Football Follies 2022: NCAA Week 2

Football announces its presence with authority.

[The fervent hope was to get this posted without a power outage, but that hope is moot now.  The trons are flowing again, however, and we’ve just been able to verify that Oklahoma State seems to be having no difficulty with Central Michigan — though we haven’t seen a lick of the game.  108F, in case you were wondering. – J.E.]

Week 2 this year is, of course, awash in mismatches, it being Throw-away time on the calendars of the upper percentiles as they prepare for their conference contests a few weeks hence.  The entertainment factor could be (a) high, or (b) low, depending on how you like your football.  We like to see our teams win, and otherwise to throw popcorn and make with the witticisms as basically any old game swims into our ken.  So Labor Day’s 4-day gridiron marathon is made to order.

We neglected to culturally enrich the football commentary last week with the reconstructed image of Greek philosopher Aristotle as an offensive lineman, and will repair that deficiency forthwith.

As discussed on social media, we, personally, think a slightly altered presentation looks a bit less like a 325-pound Immovable Object.

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But we may be overthinking it, and you must be the judge(s).

We did hint last week at Wyoming jokes to come, but we’re having a hard time thinking of any.  Something about sudden drops in housing values in the tony precincts of Jackson Hole might be appropriate, however.  (Not everything is politics.  Just most things today.  The saying used to be “The personal is political.”  For some time now, it’s been “The football is political.”  We try our best to #Resist.)

Inner Circle

The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, having beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010, starts 2022 with a bang at our own Wyoming, which previewed some tough deficiencies on both sides of the ball in the 38-6 loss to Illinois on the 27th.  We didn’t get to watch the game here, but we’re deducing from Illinois RB Chase Brown’s 151 yards on the game that the Pokes had no answer to the Illini ground attack.  Wyoming QB Andrew Peasley was 5 of 20 for 30 yards, so making headway in the airborne Mountain West is looking like an iffy proposition this fall.

At Tulsa, QB Davis Brin is back for his final season, and is the most seasoned he’s going to be this go-round.  He’s had flashes of brilliance, although sometimes easily rattled.  The great news is he’ll have JuanCarlos Santana to throw to again, and Santana, at least, has a future on Sundays.  The O-line is reported to be making good progress after losing key players from 2021.

The D has lost even more of the play-makers that vaulted the Tulsa squad to FBS prominence the last couple of years.  The line is the most skint, but super LB Justin Wright is back, and Kendarin Ray, Tyon Davis, and Tyree Carlisle should shine in the secondary.  We wish DC Joe Gillespie hadn’t decided to accept TCU’s offer at the end of last season, but that’s life in the Non-Power league.  Gillespie got the inevitable phone calls when he transformed the Tulsa D from ballerina-parody mode to heads-up, open-field tackling fools, leaping about 60 places in the FBS rankings in the space of two years.

Cultural note:  can’t tell if that’s fuzz we’re seeing on Head Coach Phil Montgomery’s chin.  Guess we’ll find out.

We’re gratified to see the game will be on FS1 on Saturday.  Tulsa’s giving 6.5 in the line.

#9 Oklahoma starts the season with a little thud, hosting UTEP on Saturday on Fox.  UTEP football, formally in C-USA, is a glorified Div II mining school team that managed to lose to North Texas 31-13 this past weekend, so we’re thinking the overdog probably has this one – though as always we’re shaking the totem as hard and fast as we can, since you never know when the Sooners will decide they came here to lose.  There’s another peculiar interlude with Kent State next week (yes, we get to say “Golden Flashes”), but 17 September will see the Sooners in Lincoln to take on Rival of Yore Nebraska, which should be interesting.  Each and every game after that will be a melancholy treasure for Memory Lane, as OU runs the Big 12 gauntlet one last time.

Make no mistake, as the old POTUS-in-Chief used to say.  The Sooners have lost a lot of talent coming into this season.  Nothing is a gimme.  We’ll have to see how QB-select Dillon Gabriel shapes up; he was a standout at Central Florida, but the American is a different proposition from the Big 12.  Cautiously hopeful.  Marvin Mims is back to catch, which is a relief.  Drake Stoops proved a play-maker last season as well as a crowd favorite.

