Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, September 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM
I had a bad opening week in college football but the phony over-hyped Michigan Wolverines had a worse one as they exposed the Big Ten Conference to be little better than the chaotic Big East but not the equal of teams comprising the Southeastern, Big 12, PAC-12 or Atlantic Coast conferences. The con is over, exposed on national television in Michigan's embarrassing 41-14 loss to defending national champion Alabama. The world saw it on prime-time national television and now realize what I have said for years-that the Big Ten is a fraud living on the reputation of a distant pass.
On behalf of full disclosure I released Michigan (+14) over Alabama as a 50-unit play, believing the number was far too high. It was as simple as that and had nothing to do with welterweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s. $3,000,000 bet on Michigan plus the 14, or the other big wagers by the sharps.
It was 21-0 Alabama at the end of the first quarter, with the Crimson Tide moving the ball as they wished, scoring three touchdowns over a five-minute stretch in the last 6:56 of the opening period.
The talent differential was immediately obvious and there was no question as to whether second-ranked Alabama or the eighth-ranked Wolverines was the better team. Michigan brought a pea-shooter to the battle, Alabama the U.S. Navy's new supergun that fires with pin-point accuracy from 100 miles away 20-pound bullets.
When it was over Alabama had won 41-14 without taking a deep breath and the victory was far more impressive that Oklahoma State's 84-0 pistol-whipping of NCAA Division I-AA Savannah State, a team that went 1-10 last season and that has a nine-year record of 11-74 over the past nine seasons since stepping up from NCAA Division II.
In the process Alabama had 20 first downs to 11 for the Wolverines, 431 yards of total offense to 269 and 107 return yards to 3 for Michigan.
Michigan Was Non-Competitive
The highest rated team in the Big Ten was basically non-competitive and was so over-matched its chances for winning ranked somewhere between zero and none. The facts speak for themselves and it is time for the media to admit the truth and accept the fact the Big Ten is a football conference that is merely mediocre-from top to bottom nothing special.
There is a reason teams from the SEC have won eight of the 14 BCS national championship games, including the last six, and no other conference has won more than one. Ohio State captured the title in 2002. Nothing illustrates the power of the SEC than the fact two teams from that conference-Alabama and LSU-met in the national championship game.
You can agree with me, or conclude I am nuts, but the facts are the facts-the SEC is head-and-shoulders above the other conferences in football and that is nothing that is going to change anytime soon. Join me in respecting the Big Ten but do not try to convince me it is a conference of power football teams. It's not, and that is supported by the facts.
College Coaches That Guarantee Losing Seasons
I do not want to be overly critical of college football coaches but the truth must be told.
Colorado's second-year coach Jon Embree (3-10 last season), a former tight ends coach in the NFL for Kansas City and Washington, does not have a clue and is not the answer to returning the Buffaloes to prominence. Colorado opened the season with a 22-17 Colorado State team that had far less talent and after beating Sacramento State this Saturday, may not win another game this season.
Indiana's second-year coach Kevin Wilson, former offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, has been a complete failure for a program that needs all the help it can get. In his first season, Indiana went 1-11, with its only win coming at the expense of NCAA Division I-AA South Carolina State, 38-21. This past Saturday Indiana opened at home against I-AA Indiana State-no world-beater by any measurement-and was life-and-death to get a 24-17 win over a team that plays Quincy this weekend. No second-year improvement was obvious.
Maryland's second-year coach Randy Edsall-successful at Connecticut-obviously is a bad fit at Maryland, where he is destroying a program that went 9-4 the season before he arrived. Last season, Maryland went 2-10 beating only Miami, 32-24, and I-AA Towson State, 28-3. The team he sent out Saturday had to pull out all the stops to get past I-AA William & Mary, 7-6. The 23,000 empty seats in 54,000-seat Byrd Stadium will get him fired before the season is over.
What Does It All Mean?
Wisconsin, a 32-point favorite over I-AA Northern Iowa Saturday, was a life-and-death winner, 26-21.
Pittsburgh, an 18-point favorite over I-AA Youngstown State, lost straight up, 31-17, marking the first time in school history the Panthers had lost to a I-AA team.
