There’s a good chance another college football scandal will break before you finish this article. Who can keep up? You’re not finished reading about one (Oklahoma State) before another (five SEC players) pops up. If you want to get away from it all for a bit, you’ve come to the right place. The vibe is less scandalous here as we get ready for Week 3.
After Texas A&M’s season opener I wrote, “The Johnny Manziel story has morphed into one where the public dislikes all involved. ESPN couldn’t simply wait for Manziel to take the field in the second half. They had cameras on him at all times during his first half suspension, and the announcers analyzed his body language and interaction with teammates.” I can’t say for sure that ESPN literally had a camera on him at all times; it just seemed that way. Well, CBS is literally going to have a camera on him at all times.
Imagine being the guy given that assignment: One moment you’re told you’re working ’Bama-A&M (“Yeah!”), the next you learn you’ll be training your lens on one guy the entire game (“Oh…”).
You can’t escape Manziel Mania, even if you’re not seeking out sports coverage. He is on the cover of the latest Time magazine and the Jay Leno show was responsible for this incredible gif:
I recently came across a site called HuddlePass, “a social sports media platform that enhances the fan experience through interaction with former student-athletes.” As of now that means former college football players (from the Big Ten schools plus Notre Dame and Rutgers) writing about their schools and answering questions from fans.
Most of the articles are bland, full of the generalities and clichés athletes are trained to give to the media. But one from Eric Crouch caught my eye. Crouch is by far the most accomplished “Huddle Expert.” He won the Heisman in 2001. He gives an honest account of what he was feeling and thinking when he made his first start for Nebraska, from the night before all the way through the game. At times perhaps too honest:
“When our offense got the ball, I remember trying to call the first play, but my mouth was so dry that my tongue would not work. I mumbled, asking Dave Volk, our left tackle, to spit in my mouth. Super disgusting, I know, looking back on it but you have to understand that, at the time, it was all about calling the play. Nebraska Football was bigger than me.”
They don’t just give away those Heismans, folks.
Fun Stat from Week 2
I saw more than one person post this on the Twitters: On Saturday, Texas, Southern Cal, Notre Dame, and Florida lost on the same day for the first time since September 11, 1976.
Three Under-the-Radar Games to Watch
TCU at Texas Tech: This should be the first exciting Thursday night game of the season. The country will get its first good look at Tech’s first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury and his walk-on freshman quarterback.
Akron at Michigan: Akron has lost 27 straight road games. Michigan has not lost at home under Brady Hoke. Nothing has to give.
Wisconsin at Arizona State: These teams are a combined 3-0 and have outscored opponents 148-0. But they’ve done it against two FCS schools and UMass. That’s nothing new for the Badgers, who played a very weak nonconference schedule under Bret Bielema. Good to see LSU (2014) and Alabama (2015) on Wisconsin’s future schedules.