04 September 2007

College Football Weekend #1 Post-Mortem

I did a miserable job picking the games this weekend. It's not that I got so many wrong, but really on opening weekend you shouldn't get any wrong, really. And my descriptions of how teams would win or lose were, um, fanciful. The most obvious howler was the Michigan v. Appalachian State matchup. In this case, I thought the Wolverines deserved their #5 ranking, but I was sadly mistaken. Here's what I said:
5. Michigan destroyifies Appalachian State.

Ahem. Far from destroyifying anything other than their own reputation, Michigan trailed the entire game and ended up losing to a Division I-AA team. I also claimed that Penn State wouldn't cover the spread, but I think that 59-0 covered the spread pretty handily (I think it was somewhere in the 30's); I thought Tennessee would lead Cal and then choke in the end, whereas it was almost the other way around. About the best call I had was that "over-ranked Virginia Tech beats East Carolina," because they are over-ranked, and that's about all they did, 17-7. Either East Carolina is a sleeper powerhouse (not) or V-Tech is looking at a four or five loss season, with the first coming up this weekend against LSU.

In actual right/wrong numbers, I went 17-3.

Speaking of the Penn State game, we watched it from high in the stands on a beautiful sunny day, and while it's hard to draw conclusions from a rout of one of the worst teams in Division I-A, I can draw a few:

1. QB Anthony Morelli is not making the horrible decisions he made last year: he's checking off receivers, handling the rush, and not throwing into triple coverage. That's good.
2. QB Anthony Morelli is not hitting receivers in stride, forcing many of them to go up high or dive to make the catch, meaning there are fewer Yards-after-Catch (YACs). Against a good team, that will be a problem.
3. The linebackers look GOOD. Dan Connor as always was everywhere. Sean Lee had a hell of a game as well.
4. Everyone is excited for next week's game against Notre Dame, although I'm sure the "showdown" aspect has been lessened by Georgia Tech's demolition of the Fighting Irish. I mean, 33-3 in South Bend? If Penn State beats them next week, it takes the sweetness out of the victory, and if PSU were to lose, well, that would be pretty damn embarrassing.

In fact, with both Notre Dame and Michigan looking poorer than one might have expected, Penn State has a good chance to go 4-0 in the early going, especially with two cream-puffs like Florida International and Buffalo in the mix. In fact, they could very easily be 6-0 going into the October 13 home game against Wisconsin. If they survive that game, they'd most likely be 8-0 going into October 27 at home against Ohio State.

However, knowing Penn State's history against Michigan, we could easily lose that game (it's in Ann Arbor) and stumble against a lesser Big 10 team like Iowa and enter the Wisconsin game 4-2.

Yes, I'm that sort of fan: I believe (almost) every year, that Penn State can go undefeated, while at the same time I believe every year that we could choke against middling teams and finish with three or four losses (and in recent years even more...ugh).

Anyway, it was good to see JoePa jog out of the tunnel with the team and to see the campus again.

1 comment:

Momentary Academic said...

I thought about you when I saw the replays of the Michigan game.