College football kicks off with a bang

Chris Olave 2021 Ohio State vs Minnesota

It was quite a weekend for college football, as many of us who love the game saw the crowds return and bring back the magic of the game. Yes, we still have issues with this top-heavy sport with Alabama and a few other dominant teams, but the traditions, crowds and games themselves make this an irresistible sport. No, NIL won’t ruin it. It will just continue to evolve, and likely in a better way.

As for the games this weekend, Ohio State and Minnesota kicked things off on Thursday night, as the Gophers came out to play and made things interesting for the first half. The Gophers have a monster offensive like in front of star running back Mo Ibrahim, and the Buckeyes have a young defense that clearly needs some more time to gel.

Meanwhile, C.J. Stroud was making his first start at quarterback and struggled in the first half. He had trouble throwing accurately on the run and couldn’t consistently get the ball to Ohio State’s talented receivers. That changed in the second half as Ryan Day schemed the receivers open and Stroud hit them in stride. The Buckeyes showed how Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and the rest of the Buckeye receivers will torch opponents all season. And they have running backs as well, as Miyan Williams and true freshman TreVeyon Henderson both scored on long touchdowns.

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Ohio State destroys Clemson

Clemson was heavily favored, and Dabo Swinney ranked the Buckeyes #11 in his coaches poll. On ESPN, “analyst” Bart Scott said Ohio State was the “JV” team that had no chance against Clemson who was favored by over a touchdown. And Justin Fields had to hear about his subpar performance against Northwestern.

And of course, last year Ohio State outplayed Clemson but suffered a crushing defeat after several ridiculous calls and missed opportunities by the Buckeyes.

So the stage was set, and what transpired was the most satisfying victory for Buckeye fans since the 2014 National Championship. Ohio State whipped Clemson, dominating on both sides of the ball. Clemson was simply outmatched by a better football team that had something to prove. Ryan Day called a brilliant game and Justin Fields had the game of his life while the Buckeye defense teed off on Trevor Lawrence.

This one was sweet.

Clemson situation is one fine mess

Clemson TigersThe final seconds hadn’t even run off the clock in the Tigers’ 21-17 defeat at the hands of Georgia Tech, and already Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips could be seen screaming at his coaches down on the sidelines.

Phillips was the one who fired helped Tommy Bowden make his decision to resign earlier this week and replaced him with Dabo Swinney. The move looked like it would pay off when Clemson took a 17-14 lead deep into the fourth quarter, but a late GA Tech touchdown sent Tiger fans home with yet another defeat.

The scene on the sidelines at the end of the game paints an ugly picture for Clemson’s current situation. There’s no doubt Bowden had to be replaced (his own brother said so after it happened), but Phillips and the rest of the big wigs in the program need to realize that change won’t happen overnight.

Although he got way to cute with his play calling on Saturday, Swinney did a nice job rallying the troops in the wake of Bowden’s firing. Given what was said by a couple of the players in the media this week, it appears that the locker room had been divided. But given the circumstances, Swinney kept things in order and deserves a chance to turn the Tigers’ misfortunes around this season.

Or at the very least, deserves the respect of not being lashed at on national television by an AD who should be nowhere near the sidelines at the end of a game. (Although to be fair, nobody knows at this point why Phillips was yelling at his coaches. Maybe he was upset that the concession stand ran out of Diet Coke?)

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