Oklahoma-Ohio State, Georgia-Notre Dame, USC-Stanford & Nebraska-Oregon Highlight Weekend Action
The ‘ol pigskin bounced in several interesting directions during an entertaining opening weekend in college football.
It bounced into the hands of a 5-star freshman at Alabama when a 5-star running back blocked a punt. It bounced all around Texas A&M defenders and into the hands of UCLA receivers in an incredible comeback that prompted a Texas A&M regent to have a social media rant and that will likely get the head coach bounced from the Aggies.
It bounced into both Maryland and Texas players after two – two! – blocked field goals that were returned for touchdowns. In the same quarter. It later bounced off the shin of a Texas returner on a kickoff. Twice.
So let’s bring on Week 2’s top games with some heavyweight matchups that will further settle, as well as unsettle, the sport and keep us fully entertained for another week.
All times are PDT because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Nebraska at Oregon (1:30 p.m., FOX; subject to change pending Oregon wildfires situation)
The Shuckers travel to the land of the lime yellow/lime green/what-will-they-wear-this-week Ducks (it’s an all-white uniform with a silver helmet featuring duck feathers and yellow socks leading down to yellow laces on black and silver shoes; it was designed in part by three young local cancer survivors, by the way). New OU coach Willie Taggart provided a flashback debut – scoring 77 points – but let’s see what ‘ol Blazing Saddles (hey last name Taggart!) can do against the former coach of rival Oregon State. The Huskers did not exactly throw a scare into anyone in struggling to beat Arkansas State so it may take some local insight and a lot of coaching ingenuity to keep Big Red from turning deep red. Winner: Oregon
Hawaii at UCLA (2 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
If one ever wonders why the Prognosticator calls UCLA the Trampolines, then take a look at that game against Texas A&M. No matter how far they fall, the players have an incredible ability to bounce back right back up, as if they are on a trampoline. Usually, it’s week to week but in this case it was actually during the game. The down side is that when they reach great heights, they inevitably free fall back to earth. Applying this principal, the Trampolines should fall on their faces this week then spring up and beat Stanford in two weeks. But they are playing Hawaii, which will have the Trampolines happily bounding up and down full of visiting Aloha spirit. Winner: UCLA
Auburn at Clemson (4 p.m., ESPN)
In this tale of two Tigers, the paws from the Plains try and make tracks in Death Valley, tho the Fighting Dabos are not exactly the kind of felines to rub up against the legs of visitors and asked to be petted. Instead, they are more like prowling predators ready to rip into anything that comes into their territory. The visiting Tigers come in with some high hopes but they had better hope the hosts are missing a few claws from the past couple of years or else they will be hightailing it back to the Bus Gus. Winner: Clemson
Oklahoma at Ohio State (4:30 p.m., ABC)
Like a gorgeous woman at the end of the bar who winks at you to approach, only for you to discover she’s wearing a huge wedding ring, Ohio State teased much of the college football world by falling behind to Indiana at halftime last week. In the second half, that big rock was quite evident, and now OSU is flashing its fancy jewelry like a day-old bride. Into this scene boom the Sooners, who will try to take the polish off that glittering diamond with some flash off their own. They’ve got a gutty quarterback who’s harder to corral than the Sooner Schooner but how will the new, untested coach handle the Horseshoe? He may well get his “i” dotted right over his Lincoln Riley. Winner: Ohio State
Georgia at Notre Dame (4:30 p.m., NBC)
The Dawgs got bit when they lost their starting quarterback in the opener but this could be a blessing in disguise as the freshman backup may be even better than the starter. Of course, making your first start in Notre Dame Stadium isn’t exactly like going agains Nicholls State, the type of team the UGAs usually play this time of the year. The new guy under center does, however, have the comforting thoughts knowing he’s going against a defense that recently has been as soft as melted ice cream and two quality running backs to hand the ball to if he gets a bad case of frying pan feet and slippery fingers. Still, the Irish can produce points and some feel there’s a lot more bend than break in South Bend this year. Winner, in a shootout: Georgia.
Stanford at USC (5:30 p.m., FOX)
If you think USC football fans were nervous halfway into the fourth quarter of the Western Michigan game, you should seem them heading into Stanford. At the Coliseum tailgate parties, you’ll be able to cut the tension with the same knife fans are using to cut limes to put into their margaritas. Perhaps they will emerge, tho, like a James Bond martini, shaken and not stirred. However, if the stop troops could not hold keep the Broncos from bucking in the run game, then the chances of them holding back the hard-charging Cardinal are about the same as people showing up to tailgate without tequila. Tip to Trojan fans: Don’t unplug the blender. Winner: Stanford
Texas A&M-Nicholls State, Texas-San Jose State, Florida-Northern Colorado
It’s always nice to have a savory Week 2 cupcake to chew on after eating dirt in Week 1, so the Prognosticator has lumped these three biggest losers into a single category. The Cadets go back to school in College Station, a trail of fire coming out of the hot seat of their coach. In Austin, the new coach is trying to fan the flames from that flame-out against Maryland, while in Gainesville, Florida, it may take Hurricane Irma to temporarily put out the fire that’s chasing Jim McElwain. The winners are easy to pick this week, tho the fans will leave their coaches sweating the rest of the season.
• Week 1 Biggest Winners & Losers