By the end of the season, some previously unheralded teams' bandwagons will be so full they'll be having to bump passengers and offer them free vouchers and first-class upgrades; others will have emptied out in a big way. On whose bandwagon are you already scrambling to save a seat? Conversely, which team's bandwagon is being driven by Toonces the Driving Cat, prompting you to leap off now before it careens over a cliff to its fiery death below?
Because I realize teams like Boston College and Nebraska will probably be covered numerous times by other blogger's, I'm going to go with a team that flew under the radar even with a very impressive week one "upset." I am, of course, talking about Wyoming Cowboys, a team which I readily admit I've more or less "adopted" as a blogger. Not only did Wyoming pound what was supposed to be a much improved Virginia team 23-3 in Laramie on Saturday, but they flat out dominated in every aspect of the game. Just consider for a moment that the Pokes out gained the Wahoos by a ridiculous 474-108 yard margin, in the process holding Virginia's running game to a putrid six yards (.4 per carry.) Obviously some of this can be attributed to the altitude, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who actually saw this game (myself included) who would label this as a fluke. Wyoming has always had the defense under Joe Glenn, and now with Karstan Sween under center and Devon Moore in the backfield, it looks like they've found the offense. Considering all the injury problems suffered by Utah in the opener, I look for Wyoming to come in a surprising second or third within the conference.
On the flip side, I'm jumping off the Notre Dame bandwagon for obvious reasons. While it's no secret that I hold a high ( some would argue awkwardly misplaced) degree of respect for the University and it's football program, the beating put on by the Irish by Georgia Tech was complete, to say the least. I'll continue to pull for the Irish against everyone not named Navy or Army, but at this rate the Irish are going to have problems with the likes of Purdue, Navy, and even Air Farce.
Also, I think I should mention that I'm already off the Central Michigan bandwagon. I know Kansas played some good football last year and was in some close games, but a lot of people (including myself) thought the Chippewas were going to at least be competitive in a game they ended up losing 52-7. That's called getting shellacked my friends, and going by that game alone it's going to take a Herculean effort for the Chippewas to get their act together and win the MAC as I predicted before the season.
What do you think was opening weekend's biggest mirage -- either a "big win" over a team that isn't really as good as everyone thinks, or an embarrassing loss (or embarrassingly close win) that won't seem quite as embarrassing by season's end?
Don't get me wrong, I still think Louisville is a top 10 team, but let's not proclaim them National champs just yet because they put up a gazillion point on a really, really bad FCS team. The rest of the schedule isn't going to roll over so easily, and let's be honest, once you get a fifty point lead nobody cares how many points you score.
Compared to how you felt Friday night, how do you feel now about your team's chances this season? I'm not just talking about your impressions of your own team -- also take into account their prospects relative to this year's opponents, whom you've also gotten a little more acquainted with after this past weekend's action.
I'm not freaking out to the extent some other Navy fans seem to be. I recognize that Temple is a much improved team and that anything (obviously, anything) can happen in week one, so I expect improvement in the coming weeks. My opinions on the schedule have stayed relatively the same, and to be fair it's still hard to tell how good teams are after week one. I will however say that with the loss of QB Stull at Pittsburgh for the season I'm feeling much better about our chances against Pitt (I don't mean for that to sound cold) and that I'm not as concerned with Ball State after seeing them lose to Miami of Ohio. I'm also feeling better about Navy's potential chances against Notre Dame (OMG I'm looking past Rutgers!) but feeling a little concerned after watching Delaware score 50+ on William and Mary. I'm still sticking to my prediction of 8-4 or 9-3 though.
Looking at how those future opponents performed this past weekend, which developments are you most excited about? Which of your opponents' performances have you a little worried?
I basically just answered this, but here's a quick recap for those of you with ADD. Stull is gone. This leaves Pat Bostick as basically the only viable option at quarterback for Pitt, which has seemingly lost half of it's teams to various injuries and suspensions. If Navy's Wednesday night match up with Pittsburgh later in the season didn't already look like a "circle" upset game (you know, because you circle it,) it sure does now.
Rutgers worries me, but they would have worried me even i they layed an egg against Buffalo. I'm going to need to see Wake Forest a few more times before I get a sense of where they are. They lost to Boston College but two of those Wake touchdowns were scored by the defense. Wake looks a lot like last year's Wake, if you hang onto the ball you're going to have a chance, if you don't, well, then you lose.
There are now 32 bowls in D-IA football, meaning 64 bowl teams, meaning any given team now stands a better-then-50-percent chance of going to a bowl. To get that number under 50 percent, we'd have to eliminate three bowls. Which ones would you get rid of?
The New Orleans Bowl. I know we're not supposed to say bad things about the city because of Katrina, but c'mon, who wants to watch the "prestigious" Sun Belt champ take on the sixth best team in Conference-USA in the Superdome? Not me.
Motor City Bowl. Detroit, in the winter, on boxing day. Enough said. Although Boxing Day doesn't really have anything to do with it.
International Bowl. Football is an American sport, dammit. Unless it's played in Canada, in which case you get twelve men on the field and and a barbaric three downs. This was basically just an excuse for John Saunders to gush over his alma mater last year.
And finally, in 50 words or less, how happy are you that it's finally football season again?
It's equatable to your first Christmas, except it's that way every year. Except instead of getting like eleven presents (seven of which are clothes) you're getting about thirty toys a week. Once again I say to you, guddyup.