Is Brady Hoke really in trouble for the way he handled the quarterback situation last week? Something tells me if he were 5-0 instead of 2-3, this would be an "I'm sorry,it won't happen again," moment, but when you're getting pounded by 13 point underdog Minnesota, that changes everything. If the Wolverines lose tonight at Rutgers---a good possibility---Hoke may have a meeting at the airport late this evening.
The problem with sports today is that patience doesn't exist anymore. In fairness, Hoke has been at Michigan three seasons. Is it right to expect him to go 12-1 with Big Ten titles so soon? Of course not, but don't you have to give him some time? The same thing can be said about Lane Kiffin at USC. One day, he's the ballyhooed savior, the next day he's fired at the airport by athletic director Pat Haden.
Speaking of impatience, is there anybody in Ann Arbor who thinks the Wolverines may have pulled the trigger too soon on Rich Rodriguez? All we know is that his Arizona Wildcats are 5-0 and just beat Oregon in Eugene, 31-24 on Thursday night. The Michigan people didn't like his gimmick offense even though it seems like half the teams in the country run it,so they let him go and brought in a "Michigan man,"in Hoke. Maybe it wasn't RichRod; maybe it's Michigan.
A great win for Arizona, but once again, it exposed Oregon. Every year, the pundits predict greatness and undefeated seasons for the Ducks, but they always seem to stumble each and every year. Stanford always gives them fits and now Arizona is a thorn. The PAC 12 is deep, and that is good and bad. The depth is good, the bad is the beating up of each other makes it tough to make the top four at season's end
There are two interesting games in the Big Ten today. Maryland hosts Ohio State and as mentioned, Michigan travels to Rutgers. In the summer,most thought that Maryland and Rutgers would struggle for years, but that hasn't been the case as of yet. If the Terps and the Knights can pull off wins, that will certainly make a statement. Both teams have legitimate chances today, and maybe the transition to the Big Ten isn't as severe as people think.
On the same line of thinking, as much as the Big Ten gets bashed, the SEC, despite tremendous success is a tad overrated. One, the defense in the league is not that great. People will call it explosive offenses, but that is simply not the case. Two, look at what the newbies have done. Both Missouri and Texas A&M have come in and succeeded right away. Missouri played in the SEC Championship Game in 2013 and last week, beat South Carolina in Columbia. And, we are now in year three of Texas A&M and national prominence. Many thought they would fall back after Johnny Manziel left, but some are saying that they're even better with Kenny Hill running the show. Maybe the Big 12 is the best conference in the nation? Both the Tigers and the Aggies didn't win any Big 12 titles, but they are in contention for SEC honors again. Missouri travels to Texas A&M November 15.
There was talk of BYU running the table and perhaps being in the mix for one of the four spots in the CFP, but that won't happen after Utah State beat the Cougars 35-20 last night. QB Taysom Hill, BYU's running and passing threat and potential Heisman candidate is out for the season after breaking his leg in the second quarter. At the time, BYU was trailing 21-14 so there is no telling that they would have won that game, but with a loss and Hill done, so too,are the Cougars chances for a major bowl berth.
Syracuse, as big time as they are in basketball, are small time in football. As the only big-time Division I school in New York State (sorry University at Buffalo), the Orange will never truly capture the Empire State until the football team comes of age, and I'm not sure that will ever happen. In fairness, they had the one great year in 1987,when they went 11-0 and tied Auburn in the Sugar Bowl and were in the second tier in both the Marvin Graves and Donovan McNabb eras, but they feel more like a Conference USA team than an ACC one. They were lucky to beat 1-AA Villanova in their opener and last night, they were drubbed 28-6 at home to Louisville. Besides Villanova, their other win came against MAC foe Central Michigan. Last week, they sold a home game to Met Life Stadium against Notre Dame. I'm sure they were prodded by officials at Notre Dame to "seek higher ground," but if SU was truly big time, that game gets played at the Carrier Dome. Last night, only 37,569 (50,000 seat capacity) were at the dome to see the fiasco.
The Orange, like the Buffalo Bills just can't find a quarterback and offensively, they have no true identity. It's no surprise that Doug Marrone up and left after four seasons and a 25-25 record. If you think 28-6 is bad, next week, the Orange host #1 Florida State. Assuming Jameis Winston stays out of trouble---and that's a big if---the Noles should be able to name their score and give their key players the fourth quarter off. Syracuse is trying in football, but they're just not making a lot of progress.
Last year, Auburn's Chris Davis electrified America when he returned a missed field goal 109 yards as Auburn beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Now, that helmet is being sold, but as we know the NCAA says it is wrong to pay players stipends. I'm not sure who is getting the money, but it proves again the hypocrisy that is the NCAA. They talk out of both sides of their mouth and they have for years. Most of America doesn't care; they just want to watch the games, but remember this when they schools start crying down the road when the pay the players issue resurfaces.
Nice to see Jim McMahon return to BYU to have his number 9 retired. If you remember BYU in the 1980s, McMahon helped put the Cougars on the college football map. Back in those days, the WAC champ always went to the Holiday Bowl and played teams from what is now the Power 5 conferences. In the 1980 edition, BYU beat SMU 46-45 when McMahon's Hail Mary pass was caught giving the Cougars a win over an SMU team that featured the Pony Express backfield of Eric Dickerson and Craig James.
McMahon, who had to finish his college degree in order to be honored, recently did just that at age 55, something he admitted was difficult to do given his dementia related problems due to the concussions he suffered playing football. McMahon, a bit of a free spirit who attended a college that doesn't allow drinking and other things once said that his fondest memory of BYU was leaving, so it's good to see that time has healed the wounds and number 9 has its place. BYU produced some more than decent NFL QBs in Gifford Neilsen, Marc Wilson, Ty Detmer and of course, Steve Young. Young and McMahon won Super Bowls as starters and Wilson picked up two as Jim Plunkett's backup with the Oakland/LA Raiders.
The Stanford-Notre Dame is a show me game. The Irish at 4-0 have looked pretty good and Stanford already has a loss, 13-10 to USC, so we should get a good idea who is a contender and who is a pretender. If Notre Dame wins, the talk of the CFP will start to gain traction and a Stanford win gets them back on course, so NBC at 3:30 probably deserves your attention.
Enjoy your football Saturday. Until next time.