It feels funny to not really have a candle-saint RB in the line-up as the season launches.  Gonna miss Kennedy Brooks – and the evolving, newer O-line probably won’t be getting anyone canonized this fall.  Gabriel got good protection at UCF and may not have quite as much in Norman in 2022.

We’ll defer musing over the defense until after we see what Venables has gotten done with it. 

Oklahoma’s giving the Miners 31.5, and we love that anyone’s bothering to bet.

Oklahoma State, ranked #12 at the starting gun, hosts Central Michigan on Thursday evening in T. Boone.   As noted last week, CMU beat OSU 30-27 in 2016, to the consternation of many, so we expect the Cowboys to be putting in that extra effort to not let that happen again.  It’s both teams’ first game of the season.

Spencer Sanders, of course, are the four syllables that go together with today’s OK-State like a horse and carriage.  You want to talk flashes of brilliance.  Sanders is basically the quintessential Cowboy QB in that regard: he has em, and then he doesn’t.  The offensive line has had some health issues over the summer, but it’s coming in with the positive of experience in spite of some big senior losses from last year.  We like Dominic Richardson in the running game, and hope he gets some help carrying the load.

On defense we hated to see DC Knowles’ defection to Ohio State, especially with the loss of a lot of seasoned players since last year.  But we’re gratified that lineman Collin Oliver is back for a second season after his impressive freshman start.  The Pokes still have a top-performing core with front men Brock Martin and Trace Ford.  We’ll see if the secondary is anything to write home about this fall.

The weather forecast is showing highs in the mid-90s for the Oklahoma week, so the games there will still be steamy.  OSU is favored by 21 going in.

Navy hosts Delaware (FCS, Colonial) between the checkerboards on Saturday.  As previously observed, the Fightin’ Blue Hens are ranked #19 in the FCS, and probably won’t be a pushover for the rebuilding Navy team.  Delaware is among the FCS schools that had a messed-up 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, so we’ll see how the Hens handle not having played a live opponent since their very abbreviated schedule 2021 schedule, which checked out last September (and didn’t include the spring play some of the conferences put together).

Navy is bringing back junior Tai Lavatai as the starting QB, hopefully a big positive given his assured performance in The Game in December 2021, an unexpected 17-13 win after a rough season for the Mids.  With the triple option, you get what you get, and you’d just better have some guys who can run.  Lavatai proved he could do more than that, but didn’t make it all fit together last season.  Hoping to see a more coherent package from Coach Niumatalolo’s (Indian name: Needs a Nickname) offense this year.

Army heads to Coastal Carolina in Conway, SC for Game 1.  The Chanticleers, one of the livelier squads in the peppy Sun Belt, have honed their cred facing division rival Appalachian State every year, and are actually favored on Saturday.  With a game that counts for both teams, we’re expecting a good fight.

Army’s a passel of running fools, even with former QB Christian Anderson, a spark plug for several seasons, commissioned and out the door.  Tyhier Tyler, Cade Ballard, and Jemel Jones are all seniors well accustomed to running the option, and supported by excellent depth from the backfield.  The defense loses leading tackler Arik Smith, but still returns a good selection of veterans.  Head Coach Jeff Monken has a fine shot at yet another 9-win season.

CCU’s donation is 2.5 as this writing.

Air Force will host Northern Iowa (FCS, Missouri Valley) on 3 September.  NIU is ranked #21 in FCS and we’ve noted it doesn’t suck, but like Delaware had the funky schedule in 2021.  The Panthers’ last game was almost exactly a year ago, on 4 September 2021.

We note with enthusiasm that Air Force will be wearing a special jersey for the Navy game on 1 October, which was rolled out on social media a couple of weeks.  This jersey honors the Space Force.

On the other hand, we regret to have to mention that the U.S. Air Force mothership, in the interest of improving force lethality, has issued a decree against referring to air-kind (deadname: “airmen”) using ordinary pronouns, and even basics like rank and name, in such written communications as personnel evaluations and awards.

We quote:

The “unauthorized examples” include: “He/She did,” “Best male/female,” “Youngest/Oldest,” and “Sergeant Murray.” The list of “authorized examples” include: “This sergeant,” “This NCO [Non-commissioned officer],” and “This member.”

