What an Opening Saturday in College Football!

More Les Miles' magic propelled the Tigers to a comeback win over Wisconsin.

If this is what we are going to get every Saturday through January of 2015 then I think we’ll all be quite pleased. While there will be weekends with more upsets and perhaps more exciting action, this opening Saturday proved one important thing; I don’t think there is one dominant team out there at the moment. Let’s start with the two big games in Texas.

LSU rallied to beat Wisconsin last night in Houston by scoring 21 unanswered points to win 28-24. The Badgers have to be violently ill this morning after having a powerhouse SEC team on the ropes only to get knocked out in the end. Badgers’ QB Melvin Gordon carried his team with 140 yards rushing and a touchdown but new QB Tanner McEvoy could do nothing in the passing game. He went just 8 for 24 for 50 yards and two picks.

The Tigers meanwhile looked uninterested, fundamentally unsound and lazy while falling behind Wisconsin early and into the second half. Les Miles as expected started Anthony Jennings who was miserable at QB. Brandon Davis came in for a series and didn’t look much better. Jennings was able to find a groove in the second half though throwing two touchdown passes to rally the Tigers to victory.

Wisconsin will have to figure out the QB situation because those numbers by McEvoy won’t get it done. LSU meanwhile has tons of work to do but can build on the comeback win.

FSU's Jimbo Fisher has some things to work on despite winning last night in Arlington.

Up the road in Arlington, defending national champion Florida State survived 37-31 against a very tough and game Oklahoma State team. The Seminoles were thought to be as good on defense as they are on offense but giving up 364 yards and 8 of 16 on third downs is not going to get this team a return trip to Cowboys Stadium for the title game.

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was great when he needed to be despite two turnovers. He threw for 370 yards, a touchdown and a fantastic 28-yard TD run. The big concern going forward for FSU is the running game which put up just 106 yards. The Seminoles’ offensive line is considered the best in the country but they looked anything but against a younger, more inexperienced defensive front from Oklahoma State.

Sometimes it’s games like these that give you a shot in the arm or are a real wake up call. If I’m Florida State this morning I’m hoping that this is exactly the case.

Other games of note…

UCLA needed three defensive touchdowns to win on the road against Virginia 28-20. If Brett Hundley expects to be a Heisman candidate then he has to play better than he did… Ohio State defeated Navy 34-17 to begin the ‘season without Braxton Miller’ campaign. The Midshipmen actually led 14-13 in the third quarter… There was no gigantic upset in the Big House this time as Michigan rolled to a 52-14 win over Appalachian State. This was a much less talented Mountaineer team than was the 2007 team however… Second ranked Alabama survived a tough contest with West Virginia winning 33-22 in Atlanta. The Tide rolled to over 500 yards of offense with running backs Derrick Henry and T.J. Yeldon both going over 100 yards on the day. The alarming part for Bama is that WVU QB Clint Trickett threw for 365 yards which is the most ever against a Saban-coached Bama team. He broke the record set in the Tide’s last game which was a Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma… The clear front-runner in the Heisman race has to be Georgia’s Todd Gurley who rushed for 198 yards and three TDs in the Bulldogs’ 45-21 rout of Clemson. He also had a 100-yard kickoff return for touchdown too.

Oklahoma State Allegations Are Not Shocking

WIll the allegations brought forth by Sports Illustrated cost Mike Gundy his job?

The new report by Sports Illustrated on the allegations of misconduct at Oklahoma State University isn’t receiving the type of reaction that I think the¬†popular magazine was looking for. Oh it’s generating some buzz in many circles but are the alleagations of paying players, drug use, academic fraud and hostesess luring players really that surprising?

This report comes on the heels of the NCAA investigating Heisman Trophy Winner Johnny Manziel who may or may not have signed autographs for money. We know Manziel signed a large amount of autographs for specific brokers but he claims he accepted no payment. Once the NCAA sat down with Manziel and his cadre of lawyers, they must have realized they had no proof and decided to move on.

You know and I know the NCAA is a broken system. It’s broken in nearly every possible way from the top down. Based upon that fact and the recent Manziel situation, the Oklahoma State report has a very ‘ho-hum’ feel to it.

Now if this report were about Notre Dame or USC or Florida then maybe we’d be a bit more up in arms but this is Oklahoma State University we are talking about here. They aren’t even the most prominent football school in their own state so why should the nation pay much attention to this?

Will Miles come under fire at LSU for possible violations while he was at Oklahoma State?

I don’t think it’s the nation that has to be concerned. College football fans already know how¬†susceptible to corruption the sport is. The people that need be concerned are those named in this report who are still at OSU or those who are still invloved with the sport but are now at different universities.

Take Les Miles for example. School officials in Baton Rouge right now have to be busy going over Miles’ handiwork since he’s been running their football program. Many of the allegations levied against the Cowboys happened on Miles’ watch so it doesn’t take a scientist to figure what worked at OSU would work even better at a traditional power like LSU.

By the way, think the folks in Ann Arbor aren’t taking a monstrous sigh of relief this week? Miles was nearly headed back to coach the very school he played and coached at before turning it down.

College football is the most lucrative college sport there is and it has that title far and away from college basketball. While some schools do identify their success with basketball, schools know that the real money is made by the success of the college football program.

Based upon last year’s numbers, the highest grossing athletic departments in America are dominated by traditional football schools. The top 13 schools, with Texas leading the way, are dominated by their football programs. Only the 14th school, Louisville, earned more in basketball than football.

What does this mean? It means that if schools are going to cheat and are going to cut corners and are going to offer things that just can’t be turned down by an 18-year old kid then they are going to do it in football.

I honestly don’t know what will come of this report on Oklahoma State but don’t be surprised if some other schools start to fall as well. If you think these types of things don’t go on in the SEC or the Big Ten or the Pac-12 then I suggest you open your eyes and get a gosh darn clue. Maybe things at other schools aren’t as rampant and ‘in-your-face’ as they claim to have been in Stillwater but there is no way the top programs in America are as crystal clean as you might think. That should not be shocking at all.