Saturday, August 30, 2008

College football kickoff: Bulls, Gators clobber overmatched opponents; ASU doesn't get another big opening upset.

Every year, I swear I'm going to give up on college football. Too many things are too predictable, like my alma mater South Florida having a three game losing streak after knocking off two pre-season top ten teams (Auburn and West Virginia) and attaining the number two ranking in the AP and USA Today polls last season, then progressing to a miserable drubbing in a minor bowl game. However, there are the wonderful unpredictables, like Appalachian State beating what proved to be an overrated Michigan team in their opener last year.

The boys from Boone couldn't pull off another big opening game upset this year. ASU was mauled, 41-13, by the LSU Bayou Bengals in a game at Baton Rouge that had its kickoff moved ahead from 4 P.M. to 10 A.M. because of Hurricane Gustav. Meanwhile, the Wolverines suffered another opening day defeat, though this time to a more highly rated opponent, Utah.

My USF Bulls romped over the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks, 56-7, thereby breaking a pattern of struggling in their opener against a lightly-regarded opponent, and not jeopardizing their pre-season ranking of 19th. The Florida Gators, ranked fifth going into the fray, routed Hawaii by 56-10. The Rainbow Warriors, who have had some success moving into the ranks of college football's elite in the past few years, were not the usual sort of pushover Florida has scheduled for its opener. Given that fellow Southeastern Conference team Georgia has a pre-season rank of number one, while LSU and Auburn, both of which won today, are seventh and tenth, respecively, this may be an indication of just how tough the SEC is these days.