So it’s about time i started doing a weekly football blog since we’re 3-4 weeks into the college and NFL seasons… Here are a few observations in my first couple sentences before i go off the deep end. This is just a couple of observations for those who may not care to read all my thoughts:
1) College Football is still very unpredictable and the top 50 teams are a lot closer together in competition than ever before. The talent is being more even spread out and it is showing by all of the “upsets” and some of the top tier teams getting beat early.
2) The NFL is as entertaining as it has been in a while. A lot of close games so far this year… teams that were supposed to be pretty good (Panthers and Titans) are not and teams that weren’t supposed to be as good (Bengals and Broncos) are doing well. Better competition is better entertainment. One thing we can all still agree on is that the Chiefs are still horrible!
OK, now that i got the basics out of the way, I’ll get into some more thoughts on the early seasons for College Football and NFL action. Some will be national, some will be about my personal favorites.
So far, I am pretty pleased with Nebraska. They lost by one point on the road to Virginia Tech in one of the toughest places to win on the road. They really should have won the game too. A couple things stick out in my mind about that game. One, Nebraska had 1st and goal at the 7 yard line but due to 4 costly penalties, took away a touchdown and actually pushed them so far back they ended up being out of FG range. Had they even made a FG there they would have won the game. This was early 4th quarter/late third quarter, can’t remember exactly, but getting points there would have won the game. The other, of course, is the last minute drive by VT. The only time during the entire game when they got any yards against the Blackshirts (Husker’s D) was on a long pass play that should have never happeend. They also got pretty lucky on the touchdown play on that drive that won the game for them. Could have easily been a win for the huskers, but their offense couldn’t punch it into the endzone when they needed to and lost by one point. The Huskers now stand at 3-1 instead of 4-0. VT is 3-1 (only loss to a top 3 Alabama team)… and VT is ranked #6 in the nation after beating #9 Miami this past weekend (31-7 at home). The Huskers are ranked #21-23 depending on the poll. I think the Huskers should be ranked higher, but that’s just my bias. However, I do think that if Nebraska had VT at home the would have won. I think if Nebraska were to play VT in a re-match in a bowl game this year on a nuetral site, I think they would win. I think they should have won that game in Blacksburg, VA! If Nebraska wins that game, they are a top 10 team right now. They lose by one and are now not even in the top 20. I think if they can win at Missouri they will move back into the top 20 for sure.
Bare with me here, I like to do a lot of “What If” scenerios, so here is one i’ve been thinking about. What if Nebraska wins out… if they beat Missouri on the road (a top 25 team). If they beat Kansas on the road (a top 20 team, maybe top 10-15 if they are still undefeated when they play the Huskers). if they beat Oklahoma at home (Bradford will be back by then and OU won’t be able to make excuses and will still be a top 10 maybe top 5 team if they have won out to that point)…. If they play an undefeated Texas team in the Big 12 championship (ranked #1 or 2) and win that game. Nebraska would have to be considered for the national championship with only one loss by one point on the road at one of the toughest places to play in the nation. Now, a lot of that also depends on if Virginia Tech wins out and who else remains unbeaten or with one loss. But it’s something to think about. I like to think about it at least. And while we’re on “what ifs”…
How about Oregon? They lost to a good Boise St. team on the road, but come back and win at home against a #6 Cal team… not only did they win, they killed them 42-3. I think Oregon would beat Boise St. in a re-match if they played again on a nuetral site in a bowl game. If they played at Oregon’s stadium i think they would win. But to get to my point, everyone is talking about USC coming back and winning out and getting into the national title picture. Really? How about Oregon running the table? What if Oregon wins out? Obviously Boise St. holds the advantage if they go undefeated (which would be cool to see a non-BCS team with a possibility of playing for a national title) but if BSU slips up, would Oregon be in the title talks if they win out? Of course, all of this depends on who beats who… when and where… at what point in the season, but it’s fun to think about.
College football is always crazy and that’s what I love about it! You never know what is going to happen…
On to the NFL!
It’s been a pretty good first few weeks of the season. Some surprises of course, and some not so surprising things. The not so surprising things are like the Browns and Chiefs starting 0-3. Denver starting 3-0 is a pretty big surprise. Mark Sanchez leading the Jets to 3-0 is a surprise, but the Jets were pretty good last year. The Vikings going 3-0 isn’t a huge surprise, but the last second win over the 49ers made things interesting. The vikings off season acquisitions of Percy Harvin (Vikings top draft choice) and Brett Favre paid off big time already early on. The Chiefs have shown little sign other than they aren’t even heading in the right direction (which would be better than last year’s 2-14 record which i thought for sure they could overcome). The Seahawks are back to playing half of their second string due to injuries. I had high hopes for the Seahawks, but with injuries there is no way they can get back to the top of the NFC west.
The biggest losers so far in my mind are the Titans (0-3) and the Steelers (1-2). The Steelers lone win was over the Titans and it took overtime to win that game. Both of these teams were atop the AFC last year and now they are off to a slow start. If either team wants a run at the playoffs they will need to turn things around quickly. The Patriots also are off to a bit of a slow start. They are 2-1 but could very well be 1-2 after a very late come from behind victory in week one. They offense isn’t clicking like it once did. Maybe when Wes Welker comes back they will get things going again. The dolphins are 0-3 after a pretty decent year last season. With QB Chad Pennington out for the year, it’s doubtful that this team will get close to .500 ball again. Other big losers are obviously the Browns, Rams, and Chiefs. All look like they could go 0-16 except i’m sure they play each other at some point and will get at least one win!
Biggest surprise would have to be the Broncos off to a 3-0 start. No one really thought they would do much, but they’ve come out to prove people wrong (despite a very lucky win against the Bengals in week one). The Bengals are another team who are surprsing with a 2-1 start, could be/shoud be 3-0. A nice win up in Lambeau over the Packers showed that they are relevant this year. The Bears could be 3-0 but Cutler’s 4 INT’s in week one against the Packers cost them. The Vike’s are definitely the team to beat in the north right now despite their easy schedule. They have AP, a possible rookie of the year canidate in Percy Harvin, and a Brett Favre who (so far) has been playing without making mistakes for the most part. The Jets are doing great so far, and as long as Rookie Mark Sanchez can play mistake free football, I think they will continue to surprise/impress people.
The NFC East is looking strong again with the Giants leading the way. The Cowboys are 3 points way from being 3-0, but lost a close one to the Giants in week 2. If Tony Romo can keep his head on straight in big games, and if they can stay away from injuries, they could be the team to beat. The Eagles are also playing very well, even with McNabb being out for a couple of games.
The Drew Brees led Saints are dominating the field with their high powered offense. It doesn’t look like anyone will be able to stop them this year. If the Saints defense can maintain a pretty good showing, the Saints could be a dark horse superbowl contender. The Carolina Panthers, who were a playoff team last year, are off to a terrible start. They need to get on the right track and quick if they hope to make the playoffs… but i think that is even a stretch right now.
Overall, a pretty entertaining first few weeks of football. Some surprises for sure, but that’s what makes it exciting.
Hope you all have enjoyed this read. Feel free to comment your thoughts and maybe we can make a weekly discussion out of this blog.