Bad things, man; bad things.
Dennis Hopper’s warnings from those admittedly awesome Nike commercials were an apt metaphor for the perils of Week 1 in college football. In this case, while Georgia and Virginia Tech couldn’t overcome tough opponents in hostile territory, Oklahoma was the real loser of the weekend.
But first, about the Georgia loss: With the score 17-10 OSU in the third quarter, Zac Robinson led Justin Blackmon on a crossing route over the middle. The pass sailed and bounced off the receiver’s hands, at which point Blackmon was immediately met with a violent hit from safety Reshad Jones. Flags fly, unnecessary roughness call, 1st down for the Cowboys.
Except… that was, by all accounts, a legal hit. Jones had begun his move before the ball bounced off the receiver’s hands. His technique was legal: he didn’t lead with the helmet, just a high shoulder. But since he hit Blackman so hard and there’s the emphasis on caling unnecessary roughness, three flags fell at his feet. Even Matt Millen was apoplectic. After all… what the hell was Jones supposed to do? Not play defense? If Blackmon makes that catch and Jones lets up, Jones probably loses his starting role for bitching out and being afraid of contact. It was an idiotic call and a bad precedent for the rest of college football. Video is after the break.
Speaking of bad decisions, Sam Bradford had the first pick of the 2009 NFL Draft wrapped up quite neatly for himself - a pick that eventually netted more than $41 million in guaranteed money for Matthew Stafford, who wasn’t fit to hold Bradford’s jock last season. But he came back, maybe in search of another Heisman, maybe in search of an NCAA title, maybe in search of a team other than the Lions to draft him.
That all went straight out the window before halftime in Oklahoma’s season opener. Not only was he missing all-everything TE Jermaine Gresham (gone with a knee injury), but Bradford was slammed to the turf right before halftime, injuring the AC joint in his throwing shoulder. It initially looked like a dislocated shoulder, which would have been 50 kinds of disastrous, but projections have Bradford coming back in 2-4 weeks. Still, probably time to cancel those tickets to New York in December.
With Bradford out, Oklahoma struggled under backup Landry Jones, and BYU would prevail, 14-13. Oklahoma will likely plummet - losing a Heisman-winning QB during the season will do that, you know, and BYU will probably be favored to win the rest of their games (at least, up until they lose their first).
Aside from those games, the biggest loser of the weekend is probably… the ACC. After all, the conference played four games against the Colonial Athletic Association, which in case you’ve never heard of it, is a I-AA conference. The end result? The conferences split the four games, with Duke falling to the tricky Richmond Spiders and Virginia getting worked by William and Mary. And yet the ACC is still a BCS conference, and the MWC is not. This is totally fair.