As you might expect, this week’s edition of the Back Nine is heavy on college football.
1. Can Riley Cooper run or what? “I’m going to tell y’all like this, man,” Chris Rainey said Saturday night. “That’s the fastest white dude I’ve ever seen in my life. He is super fast. Oh my god.” Seriously, we need to set up a race. And I might include Charleston Southern cornerback Jacques Bazile, who caught up to Rainey on his 76-yard touchdown run. Cooper’s speed was not affected by his illness (try slo-mo on the vomit scene as Cooper leaves the game in the second quarter).
2. Think Richard Seymour had a good weekend? His Bulldogs were beaten by Oklahoma State and then he gets traded to the black hole that is Oakland Raider football. After eight years and three Super Bowl rings, he is now going to play for a team hoping to win five games and keep the head coach out of jail. From classy to classless. It’s enough to make Riley Cooper want to puke.
3. Speaking of nice weekends, how about that Atlantic Coast Conference? Virginia and Duke both lost to Div. I-AA teams,
Maryland was hammered by Cal and Virginia Tech lost the conference’s biggest game by surrendering 18 fourth-quarter points. But we don’t get any respect. Uh-huh, there’s a reason for that. The Al Groh Death March is officially under way. The Cavs turned it over seven times in losing to Bill and Mary. You just can’t do that and stay employed.
4. And one game into the season we have a jumbled mess again. Because Brigham Young showed more than just a flashy passing attack to beat Oklahoma. Funny how you penciled in a loss for Miami against Oklahoma, but now you’re not so sure. And BYU-FSU could be a huge game. Ah, the beauty of the sport.
5. Like, for instance, Northern Iowa getting two field goals blocked on back-to-back plays when either one would have won the game. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. Or Navy having a two-point conversion to tie mighty Ohio State and it goes the other way for a pick-two. Bad call, by the way. The Bucks could not stop the option. Why throw it?
6. So everybody is dismissing Sam Bradford’s chances to win the Heisman Trophy? Not so fast, my friends. If he comes back and leads Okie past Texas and into the National Championship game there is going to be a lot of sentimental voting. Now, the chances of that happening are not good. I’d say Bradford has about a five-percent chance to repeat. But I’m saying there is a chance.
7. Maybe the most surprising result was Illinois’ 37-9 loss to Missouri. “I’m embarrassed with it, but I’m sure not ready to throw in the towel,” said Ron Zook. It didn’t help that receiver Arrelious Benn left the game early with an ankle injury. But the Illini, as Zook teams tend to do, came out flat. “Something happened on the way from Champaign to here,” said quarterback Juice Williams. Maybe they watched a tape of the UF-Mississippi State game from 2004.
8. Saturday night’s game in The Swamp was the 15th time Florida has limited an opponent to seven points or less since Urban Meyer arrived in Gainesville and made the smart move of retaining Charlie Strong on the staff. OK, Charleston Southern was really bad. But Florida showed nothing tricky defensively. And it looks like they’ll need something special against Tennessee. A lot of people are jumping on the Lane Train.
9. An e-mailer suggested I grade the crowd in my Sunday grades of the Gator football team. If I did I would have given Saturday’s an ‘A.’ Really vocal and into it and filled the place. I think that was the best opening crowd I’ve seen in The Swamp since 1990. By the way, I could use a couple more questions for Dr. Football. And I’m tweeting now at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.