by Pat Dooley
College football season is back, so that means the Sunday Blog is back as we recap some of the things that happened over a Labor Day weekend that is still going.
As I did last year, I will publish what would be my Top 25 if I was a voter. Why I am not a voter on either AP or the Harris Poll is a mystery. Nobody watches more college football than I do. I had three TVs going at 1:30 this morning watching three different games. But perhaps, there is a fear of a well-informed vote.
Anyway. here we go:
COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25.
1. Alabama: Hey Michigan. How’d you like that venture into big boy football? Didn’t think so.
2. Southern Cal: Matt Barkley took an early step toward the Heisman Trophy against Hawaii.
3. LSU: North Texas made it interesting for awhile, but Tigers are too strong.
4. Oregon: Loved the uniforms. And the offense.
5. Georgia: Bulldogs were not overly impressive, especially on defense.
6. Oklahoma: Why does a program like Oklahoma’s play at UTEP? And why does Oklahoma struggle to beat UTEP? Mystery.
7. Florida State: Next up for the Seminoles is a team that lost 84-0 Saturday. Get your tickets now, because they could score 100.
8. West Virginia: Mountaineers followed up Orange Bowl with a 69-point performance.
9. Arkansas: If opener was any indication, Razorbacks will have to outscore people again this year.
10. South Carolina: Unimpressive in opener, but Vandy is a good team.
11. Michigan State: Sparty always seems to have a tough running back who can carry the load all day.
12. Clemson: No Sammy Watkins, no problem.
13. Texas: Still not sure about the Longhorns.
14. Oklahoma State: Hey, Savannah State. The Cowboys just scored again.
15. Nebraska: Taylor Martinez looks like a much better passer.
16. Ohio State: The Buckeyes may be better than I thought in preseason.
17. Wisconsin: Things got a little dicey in opener.
18. Virginia Tech: Monday Night Football vs. Georgia Tech.
19. Louisville: Pending today’s game against Kentucky.
20. Michigan: I’m sure they aren’t as bad as they looked against the Tide.
21. Kansas State: Bill Snyder has done a great job the second time around.
22. TCU: Waiting to get it started.
23. Notre Dame: Was it me or did Navy’s players look like they were more concerned with containing the runners rather than tackling them?
24. Tennessee: The Vols may have something going.
25. Stanford: No Andrew Luck, 2 o 13 on third downs against San Jose State.
THE SEC FOUR-PACK
1. Alabama’s performance is going to have people ready to proclaim a repeat of a national title. I’m not going to argue. But one thing has to be pointed out and that is that Nick Saban is the best coach in America when he has a lot of prep time. As I predicted, the Tide used the Tim Tebow defense on Denard Robinson — don’t let him beat you scrambling. And Robinson showed he’s still not an accurate passer. Still, nice job by the Tide.
2. Isaiah Crowell? Da’Rick Rogers? Hope you enjoyed the games this weekend. Because if the openers were a sign of things to come, you won’t be missed. Todd Gurley rushed for 100 yards on eight carries and ran back a kickoff for 100 yards for Georgia, while Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson, a JUCO transfer, destroyed N.C. State. Suddenly, the game in two weeks against the Vols looks much tougher for Florida. “I already know you guys (the media) are going to say, ‘We’re there’ or ‘We’re on our way,’ ” Derek Dooley said. “But all that matters is 1-0. We have to clean up a ton of mistakes.”
3. I’ve never been sold on Brian VanGorder as a defensive coordinator. I’m guessing Auburn fans are feeling the same way after Clemson gained 528 yards on the Auburn defense. And no matter how you want to spin it, the truth is that Auburn is 16-11 under Gene Chizik without Cam Newton.
4. LSU coach Les Miles likes his tailbacks. Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue each went over 100 yards and the Tigers rushed for 315 yards against North Texas. Miles likened his running backs to the Ricky Bobby-Cal Naughton Jr. combination in “Talladega Nights” referring to them as “Shake and Bake.” Of course, after last year’s national title game, he was probably thinking of another line from the movie — “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”