We’re only two weeks through the 2012 college football season and already there are big headlines abound.
The Pac-12 certainly proved this week -- for me -- that they are the second-best conference in the country behind the SEC. UCLA, Arizona and Oregon State have all been pleasant surprises to begin the season and all pulled upsets in Week 2. The Big Ten, on the other hand went 0-3 head-to-head against the Pac-12 in Week 2 and the conference really has some work to do competing with the other top conferences.
Just like Tyrann Mathieu last season, another top SEC defensive player is proving that he just may be capable of making it to New York in the postseason. Georgia’s do-it-all linebacker Jarvis Jones is playing spectacular football and welcomed the Missouri Tigers to the SEC rudely, racking up 8 tackles, 1 sack, forcing a fumble and intercepting a James Franklin pass late in the game to seal Georgia’s win. He is a true difference-maker for a football team trying to make it to the SEC Championship.
Do not sleep on smaller conference teams this season either. We all know that the “small” guys can hang with the big boys any day of the week in today’s game and week after week we are seeing it play out. Utah State took out rival Utah, Rice beat Kansas in Lawrence, Louisiana-Monroe had a great game against Arkansas taking out the Razorbacks in Fayetteville, and in what was maybe the most overlooked upset of the week, Sacramento State took out Colorado in Boulder! The lines between the “Big Six” conferences and everyone else are clearly starting to blur.
“Larry David” – Moment of the Week:
Josh Evans – DB, Florida
Just like Larry David’s character from Curb Your Enthusiasm, sometimes a player does something he regrets very soon afterward. For the Florida Gators this week, that man was safety Josh Evans. Evans crouched low, attempting to make a hit on Texas A&M junior running back Benjamin Malena, and instead of welcoming him to the SEC, he was reminded of why the Aggies joined the conference. Evans got absolutely popped in the mouth. Audiences watching the game on television could hear the hit, it was so vicious. Evans went to the ground and stayed there for a while, but soon returned to game action after getting his bell rung by the 5’8” 195-pounder from Cedar Hill, Texas.
You can see the hit here:
“Suits” – Game of the Week:
Louisiana Monroe – 34 vs. Arkansas – 31
Just like the best show on television right now, the best game of the week had a flair for the dramatic and was simply a doozy. The Warhawks, led by outstanding quarterback Kolton Browning, scored the final 21 points in regulation and then Browning himself finished off the victory in overtime with a thrilling 16-yard TD scamper. The junior quarterback out of Texas finished the day as the game’s leading passer and rusher, totaling 481 yards of offense and four TDs, causing the Razorbacks to drop all the way out of the polls after starting the week ranked 8th in the country!
“CSI: Anywhere” – Most Forgettable Game:
Florida A&M – 13 vs. Oklahoma – 69
The lowly Rattlers of Florida A&M and everyone watching certainly had the most forgettable weekend of anyone in college football. Sort of like any CSI show ever made. Whether it’s based in New York, Miami or wherever, I certainly haven’t remembered any of the episodes specifically. One thing the Rattlers aren’t soon to forget is the fact that the Sooners racked up a staggering 662 yards of offense against them while rushing for just 61 yards of their own. Heck, Sooners junior running back Damien Williams had 156 yards rushing and four TDs alone – on just 10 carries!
“Mad Men” – Player of the Week:
Johnathan Franklin – RB, UCLA
The fellas from the hit show “Mad Men” are both classy and 'players,' and both of those words perfectly describe one man’s performance this past weekend: UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin. Franklin doesn’t get anywhere near the attention he deserves and is proving just how valuable he is to start this season for the upstart Bruins. While Franklin didn’t score a rushing touchdown this past weekend in the upset of Nebraska, he did score as a receiver and was exactly the workhorse the Bruins needed to pull off the win, rushing for over 200 yards for the second consecutive week (217 yards on 26 carries). He leads all FBS rushers with 431 yards rushing in 2012 and has four TDs in total.
“David Caruso” – Worst Performance of the Week:
James Vandenberg – QB, Iowa
I think Vandenberg would agree that this week he was truly reminiscent of David Caruso – he should be ashamed to have been seen by the public audience acting in such a way. The Hawkeyes were upset at home by their in-state rival Iowa State for the first time in 10 years and Vandenberg certainly wasn’t helping his team’s case. The senior quarterback was just 20 of 42 throwing the football and was intercepted by the Cyclones defense twice while throwing exactly zero touchdown passes to boot.
“Bachelor Pad” – Surprise Team of the Week:
Sacramento State Hornets
The Hornets put on a surprisingly good show this week. Similar to that of reality television’s “Bachelor Pad”, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the performance actually was. I realize that Colorado is nowhere near the team they were in their heyday, but they are still a Pac-12 team while the Hornets are still not even at the FBS, but the FCS level of play. The Hornets led almost the entire game on the road and outgained the Buffs 466 to 341 in total yardage. Hornets quarterback Garrett Safron, just a sophomore, threw for 312 yards with two TDs and no interceptions, basically doubling the performance of Buffs QB Jordan Webb.
Photo Credit: Getty