FIVE FROM SI: WEEK 2
By Simon Carroll
Week 2 of college football has been and gone. Whilst everyone else brings you acute analysis, Si finds his five weekly reasons why you should all be watching football on Saturdays:
Florida State Going Backwards
It’s fair to say that things haven’t gone smoothly under Willie Taggart’s tenure at Florida State. The Seminoles finished last season with a 5-7 record, their first losing record since 1976. And in week 1 of this season Taggart saw his men forfeit a sixteen point lead to lose to Boise State. Plenty of coaching staffs will delve into their bag of tricks in this situation to try and kick-start a team, and new offensive co-ordinator Kendall Briles did just that. Against lowly Louisiana-Monroe, FSU ran a play where a tight end lined up BACKWARDS. No word of a lie. Check this out:
In the end Tre McKitty went in motion and ultimately faced the right way. Not only that, but the play went for a ten yard gain by running back Cam Akers. Nevertheless, the unusual tactic was the perfect visual metaphor for Taggart’s reign in Tallahassee. Oh, and in case you were wondering, The Seminoles avoided an embarrassing upset with a 45-44 win after overtime. A missed extra point spared them their blushes.
Alabama are very good, and that is definitely NIck Saban’s fault. He’s created a monster in Tuscaloosa, a talent machine that never seems to skip a beat. With that dominance comes some downsides – for instance, no big team wants to schedule The Crimson Tide out of conference. Why would they? It’s almost a guaranteed defeat when they could line up a Pac-12 team and have a much better chance of victory…
For those that don’t know, in the world of college football a team’s strength of schedule comes under scrutiny from the voters when deciding their rankings. Being in the SEC, Alabama don’t tend to need to worry about that – their schedule is always going to be tough. However, they have been accused of lining up small schools who take a big payday to be cannon fodder every year. Saban, who isn’t in charge of scheduling, seems a little tired of the accusation:
Now I’m not going to lose any sleep over Nick Saban being unfairly ruffled. But it is worthy to note that this man has campaigned for mandatory Power Five out of conference opponents on multiple occasions. Maybe these reporters should find the real culprit rather than poke a notoriously cantankerous man and moan at his response.
Kent State is a basketball school. But even they know you DO NOT INTERFERE WITH COLLEGE FOOTBALL. And The University of Maine and their hockey team found that out to their cost on Saturday. The Black Bear’s and the Golden Flashes faced each other in a hockey game that, inconveniently, went to double overtime. With the Kent State football team due to play Kennesaw State at 12 noon on the same field, the school took the decision to abandon the hockey contest in order to make sure the stadium was ready:
Well... that's a new one.— UMaine Field Hockey (@UMaineFH) September 7, 2019
Today's game at @KentState has been declared a "no contest" after Kent State administration came onto the field prior to the second overtime half and called off the game to allow the noontime Kent football game to begin on time.
Maine, predictably, weren’t very impressed. And let’s be honest, it’s pretty poor organisation on Kent State’s behalf. They should have been made to forfeit the game rather than declare it a ‘no contest’. But the truth is nobody cares about hockey, and lots of people care about football. Ironically, the football game also went to overtime, with the Golden Flashes squeaking out the win 26-23. I’m sure the Black Bears enjoyed watching it on their 900 mile journey home…
A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
My colleague Rory will have no doubt highlighted the amazing flea flicker play from Colorado on Saturday. A bit of a Hollywood moment for college football there, but if pure violence is your thing then this one may be more up your street. Zack Moss, who I’ve been banging on about ad nauseum all offseason, seemed to be more than a little irritated that Northern Illinois were hanging around in their match against Utah. Approaching halftime, Moss decided to get in the endzone and take one poor defender with him:
Moss will have more than a few highlights on the way to the NFL Draft this year, and this will undoubtedly be one of them. He had acres of real estate to head left or right of the defender, but chose to go through him instead. I’m sure safeties up and down the country will be making better business decisions if they meet him in the open field the rest of this season.
That kid has parents Zack…
Something In The Water
The biggest game of the week (Sorry Clemson, Texas A&M) was undoubtedly in Austin, where the LSU Tigers beat The Texas Longhorns in an absolute thriller between two top ten teams. This one had been built up beforehand so it was no surprise to see the two sets of players getting into it during warmups. LSU linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson had been stoking the fires all week, claiming quarterback Sam Ehlinger was nothing special. And it was Chaisson who led some teammates into an excellent bit of shithousery about an hour before kickoff:
What you can’t see just before the confrontation was Chaisson & co. heading to the Texas sideline after warmups and drinking their water. You better believe they knew what they were doing – this was no honest mistake. The two sets of teams (and staff!) clashed over the incident, needing to be separated. They went toe to toe again just before kickoff too, and it helped ignite an enthralling contest. The Tigers backed up their pre-game bravado with an exemplary performance to take the win back to Louisiana.
Kids these days. They just don’t have any respect.
previously the founder of nfl draft uk, simon has been covering college football and the nfl draft since 2009. based in manchester, simon is also co-creator & weekly guest of the collapsing pocket podcast.