Four Observations about the Start of College Football

1.) The National Championship looks to be Alabama’s to lose. They dispatched Michigan quickly and efficiently. Their defense was stout, and their offense was about as well-rounded as you can get. Meanwhile, USC looked a little out of sorts against an inferior opponent. Barkley and Woods struggled to establish continuity, and their running game floundered behind a weak O-line. USC will need to run the ball more regularly if they hope to stay undefeated.

2.) What’s up with Oregon’s new uniforms? Flashy is fine, but can we also aim for classy? These are the ugliest Oregon uniforms since—oh, wait—last year’s Oregon uniforms.

3.) Cal lost to Nevada and Penn State lost to Ohio. The media was preparing for a continuous, weeklong orgasm in the event of a Penn State win, ready to flog viewers with parables of symbolic victory and other meaningless drivel. Then, lowly Ohio happened. Penn State looked bad. Maybe this is the kind of performance we can expect after the fallout from NCAA sanctions reverberates more fully. Maybe they will rally. It’s really tough to say, because they are one of the few teams for whom skill isn’t the only deciding factor. At least PSU had an excuse for their (school-adjusted) clobbering. Cal, not so much.

4.) I didn’t get to witness the 84-0 Oklahoma State drubbing of Savannah State, but I can’t imagine it was much fun for even Cowboys fans to watch. Florida State whooped Murray State 69-3, and Oregon will very likely deliver a biblical beat-down of Arkansas State. (At the time of this writing, the halftime score is 50-10.) Football coaches like to schedule easy opponents earlier in the season, I get it. Is it possible, however, that early blowouts against lilliputian opponents actually make it harder for top teams to prepare for tough games later on? Just a thought.

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