Ah yes, another Monday heralding the end of one college football weekend and the beginning of another. But before you get back to the daily grind, let's take a look at the things we need to get done following a wholesome weekend of pigskin goodness.
1) Point and laugh in the general direction of Opelika. Like, more than usual even. When you're Auburn and you have to score on a double pass and hail mary to hang on long enough to win in overtime against Louisiana-Monroe, you have problems. Auburn's lines in particular looked marshmallowy soft. The Willie Martinez secondary looked, well, like it was coached by Willie Martinez. Gene Chizik praising the Warhawks effusively postgame was just high comedy. Bottom line, Auburn looks like abad football team right now. Had the Warhawks been in possession of their kicking game faculties, the Plainsmen are likely 0-3 and Gene Chizik is trying to pay people to crank his car for him and taste test his oatmeal this morning, just in case.
2) Rejigger the threat list in the SEC East. Tyler Bray continues to struggle mightily under pressure. He panicked repeatedly when Florida applied heat, and ultimately managed to look less cool under pressure than the Gators' Jeff Driskel, which given their relative levels of experience is an issue for the Creamsicle Contingent. Will Muschamp made great strides in using spread players to run a spreadish offense, which may have hurt his pro-style pride, but delivered results. It would be folly to say that pulling away in the second half to beat a Tennessee squad expected to get its coach fired this year means that the Gators are a frontrunner in the East. But I see nothing wrong with saying that Jeff Driskel has the makings of a good SEC quarterback, and that if the Florida defense can stay healthy and not do anything stupid, the Gators will be a factor in the division race.
3) Send our regards to Manti Te'o. The Notre Dame linebacker lost his girlfriend (who had been struggling with Leukemia) and his maternal grandmother within roughly 24 hours last week. He then went out and helped lead the Irish to an upset victory over Michigan State.
As someone who once lost a loved one on the eve of a state tournament appearance in high school I can understand that the mind has a way of going on autopilot in these situations. It sounds bad, but for a young mind the routine of preparation and competition is a good coping mechanism. So I'm not entirely surprised that Te'o was able to compete on Saturday. I will, however, be thinking of him when he flies back to Hawaii this week to be with family before returning to South Bend in time to take on Michigan next Saturday. That's an emotional blender.
4) Note that Colorado State has more PAC-12 wins than Southern Cal. That's it. That's the joke. Though I would say if Lane Kiffin thinks David Shaw's Stanford squad was a physical test for the Trojans, he's gonna be really surprised if the men of Troy manage to win out and find themselves in a championship matchup with Nick Saban's Alabama squad.
5) Trumpet the good news that Chryst has risen. Pittsburgh Panthers' coach Paul Chryst had to be the most beleaguered coach outside of Fayettville, Arkansas going into this past weekend. He responded by delivering a win over Virginia Tech which I have now rewatched and still don't really understand. Really, it's as if the Pitt team that got torpedoed by Youngstown State was replaced by an entirely different set of players.
Once again we saw that Frank Beamer is a lot like a busking street musician who does otherworldly things with a two- stringed guitar. When it's in tune he can make that thing emit a version of Ave Maria that will bring you to tears. When one of the strings breaks his repoirtore is reduced to an off key version of Jingle Bells. In this analogy the Hokie offense is the set of four missing strings and VT QB Coach/Playcaller Mike O'Cain is the fat guy on the subway who sat on your guitar and broke the neck in 12 places.
So what else needs doing? Until later . . .