It never gets dull, does it?
The opening week of the season, and what a stretched out week it was, has repainted some story lines that we did not anticipate coming into the season and give us a couple new questions to try and answer this week. A housekeeping note before I start, however, this column should appear on Monday's during the season and will focus on games I actually watched.
First, a thumbs up to Navy. If I were an Ohio State fan, I would not be too worried about their 31-27 close call with the Midshipmen. Since there is no pre-season per se, the biggest improvement teams make are between games one and two of the season. While for the Buckeyes that means Southern Cal, they are a well coached team that will tighten things up by the time the Big Ten conference schedule rolls around regardless of how they p;lay this weekend. They get a bonus of having a true freshman make his first road start at the Horseshoe in Matt Barkley. While Southern Cal should win, Ohio State should be very strong.
As far as Navy goes, they have steadily improved over the last few years and now fit into the category of teams we do not want to play because we might lose list. North Carolina and Nebraska are on that list too. Not top ten teams, but can win on any given Saturday.
BYU proved that as well Saturday, although a healthy Sam Bradford probably pulls that one out. The double whammy for Oklahoma is that not only will Bradford not repeat as Heisman winner, in reality it kills their BCS title hopes unless they completely run the table. They simply have no margin for error and even if they get Bradford back in time for Texas, Colt McCoy will be in mid-season form while Bradford will have played just one half a game. One would hate to see him rushed back for the cupcake portion of the schedule, his future is too bright to risk damage until he is fully ready.
Southern Cal should be sending thank you cards to Oregon for pretty much rolling over and playing dead against the Fighting Smurfs of Boise State and All-World running back LaGarrette Blount's UFC audition against Boise State thug Byron Hout. Blount compounded his dumbness by trying to go after fans on his way to the locker room. His acts cover up just how inept the Ducks were on offense. Hout should be suspeneded for at least half a season for instigating the whole meess by taunting and touching Blount to begin with.
Lastly next weekend's most intriguing match-up is now Michigan and Notre Dame. While both teams have major questions still to answer, the winner should be propelled into the top fifteen. Jimmy Claussen just took apart the Nevada secondary in the Irish win while Tate Forcier looked very composed for Michigan. Winning heals most wounds and after the shredding of Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez last week by some current and former players, quality wins are a good distraction.