ACC with Poor Week as Expected

When I talk about the top conferences in college football, I talk about the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac-10. The Big East is left out of my discussions, the ACC is hardly referenced, and Boise State and the Mountain West are mentioned casually. Despite having strong programs like Miami, Florida State, and Virginia Tech, the ACC has not been a major player on the college football scene for at least the past five years. They showed why on Saturday.

Billed as a top team that was “back” this year, Miami got throttled by Ohio State 36-24. A kickoff and punt return for a touchdown kept the score much closer for Miami than the game truly was. Jacory Harris may have mocked Jim Tressel but the Buckeyes had the last laugh.

Florida State was coming off a dominant week one win over Samford and looking to expose a weak Oklahoma secondary. The opposite ended up happening. Landry Jones and the Sooners shredded the Noles who got embarrassed 47-17.

Virginia Tech had the most notable loss of the weekend. Coming off a defeat by Boise State, the Hokies fell to James Madison at home 21-16. They committed three turnovers and became the first ranked team to lose to a D-II opponent since Michigan fell to App. State at the Big House in 2007.

The last loss for the ACC was Georgia Tech falling at Kansas. We’ve already covered what it meant for the KU program, so we’ll write this one off as a charitable deed by Paul Johnson.

Maryland, Clemson, B.C., and N.C. State all had non-conference wins, but their victories were overshadowed by the bad losses from the power programs in the conference. All but the Virginia Tech loss were expected. The ACC being down is not a surprise — they’re a basketball conference for a reason.

Jacory Harris Sports the Sweater Vest

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris made waves on the net by wearing Oakland Raiders overalls earlier this week. Now he’s captured our attention with another choice of clothing. Preparing for Miami’s game in Columbus, Harris walked off the team bus at the Horseshoe wearing a Jim Tressel sweater vest and tie, as I found out from Sports by Brooks. Peep the pic:

Harris may have received the laughs before the game but the Buckeyes had the scoreboard advantage afterward. Though many were not entirely his fault, noodle arm’s four interceptions limited Miami greatly in their 38-26 loss on the road. The Canes are lucky they returned a punt and kick for touchdowns otherwise the score would have been much more lopsided. And anyone who considered Harris to be a Heisman or NFL prospect hopefully learned their lesson.

Photo Credit: Joshuaishere on Twitter

Notre Dame Gets Touchdown Despite TJ Jones Early Celebration

I was all over Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson two years ago for dropping a ball prior to crossing the goal line on what should have been a touchdown against the Cowboys. Jackson learned his lesson because he scored 11 touchdowns last year without any problems. Looks like DeSean isn’t alone with this issue — one of the Marshall receivers did the same thing on Friday night, and so did Notre Dame receiver TJ Jones on Saturday.

Early in the third quarter, Notre Dame was down 21-7 and they had a 2nd and 10 at their 47. Dayne Crist found receiver TJ Jones who walked into the end zone for a 53-yard score, only Jones dropped the ball before getting in. Luckily for the Domers, the refs didn’t call it. Pictures and video of the TJ Jones touchdown below:

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Kansas, Turner Gill Get Big Win over GT

If Ole Miss losing to Jacksonville State was the biggest upset of the first college football weekend, then Kansas suffered the second biggest upset loss. The Jayhawks were inept offensively in a 6-3 defeat by North Dakota State. Many people instantly began wondering about first-year head coach Turner Gill following such a poor performance. Whatever doubts we had were erased a week later.

Gill switched quarterbacks and running backs and saw huge dividends offensively. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Webb went 18-29 for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns plus a pick. True freshman running back James Sims had 102 yards on 17 carries plus a touchdown as the Jayhawks won 28-25 over Georgia Tech.

It’s hard to say that the team has made a big turnaround offensively because they only put up 319 total yards, but the four touchdowns is the big number. Kansas took advantage of a kickoff that went out of bounds, a 13-yard punt, and a roughing the passer penalty that aided its scores.

