Collball Week 3: Saban has last laugh on Manziel; plus Canes/Gators off but plenty to see; big day for state (except FIU)
1) It is SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15. Happy wedding day-after, LeBron James! I have a beautiful fondue pot waiting for you and Savannah back in Miami. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): LeBron wedding details, Dolphins/NFL Week 2 predix, Marlins' overreaction to Jose, Beasley poll, obit from hell & more. 3) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), Instagram (Upsetbird), Vine (Greg Cote) and Facebook (Greg Cote).
COLLBALL WEEK 3
The Miami Hurricanes, newly ensconced at No. 15 in the polls, and the Florida Gators both are off this week, so we take the opportunity to lead the Collball roundup with the Game of the Year. Sorry, Noles and FIU. You're here, but a bit further down...
NO. 1 ALABAMA 49, NO. 6 TEXAS A&M 42: Neither team remembered to bring along a defense, but you must give Team Saban and Team Manziel credit. They ut on quite a show. The Game of the Year hype lived up. ..... Original post: This is too delicious. The matchup and context are enough to make it shine with Game of the Year cred: Top-ranked Crimson Tide out to avenge last year's only loss, but needing to do so in the sonic chaos of College Station. But the game's two overriding personalities are what make this game must-see of course: Nick Saban vs. Johnny Manziel (pictured). Don't you wish it were possible for both teams to lose? To see a crestfallen Saban sullen on his postgame trudge? To see some of the noxious cocky knocked from Manziel? It is well beyond South Florida that dislike for Saban may be found, and dislike for "Johnny Football" also is national. (CBS today only grows the nauseating over-coverage of Manziel with a "Johnny Cam" trained solely on the A&M quarterback. And I'm sure the over/under on sideline shots of Saban would be, say, 20.5). Bottom line: Saban is the best coach in this game and has the best team. And he is 15-2 in his career in avenging loss. The 9.5-point underdog role insults the Aggies, though. It'll be close. Curious where your rooting interest is, or, in this case, perhaps it's who you'll most be rooting against? My pick was: Alabama, 30-24.
Week 3 state FBS games:
No. 10 Florida State 62, Nevada 7 -- You could argue that games with 35-point betting lines are games that really should not be played at all. An impress-the-polls day for Noles. My pick was: FSU, 47-10.
Bethune-Cookman 34, FIU 13 -- Oh my. I'm beginning to wonder if first-year coach Ron Turner will even survive the season with hair-trigger AD Pete Garcia. ..... Original post: Fascinating to watch the bet-line move on this one. FIU, a bigger school from a bigger conference and home, started out by rote as a slight favorite. Soon there was such a huge swing of money on Bethune-Cookman that B-C is now the pick by 3.5 points. They're begging you to take FIU. This is sad. Can't vouch for this game but can tell you the Btheun band will make halftime worth the rpice of admission. The game? That presents a classic question: Can a really solid smaller team beat a lesser big team? Wish I had a different answer in this case. My pick was: Bethune, 23-18.
UCF 34, Penn State 31 -- I gave the Knights an upset shot but thought Happy Valley (even though it stopped being all that happy) was too tough a venue. Instead, UCF's first win over a Big Ten school. My pick was: Penn State, 27-20.
FAU 24, USF 10 -- OWL POWER! The Bulls were nobody to be favored by 12 points but I didn't think they were this bad. Big roadie for FAU. . My pick was: USF, 24-17.
Off this week:
Miami: No. 15 Canes host Savannah State next and then visit USF so figure to be 4-0 (and possibly top-10) when they open ACC schedule vs. Georgia Tech.
Florida: No. 18 Gators open SEC schedule next week vs. Tennessee.
Week 3 national Top 25 matchups:
Alabama-Texas A&M (See above).
No. 16 UCLA 42, No. 23 Nebraska 21 -- Huskers lost to Bruins in L.A. last year. Well, they did it again. At home. Blowing an 18-point lead. My pick was: Nebraska, 37-31.
My record: This week, 3-3; season, 16-4.
GOT SOPY?: Back for a second season is our State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) ranking, a weekly Top 10 of the most productive quarterbacks, runners and receivers from state's seven FBS schools. UCF QB Blake Bortles and Canes RB Duke Johnson are 1-2 entering Week 3. Follow along all season in the blog.
Poll result: Happy to have Beasley, but with reservations: We asked in previous blogpost (you may still vote), and 62.7 percent said they were pleased the Heat reacquired Michael Beasley. However 20.2% said no and 17.1% were undecided.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...