College Football Week 1 Recap: Chopped and Screwed
A lot of footbawl happened yesterday, some of it very good and some of it very bad. Houston is poised to crash the Playoff party, the SEC got stuffed in a locker, Steve Spurrier posed like Usain Bolt, Jabrill Peppers jumped over a guy, LSU lost and goddamnit that really happened didn't it?
Good Day/Bad Day
Good Day: Houston! And surrounding areas
Playoffs? You kiddin' me? Playoffs?!
Greg Ward Jr. and the boys became the darlings of college footbawl after beating Florida State in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Day. In yesterday's upset of #3 Oklahoma, they ran fast, jumped high, and hit hard. Louisville looms Nov. 17, but the Cougars may have set the stage for an undefeated regular season, College Football Playoff berth, and an eventual jump to the Big 12.
Plus: a kick six!
So you love the Cougars now, right? Me too. They're really fun and exciting and—goddamnit, Drake.
Good Day: Cool Guy Tom Herman
Clipping your gel roller pen to the inside of your polo shirt is the pinnacle of cool for 40+ year-old dudes. Also cool: Coach Herman will get a $5 million bonus if a major conference blesses the Coogs with a seat at the adult table. And if that doesn't happen? All but a handful of schools would toss their coach out of a moving vehicle for the chance to back up the Brinks truck for Herm. (I call him Herm.)
Bad Day: Me
I don't often bet on sports, but when I do, the rationale is questionable and the amount is irresponsible.
Thanks to Brandon Harris and Les Miles (smart money rarely follows seasoned grass eaters), yours truly is unlikely to emerge from this college football season with a new speedboat. I hate Les Miles.
Good Day: Jordan Brand and Michigan athletics
A decade-long lull in Michigan athletics happens to coincide with an apparel partnership with adidas. This is because adidas is meh and 18-year-old kids don't want to play for your school if the gear is basura.
*I recently purchased a pair of Ultraboosts and I'd be lying if I said they weren't comfortable enough to warrant an adidas logo tattoo across my chest.
Bad Day: Jordan Brand and Michigan athletics
Counterpoint: You've just aligned yourself with the most frequently mocked human being to ever exist.
Bad Days: Arkansas and Tennessee
Top-ten ranked and sexy National Title pick Tennessee was a three-touchdown favorite over Appalachian State. This is how they won the game ... in overtime.
I guess that'll do!
Arkansas was also a three-touchdown favorite, and they had to convert on fourth down in the fourth quarter to take a 21-20 lead over Louisiana Tech, which sounds like a made-up opponent in a sports movie.
Worse Days: Kentucky and Mississippi State
Even when the big boys fall, the SEC can usually rely on the have-nots to take care of business against no-name programs. Not the case yesterday!
Kentucky blew a 35-10 lead to Southern Miss and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, whom Kentucky fired last year for his inability to coordinate offense.
Mississippi State lost to South Alabama, a program with a storied seven-year history. Perhaps this served as a bit of comeuppance for the laughable one-game suspension of a five-star recruit.
Good Day But Also Awful Day: Tago Smith, Navy
Navy QB Tago Smith was tasked with replacing all-world Keenan Reynolds this year, and for one quarter he did that very well!
So Zack Galifinakis is definitely going to play this guy in the movie version of this season.
Good Day: HEAD BAWL COACH
Florida finally renamed its stadium in honor of the best football coach to ever live, Steve Spurrier. The site will now be known as Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Stadium Presented By Dale and Thomas Popcorn, and this is how the Head Bawl Coach saw fit to celebrate:
Here's Steve's matter-of-fact "thank yah" speech to the crowd before the game, if that's your thing. And it should be.
Bad Day: Minkah Fitzpatrick's groin, Alabama
Attn: Kids who play big-time college football
They're everywhere, just FYI.
A lot of "hey come on man, don't do that!" after-the-whistle-type plays yesterday. On any other day, Jabari Ruffin would take the cake for malicious moves. But this guy...