Georgia Tech really had a good shot at coming back to tie it or win it late but they committed a 5-yard penalty on 4th and 3 and were unable to convert on 4th and 8 with about a minute left. Josh Nesbitt was only 5-for-15 passing. If he could complete a pass here or there they would have at least tied, but I guess that’s what you get with a triple option quarterback. Tech’s loss certainly was Kansas’ gain, and it has taken the pressure off Turner Gill early in the season.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

Marcus Lattimore Is the Real Deal

I don’t follow the college football recruiting scene too much, but from reading Sporting News Today on a regular basis, I constantly came across their Top 100 high school football players list. It was kind of funny to see the same list every day with no news to report, but every once in a while a player would commit to a school and the list was updated.

One of the players who was always at the top of the list was Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore is from Duncan, South Carolina and he was considering Auburn, Georgia, and South Carolina, amongst other high-profile schools. Lattimore chose his hometown South Carolina and has been impressive through two games.

In his Gamecocks debut, Lattimore ran for 54 yards and two touchdowns against Southern Miss. In his second game, Lattimore found the end zone the same amount of times but he did much more than that.

Lattimore ran for 182 yards on 37 carries and caught a pass for an additional 16 yards in a 17-6 win over Georgia. He was running physically and with a bruising style, carrying guys on his back as he churned out yards. If ever there was a “workhorse” back, Lattimore would be it. It’s hard to know what to expect from a freshman runner, but we know Steve Spurrier has found himself quite a weapon. Now the only question is whether or not Lattimore will be able to hold up over the long haul; 37 carries is a lot for anyone to endure.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

Nick Saban Nails the Boise State Problem

One of the biggest debates in college football is whether or not Boise State deserves a spot in a national championship game should they go undefeated. My answer is no because their schedule is not challenging enough, regardless of their win over Virginia Tech and a potential win over Oregon State.

Boise State is a very good team and a fine program — I picked them to beat Virginia Tech — but I firmly believe they would lose a game or two if they played in a major conference. It’s one thing to get up for a big game once or twice a year but it’s a complete other to beat quality opponents every single week. That’s something Alabama has to face in the SEC but something Boise State does not have to in the WAC. Saban noted the difference on his Thursday night radio show, as relayed by The Wiz of Odds:

He noted that Alabama defeated Virginia Tech in its 2009 opener and defeated six other teams that were the caliber of Virginia Tech, or maybe better. And maybe more than that if you throw in Texas and Florida in the SEC Championship Game. …”

“It’s the full body of work. It’s not just that you can beat one team, but if you have to beat six or seven other teams and have to play with consistency to do it, I think that goes a long way in saying a lot about what kind of football team that you have. And that’s no disrespect that you have, because they may certainly be able to do the same thing if they were put in that circumstance.”

At least Boise State will be challenged more regularly when they move to the Mountain West but for now, the situation is as Saban describes it. It’s hard to tell a school before they’ve even played a game that no matter what you do, it won’t be good enough, but that’s the situation for Boise State. You cannot tell me with confidence that they would be undefeated if they had to play Florida, LSU, Auburn, and Arkansas, and that’s the issue at hand.

Saban takes a shot at Boise State’s worthiness as a BCS title contender [The Birmingham News]

Blatant Injury Fakers Tried to Slow Texas A&M’s Offense

When a team is paid $325,000 to roll over and play dead for a national powerhouse before conference play begins, they don’t have to literally roll over and play dead.  Stephen F. Austin knew they didn’t stand a chance at knocking off Texas A&M, which is why they were given an absurd amount of money to match up with them.  However, you can’t say they didn’t do their best to try to slow down the Aggies offense on Saturday.  Here’s a hilarious video of Stephen F. Austin players faking injury to slow down Texas A&M via Sports by Brooks:

The fact that you can tell “injury fake” was an actual play called from the sidelines makes the scene that much better.  It’d be one thing if the players thought of it on their own, but you can see them looking attentively to the sideline before flopping to the ground like fish out of water.  Valiant effort.

Video: Texas A&M’s Opponent Faking Injuries [SPORTS by BROOKS]