Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ruminations on Week 1

Christmas in August has come and gone, and week 1 wasn't too nice to the Big Televen. The conference's oddysey back to respectability will be covered in a later post. Instead, here are a few things that caught my eye over a glorious weekend of college football:

*Note: This past weekend was an anomaly in that it was a holiday weekend and I had a guest visiting for the weekend. WildHawk has been out of commission for a few days preparing for some "real life" stuff, but will be back tomorrow. Anyways, in the future we will have detailed reviews of some Big Ten games of the week/games we attended/our favorite games. Unfortunately, week 1 didn't give us the chance to do that, but we promise to have it in the future. And if not, well, we already reserved the right to be lazy...

1) Does Illinois call that defense? Granted, Missouri has a very talented offense and will put up a lot of points this season. But I just don't see them keeping their #6 ranking throughout the year. That Mizzou defense didn't scream #6 to me, and in fact, I think both teams will go in opposite directions this year. Last year's game featured two underrated teams that went on to have magical seasons...this year's game could be the opposite. I have a feeling that this loss to Mizzou won't look nearly as good as it did last year. As mentioned in the Illinois preview, Illinois lost a lot through the middle of their defense, and it showed in the Mizzou game as they gave up numerous big plays. It will be a long year if the defense can't pick it up a bit.

2) Bye Bye Beanie. Well, at least that's what the Heisman Trophy was saying to Wells as he hopped off the field with the help of coaches. Granted it's only week 1, but Wells
will undoubtedly be held out next week, and his yardage total will suffer without two cupcake teams on the schedule. Also, and this is totally speculative, but I think he will be out for the USC game...or at least be severely limited. USC has a habit of taking advantage of severely limited players.

3) Bruising Badger Backs. Sixty three carries. 404 yards rushing. Welcome to the good ol' days of Wisconsin football. P.J. Hill, a player that I have thought was overrated for two years (fat, soft, and unathletic may or may not have come out of my mouth when describing him in the past), was nearly unstoppable. Zach Brown showed he can be a change of pace back. And John Clay, well, according to my buddy Fuzz, "If I had to develop a prototypical physical specimen of a running'd be John Clay." Obviously, this was against a weak Akron team, but the Badgers showed a glimpse of what other Big Ten (11) teams can expect this year.

4) We're Not on YouTube Anymore Toto. Michigan rolled out a bunch of freshman at the skill positions on offense, including YouTube legend Sam McGuffie. Mission Backfired. The Wolverines offense was anemic and the running game was the reason. McGuffie and Co. couldn't run for more than 1.3 ypc and certainly had a hard time leaping over people. Granted they had an almost entirely new offensive line starting, but Michigan has been recruiting well for years...this much of a drop off was not expected. However, Michigan's defense didn't show up until the second half, juuuussst a little late to help the Wolverines cause. Coach DickRod should hope that someone learns his offense, anyone learns his offense, and learns it soon.

5) Optimism in Iowa. No Hawkeyes were arrested on Saturday, which itself should have promoted optimism. But Hawkeye fans had other reasons to celebrate...they beat someone. It was only an FCS (1-AA) team, but beat them they did. In true Iowa fashion, Lil' Bro #2 texted me following the win: "Remember the name Jewel Hampton, he's gonna run circles around you guys for the next 4 years." I tried my hardest to let him enjoy his win and newfound RB prodigy, but I couldn't help remember a similar text from two years back: "Jake Christensen is gonna tear you up once he becomes our starter." Good luck with that.

1 comment:

  1. Badgers should be embarassed by that performance against a patsy...gonna be a long season if that is the best they can do.