Bad Day: Iowa's Josey Jewell and Miami's Matt Merimee
The top of Josey Jewell's helmet collided with the side of Matt Merimee's head and the result was the stuff of a Pop Warner mother's worst nightmares. There is no scientific explanation for why Merimee's head is still attached to his body.
If, for some reason, you still want to see the video, click here.
Bad Day: Josh Boutte, LSU
Hey man, don't do that!
Good Day: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
Potential first-overall NFL Draft pick Myles Garrett is a poet with award-winning penmanship who describes social media as "foolishness" and is obsessed with dinosaurs. He also does this kind of stuff, which makes him more or less the most interesting man in the world:
1) Deshaun Watson, Clemson QB
19/34, 248 pass yds, 1 INT, 1 pass TD
1 car, 22 rush yds
Not the most impressive start against unranked Auburn, but Watson did deliver a beautiful game-winning TD to Hunter Renfrow in the corner of the endzone. Highlight tape stuff sprinkled in with gaudy numbers vs. ACC opponents is a good recipe.
2) Christian McCaffrey, Stanford RB
22 car, 126 yds, 2 TDs
On Friday, McCaffrey had this 41-yard TD run, which is somehow the longest of his career:
Less relevant but just as exciting is this punt return TD, called back on a penalty:
3) Dalvin Cook, Florida State RB
(Plays Monday vs. #11 Ole Miss)
4) Leonard Fournette, LSU RB
23 car, 138 yds, 0 TD
Everyone says Fournette cares more about his family, teammates, and the Baton Rouge community than his career. Still, there is a nonzero chance the AP clone exaggerates an injury and sits out this likely .500 season from LSU.
I hate Les Miles.
5) J.T. Barrett, Ohio State QB
21/31, 349 pass yds, 6 TDs, 1 INT
6 car, 30 rush yds, 1 TD
He's no longer a sexy name, but the ultra-inexperienced Buckeyes will lean heavily on the veteran QB.
6) Lamar Jackson, Louisville QB
17/23, 286 pass yds, 6 TDs
11 car, 119 rush yds, 2 TDs
...in one half! TUNA!? YOU KIDDIN' ME?
The ancillary numbers from this game are nuts. Sixteen different receivers caught passes from Jackson, who now has as many passing TDs as he did through six games in 2015. It took Charlotte six games in 2015 to score as many touchdowns as Lamar Jackson had yesterday.
In. One. Half.
7) Greg Ward Jr., Houston QB
23/40, 321 yds, 2 TDs
18 car, 1 yd
GWJ ( I call him GWJ) was electric in Houston's upset over Just OK (I call them Just OK). Fokls,, he's one to watch.
Of course, it helps when your guys do this:
8) Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma QB
24/33, 323 yds, 2 TDs
13 car, -1 yd
Oklahoma lost! But Baker Mayfield is still v good and has probably the nation's best RB duo in Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon to relieve some of the pressure (if Coach Stoops decides to give them the ball). Maybe if they stop losing he can get an invite to NYC?
They might keep losing though lol.
9) Nick Chubb, Georgia RB
32 car, 222 yds, 2 TDs
Georgia wants to win the SEC East this season. Yesterday, they completed pass from inside their own end zone and got a safety. So, yeah, thank God for Nick Chubb.
10) Jabrill Peppers, Michigan LB/S/KR/maybe RB
8 tot tckl, 1.0 sack
2 punt returns, 28 yds
"The more slashes follow your name, the better athlete you are. That's a fact." - Tim Kennedy, PF/SG/DH/1B/OL/Coach
Cool Plays and Stuff
Texas State knows triple overtime is when the playground playbook comes out.
Check out the last good thing USC did in this game:
James Conner scored his first touchdown since beating cancer. It was pretty cool.
Harbaugh's all jacked up on Mountain Dew.
Header image: Scott Halleran / Getty Images