Presumably, a rater can no longer commend a female NCO for consistently being the top female PRT performer now.  “This member” may achieve such results, but reference to them would be disqualified.

Well, whatever.  The cadets playing football have some key advantages this fall, with This Cadet (the QB) returning from last year, in which This Cadet had a slew of excellent games, and enjoyed the benefits of throwing to This Cadet (WR) of also-exceptional performance, who is also returning.  Moreover, This Cadet (fast and skittery RB), who ran like a son of a gun in 2021, is, like This Cadet’s running mates, coming back in 2022 for another round.  Four This Cadets are returning starters on the O-line.  The Falcons throw a lot more than their This Academy counterparts, but they’re also bringing back the option.

We wish it weren’t so exclusionary and sub-lethal to name people, because otherwise we’d spot you some names for the top-tackling LB who’s potentially a contender for national awards, and the O-line standout who might just nab an Outland Trophy.

Virginia Tech, as earlier noted, plays a Friday night game at Old Dominion in Norfolk.  We’re expecting the Hokies to take this one, in spite of the jinx of the ignominious loss in the teams’ earlier head-to-head match-up.  But we’d feel better if the game were in Blacksburg.

That said, the festivities on Old Dominion’s Kaufman Mall (center campus) sound like a hoot and a half.  The Mall’s transformation into a beer garden is new since our day.  Fans are advised to get there early on Friday, due to traffic on Hampton Boulevard (not new), and then:

And once you do, go check out Kaufman Mall, a place where you can get the experience of tailgating without having to drag stuff out of your car, cook and clean.

If you’re not familiar with Kaufman Mall, it is several acres of open space that extends from Hampton Boulevard to the Webb Student Center. It’s a short walk from the south end of the stadium at 49th Street.

There is a beer garden as well as food vendors, a giant-screen TV that will carry the best of college football and  a band that will play near the ODU lion fountain. There are also dozens of chairs in which to sit.

Dozens.  We assume most of the sitting will be done the self-organized way, while tailgating in the parking lots.

Trying to give readers a view of Kaufman Mall on the Old Dominion campus. They’ve planted a bunch of new trees there. This is from the campus interior looking east toward Hampton Blvd. Google Street View
The view from the other end of Kaufman Mall (i.e., Hampton Blvd, foreground). Imagine, if you will, a beer garden and dozens of seats. It’s Virginia, and there are just so dang many trees. Google Street View

Any way you slice it, meanwhile, a visit from the Hokies is a Napoleonic invasion for a little urban school.

QB Grant Wells is coming in from C-USA’s Marshall, where he tossed for over 5,600 yards and 34 TDs in an excellent 2021 season.  We’ll be interested to see how he clicks, and if he and the evolving coaching staff can make VT a real Airborne team.  WR Kaleb Smith, the redshirt senior, is back to be the go-to horse.  Receiver Jadan Blue, arriving from Temple, is a wild card; playmaker type, with promise, unproven at the Power-5 level.

Hopes are high on defense, given Head Coach Brent Pry’s background and expertise.  Hollifield and Tisdale are back at LB, which should be a strong plus for a defense with comparatively few major losses versus last year.  We’re glad to see Chamarri Conner back at safety.  He and Nasir Peoples got a lot of job done.  Hope is the thing with feathers, said Emily D.; the Hokies know from feathers.

The oddsquad has its Hokie skeptics, apparently, awarding VT only a 7.5 give.

Nevada gets its first home game in Reno on Saturday hosting Texas State.  They’ve got a lot to work with based on their cover-plus win over New Mexico State, what with Devonte Lee running two in for TDs and Toa Taua racking up over 100 yards.  But they are going to need an air game going forward, and it wasn’t clicking last Saturday.  And they’re gonna need a defense.  NMSU kind of beat itself, hanging 300 yards on the Wolf Pack in the process of losing the game, while the Pack only scrounged up 250-odd.

The line has this one as a pick ’em, suggesting someone did watch last week’s game.  It’ll be nice to see everyone gathered in Mackay Stadium, at least.

Anyone who’s not watching LSU host Florida State in the Superdome on Sunday at 6:30 PM Central is a doody-head.   FSU announced its presence with authority last weekend by clobbering the snot out of FCS’s Duquesne – which may not be hard to do, but the Seminoles have had worse starts lately, and could make it interesting on Sunday.

