Good, Bad, and Ugly of College Football Week 2

Another great week of college football has come and gone.  While the slate for week 2 wasn’t nearly as sexy on paper as week 1, we did see something unique.  From circus finishes that shouldn’t have been to head coaches eviscerating players and assistants, there was plenty to make this week’s edition of the good, bad, and the ugly.

The Good

Lamar Jackson is officially college football’s human highlight film.  For anyone convinced his opening week performance against Charlotte was a fluke his week two performance against Syracuse went one step further.  Jackson accounted for 610 yards of total offense and five touchdowns in the Cardinals 62-28 blitzkrieg of Syracuse. In just two weeks the dual threat QB has gone from 100-1 to win the Heisman down to 10; talk about a meteoric rise.  However stats against lightweights are one thing; doing it against the Seminoles under the bright lights of the national spotlight this week can cement his candidacy.

Wisconsin and Texas, two teams I still believe are vastly overrated, showed no hangover from their resume defining week 1 victories.  Wisconsin obliterated Akron 54-10 despite the Zips taking a ton of money in the betting market from the professionals.  Texas’ comfortable victory against in-state UTEP came rather easily after the Miners elected to sit starting QB Zack Greenlee.  Both the Horns and Badgers have big tests in the coming weeks and I’m sure two proud programs will try to make me admit I was wrong in characterizing them as overrated.

It didn’t work out in their favor but BYU head coach Kalani Sitake deserves my respect going for two to win the Holy War rather than electing to kick an extra point.  Trailing 20-19 in the games waning seconds, BYU opted for a two-point try after a potentially game tying touchdown.  His play call, however ill-fated the result, proved to his players he had the utmost confidence in them to play for the win on their terms rather than rolling the dice in OT.

What we saw late night in Tempe is the epitome of why college football is something special.  Arizona State and Texas Tech put on a show of epic proportions combining for 123 points between them; easily exceeding the closing total of 80.  There were 1,264 yards of offense generated by the two teams although it was one Sun Devil that stole the headlines.  Kalen Ballage scored eight touchdowns, yes eight, breaking the school record and tying the single game scoring record set by Howard Griffith of Illinois back in 1990.  The most impressive part of Ballage’s night?  He scored those eight touchdowns on just 15 touches.

The Bad

Clemson might have entered the season as a national champion front-runner but through 120 minutes of football they look like anything but contenders.  The Tigers put together their second straight listless effort slipping by a pesky Troy team 30-24.  DeShaun Watson appeared human again going 27 of 53 for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns.  The Heisman candidate has just four touchdown passes to go with three interceptions and has yet to find the endzone with his legs.  Clemson was also bit by the injury bug losing linebacker Ben Boulware to an ankle injury and receiver Hunter Renfrow to a broken hand that will sideline him for at least four weeks.

Georgia should be ashamed of their 26-24 victory over Nicholls State.  A win is a win this time of year but when you enter as 52.5 point favorites against a FCS opponent and escape by the slimmest of margins it goes without saying there are plenty of things first year head coach Kirby Smart needs to fix if the Bulldogs are viable conference contenders.

Take your pick from the game in Stillwater: Mike Gundy’s play calling, Mike Gundy’s hair, Oklahoma State’s defensive execution, or a Oklahoma State student newspaper telling CMU to do the right thing and forfeit the victory.  The most improbable finishes are always birthed by ineptitude although officials incorrectly extending a game because they didn’t know a particular rule is something you don’t see everyday.

Kentucky…I’m not sure even a masochist wants me to recreate the four quarter dumpster fire that was their effort in Gainesville.  Over the last six quarters of football against Southern Miss and Florida UK has been outscored 79-7…that’s not normal.

The Ugly

Lane Kiffin’s unorthodox play calling in a 35-3 route gave Western Kentucky bettors a much-needed life line.  With just 1:34 left to play, rather than running a simple dive, Alabama attempted to run what could be best described as a jet sweep.  Robert Foster put the ball on the ground and the Hilltoppers pounced on it. Just three plays later Drew Eckles threw a 24 yard touchdown pass allowing Western to sneak inside the backdoor.  Bettors shopping around for the best of the number should have cashed both ways given the dog was widely available at 28.5 or higher while the favorite closed -27.

Wyoming bettors were dealt an even crueler fate than the aforementioned Alabama debacle.  Craig Bohl’s Cowboys headed to the fourth quarter trailing 24-17 catching 25.5.  That’s where things peaked for the boys from Laramie who surrendered 28 unanswered in the final stanza.  The Huskers poured in four touchdowns in just under eight minutes of game play to take a tight seven point lead to a 52-17 final.  Unfortunately for Pokes supporters they wouldn’t even generate a valid backdoor attempt only running four offensive plays in the games final five minutes.

If you haven’t already seen this video of Mike Leach ripping his Washington State team it’s must see TV.