NCAA College Football Week 2 RecapMonday, September 12, 2011 22:02
Week 2 college football recap–chaos in Vegas courtesy of the Pac-12 an first ever night action in the Big House.
Perhaps I spoke too soon.
Last I week I lamented the lack of interesting games–either in scheduling or results–on Week 1 of the 2011 NCAA college football schedule.
Week 2, by comparison, made Week 1 seem absolutely thrilling.
None of this is surprising, of course.
The fact that major conference teams generally schedule inferior opponents to pad their records prior the more grueling conference part of the season is neither news nor applauded by the college football viewing public at large, but it is an undeniable fact until some reforms are introduced into the game…Ha! Yeah, right. But while most Week 1 games hold to that form, over the past few years we’ve seen a handful of intriguing Top 25 match-ups in the first weekend of the season, presumably to launch the year off with a blast before settling into the doldrums of the majority of non-conference play.
Such as we just experienced during Week 2.
Week 2 featured only one game squaring off Top 25 opponents, the #3 Alabama Crimson Tide visiting #23 Penn State Nittany Lions–a 27-11 Crimson Tide victory that wasn’t even that close. Two Top 25 teams fell to unranked opponents, and one of those upsets is pretty minor: the reigning national champion Auburn Tigers, who had been ranked the week before, took down the #16 Mississippi St. Bulldogs. At least the Arizona State Sun Devils defeating the #21 Missouri Tigers in overtime can be considered a genuine upset.
Somewhat surprisingly, a couple of games not involving any Top 25 teams provided the rest of the interest over the weekend. The Utah Utes – USC Trojans game was mostly interesting from a historical standpoint as the inaugural Pac-12 conference game (and Utes’ first game in their new conference). The game did provide havoc in Vegas, however, following an odd sequence of events.
With the score 17-14, USC scored a touchdown on the final play of the game when Torin Harris returned a blocked 41-yard field goal the distance. But the TD was initially–and incorrectly–not counted due to an excessive celebration penalty, and the score was posted as 17-14. Two hours later, the final score was updated to 23-14.
Most Vegas books favored the Trojans by 8.5 points. Absolute mayhem ensued, with some casinos sticking with the original final score, some honoring the new score when it was officially revised later in the day, and many bettors furious that they threw away seemingly losing tickets that later ended up being winners.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish visiting the Michigan Wolverines also had historical significance, the game being the first ever at night in the Big House. The tilt lived up the hype to boot. The Fighting Irish led most of the game, until the Wolverines scored a go-ahead touchdown with 1:12 left.
42 seconds later, Tommy Reed hit Theo Riddick for a 29-yard TD and a reclamation of the lead. But Michigan answered once again with two seconds left on the clock to seal a 35-31 victory.
At least Week 3 should have some more spark, with a Top 5 match-up between the #1 Oklahoma Sooners and the #5 Florida State Seminoles headlining the action.
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