… OK, we held fire on all this in part to see if Coach Brian Kelly would announce his starting QB in time for this to go to post.  He will only announce that he’s made a decision, as of today.  The sportsbabblers are saying it’s between Jayden Daniels and Garrett Nussmeier.  Quelle surprise.  We could have just said that.

Kelly is reportedly being closed-mouthed beyond that, to “keep the Seminoles on their toes.” (Myles Brennan, as every schoolboy knows, dropped out a couple of weeks ago, deciding to end his football career rather than ride the bench for a final season.)

Daniels, the transfer from ASU, is the runner, so everyone is figuring he has the edge.  We doubt Mike Norvell is confused, in any case, about what he needs to prepare his ‘Noles for.

And what he needs to prepare for is actually WR Kayshon Boutte, when you give it a moment’s thought.  Boutte’s coming off his broken ankle from last year, but said to be healthy and ready to rip.  If Boutte and Daniels can both scamper around, it should make things interesting this fall.  Anything will help take the focus off the O-line’s, er, challenges last season.  We’re hoping for big things from true freshman Will Campbell at LT, even if he does look like an overgrown 12-year-old.  The buzz is tremendous for this home-state recruit, who had offers from pretty much everyone (including Notre Dame during the Kelly regime) before going with LSU.

On defense, LSU got some talent plus-up via transfers for the struggling secondary, including Greg Brooks from Arkansas, Jarrick Bernard-Converse from OK-State, and Sevyn Banks from Ohio State.  BJ Ojulari is back at DE to bust into opponent backfields, and Ali Gaye is likewise said to be in fighting trim after missing most of last year.

We’re ready and waiting.  LSU donates 3.

TCU serves up the nightcap on Friday, meeting Colorado (motto: “We take a pounding!”) in Boulder at 8 PM Mountain, so set your alarms.

We’re not sure we’re tracking with Sonny Dykes’s preview of a 3-QB rotation, possibly even starting in game 1, with veteran Max Duggan obviously leading the round-robin and Chandler Morris (the OU transfer) and Sam Jackson treading the circuit behind.  Morris and Jackson are both red-shirt freshmen, so we’re assuming Duggan will get most of the field time unless he blows it.

Four veteran receivers are back to help continue the Patterson Offense Legacy:  Johnson, Barber, Conwright, and Davis.  Kendre Miller returns on the ground, along with Emari Demarcado.

Defense is where Dykes really needs a boost this fall, and as mentioned, he’ll have Tulsa’s Gillespie to see if those chops can be proven.  Dylan Horton on the line was a rare overachiever in 2021, and he’s back.  The squad got Tymon Mitchell from Georgia, which trust me has to help, and Lwai Uguak from UConn, who looks like the kind of guy Gillespie excels at developing.  With more from the line, returning LBs Winters and Hodge can probably up their healthy tackle counts from 2021 (74 and 60, respectively).  Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson is a major plus returning at corner.

The Toads give 13.5.

Toledo, always up for the you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me match, hits the home turf Thursday evening hosting Long Island University (FCS, Northeast Conference) in the Glass Bowl.  If you vaguely recall LIU from sometime in the recent past, it’s probably because the Sharks – who had the same schedule issues as the rest of the FCS in 2021 – industriously lined up not one but three games against FBS teams in September last year, and two of them were in conferences we have Inner Circle teams in.  LIU played Miami (OH) of the MAC on 11 September 2021, and took on mighty West Virginia, pride of the Big 12, the following week.  The Mountaineers left them a steaming pile of 66-0 roadkill, and that was LIU’s last game of 2021, which was probably a blessing.

But our hat is off to the intrepid Sharks, who are back for more against another MAC opponent to kick off their 2022.  Any New York school that wants to play football that badly has our vote.

(Incidentally, we had no idea that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu – yes, we copied and pasted that – is an LIU alum, along with Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade and Maria Bartiromo.)

The iconic Tudor-style building on the LIU Post campus on Long Island. There’s a Brooklyn campus as well, but the football happens at Bethpage Federal Credit Union stadium and the general athletic center adjacent to the Post campus. LIU video, YouTube.

