A second look at what happened in college football this weekend

Who’s Hot

The Pac 12 –Much was made about the newly found dominance of the ACC last season, with the league producing the national champion (Clemson), but the Heisman Trophy winner (Louisville’s Lamar Jackson).  But the first week has already shown some slippage in the ACC.  FSU lost to Alabama (not unexpected), but North Carolina State lost to South Carolina, California knocked off North Carolina and Louisville struggled to overcome Purdue.

Conversely, the Pac-12  has gone through the first two weeks of games this season with only one loss (Oregon State vs. Colorado State).  The league topped off the effort with UCLA’s stunning 45-44 come-from behind (44-10 in the third quarter) win over Texas A&M on Sunday night, capping an 11-0 weekend..

 

Howard University–If Cupcake U had a picture, it might look like the Howard University football team. The Bison were everyone’s “”bye” game among college football’s FBS members. A year ago Howard lost to two of the Big Ten’s worst teams, Maryland and Rutgers, by a combined 77 points. Two years ago, Howard lost to Appalachian State and Boston College by a combined score of 125-0.  BC’s 76-0 win was so one sided, the game was shortened to a pair of 10 minute quarters in the second half.

Small wonder that Howard traveled to Nevada-Las Vegas for its opener on Saturday as a 45-point  underdog.

Well, as many folks know anything–both good and bad–can happen in  Vegas, which was the site o Howard’s 43-40 point victory, which has now been labeled as the ‘”biggest upset in college football history. For some perspective, a $100 bet on Howard would have brought back $55,000.

Adding spice to the story, is Howard’s freshman QB Caylin Newton, whose big brother is indeed the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton.

“”I mean, coming to Howard, it’s not a football school right now,” Newton told the Washington Post in the pre-season. “”It will be.”

Adding to the pleasure of the weekend, Howard received a guaranteed payout of $600,000 for playing in the game, something that is routinely done by FBS schools to get FCS schools on their schedule.

 

 

Lamar Jackson–The Heisman Trophy winning QB wasn’t getting a whole lot of love or respect in the off season in the eyes of his supporters. Other QBs such as USC’s Sam Darnold, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett seemed to be regarded as more viable Heisman picks. Adding to that list is UCLA QB Josh Rosen, who had a game for the ages in the comeback over Texas A&M. All Rosen did was throw for 4 TD passes in the fourth quarter.

Well, Jackson wants you to know that he is not ready to give up the Heisman without a fight. The Louisville’ QB opened his season on Saturday with a 35-28 victory over Purdue. All Jackson did was throw for 378 yards and a pair of touchdowns and pick up another 107 yards on 21 carries.

Now players like Mayfield, who threw for 329 yards and 3 Tds’ in the Sooners 56-7 romp over UTEP, had strong opening games as well, but the feeling here is that Jackson will have a legitimate chance to become the first repeat Heisman winner since Archie Griffin did it in 1974-75.

 

Jake Olson–A long snapper at USC who made the last long snap of the day for the Trojans in their 49-31 win over Western Michigan.  What’s the big deal, you say? Jake Olson lost sight in both of his eyes eight years ago after suffering retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer. He joined the Trojan program three years ago as a walk on.

The moment was set up by USC coach Clay Helton and Western Michigan coach  Tim Lester, who exchanged “no rush” moments on  one extra point, which would allow Olson to have his moment of glory.

The snap was perfect, so was the moment.

Who’s Not

Texas– When Longhorn officials fired Charlie Strong after 3 consecutive losing seasons, they brought in Houston coach Tom Herman and paid him 5 million a year to fix things in Austin.  The chatter all spring and summer was that the talent was there and Herman would make the difference. As candy, Texas upgraded the Longhorns locker room with a 10 million dollar renovation project. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.