Memphis, a 9.5-point favorite over I-AA Tennessee-Martin, lost straight p 20-17.
Texas State began its season as a I-A team with a 30-13 win at Houston. Dennis Franchione, who last coached at Texas A&M, is in charge of the program for this San Marcus university.
Texas-San Antonio and South Alabama met as new members of I-A football and the former won 33-31 as a 5-point underdog. Texas-San Antonio is in just its second year of playing football and the man in charge of building this program is Larry Coker, who won a national championship at Miami.
McNeese State, a I-AA power, won at Middle Tennessee, 27-21, as a 7.5-point underdog and put the Blue Raiders Rick Stockstill on life support.
Losing This 100-Unit Play For First Time
I released my traditional 100-unit College Kickoff Blowout Game of the Year Saturday and lost it when Oregon (-37.5) opened up an easy 50-10 half-time lead, completely in charge and well on its way to giving me my fifth straight win in this game. Going against everything he has done in the past Oregon coach Chip Kelly decided for the first time ever not to play his starters in the second half. The back-up players scored just seven points in the second half and Oregon ended up winning, 57-34, and not getting what should have been an easy cover.
I want everyone to understand what was behind that play, and here is what I said about it on the Internet when I released it.
College Kickoff Blowout Game Of The Year
OREGON DUCKS (0-0) -37 over Arkansas State Red Wolves (0-0)
Prediction: Oregon by 55-60 points
Played in Eugene, Oregon
Played at Autzen Stadium (54,000), Artificial playing surface
Starting Time: 10:35TV: ESPN
Comments: I have a lot of respect for the Arkansas State football program and the commitment the university has to building the team into the Boise State of the South. Arkansas State went 10-3 last year to give the school its first winning record since it went 6-5 in 1995 and a 38-20 loss to Northern Illinois in the GoDaddy.Com Bowl did nothing to diminish what the team accomplished. But, with that said, Arkansas State tonight is playing in football hell-and Autzen Stadium is just that for visiting teams-and it does not have the talent on either offense or defense to keep this one close. A case can be made Oregon has the talent to win the national championship and the Ducks have a long habit of showcasing it for 60 minutes in every game they play. That means it's pedal to the metal for 60 minutes at a pace that leaves true blue-blood football powers wondering what is happening. I have personally visited most of the football stadiums in Division I-AA and there is none that has a stronger bias than Autzen. Fans are in it from the get-go, never let up and cheer for the Ducks at a decibel level that makes audibles almost impossible. But Arkansas State does not have to beat the stadium per say but has to beat a Ducks team that is absolutely loaded with blue-chip, game-breaking offensive talent that simply has the talent to run over weaker opponents. Mercy is not in the dictionary in Eugene. Last season Oregon faced two teams they completely outclassed and beat Nevada 69-20 and Missouri State 56-7. In 2010 it was New Mexico that took a 72-0 pistol-whipping at Autzen and Portland State that fell 69-0 in the stadium. Nothing illustrates the fast pace at which Oregon plays than the fact last season it led the nation in touchdown drives that lasted three or less plays with each taking less than 90 seconds. The team had 39 of them. Arkansas State has a decent dual-threat quarterback in fifth-year senior Ryan Aplin, but that's it, and he is certain to be compromised by a weak offensive line trying to slowdown a lightning quick defense that is mean as hell. Defensively Arkansas State has no answers for Oregon's three game-breaking players-senior running back Kenjon Barner (939 yards and 11 touchdowns as a back-up last year), sophomore running back/receiver/return man De'Anthony Thomas who in 2011 as a freshman rushed for 595 yards and seven touchdowns, caught 46 passes for 605 yards and nine touchdowns and averaged 27.3 yards on36 kickoff returns and red-shirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota, a four-star recruit who as a senior at St. Louis High School in Honolulu passed for 2,597 yards and 32 touchdowns, with just four interceptions, and rushed for another 455 yards and seven more touchdown in leading his team to the state championship. I could write a book about why I like the Ducks in this game but let me just add the figures say Oregon has a 100% chance to win this game straight up and better than a 90% chance to cover the 37. I rest my case.
Yes, I would do the same thing again. Everything I said about the game happened but all of it happened for just a half.