Meanwhile, as Toledo faces the schedule, QB Carter Bradley has transferred to South Alabama, so Dequan Finn should be Mr. Go-To this fall.  That’s just the start of the transfer exit, an off-ramp that got kind of clogged for the Rockets between 2021 and 2022.  We’re not losing hope, as there’s still talent to burn, even without high-producing receivers Winstead and Landers, who probably got tired of racking up TDs last year and still losing by single-digits.  Davin Maddox, at least, is back to catch.

RB Bryant Koback is off to the Vikings, so that hurts; no way around it.  We wish him the best in the Show.

The defense seems like it ought to come into its own this fall, with a lot of returning players and the wiggles shaken out.  Maryland transfer LB Deshawn Holt can only help there, especially with sack-masters Jamal Hines and Desjuan Johnson returning on the line.  Maxen Hook and Nate Bauer come off a 2021 as MAC standouts, and should do a repeat this season.

Top 10

The Top 10 start the big joust this weekend.

#1 Alabama hosts Utah State for their third game ever, and the first since 2005, giving 41.5.

#2 Ohio State hosts #5 Notre Dame in what will surely be the game of the week, and in fact is conveniently the marquee game on ABC on Saturday evening.  The oddsdudes aren’t deceived; they have the Buckeyes giving 17.5.

#3 Georgia hosting #11 Oregon could have its moments, of course.  The Dogs are favored by 17.

#4 Clemson brings up the FBS rear with a Monday night (Labor Day) game at Georgia Tech, which we can hope will be a better game than it’s likely to be.  But of course football needs no excuse.

#6 Texas A&M starts in low gear hosting Sam Houston State (FCS, “WAC”-ish (AKA the Who-dat Conference)), the latter of which is living a conference soap opera best summarized as “headed for C-USA in 2023.”  We’ll deal with that when it happens.

#7 Utah is at Florida giving 3.  Yes, they’ve played once. 1977. Gators, 38-29.

#8 Michigan hosts Colorado State for their second game ever (the last meet was the Holiday Bowl in 1994).  Blue gives 30.5, which sounds optimistic to us.

#10 Baylor wins the Top 10’s cross-ranks mismatch trophy hands down, hosting Albany (FCS, Colonial), which enlivens NCAA football playing as the Great Danes.  Can’t squeeze a line out of that one, obviously, but we hope there’s a T-shirt.  New York.  I’m telling you.

Best of the rest

We’ve got a little Storied Rivalry action lined up this weekend, as NCAA football busts its COVID chains and gets back to semi-normal.

#17 Pittsburgh and West Virginia, pride of the Big 12, haven’t held their Backyard Brawl in, like, forever (technically not since 2011), so we’re tickled to see that one in the spotlight this season.  They don’t play for any tacky bric-a-brac, but they do boast in their Storied History the first college football game broadcast on the radio (1921).  And with our feature image, we have documentary evidence of at least one play from the 1908 game.

In terms of potentially good football, #23 Cincinnati will be at #19 Arkansas.  A rare meet of style-specimen teams cross-conference, and in fact the first time these two have played each other.  Wouldn’t sneeze at this one; 2:30 PM Central on Saturday, with the Hogs favored by 6.

Boise State at Oregon State (-3) Saturday night probably won’t be a waste of time.

In other first-timers action, Ball State is heading to Tennessee for the teams’ first meet, Vols giving 35.

You’d think Buffalo and Maryland might have played before, but no.  First time match-up.  Terps are favored by 24.

In Craziest Lopsided Matches (Other Than Cross-ranks), consider two additional first-meetings: Rice at #14 USC (-33.5) and Bowling Green at UCLA (-24.5).

As for zany cross-ranks matches, we’re rather charmed by Tennessee Tech at Kansas (motto: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”) and Illinois State at #18 Wisconsin, because who doesn’t admire chutzpah?

Colgate at Stanford Saturday night may take the cake in this category; the New York second-rank are bristling with crust this fall.  On the other hand, Maine at New Mexico may not be that ill-matched.  Sadly, there’s no broadcast for that one.  Hard to go wrong with Black Bears and Lobos.

Our extracurricular obsession, UMass, will be at Tulane this weekend, hoping to pull out its second-ever FBS win.  The oddsdudes favor the Green Wave by 28.5, however.

