It’s easy to overreact when watching college football. We’re dealing with college kids and from week to week it’s impossible to come to definitive conclusions about a team based on just one game.
That said, TCU did not look like a powerhouse last night against Minnesota. Frankly, TCU didn’t really beat Minnesota; the Gophers beat themselves with several sloppy turnovers that completely changed the game.
Here are some observations:
- Trevone Boykin is the real deal. This kid can really play, and he’s the main reason everyone should be talking about TCU. That said, the TCU offense wasn’t dominating against a solid Minnesota defense, and you have to wonder what would happen to TCU if they faced a physical and fast defense like Ohio State or Alabama.
- TCU’s defense looks very weak. Minnesota was running the ball at will after a slow start, so expect TCU’s young defense to have trouble when they face power running games. Minnesota was only slowed down by turnovers and miserable play from the quarterback.
Again, this is only the first game of the season, and TCU’s defense in particular should get better as the year goes on. But they won’t get an bigger, and it’s hard to see TCU slowing down the best Power 5 teams if they make it to the Playoff.
TCU looks like a good team, but hardly a dominant team. They will have their hands full against big, physical teams like Oklahoma.
After another wild day of college football, here are some observations:
- Barring a slew of wild upsets that let a 2-loss team into the mix, the real contenders for the final four spots is now down to nine teams – Mississippi State and Alabama from the SEC, Florida State from the ACC, Oregon and Arizona State from the Pac 12, TCU and Baylor from the Big 12 and Ohio State and Nebraska from the Big Ten.
- Ohio State made a huge statement with its road demolition of Michigan State as they posted 49 points on Sparty’s vaunted defense. Suddenly the Buckeyes are in the mix though they probably need some help.
- I don’t have much sympathy for Auburn despite their two late fumbles (other than feeling bad for the individual players who messed up). Auburn rode good fortune to get to the BCS championship game last year, so they really can’t gripe about some bad luck this year. Also, their defense blows.
- Alabama pulled out a huge win against LSU, but they’re getting a ton of love based on reputation. This isn’t the same dominating Alabama team.
- The TCU/Baylor debate will become heated as it’s hard to figure out who should be ranked higher. Also, with Ohio State playing at Minnesota this week, the Buckeyes and TCU will have a common opponent for sake of comparison. TCU beat the Gophers at home 30-7, so Ohio State needs to beat Minnesota handily, and they can also help themselves if they thump Minnesota on the road.
- Arizona State got a huge win against Notre Dame, though they benefited from a slew of turnovers. The Ohio State win over Michigan State was probably more impressive as it was on the road and they overcame two of their own turnovers and got none from Sparty. If you take into account the eye test, you’ll see the Buckeyes are as talented as any other team. They’re just young and you’ll need to overlook a bad, early-season loss against Virginia tech after they lost Braxton Miller and had inexperienced freshman TJ Barrett starting in his place. Now we see just how good Barrett can be.
That said, it looks like the SEC, ACC and Pac 12 teams control their own fate. How it plays out for the others is anyone’s guess.
Boise State Broncos defensive tackle Chase Baker (97) sacks Louisiana Tech Bulldogs quarterback Ross Jenkins (11) on fourth down during the first half at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho, October 26, 2010. REUTERS/ Brian Losness (UNITED STATES)
That cigar smoke you see floating over your house is coming from BCS headquarters, where they’re lighting them up at a furious pace for the second straight season.
Boise State lost to TCU 36-35 today, and just like in last year’s shocking loss to Nevada, the Broncos missed a very makeable field goal at the end of the game. This time, it was Dan Goodale who missed a 39-yard kick as time expired to give the Horned Frogs the win in stunning fashion.
Like last year, the Boise State defense gave up a late lead, and that’s probably where a lot of the blame lies. But watching Goodale miss that kick certainly had to give Boise fans flashbacks to Kyle Brotzman’s miscue against Nevada. One big difference with this is that unlike Brotzman, Goodale hasn’t built up a ton of goodwill around campus for having been a spectacular kicker throughout his career.
The loss puts an end to any hopes the Broncos had of possibly squeezing into the national title game, and probably douses all hopes of getting into a BCS game at all.
And how’s this for schadenfreude? The game was played in Boise only because the Mountain West was trying to stick it to TCU as it was set to leave for the Big East. That worked out well, didn’t it?
Baylor defeated TCU 50-48 in a thriller last night, finishing with 564 yards in total offense. TCU coach Gary Patterson had harsh words for his defense after the game, singling out the play of his corners, but he needs to look in the mirror as Lee Corso pointed out this morning on ESPN. TCU lost a bunch of players on defense from last year’s tough squad, and Patterson should have known he had weaker corners. He should known he had to play more conservative defense. Instead, he left his corners out there alone on an island and they got torched. Then he had the nerve to call them out after the game. His own arrogance got him in trouble but he won’t admit it.
I know I am. As nice as Thursday was for college football lovers, there’s nothing quite like the first full Saturday of college football. I could barely sleep last night, as thoughts of TCU’s defense, Brian Kelly’s debut in South Bend and Erin Andrews — on the set of Gameday … pervs — danced through my head.
Before I get into the five things you should look out for today, a brief introduction: My name is Paul Costanzo and I’ll be guiding you through your college football Saturdays this season. I’m not a college football expert, by any means. I’m just a huge fan who happens to have a journalism degree. I’m also a good friend of Anthony’s, so if I suck at this, you can direct all your hate mail to him. You can read me daily in the Times Herald newspaper out of Port Huron, Mich.