Monday, September 10, 2012

Football Wrap Week 1A (Pac-12 Makes a BIG statement)

(Trying something new this year - separating the Football Wrap into College and Pros. An attempt to keep both shorter and more focused. We'll see how this lasts)

Oregon State QB Sean Mannion helped the Pac-12 make big noise Saturday leading the upset over Wisconsin.

The Pac-12 has taken a lot of heat the last 2-3 years. USC battled sanctions, UCLA’s been embarrassing. If not for Oregon (and Rob Gronkowski's rise), the Pac-12 has had some inconsistent teams as the Ducks have been carrying the conference.

Well two weeks in, the Pac-12 is taking names and making statements. No. 16 Nebraska? Down to UCLA. No. 13 Wisconsin? Done in by Oregon State? And Oklahoma State? The team that barely beat Stanford last year in a bowl game. Outgunned and outmanned by Arizona and new QB Matt Scott.

Big ups to Oregon State also shutting down Heisman candidate Montee Ball, his first game without a TD in 22 games. They beat Wisconsin at their own game - ugly, low scoring and physical.

3 Top 25 upsets. 5 teams in the AP Top 25 (The SEC has 6). And did I mention USC and Oregon look pretty solid in the Top 5? Oregon’s got a sick triple option with the Black Mamba, Kenjon Barner and their new QB Marcus Mariota. Barner might be the most underrated starter in the Pac-12 but he’s a big deal if you’ve seen him back up LaMichael James.

Washington may have been destroyed by LSU but at least it wasn't Sacramento State, right Colorado?
 Of course there's the matter of Washington getting manhandled by LSU - worse than Oregon did I'll add. At this point there's no shame losing to Alabama or LSU considering they are Top 3 for a reason.

(We’ll also just pretend Colorado didn’t lose to Sacramento State at home. But considering Sac State has beaten at Pac-12 team before, that’s not shocking)

I’ll get into UCLA and USC on my weekly recap. But right now, the Pac-12 made a big statement. It’s not just Oregon and the Trojans who could be tough outs and it could make for a fun season out here on the Left Coast.

Other tidbits.

- Has the U hit rock bottom??? They let Kansas State open up a can on em in their 52-13 loss.. Doesn’t seem right seeing them on the other side of beatdowns. Looks like I need to remind everyone that this is the 10th anniversary season of the Canes losing the 03 Nat’l Title.

- Shoelace Robinson just told Matt Barkley the Heisman may not be his yet with his 426 yards of total offense. It’s a shame he can’t play defense – stop me if you heard that before – because he’d thrive on any team where he had some help.

- The Big 10? Well Urban Meyer is letting Braxton Miller cook as a scary dual-threat kid. But as for the rest? I'll let my man K. Munroe speak on it. What a horrible weekend for them.

- Arkansas? Bwhahahahahhahaha!!!!!! At home??? LOL LOL LOL. Big ups to my man Lamar for enjoying his alma mater U of Lousiana-Monroe giving the biggest upset of the season. Throw in firing Bobby Petrino earlier this year for lying about his affair/auto accident and 2012 hasn't been a good year for the Hogs.

I’d like to end by sending my prayers to Tulane senior Devon Walker for his severe injury suffered on the field.  Walker suffered a fractured spine after colliding with a teammate and it’s too soon to know what will happen to the rest of his life.

It’s eerily similar to what happened to Eric LeGrand of Rutgers in 2010. And it comes on the heels of news out here of a student being awarded $2.4 million for being paralyzed, albeit under different circumstances.

All you can say is just pray for that young man to not be discouraged and make the most of his new life. It’s sad when you see things like this happen and there’s no way to speak on it without sounding like grandstanding or trivializing it. I'm resisting the urge to speak on what this means with my new state of mind because it's too soon preaching on the back of someone who could be paralyzed

So I just pray for Walker, his family, teammates, coaches and those who will help him adjust to his new life.

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