the Gamecocks as the No. 2 team in the nation in their preseason poll. After being shellacked by Texas A&M, I’d like to know which “genius” had South Carolina so high? Oh, it’s the person who wrote this blurb? Man, what an idiot! (Adesina)
Last season’s hiding in Provo at the hands of BYU set the wheels in motion that eventually led to the end of the Mack Brown regime in Austin. Texas now gets the Cougars at home this year, the first statement game in the nascent Charlie Strong regime. (Adesina)
Others receiving votes:
North Carolina (11 points), Oklahoma State (10), Washington (9), Florida (9), Michigan (8), Duke (5), Texas Tech (3), Mississippi State (2), Penn State (2), BYU (1)
* – To break ties, we used a three-step criteria; 1) higher number of first-place votes, 2) higher number of ballots (out of six) the teams appeared in, 3) highest single ranking by an individual pollster (e.g. if Team A and Team B are tied cumulatively and appeared in all six polls, but Team A’s highest ranking by an individual pollster was No. 7 and Team B’s highest ranking by an individual pollster was No. 9, Team A wins tiebreaker)
[Cover photo (J.T. Barrett/Ohio State) courtesy of Rob Carr/Getty Images]