Barnestorming: What We Learned From Week 1
By Steve Barnes
There was a guy at Texas A&M last year. Johnny something. Oh well, who cares?
The Aggies are in good shape at the quarterback position with the debut of Kenny Hill. All the kid did was take the air out of Williams-Brice Stadium at South Carolina Thursday night with a methodical drive to open the game en route to 299 yards passing in the first half of the Aggies' 52-28 upset. The Gamecocks play the theme from the film "2001: A Space Odyssey" before each game. Perhaps they should remember that the sci-fi flick is set 13 years in the past — a lot like South Carolina's pass rush now that defensive end Jadaveon Clowney is gone,
The game could have been played in knee-deep mud and Hill's white A&M jersey would still have been pristine. The Aggies offensive front was a wall. Wake up SEC West, Texas A&M is for real.
How bad was it for the Gamecocks? Coach Steve Spurrier looked as if he would rather take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with Pepto Bismol than be on the sidelines facing the Aggies.
Speaking Of The SEC West
Is it too late to flip-flop my preseason predictions? I'd like to slide Texas A&M up and Ole Miss down. The Rebs did leave Atlanta with a 35-13 win over Boise State on Thursday, but it took a huge fourth quarter to cover the spread. In the first half, Ole Miss had as many false start penalties as it had points.
The last time a rebels' offense was this bad was Pickett's charge at Gettysburg.
Heisman Poses And Posers
It is only Week 1, but keep an eye on Georgia tailback Todd Gurley. He ran for 198 yards against a pretty good Clemson defense. If he has another solid performance like that against South Carolina in a couple of weeks, look out.
A close second is Notre Dame's Everett Golson. After sitting out last season because he blew off classes, he did not miss a beat by being responsible for four touchdowns in the Irish's opener. With the Notre Dame propaganda machine behind him, look for two things: Golson getting lots of press and his likeness on bobble-head dolls coming to a sportswriter near you.
Trouble In 'Tally'?
Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is attempting to pull an Archie Griffin this year. But he may have a problem — Florida State may have been exposed on Saturday. The Seminoles do not seem to have a killer instinct. Time and time again, Florida State had Oklahoma State on the ropes, but could not put the Pokes away.
Letting teams hang around could come back and bite Renegade in the hind end. It could also spell doom for Winston's chances to be a repeating Heisman winner.
Don't Sleep On These Guys
They play on the West Coast, but hey, Stanford might just be good. We might want to stay up past the late SportsCenter to watch them.
The Cardinal thumped UC-Davis, 45-0, in their opener, but scored 38 in the first half before the starters had taken their pads off. UCLA is the darling of the Pac-12 this year, but they had trouble with Virginia, a middle-of-the-pack ACC team. Stanford is the team to keep an eye on heading forward.
We will know more about the Cards next week when they take on USC. Of course, the Trojans are on a downward spiral with a fake hero with two bum ankles (Josh Shaw) and a coach who was accused of being a racist. But if Stanford plays the way it did in its opener, it could crash the playoff party.
Who Cared, Anyway?
Florida's home opener against Idaho was washed away due to Mother Nature Saturday night. There are four options to decide the matter from here. First, Idaho can fly all the way across the continent again to play the game on Oct. 25 when each team has a bye week, one team can forfeit, the game could be ended by a determined score, or the contest could be called a no-contest.
It already was no contest anyway, even though the only play was the opening kickoff. Does anyone think Idaho stood a chance?
Let the Vandals cash their check, kick back on the bye week in October and chalk one up in the loss column. It's not like there was a lot of action in Vegas on this one anyway.
Sparty, Sparty, Sparty
That should be the chant of all Big Ten fans this year. After Ohio State's Braxton Miller went down with a shoulder injury and Wisconsin imploded in the fourth quarter against LSU, Michigan State is the conference's best chance to make the Final Four this year. The Spartans beat Jacksonville (Ala.) State Friday and that made me happy. I used to work for Jax State's arch-rival so I don't like them much. Plus, I have a soft spot for Michigan State. A few years ago, I met a girl on Destin Beach who was interning there. She was nice. Go Sparty!
Technology Can Suck
At halftime of a rain-soaked game at Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday, the pressbox elevator got stuck and left the Arkansas coaches stranded. The poor souls could not get to the locker room to speak to their players.
First, I have been to Jordan-Hare. The stadium has a pretty good press meal and a staircase. Second, what were they going to say to the players? Tackle someone in a blue jersey?
Watch Out FCS
I mentioned a week ago to watch out for Central Arkansas in the Football Championship Subdivision. All the Bears did in Week 1 was throw a big scare into one of the big boys before UCA fell to Texas Tech, 42-35.
Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury signed a contract extension before the game. Timing is everything. If the regents knew he would beat an FCS team by seven, they might have kept the lawyers on retainer for a few weeks.
Watch out for Central Arkansas. The Bears are going to the playoffs.