Week 2 of college football did not go as well as week 1, but I suppose my three favorite teams can’t all win every week!
Arizona State easily handled Illinois in Tempe last night. I was a bit surprised my Sun Devils had such an easy time with a Big-10 school. I was more surprised that the game was shown on my cable system. I had expected most PAC-12 home games to be on the new PAC-12 Network. They are still working out deals with major cable systems. Unfortunately, a channel without broad national coverage is not likely to be added to our small cable system.
Many commentators last week were saying that new additions to the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Texas A&M and Missouri, would have a tough time competing in this powerhouse conference. But Texas A&M had a good showing against the University of Florida. The Gators looked terrible in the first half, but considerably better in the second to pull off a 20-17 win.
After just squeezing by, I expected Florida to drop from their #24 position in the polls. Quite amazing to see them land at #18 in the AP poll and #17 on the USA Today poll.
Down the road in Reno, the University of Nevada seemed in full control of their home opener at Mackay Stadium with a score of 31-20 about five minutes before the end of the game. It’s hard to believe they could lose an 11 point lead in such a short time, but they suffered similar fourth-quarter self-destruction frequently last year. Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Dan Hinxman blames the loss on the three hand-offs straight down the middle called by UNR Coach Chris Ault with just over 2.5 minutes to go and a score of 31-26.
Hinxman’s assessment makes sense, but I can understand why Coach Ault might assume the Wolfpack would be able to make the first down necessary to essentially end the game. Ault has had a long successful career; few are qualified to question his calls. On the other hand, sometimes Ault is a bit unorthodox and a often somewhat overconfident. (There is always one vote for Nevada in the USA Today coaches poll, even this week after their avoidable loss.)
My prayers are with Devon Walker of Tulane, whose spine was fractured in a helmet-to-helmet collision during yesterday’s game against Tulsa.