Other ranks

In FCS, McNeese State will be at Montana State on Saturday.  The Bobcats are in Big Sky, the conference that famously expressed reluctance to accept Nebraska as a hypothetical new member after the Huskers’ loss to Northwestern in Ireland last Saturday.

Jocularity, jocularity.  Montana State ended up not playing at all in the truncated 2020-2021 season, whereas McNeese crammed in 11 games last fall.

The Cowboys are sporting a new starting QB after Cody Orgeron graduated out from his three years as the starter.  Young Cody has landed at Miami (Da U) as a coaching staff intern, and we wish him all the best.  New starter Cam Ransom comes in from a freshman year at Georgia Southern, with 9 games, 2 starts, and a throwing TD under his belt – the latter against Coastal Carolina.  We hope to see a lot from Ransom and his awesome ‘do.

Temps are dropping fast at night in Bozeman, as autumn nears.  But Saturday will be the hottest of the next seven days, topping out at 97 shortly before the 5 PM (7 PM Central) kickoff.

In Div II, Slippery Rock will open the season at home hosting Wayne State on Saturday.  Wayne State, which readers may have heard of, is of course situated in Detroit and plays in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.  The Warriors (formerly the Tartars until 1999) lost to the Rock in last year’s opener and went 2-9 on the season.

The season’s play not having started yet, we were a bit stumped as to how to add interest in this section until we ran across some Library of Congress holdings commemorating significant cultural manifestations in and around (sort of) Slippery Rock.

One is the delightfully average and unobtrusive Boozel Dining Hall on the SRU campus.  There’s much to be said for keeping it uneventful and just letting people eat already.

The Boozel Dining Hall at Slippery Rock University. Library of Congress: •highsm 58559 https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.58559

Elsewhere in Pennsylvania (not close to Slippery Rock at all, really; it’s between Harrisburg and Allentown) is the Lehigh Cement Company in Evansville, whose interest lies in the soporific 2:50-long audio field recording of the plant in operation, dating to May 2021.

Cement works in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2020-2021 (AFC 2020/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

The recording is sponsored by an Occupational Folklife Project, cited in the text at the link.

Wayne State and SRU kick off at 6 PM Eastern, when we expect temps dropping through the 70s and partly cloudy skies.

Central Oklahoma’s Bronchos will be at conference rival Missouri Western State U. in St. Joseph, MO on Thursday night for their season-opener.  There’s always something fun happening in St. Joseph, but 1 September is extra special this year because of the 9K run being held in memory of local police K9 Max, who perished in the line of duty on 30 June 2021.

The 9K will be held from 4-6 PM Central on Thursday 1 September; the football kickoff is at 7 PM with temps dropping gently from the low 80s and a few clouds.

In Div III, Rose-Hulman heads out of conference for the season-opener on 3 September, taking on DePauw in Greencastle, IN.  DePauw plays in the North Coast Athletic Conference, and I believe we advised our correspondents last year that its distinguished alumni include Dan Quayle, Vernon Jordan, Bret Baier, Stephen Hayes, and Eli Lilly (yes, that Eli Lilly).

If the Tigers seem familiar, in other words, it’s because they played RHIT last November.  They’re no slouches; they beat the HCAC champion Fightin’ Engineers 26-21 and went 9-3 on the season.  So we’re anticipating a good game.  Expect temps near 90 during the game, which kicks off at 1 PM Central in DePauw’s Blackstock Stadium. Sunny with a few clouds.

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy will host in Kings Point, meanwhile, entertaining Fairleigh Dickinson U.-Florham (FDU-Florham) of Florham Park, NJ.  USMMA played the Devils a year ago, bringing home a 49-27 W.  Happily, it looks like smooth steaming for this week’s Friday night (7 PM) kickoff.

FDU-Florham plays football in the Div III Middle Athletic Conference (MAC), as opposed to the FBS MAC of our Toledo Rockets (and USMMA’s NEWMAC, for that matter).  The Devils weren’t half bad in 2021, going 7-4 on the season.

