We’ve finally made it, folks. Real, honest-to-goodness football is being played in a college stadium near you. We’re set for the next five-or-so-months.
Take it in for a second. *wipes away tears*
Considering the influx of familiar faces sure to be gracing your SportsCenter screen, an appropriate place to start our little discussion would have to be Johnny Menzial. I’ve voiced my disdain for him, while others have proven a bit more understanding. After Saturday’s game against Rice – a game in which Manziel only played a part of the second half, due to a half-game suspension* and some in-game dramatics – I find myself at a crossroads.
Manziel has more or less spent the last six months getting lambasted by every possible corner of the media (again, I’m guilty), and how does he respond? By throwing three touchdowns in eight pass attempts and hollering at anybody that got in his way, to the point where he got an unsportsmanlike conduct call after his third touchdown pass, prompting Kevin Sumlin to pull his star quarterback. The Aggies would go on to win, 52-31. Sure, it was against Rice but something tells me that Johnny Football is going to be taking this head-full-of-steam approach into every game he plays, opponent be damned.
And in era where so many great young quarterbacks strive to be politically correct*, it’s pretty damn refreshing (or entertaining, at least) to see Manziel coming out, guns blazing. He’s trying to bury his opponents this year. Yes, he’s still a spoiled, entitled white boy from an oil family. Yes, he acts like a jackass on Twitter, and I would probably hate him if I knew him personally.
But he’s also a young man who’s been pushed into a figurative corner; all he can do now is come out swinging. That shouldn’t completely rehabilitate his image for anybody, but at a certain level, you have to respect his resilience.
— Braxton Miller’s first pass of the year? A a 47-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith as Urban Meyer’s Ohio State team grabbed a 40-20 victory over Buffalo.
— Could Washington be a factor in the Pac-12 race? Their 38-6 dismantling of 19th-ranked Boise State could double as a very loud coming-out party. Consider: they play at Illinois (2-10 last year), and host Idaho State and Arizona. They could wind up 4-0 after September lets out, setting the stage for an incredibly brutal at Stanford, versus Oregon back-to-back. One of those two games has to be close, right?
— Western Kentucky LB Andrew Jackson layeth the smack down on running back Jonathan George. Cred to LBSports for spotting this one.
— The Tajh Boyd Heisman campaign is off to a fast start. Tossing three touchdowns and running for two to sink a fifth-ranked Georgia team, 38-35? It’s going to be a good year for Clemson fans.
— Christion Jones and Alabama’s special teams helped the Tide continue to roll, racking up a 35-10 win against Virgina Tech.
— Remember that incredibly sad episode of The Simpsons when Maude Flanders gets hit by a t-shirt launched from a t-shirt cannon and pummels to her death? Thank God this particular malfunction involving an Arkansas Razorbacks intern and a t-shirt gun didn’t lead to any fatalities.
— Villanova’s fake punt fooled everyone, included Boston College and the ESPN camera crew, who almost missed the 47-yard touchdown.
* — OH NO, A HALF-GAME SUSPENSION AGAINST RICE. A&M WAS REALLY GOING OUT ON A LIMB WITH THAT ONE.
** — Just last week, SportsCenter spent a solid minute discussing the fact that Andrew Luck still uses an old Verizon flip phone. Because he’s humble, I guess. I’m sure Luck’s a great guy and all that, but after a certain point, there’s just very little story to be told. Bad guys are always more fun to dissect than good guys.