ARU: College Football–Week One

LSU WR Trindon Holliday returns a kickoff in t...

LSU only gathered 273 yards of total offense in their season opener against Oregon...but still picked up the win.

First things first:  About 95% of games in this opening week of college football are “scrub” games–a tune-up, if you will; however, with every rule the tendency dictates a few exceptions.

Saturday’s primetime slate featured #3 Oregon vs. #4 LSU, and #5 Boise State vs. #19 Georgia. If you’re a college fan, could you ask for more? Both games had the electric feel of a significant BCS Bowl. Both were played at neutral sites (we’ll get to that later), and both games featured some of the best talent in the entire country.

The Broncos (Boise State) scored 28 unanswered points mostly under the exceptional performance of QB Kellen Moore (28/34, 261 yards, 3 TDS/1 INT). Boise State didn’t score early, but they scored often. 3rd Down efficiency sided with the Broncos (4/12)…the Bulldogs were 2 for 13 in the same category.

The LSU/Oregon game can easily be put into one keyword…turnovers. Oregon gave the ball up four times–LSU only once. The Ducks relied heavily on the passing game, throwing on 54 attempts. The Tigers kept the ball on the ground for a good majority of the game–eating up clock. Spencer Ware and Michael Ford split up the majority of LSU’s rushing attack (99 and 96 yards, respectively).

Second Helpings:  Both games were supposed to be played on neutral sites. The LSU/Oregon game was played in Cowboys Stadium (close to Arlington)…it’s a 464 mile trip for the LSU Tigers, and a 2037 mile trip for the Oregon Ducks. The Georgia/Boise State game was played in the Georgia Dome (Atlanta)…it’s a 70 mile drive. 70 miles. Boise State had a 2,220 mile trip.

Now, I know what you’re thinking–”come on, teams these days fly everywhere!” And you’re exactly right–they do; however, you can’t tell me that fans are going to be as willing to spend big bucks on a flight. Maybe the dedicated ones…but the numbers are certainly going to be uneven. It’s really an interesting situation when you have two college teams on national television like this. Either you play on a “truly” neutral site (like Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City) and suffer low attendance numbers, or you play closer to one university and get great ticket sales. They choose the option that brings in the money, and not the one that’s fair.

That being said, it’s obviously not impossible to win at the “unfair” neutral site–Boise State is proof of that, but it certainly creates a more difficult atmosphere.

Sometimes it rains: And man, it pours. Multiple televised games on Saturday suffered long rain delays. Notre Dame and Michigan are the first two to come to my mind. The West Virginia game is currently (Sunday, 615pm) on a rain delay as well.

I feel sorry for Notre Dame. Their game lasted at least 7 hours of multiple rain/lightning delays.

Big upsets… #14 TCU loses to Baylor, 50 to 48… South Florida edges Notre Dame by three points, 23-20…

Pac-16: A 16 team conference? Really? ESPN reports Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State could round out the Pac-12 into the Pac-16. There has to be a point of efficiency here. 16 teams in a power conference like the Pac-12 is absolutely ridiculous. IF these teams decided to enter the Pac-12, it only opens a can of worms. The quality of the Big 12 drops significantly, and only a handful of teams that deserve to be in BCS Bowls will actually get in.

There is good news with this, though. If these teams make the switch, it becomes a great opportunity for the NCAA to discuss new alternatives for the BCS format.

All of this only from week one. Did I miss anything? Let me know–I may or may not add it in. Don’t get your hopes up.

Until tomorrow.

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About Jake Ryle

I'm a Sports Reporter/Anchor at KTBY/KYUR (FOX/ABC) in Anchorage, Alaska...Also an alumnus of Western Kentucky University, and a major in broadcast news. Have any fun ideas for The ARU? Let me know via email!

Posted on September 4, 2011, in ARU, Football, NCAA Sports and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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