FDU’s main campus is in Teaneck, NJ, but if you want to play football, Florham is your venue.  FDU has a campus in England as well, at a site (purchased from Oxford in the 1960s) called Wroxton College.  The FDU website contains this intriguing information:  “Formerly a 13th-century abbey, Wroxton College is now a beautifully restored and modernized Jacobean mansion.”  We’re not sure how a 13th-century abbey became a Jacobean mansion, but if there’s video we’re up for a tutorial.

FDU doesn’t stop overachieving, with an even newer campus open now in Vancouver, B.C.  Meanwhile, this Friday night, we’re anticipating low 70s under balmy skies for the kickoff in Kings Point.

Feature image:  The Backyard Brawl (West Virginia/Pitt Storied Rivalry) in 1908.  Wikipedia: The 1908 edition of the Backyard Brawl at Exposition Park.

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33 thoughts on “Football Follies 2022: NCAA Week 2”

  1. Well. It doesn’t seem to have been 100% necessary for OSU to let Central Michigan score 22 points in the 4Q.

    But we weren’t able to watch the game, so we may have missed something. A W’s a W.

    Toledo vaulted over LIU, as expected.

    Pitt showed up to pull out the Backyard Brawl.

    Penn State sure let Purdue score a lot.

    UCO may have a long season. The Bronchos fell 35-0 to Missouri Western, which is no better than half-bad. Sigh.

    No report yet on the outcome of the K9 9K in St. Joe.

    Onward to Saturday evening, and the very nicely spaced VT and TCU games. With any luck we’ll avoid another power outage. If I had an EV I’d be writing a very strongly worded letter to the California Power Commission.

  2. Embarrassed to say I did not know Aristotle had prior busts. Anyone that beats the Ducks is my friend. I understand Autzen stadium is rolled up, in tin foil, after every game. Sonny will do his standard below average job. I would mention Cal, but why bother? Very thorough report OC.

    1. No COVID excuses this year. Time to get back in tune with the footballgeist.

      Trying to be upbeat about Sonny, but there’s some speaking volumes going on about where TCU’s football head is at. Cry the beloved Big 12.

      I’m thinking you’ll have a lot of Bulldog friends after this weekend.

      1. Roast Duck. Yummy. NC and State taking the weekend off. Will leave the Tulsa/Wyoming comment up to you. Looking forward to BBQ Longhorn next Saturday. Is this fun or what?

        1. I assume you’re having a yard party for the ‘Dogs, your thousands of new besties. Bigger implosion than I expected for the Quackers.

          Nothing but congrats for Wyoming. Don’t know that Illinois is all that much better than Tulsa; didn’t see last week’s game, but it seems like the Pokes just played better ball this week. Davis Brin had a heck of a day, in spite of low-level interference from his O-line, and Santana and Stokes made some really big plays, and the TU D has lost less than I was expecting from last year – and still Wyoming pulled it out. Helps to have a kicker with a 155 howitzer for a leg.

          Maybe if I shake a totem for Texas, next week won’t be quite as sad a harbinger of SEC years to come for the Big 12’s departing duo.

            1. I was thinking it was a fine thing not to mention the Gators and Hawgs.

              Someone on Twitter did spot us the News We Could Use about the Utah-Florida game yesterday, with an update that two Youths had upchucked on the sideline from the Florida heat and humidity. So there was that.

    2. An oft times partner loves roast duck. In fact, at a business lunch yesterday, that is what he ordered. I do like to eat duck but wild duck. The flavor of restaurant duck has always disappointed me.

  3. The one to watch for LSU is TE Mason Campbell, true frosh, dad in NFL HOF. O Line has been performing the peanut shuffle with position changes so we are not sure that they are a coherent group yet. Talent seems to be there, and why most think that the QB with Daniels will start instead of Nuss who has shown great accuracy be it a short pass or 50 yards down the field.

    Defense should be as formidable as any of its National Champ teams

    1. The team had dinner at Drago’s in Metairie tonight, birthplace of Drago’s famous grilled oysters. I am jealous. Not much in the way of red meat at that restaurant.

      1. Heavy sighing. I’m sure the meal was excellent.

        It didn’t help at all to lose Mason Smith, and now Ali Gaye is out. Hope Smith will be OK.

        That said, the defense has been hanging in there pretty well. It’s taken Daniels & Co until the end of the 3Q to prove they can stay on the field; if they can keep the momentum going for another 15 minutes they may just pull this one out.

