Week 1 is in the books and the chaos monster is coming. It’s like a movie scene where some poorly dressed idiots are wandering into a dark forest at night, lighting the way with cell phone flashlights and carrying backpacks full of beer. They stop and look around wildly while bodies are frozen in terror, as the thumping and crashing sounds approach. We all know what’s going to happen, and that’s that we all have not one goddamn iota of an idea of what is going to happen. In the FBS, Teams that should’ve been good looked awful. Teams that were supposed to be okay lost to FCS teams. Some were exactly who we thought and some were far better.
The same held true in the Group of Five. Nobody expected Appalachian State to hang with Tennessee into OT before succumbing. Southern Alabama had no business beating Mississippi State. Southern Miss embarrassed Kentucky. Western Michigan took out Northwestern. Unfortunately, I really don’t think any of this is enough to shake up the rankings much. The teams that were supposed to win in the G5 did, and by the expected margins.
5. University of South Alabama Jaguars
Like nearly everyone else, I had forgotten that USA existed until they were on my TV kicking the Mississippi State Bulldogs around on Saturday night. Seriously. This happened. Mississippi State didn’t have a chance.
— Ben Bolton (@BoltonSports) September 3, 2016
That’s enough info to kick UCF off the list and bring on USA, considering the Jags are going to get a chance at LSU late in the season.
4. San Diego State Aztecs
SDSU won big over New Hampshire, putting up 31 unanswered points, showing power both through the air and with their “Heisman Candidate” RB Donell Pumphrey putting up 98 yards. The real test is next week vs. Cal, but until they manage to win that game (Out of Conference Game Aztecs gonna Aztec), they’re a solid fourth.
3. Boise State Broncos
Boise did mean things to Louisiana Lafayette this weekend in the bayou, and ended up beating the Ragin’ Cajuns and the much vaunted humidity 45-10. Boise’s defense looked more consistent than it was in 2015, and the offense is just as fun and high powered as ever. Boise’s strength of schedule is going to be the issue this season, so the Broncos need to win pretty and with lots of points every week to even get in to the New Years 6 bowl conversation.
2. Brigham Young Cougars
BYU beat Arizona at a “neutral site” game in Arizona, and looked pretty decent doing it. Granted, the Wildcats are again destined for mid level Pac glory, culminating in a Vegas bowl invite and a red-faced Rich Rod tantrum on national TV, but until then they’ve got enough to measure the Cougars against. BYU hung all game, and ended up with a baby-faced freshman kicker in his green high school cleats kicking a game winner. Oh good. They got another “miracle” to point at. BYU is a good team. But they have a nasty schedule. If they make it through Rivalry weekend with Utah and then UCLA and West Virginia, they are going to be the most annoying fan base in the country, even worse than a revitalized Texas.
1. Houston Cougars
Houston beat #15 Oklahoma. Houston looked damn good coming out of that game too. It was a big win on a bright stage for a kid who actually has a shot at the Heisman, as well as a playoff berth. Well, at least if that SOS works out. Running the table would mean big things, and they’re currently in the driver’s seat of the G5. If BYU or Boise, and Houston all win out, and the G5 teams (except Bama and Wisconsin possibly) all end up with 2 losses, bowl selection could be highly interesting. Kinda like the play of the weekend, Houston’s successful Kick Six.
Games to watch for week 3:
The Battle of The Obnoxious – UCF trying to keep winning vs. Michigan. Game is on ESPN at 12:00p ET.
YEEHAW – Wyoming won in spectacular fashion this weekend, playing in Saturday’s latest game that stretched until 4:30a ET in a 3 OT effort against Northern Illinois. Has Coach Bohl’s team figured out how to win vs the big opponents? We’ll find out when they play Nebraska on Saturday at 12:00p ET on ESPN2.
Trojan Tears – USC got curb stomped by Alabama, in an obviously gleeful and masterful play calling and execution exhibition meant to break Trojan spirits. If this really happened, well, Utah State might just be the team that gets the payoff. USU looked decent in their opening cupcake game, likes to push teams to the edge, and if they don’t wear down too much physically in the second half, could walk out of Memorial Coliseum as victors. Sad USC fans are the best, so watching them in full meltdown when losing to Utah State would be pretty great if it was televised anywhere but Saturday, 2:00p ET on the Pac12 Network.
Revenge Served Cold – Not many P5 teams have beat Boise state more than twice, but Wazzu has the distinction of winning all four of their meetings back in the late 90’s and early 00’s. The Cougars are coming off a bad beat by FCS Eastern Washington, and Boise is looking to live up to their hype. Vegas has the O/U on this game at 67.5 early in the week, and that’s…conservative. If you like touchdowns and teams that don’t like each other much, this game is for you. Saturday night. 10:30p ET kick on ESPN2. #Pac12AfterDark and #MWCAfterDark are real.
Oh God, Hear The Words Of My Mouth – The Holy War is back, and more heated than probably ever. These fan bases HATE each other. These teams hate each other. They’re only separated by 46 miles, but the rivalry gulf makes the Great Salt Lake look like a brine puddle. Utah is just hitting their stride after transitioning into the Pac, while BYU awaits their P5 fates at the hands of the Big 12. Saturday night. 7:30p ET on Fox. This might come to blows…on the field and in the stands because Utahans aren’t exactly known for their patience.