The second week of the college football season is in the books, and some people are trying to party like its 2007.
There were more upsets, and more classic battles this week, and there was even a rumor of Lou Holtz weeping in the corners of the ESPN newsroom.
Without further adieu, here are the superlatives from week two.
Team that got the marquee win it desperately needed: Michigan
Two weeks ago, Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan program were in turmoil. After Saturday’s heroic 38-34 win over rival Notre Dame, the Wolverines have established themselves as a relevant program again.
Rodriguez faced accusations prior to the season opener that he had far exceeded the allotted time for practices, meetings, and workouts since he arrived at Michigan last season. With an NCAA investigation pending, an emotional Rodriguez looked truly scared for his program.
Beating Notre Dame in the Big House, in front of a loyal sellout crowd showed that the support for Rodriguez is there, and the talent on the field is also back after a one-year hiatus.
I would also like to hand out an award within an award to Tate Forcier for Breakout Freshman Superstar.
Forcier made every play he had to in the Wolverine’s win, including a touchdown pass in the final seconds to Greg Matthews.
In just his second career collegiate game, Forcier ran the spread option offense to perfection, and also showed something that Rodriguez’s quarterbacks never showed at West Virginia: a lively arm. Forcier completed 23-of-33 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns against a much-improved Notre Dame defense, coached by Jon Tenuta.
Michigan appears back in the thick of the national picture, and with four more years of Forcier, they aren’t going away again soon.
Team that is absolutely, positively unstoppable: Florida
Through one quarter on Saturday against Troy, it looked like the torrential downpours in Gainsville would make Tim Tebow mortal. An interception and a fumble on two early possessions highlighted an uncharacteristic start for the Gators quarterback.
By the time the second quarter rolled around, however, it was business as usual for the defending national champions. The Gators rolled up 28 points in the second quarter to lead 35-6 going into the second half.
Urban Meyer’s offense looks like a machine. Even without Percy Harvin, who scored a touchdown in his NFL debut Sunday with the Vikings, Florida’s offense is not skipping a beat. They actually look better than ever. Tebow has the best group of athletes in the country to distribute the ball to, including Jeffery Demps, Brandon James, Aaron Hernandez, and Riley Cooper.
The scariest thing about this game was coach Meyer called off the dogs at halftime. Next week the game is against Tennessee and Lane Kiffin, who has done his best to get under Meyer’s skin like a tick this offseason. After all the verbal pokes at Meyer’s credibility and even a guaranteed victory over the Gators, Meyer will undoubtedly keep firing for the end zone until the fourth quarter is over, and they will find it often. It could be a fifty-point shellacking in Gainesville.
Most embarrassing conference, ever: the ACC
Just when you thought it was safe to say the ACC was actually respectable again, they fall flat on their face. It was not quite as bad as week one, but when Florida State needs a late touchdown to beat Jacksonville State, and Maryland has to go to overtime to beat JMU, there is simply no excuse.
Georgia Tech and Clemson played a memorable game in Atlanta Thursday night, but if you stop to think about it, both teams each played one half of lifeless football, and Georgia Tech finally came out on top.
Virginia Tech is going to be the class of the conference yet again. They are easily the most complete team in the conference, and their defense will dominate these anemic offenses in the rest of the ACC.
Most overrated player in the country: Terrelle Pryor, quarterback for Ohio State
So much for a breakout game. Pryor had Ohio State in a position for a landmark victory at home against USC, and then he choked. Pryor completed two of his eight passes in the final quarter, while Trojan true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley stepped to the forefront of college football stardom with a game-winning drive.
Pryor had the opportunity to silence the critics who thought Ohio State couldn’t beat the other elite teams in the country. The Buckeyes have not won a marquee game against one of the nation’s best teams since the Rose Bowl national championship win over Miami in 2002.
Instead, the Buckeyes are still a step below programs like USC, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and Alabama. There was a graphic during ESPN’s broadcast of the game Saturday night that stated: “Terrelle Pryor must improve his footwork, decision making, and defensive recognition to become a good quarterback.”
Uh…isn’t that in chapter one in the book of becoming a quarterback? Right now, Pryor is simply a world-class athlete playing quarterback. He needs to improve his fundamentals on the field, as well as his leadership and poise if the Buckeyes are going to return to being one of the absolute best teams in America.
Co-players of the week: David Wilson and Ryan Williams, running backs for Virginia Tech.
There weren’t too many superstar performances this week, but Williams and Wilson helped the Hokies discover an offensive potency that has not been seen in Blacksburg since Kevin Jones and Lee Suggs were in the backfield.
The combination teamed up for 329 yards on 28 carries, and the Hokies ran for over 400 yards in a game for the first time since 1995.
Running backs coach Billy Hite wanted Wilson to make his first appearance be a successful one, so he held him out for a majority of the Alabama game, then unleashed him on the Thundering Herd.
Both Williams and Wilson showed the game-breaking ability that will help Tech score enough points to aide the defense this season, and win plenty of games.