Much Comes into Focus Throughout College Football’s Second Week
After a long off-season in which many fan bases allowed both anticipation and expectations to build, the 2013 NCAA college football season finally began about a week and a half ago. In the 10 days since, a whole lot of truths have been scribbled onto the wall of this year’s campaign, and a few teams are riding high and riding low. Here’s a fast-paced breakdown of the action from Week 2 of what is sure to be a fast-moving college football season.
The Alabama Crimson Tide did not play last weekend, but the #2-ranked Oregon Ducks made the longest journey away from their campus in Eugene since the 70s to play the Virginia Cavaliers on their home turf. The Ducks brought the pain from start to finish, proving to be too fast and too deep at the talent positions for a spirited Virginia team cheered on by sold-out crowd. The final ended up being 59 – 10, and Oregon stopped short of putting their proverbial foot on Virginia’s proverbial throat, it was a clear signal to the entire nation that the Ducks are here to win a National Championship.
The Ohio State Buckeyes had their way with the San Diego State Aztecs at home in Columbus, but they lost starting quarterback Braxton Miller early in the game to what appeared to be a knee injury. The #3-ranked Buckeyes are riding a winning streak that extends back to the 2011 season, but all bets are off if Miller is unable to suit up and get under center throughout the rest of the season.
The 4th-ranked team in the nation is the Clemson Tigers, and they appear intent on not letting go of their top-flight ranking. They took care of the second test on their schedule by dismantling South Carolina State at home, and they will now head into the bulk of a conference schedule that is among the most difficult in the nation.
Many college football fans in the South had their attention fixed firmly on the South Carolina versus Georgia game that unfolded between the hedges in Athens late Saturday afternoon. The offensive juggernauts exchanged blows throughout the first half and went into halftime tied at 24, but Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and stud running back Todd Gurley were clearly not going to let this team lose two in a row to start the season, and they prevailed with an 11-point victory. The loss will certainly mean a slip in the rankings for South Carolina, who came into the game at the nation’s sixth-ranked team.
Many SEC fans expected the Florida Gators to do big things this year and perhaps even make some noise in the BCS Bowl picture. The possibility for that was dealt a major setback in Miami on Saturday afternoon as the Gators were unable to establish a consistency on offense and were seemingly outcoached for the first time in the Will Muschamp era.
Other top-ranked teams such as LSU, Stanford and Texas A&M all took care of business at home. The other game featuring two teams in the top-25 pitted the Notre Dame Fighting Irish against the Michigan Wolverines in a raucous and jam-packed Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Michigan set the pace in this game and controlled the tempo throughout, although Notre Dame fought back in the second half to make the final score a respectable one at 30 – 41. Interestingly, it was the exact same final score as the only other game that featured two ranked teams.