        That non-TD play review could have gone down in history in the Top 10 Most Hated and Disputed Calls by Officials. Glad they were able to just score again and get the 7 points.

        1. BK is playing a style gone a decade ago. Daniels could be more accurate and not just tuck the ball when stepping up in the pocket. Secondary is playing a Swiss Cheese zone all game long. D line was supposed to have depth at every position, another disappointment. O line is playing up to expectations, actually not as bad as thought they might

          1. I’m officially going to die.

            Not that FSU didn’t deserve the win, but oh, so close. What a finish with that final drive. O-line came through on the last play, for sure. Daniels had all kind of time.

            Zone was killing them, as you say. The D stood up better than I was anticipating though, given the ‘Noles’ improved quality of play.

          2. Incidentally, yeah, BK will have to figure out he’s in the SEC now, and that moderate-tempo stuff set to the beat of the Notre Dame fight song won’t cut it.

  4. As to the Air Force’s latest edict, and it’s sanguinary effect on lethality, I have to admit that the lunatic ban on gendered pronouns would have me in the mood to bomb the daylights out of some persons.

  5. Son of a gun? Don’t you mean offspring of a less than deadly implement. Words are violence these days.

    1. Toddler of a taser, then. No, that sounds like “police,” which is a violence word.

      I’ll get back to you.

  6. Woe.

    Hokies and Serena. Between the two, it was more fun watching Serena lose it by That Much. Battling back from 5-1 in the final set was a classic. Would have liked to see her bag one more, but oh well. A fine sayonara from one of the greats.

    VT has some work to do. You can have one of penalties, turnovers, or stupid mistakes, but you can’t have all three. Sigh. Chamarri Conner sure earned his ride as usual, though. Holifield was right there. The defense had a few glitches but it looks like it will turn in sustainable performance this year.

    On to TCU-Colorado, which had a lightning delay but nothing silly and cute like the coaching staff getting stuck in an elevator.

      1. So far there’s been no reason to relieve Colorado of the motto. They take a pounding pretty good.

        Annoying outcome on Hampton Blvd.

  7. Sadly, USMMA lost game 1 to FDU-Florham, 17-7. Very minimal yardage produced. New coach has his work cut out for him.

  8. I can’t make fun of Harbaugh anymore. Reportedly he told his players that if their girlfriend get knocked up, to not seek an abortion, he’d take the kid in.

    1. If we can’t make fun of Harbaugh anymore, I’m not sure what we have left. I hope Mrs. Harbaugh is cool with the take-in plan.

      It would also be nice to think Harbaugh is kind of psyching the players as well, helping them realize they need to take their own kids in – or just wait to father them in the first place.

    1. I think we’re good now. Sorry it took a few to let your first comment through. I really don’t know why it didn’t just go through, as you’re approved for that email addess.

      It occurs to me that it may be something to do with using the same screen name with different email addresses. IDK.

  9. A weekend of ups and downs so far. We see Nevada seems to have Texas State well in hand. Plus column.

    Congrats to Wyoming for the OT win. If Tulsa has to lose, it’s always good to have it be one of ours. Good game.

    TCU started slow but surged to knock off Colorado in fine style Friday night.

    Navy couldn’t get much started at all, and went down to Delaware 14-7.

    Air Force soared over Northern Iowa.

    Oklahoma could have looked stronger in the win over UTEP. All that unstoppableness will be perfectly stoppable by Baylor, OK-State, and TCU. Maybe Texas too. Everybody needs a better offensive line, and the Sooners are no exception. Some good work from the D, but some unnecessary wide-open moments for too many UTEP receivers too.

    (Meteorological note: was it really 110F the entire game in Norman, or was that a case of lazy thermometer indicator?)

    A handful of freakish outcomes include that nutty Iowa game, with the 7-3 win over South Dakota State involving a FG and 2 safeties. Game 1 is over and the Hawkeyes haven’t scored a touchdown.

    And what were they on, in the UNC-App State game? 63-61 Heels, seriously?

    Meanwhile, Slippery Rock is up 42-10 on Wayne State in the 4Q and we think they’ve got this one.

    Sadly, Rose-Hulman dropped game 1 to DePauw, 17-14.

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