Written by: John Stocco
Week 2 of the college football season is in the books, and not only did it leave us entertained, it left us with more questions. The three spotlight games for Blitzalytics this weekend was Army vs. Michigan at the Big House, and two top 15 matchups between Texas A&M and Clemson, and the game of the week LSU vs. Texas in Austin. Let’s dive in and see how it all played out.
What the hell happened to Michigan?
I don’t want to take anything away from Army because all game they played immaculate defense, and it’s a game they should have won, but the bigger story here is what in the hell happened to Michigan. I was watching this game, and it was completely mind boggling to me. One let’s start with Jim Harbaugh. Listen, I’ve been a Jim Harbaugh supporter since day one. I really liked him at Stanford, as a Bears fan, I was jealous of the 49ers for having him, and I was really excited when he went back to Michigan because I felt like it was the perfect hire to bring Michigan back to championship contention. All that could still be true. When people call Harbaugh overrated I kinda take it with a grain of salt. When Jim Harbaugh came to Michigan he inherited a mess. Jim Harbaugh comes to town and all they do is win. Honestly you wanna read the records?
It’s an easy google search but I’ll go ahead and give it to you. Saturday’s win put Harbaugh at 40 wins. Michigan is now 40-14 under Jim Harbaugh. He’s on pace to have more wins than Brady Hoke and Rich Rodriguez combined. Under Jim Harbaugh, Michigan is always in the top 25, Michigan is always in the hunt to win the Big Ten, and Michigan is always signing top recruits. Does he struggle in the big games? Yes. Is his play calling outdated? Yes. As I said yesterday, when Harbaugh was in the NFL he had a college style offense with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback leading the spread RPO scheme. Harbaugh goes back to college and we’re seeing an offense that you would see in 2003. He’s going backwards when everyone else in college is looking to find the next big thing. Harbaugh is not overrated. They’re 2-0, and they’re ranked 7th in the nation, but they need to find answers in Shea Patterson and their offensive line because after the way they played on Saturday that team isn’t good enough to beat Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State.
Smooth sailing the rest of the way for Clemson?
At first, this looked like a game. Texas A&M was driving the ball down the field, but couldn’t finish. On defense they were tough and they did a good job containing Travis Entienne the entire game, but their secondary couldn’t keep up with Clemson’s passing game. A&M was close, yet so far away, and they were set back even further when Kellen Mond had one of his worst games as a college quarterback. Just from the beginning of the game it felt like something was wrong with Mond. He looked like he was bothered all game. He honestly looked like he was sleep walking out there. He couldn’t read the blitzes, he couldn’t make accurate throws, and he couldn’t lead the offense down the field. I still believe Texas A&M was good enough to pull off the upset, but with Mond playing the way he did, the Aggies looked flat. Mond didn’t have it, and Clemson ate them up. What’s next for Clemson? An undefeated year and another ACC championship. Seriously. The ACC is flat out garbage and their next biggest test is Syracuse next week who got destroyed by Maryland, 63-20. Clemson is just way too good, and everyone in the ACC is just way too bad. The Clemson Tigers can be in cruise control the rest of the way.
Is LSU good enough to beat Alabama?
I’m serious when I say this, but it’s time to start putting Joe Burrow in the discussion next to Tua, Herbert, and Jake Fromm. In two games this year Burrow has thrown for 749 yards, 9 TD’s, 1 INT, and has a QBR of 92.1 which is the 5th best in college football. Joe Burrow has looked phenomenal under passing game coordinator Joe Brady. Joe Brady is almost the story here as it feels like a star was born last night. By how good Burrow has looked, Brady has put himself in a prime spot to earn a head coaching job, and every time the ABC crew put the camera on him it felt like the more eventual head coaching interviews he was going to get. Back to the original point, yes, I do believe LSU is good enough to beat Alabama. Joe Burrow is looking like one of the best quarterbacks in college football, their receiving core, Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, rivals Clemson and Bama’s as college football’s best, and their defense is legit by having a loaded secondary led by Grant Delpit, Michael Divinity at linebacker, and a presence on the edge in K’Lavon Chaisson. For the first time since 2011, LSU matches with Alabama pound for pound in every position. If you’re Texas, you keep your head up. By no means is their season over. It just makes their road tougher. They played LSU tough, and stuck with them the entire game. This Texas team is really good, and Sam Ehlinger is a special football player. They need to find answers in the running game as Roschon Johnson and Keontay Ingram rushing for a combined 61 yards on 17 carries won’t win you anything. If the running game gets going it will help take pressure off of Ehlinger, and it will make the Texas offense less predictable. If the Longhorns start pressuring defenses with an efficient running game then this is a team that is far from done in the college football playoff race.
Biggest winners of Week 2:
Utah: The Utes are the team that nobody is talking about. Everyone thought Lee Corso needed to be drug tested when he predicted them to be in the college football playoff, and now it’s looking like Lee Corso is going to get the last laugh. Zack Moss is a nasty running back and he’s looking like one of the best backs in the country. Utah has a legitimate shot at winning the Pac 12, and going undefeated.
USC: This one shocked me. Losing JT Daniels for the season I thought the Trojans were doomed. They come out with another freshman quarterback, Kedon Slovis, and he lights up the Cardinal defense like a Christmas tree. They’re 2-0, 1-0 in conference play, and the Trojans beat a ranked Stanford team with Slovis throwing for 377 yards, 3 TD’s, and 0 INT’s. Watching the Trojans play this well on Saturday night was a pleasure.
Colorado: Colorado vs. Nebraska or LSU vs. Texas? Honestly you can flip a coin and decide which game was the best this weekend because you can’t be wrong. A fantastic finish, great resilience, and a terrific effort to comeback from 17 points, and beat the Cornhuskers in OT. Mel Tucker’s defense took control and stopped Nebraska in their tracks, and the Buffs quarterback Steven Montez showed veteran leadership by not trying to do too much. He made the right reads, made the right throws, and didn’t cost his team by making many mistakes.
Biggest losers of Week 2:
Washington: How does this happen? Just like Utah, Washington had an easy path to the top of the Pac 12 and they lose to one of the worst teams in the conference. A top defense, and Jacob Eason who was one of the biggest names in the sport, go on to lose to Cal. A terrible blow to the Huskies.
Nebraska: Maybe we should have all relaxed on Nebraska. Again, Scott Frost is a good coach, and again, he inherited a mess. This will take time to turn around. Sound familiar? Sounds exactly like Michigan and Jim Harbaugh.
Tennessee: To quote the great Billy Beane in one of the greatest movies of all time, Moneyball, “there are rich teams and there are poor teams, then there’s 50 feet of crap, and then there’s us.” That’s how Tennessee feels right now.