But for the hustle of Coach Scott Satterfield’s new favorite football player -- Rainbow Warrior DL Manly Williams -- Khalil Tate, a former future Heisman hopeful, would have crossed Aloha Stadium’s goal line with zeros on the clock, giving Arizona a chance to beat Hawaii in OT.
And, more than incidentally, give the kid here a shot to go 2-0 with his Week 0 picks. Alas, it was not to be, forcing me to savor only Florida overcoming a serious case of 3d & Grantham on Miami’s final drive to survive.
So, one up, one down. 1-1=0. Which is poetically par for Week 0.
It’s early. Nobody’s in mid season form yet. Except the Ol’ Ball Coach, whose wry, bemused smile when Feleipe Franks threw a 1st Down pick late was the highlight of the weekend.
Enough foolishness. College pigskin kicks it in gear for real this weekend.
This week’s winners:
Georgia Tech @ Clemson. I can hear the hateration already. “Seedy’s starting out with a sure thing to pad his already faltering winning %. Tech’s got a new coach trying to fit old school players into a contemporary system. And Dabo’s odds on to go undefeated until the post season. This one’s a Paul Hornung unbuckle lock.” Au contraire, my not so freres. Here’s the perspective. Though Kentuckian traditionalists would hearken back to Centre 6 Harvard 0, generally regarded as the biggest upset in college football is App State taking down the Wolverines in the Big House in ‘07. What few remember about that game is that it was the first televised on the then nascent Big 10 Network. So, what’s new this year, kids? That’s right, the ACCN. And, what’s the first game to be televised by said network? Correct. From said logic comes the transcendence in predictioneering you’ve come to expect from this lauded exercise. That said, Clemson rolls. Not quite like the 222-0 beating the Ramblin’ Wreck put on Cumberland . . . but close.
Auburn vs. Oregon (JerryWorld). If you read too much about sports as I do, sooner or later you’ll come to contemplations about peripheral stuff. Like what coaches are on the hot seat already before the first kickoff? Along with USC’s Clay Helton, the punditocracy has dubbed Gus Malzahn as the most likely to feel burning britches. Wasn’t he Coaching Flavor of the Month just a season or two ago? So this one’s a yuuuuuuuge opener for the War Eagles. The same can be said for the Ducks, who have designs on the Final Four -- Yours Truly has ‘em in -- and will be carrying the Saturday Night Prime Time torch for the whole beleaguered PAC12. My head and heart say Quack.
Ole Miss @ Memphis State. In the fall of ‘63, I was a college freshman, and had several frat brothers from Memphis. After the Tigers tied the mighty Johnny Rebs 0-0 the second game of the season and won all their other games, all we’d hear about week after week from from the Basin Street contingent was how Memphis State was getting screwed in the polls. (By the by, that team shut out both U of L and South Carolina, and beat Mississippi State.) None of which has anything whatsoever to do with this weekend’s matchup. But the memory lingers and needed to be vented and purged. The football folks in Oxford Town are still reeling from the transgressions of the former administration. While Memphis State has aspirations to be the Group 5 rep on New Year’s Day. The game’s in Memphis. Home team wins.
Toledo @ Kentucky. Here’s what I learned about Toledo from the Wiki. John Denver recorded a song titled “Saturday Night in Toledo,” about how there’s no night life in the Ohio town, sang it on the Carson show, and had to cancel a concert there because the denizens of the city were so irate. I also know my beloved Detroit’s AAA minor league affiliate, the Mud Hens, aren’t much better than the Tigers. What do I know about the Rockets? Uh, nuttin’ honey. It should be an intriguing year for the Wildcats. Gone are the inspirational pigskinners that fueled the O and the D. Josh Allen. Benny Snell Jr.. Plus there’s the lingering question of import: Has Mark Stoops truly raised the level of UK, so the Cats can win double digit games consistently? We will not learn the answer to that in this encounter. Unless the visitors should pull an upset. Which they will not.
Notre Dame @ Louisville. As someone who saw Lenny Lyles toil for Frank Camp’s Cardinals at Parkway Field in the 50s, when the Fighting Irish were such a brand that Paul Hornung won the Heisman on a 2-8 team, the little kid inside me is having trouble getting my hands around the reality that the Golden Domers will be playing at Cardinal Stadium. As the only game being contested Labor Day. In prime time. On national TV. With college football’s first team in town for the telecast. For me, that’s the takeaway from the opener. I never like to pick against the Cards, but really see no way they can prevail. The Irish are legit Top 10. U of L’s new regime is trying to lay a foundation for the future from the rubble of Bobby Petrino’s implosion. What Card fans should be satisfied with is Effort and No Quit. A W would be a miracle. Irish.
-- Seedy K